Who’s poor?

Published August 11, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Not the top performers of the Philippine economy who posted fantastic gains in the first half of the year, Mabuhay! May your profits bring you more reasons to distribute more of the goodies and hire more employables.

The top performers a la Obiena, according to a short and incomplete list culled from the most cursory reading of the business pages, must’ve surprised even themselves when they posted their January-to-June scorecards. While bemoaning the negative factors that impacted the peso that led to a 6.4 percent inflation rate, we cannot turn a blind eye to the rich hard facts that leave a warm feeling in the stomach.
For example, Citicore netted ₱601 million or a growth rate of more than five times from last year’s ₱89 million. Semirara’s income grew four times at ₱25.8 billion, and PS Bank gained 100 percent, ₱1.84B. LandBank nearly doubled its income to ₱20.3B. For the first time in six years, PAL was in the black, gaining ₱4.2B. Pagcor profits grew 68 percent; Robinsons Retail 64 percent; ICTSI 50; Nickel Asia 41; Ayala Land 34; SM Investments 27 percent; Metro Pacific 24.

The auspicious news should provide a silky cushion to soften the landing of “ghost month” which began on July 29 and will end on Aug. 26, going by our Gregorian calendar. Do you scoff at little superstitions like the ghost month? But the keenest businessmen are actually very superstitious people! Why, even Westerners have begun to half-believe in practices that have slowly crept into their consciousness over the years of talking and trading with their Asian counterparts.

Aghast at the elementals causing mischief during the one month of the year that they’re allowed their furlough? Can Westerners help it if their opposite numbers in Asia keep a low profile, restrain themselves from attracting attention with noise, glitter and splendor, anything to make the spirits envious? Don’t traders East and West trade customs and traditions, too, influencing each other in a give-and-take of negotiating the best deal for both sides?

The advice of our feng shui source, Auntie Baby, is to pull back from high-profile projects – IPO’s, lavish parties and weddings, ceremonial launches, contract signing – “on or around Aug. 12.” Wait for the mid-autumn festival in September to celebrate with lanterns and a bang!