Hot business models for our times

04:21 AM September 08, 2014

Let us now praise nuisance candidates, like the annoying Elly Pamatong, who would liberate our reefs from China’s clutches with just a few well-placed firecrackers. I wish him well.

See, I’ve learned to suffer these so-called nut cases gladly, because behind every delusion is a legitimate aspiration yearning to breathe free. Mr. Pascual Racuyal, bless his soul, taught me that.


Old Mr. Racuyal was a perennial presidential candidate in the ’60s. I saw him once at his miting de avance in Plaza Miranda, where he explained his visionary platform to an audience of 22 of us.

Among his ambitious planks was the promise to put the entire Philippines under a glass dome and then air-condition it round-the-clock for the benefit of our sweaty people.


Ha, ha, ha. I thought. But history has since absolved Mr. Racuyal.

Look around you. Giant shopping malls are not just retailing specimens of the globalized American Dream, they’re also steadily air-conditioning our archipelago, kilometer by muggy kilometer, vindicating Pascual Racuyal’s vision. And the people love it. Who’s laughing now?

So, when some regulars at Toto’s Chicken BBQ on Labores Street in Pandacan got excited about the sizzling economy, and started gabbing like visionary entrepreneurs, I took them seriously.

The economy is indeed hot with a 6.4 percent growth rate. The government is trumpeting that per capita income has risen to $2,765. Then there’s the coming presidential election, which will surely boost consumers’ purchasing power even more, albeit temporarily.

My istambay friends giddily spoke of “business models,” throwing around terms like “disruptive innovation,” “steady revenue streams” and “initial public offerings.”

A neighbor, May Abilidad, a 5-6 lender by profession, touted her preferred business model, which was inspired by Senator Nancy Binay’s unorthodox defense of her family’s political practices.

May described her venture as “such game-changer” the beauty industry will never be the same. It will be a national chain of beauty parlors, “the Starbucks of beauty salons,” she bragged.


I firmly, but respectfully, tried to shoot down the notion. First of all, there’s nothing disruptively new about a chain of beauty parlors. Second, May can’t even properly cut her gumamela bushes, which are encroaching on my property line.

Oy, oy, my chain is called The Beholder Beauty Spas. Our stylists won’t even have to know the difference between a Brazilian blowout and a blowtorch. When a customer says, ‘You ruined my hair,’ we say that’s only her opinion – P2,000 please. Cha-chingg! I’m waiting for an endorsement from Ma’am Nancy, who’s an expert on the concept.”

However, Max Balato, who’s had a poor rate of return in the jueteng sector, warned May that hers wasn’t a legitimate business model but false advertising. “You need what’s called a bricks-and-mortar enterprise that delivers what’s called real consumables, not an estafa operation.”

Impressive. Didn’t know Max had the business smarts.

For his part, Max said that Vice President Jojo Binay was a shoo-in for the presidency. So the best business model must “anticipate” the next president’s economic policy, which will surely be based on statecraft that he learned from running the City of Makati.

“So I’m thinking of Balato Construction & Pastry Co.— Building and Baking With No Questions Asked,” he announced. New world-class parking garages will be mushrooming from Aparri to Jolo. And birthday cakes for four million senior citizens each year, at P300 per? That’s a lot of, quote unquote, dough, my friends.”

Max said he’s already printing the “prospectus” for his “initial public offering,” rubbing his hands in anticipation.

But it was my good friend Persistio Bongcal, private investigator extraordinaire, who had the best business venture of all, in my honest opinion.

Percy has given up shadowing two-timing spouses and hounding deadbeats. “I’m now a financial investigator, big time: Bongcal Financial Security – We Beat the Cheat out of Balance Sheets.”

And what’s so lucrative about financial investigation? I asked Percy.

“We’ll, for example, the government says our per capita income is now $2,765. But I’ve got a line of clients banging on my door asking for help. All say someone else must be going shopping with their $2,765 because they haven’ seen any of it.”

So, it’s the old “a chicken in every pot,” but someone out there is eating mine too.

“Exactly. And I have millions of potential customers who will be asking for help to find the culprits. Uh, and just between you and me, I’m not only the president of my company, I’m also a client. Can’t find my $2,765 either.

You know Percy’s business model is a winner because right then and there, May Abilidad, Max Balato, Toto and practically all of Labores Street signed up for his services.

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TAGS: business models, business ventures, per capita income, Philippine economic growth rate, Philippine economy, satire
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