The Davos experience

BUSINESS SNIPPETS - Marianne Go - The Philippine Star
The Davos experience
During a dinner he tendered for business editors early this week, Gov. Eli and BSP Deputy Governor Berna Romulo-Puyat regaled us with their Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) experience, which was a first for both of them.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Eli Remolona, as it turns out, is a Davos newbie.

During a dinner he tendered for business editors early this week, Gov. Eli and BSP Deputy Governor Berna Romulo-Puyat regaled us with their Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) experience, which was a first for both of them.

Gov. Eli (with excuses to his beloved wife Marie, who opted not to join him and instead chose to go to the US to spend time with their grandchildren) had the chance to indulge in a bit of admiration “crush” for Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, during the forum she hosted on “Financial Health: Key to Empowerment and Sustainable Development.” Gov. Eli was thus able to get a photo with her after the session.

The BSP chief admitted that it was a different experience and that he was not actually able to attend all of the sessions, or even got to meet Bill Gates, as there were simply too many sessions and their invitation only limited them to select a few key sessions that they were interested or invited to participate in.

While the Davos WEF was held from Jan. 16 to 20, Gov. Eli and his team actually spent just two days attending the forum as two days alone were spent going to Switzerland and returning home.

Aside from the BSP delegation, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Maharlika Investment Corp.’s Joel Consing and Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla also attended the Davos WEF.

Gov. Eli and Deputy Gov. Berna likewise revealed that it was quite a challenge to get to the WEF venue even though they could have walked to the conference site from their hotel. Unfortunately, Gov. Berna said the ground had become icy and too dangerous to walk on and most, if not all, had to get a ride, resulting in horrible traffic that could take as long as 40 minutes.

It was also “freezing” in Davos, Gov. Berna said, but thanks to their hastily purchased Uniqlo jackets and Heattech underwear, they were quite toasty and comfortable.

n photo (from left) are Pia Tayag, chief of staff, Gov. Eli Remolona, Deputy Governor Berna Romulo-Puyat and Ambassador Dondi Teehankee.

BTS fangirl

A side trip to the Fondation Beyeler in Reihen, Switzerland allowed Gov. Eli to once again witness the “fan girl” in Gov. Berna who was absolutely thrilled to visit the art museum that BTS member RM or Namjoon had previously posted on his Instagram account. RM is an art lover and his fans are constantly updated on his various visits to art museums

It is a well-known fact that Gov. Berna is an “Army” girl, although her favorite is actually Suga, the composer in the well-known seven member K-pop group.

Swiss ‘knives’

On the way back to the Philippines, however, Gov. Berna narrated that a Customs violation almost landed her in jail or a possible hefty fine, or confiscation. It is well-known that tourists visiting Switzerland almost always like to bring home the famous multi-purpose pocket Swiss knife, and which, of course, Gov. Berna also wanted to do so.

Passing through customs inspection, eagle-eyed HK International Airport security police stopped her and inspected the set of Swiss pocket knives that she had chosen to hand-carry. They immediately reprimanded her for bringing the “illegal and dangerous” items.

However, it turns out that the “illegal” Swiss knives, upon closer inspection, were merely cute and foil-wrapped Swiss knife chocolates, to the amusement of the HKIA security police who had to laugh off their heightened suspicion over the “contraband” items that had seemingly eluded the security checks in Switzerland.


Toyota’s Michael Jackson

Toyota Motors Philippines also held this week its media thanksgiving party where TMP’s new president Masando Hashimoto revealed his alter ego – Michael Jackson-san!

In an unexpected and very much welcome surprise performance, Hashimoto-san showed off his dancing skills in a “Thriller” dance presentation that had the invited guests roaring and cheering on his performance, complete with jacket, shoes, hat and zombie make-up.

Who knew that Hashimoto-san, who I met during the Japan.

Mobility Show in Tokyo last year, and who I had commented to former TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto-san, looked and embodied the strong and samurai warrior demeanor, was actually a fun and very game Michael Jackson fan!

Even TMP chairman Alfred Ty enjoyed his surprise performance that he chose to videotape the entire performance.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with