What the Year of the Wood Horse means for Iloilo City

Many people say that the Year of the Wood Horse is a year of “blessings in disguise” – a phrase commonly associated with bad incidents that produce good results. But for Iloilo City, the Year of the Wood Horse will usher in more foreign and national investments that will translate to more employment for Ilonggos.
Photo source: Iloilo City Government Website

 “According to Feng Shui, the spirit of the horse is very active. It brings good luck, opportunities and good prospects to our country,” said Felipe Uygongco, president of the Iloilo Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

“Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is a good mayor and he is the kind of person who believes in zodiac signs. So, we have lined-up many investment opportunities. There are foreign and national companies that are coming to Iloilo. It’s a good prospect for continued progress,” Uygongco added.

Among them are 300 Filipino-Canadians who are going to Iloilo this year. Uygongco said they promised to invest in Iloilo City because of the peace and order situation here. “They have also invited the Dinagyang 2014 champion to perform in Canada and to show Canadians that they are welcome in Iloilo,” he said.

He added that Iloilo City showcases everything. “We have an airport, we have power, we have water and we will have a convention center, among others. The mayor has provided these important necessities for investment,” he said.

MORE COMPETITION
The Chinese community has established itself as an unbeatable contributor to the city’s economy. Mayor Mabilog confirmed this. In fact, he said, there is a 40 percent increase in business registrations based on the January 21 report of business permits submitted. “The record is for January 21 deadline only. It does not include those who went ahead,” he said.

He added that of the businesses which are Filipino-Chinese or pure Chinese-owned, 80 percent are engaged in retail while 20 percent are into banking, manufacturing, hotels, services, lending, real estate and transportation.

With the Chinese businessmen’s stature, aren’t they afraid that more investors here would pose a threat to their interests?

“In business, we are not afraid of more investors or competitors. It means that the business climate is good. It will lead to lower prices and that will give our Ilonggo brothers a better opportunity to enjoy life,” Uygongco said.

DIRECT ACCESS TO XIAMEN, CHINA
On this note, Mabilog revealed that they are currently working on adding a third direct international flight from Iloilo. This is in addition to flights going to Hong Kong and Singapore. “One of the direct flights we are working on is Xiamen in China. Why? Because most Filipino-Chinese came from Xiamen. This will give them direct access to visit their families in Xiamen and Iloilo,” he said.

He added that this will enable more Chinese to invest in Iloilo, open economic opportunities and provide jobs for Ilonggos. He said they hope to finalize this before 2014 ends.

Mabilog also assured Ilonggos that locals will not be left behind in the progress of Iloilo City. “The Filipino-Chinese know how to be partners without dreaming to control the affairs of the city,” he said.

YEAR OF THE WOOD HORSE: A TEST OF BALANCE
Meanwhile, the 2014 Chinese New Year celebration in Iloilo City has started January 28 and will culminate on February 15. The highlight is on Friday, January 31, the exact date when the 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese lunar calendar will come full circle on the year of the Wood Horse.

The horse is considered as the most noble of the zodiac signs. Individuals who are born in this year know how to make money, are cheerful and are wise. On the other hand, they can be talkative, they easily fall for the opposite sex, and rarely follow other people’s advice.

 They are compatible with individuals born under the dog, sheep and tiger signs. They are not compatible with those born in the year of the rat because the horse is inherently a businessman while the rat spends a lot.

So astrology experts see that the year of the Wood Horse will be a test of balance – increase in business activities but increase in spending, even on unimportant things.

So, which will you be – the money maker or the money spender? Whatever you’d like to be, learn from these wise words from successful businessmen: Do not spend more than what you earn./Marie Katherine Villalon

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