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I'm back from Holy Week break and I'm busy as a Jollibee.  So everyone can imagine that I'm once again behind on my e-mail...actually about a week behind.  I promise that I'm not ignoring or blowing off anyone...I'll catch up sooner or later.  For those who don't know, basically the city shuts down during Holy Week.  Everyone goes home to their provinces or resorts like Boracay or Cebu to party.  Most girls and guys I know here my age took the time to catch up on work.  I actually had a friend come here to buy a condo, but she didn't notify me that she was coming during Good Friday until she was sitting on the tarmac.  Needless to say, I had to go pick her up at the terminal otherwise she would have paid like P700 for a taxi that should cost P70, not to mention getting lost.

It's lucky for us here in the Philippines that so many foreigners and OFW Filipinos still want to come and buy condos and other investments to allow them to live here.  People are blown away when they find out how relatively cheap condos cost here in Manila and Makati.  The one I found for my friend was 1000 square feet and has a view of both the Manila Bay sunset and the Makati skyline.  Obviously I personally can't afford it, but she was telling me that the $100,000 price tag was 9 times less expensive than the place she was looking at in San Francisco with a similar view.  She wants to return to the Philippines at age 52 and setup a business.  That's the new challenge...to help her invest in something that can give her an ROI in 3 years.  Personally, I told her to stick to the small ticket market.  There are 40 million Filipinos, mostly girls and boys under the age of 18.  They make about $1-2 per day and they all need to eat.  But at the same time, Filipinos want a familiar name.  Therefore I'm thinking that a convenience store franchise would be the smartest choice for my friend.  She now needs to do a market study and start writing to the franchisers.  Originally she wanted to do a coffee shop.  Ok...and if there's a financial crisis, the first thing people will do is go back to drinking instant coffee.  Fads are a bad investment choice here as are buying anything bigger than a 1 bedroom condo that you intend to rend out later.  Stick to the necessities (small and simple) and you'll always have an income.  Wow...I'm tired and I'm rambling.  Hopefully someone will make some sense out of what I just said. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get caught up online.

March 29, 2005

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