The Araneta Wealth

Stella Marquez Araneta is currently making headlines in the Philippines and not in a good way. See related post here.

From Filipino designers to Twitter users, it seems that many are expressing their disappointment – ok anger – with her. Will the angry netizens speak with their wallets though? Stella had married into one of the Philippines’ wealthiest families. The Aranetas are involved in many businesses in the country.

She didn’t end up as a trophy wife. She is actually now the second most famous Araneta. The most famous being the inanimate Araneta Coliseum. Stella during her wedding to Jorge Araneta. Image from Alo Magazine


A view of the Araneta Center’s most famous landmark, the Araneta Coliseum. The coliseum hosted the Thrilla in Manila, the 1975 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Image from Ramon FVelasquez


Aside from the Araneta Coliseum, which is part of the 35 hectare Araneta Center complex, what are the other business holdings of the Aranetas? Continue reading The Araneta Wealth


Is the Miss Universe Pageant an Asset or Liability to Donald Trump?

In 1996, Donald Trump acquired the Miss Universe Organization. At that time, the acquisition seemed to make a lot of sense.

The Miss Universe pageant was being seen as outdated and cheesy and Mr. Trump’s expertise in branding – after all, he has made his name in turning around real estate properties – was seen as something that would revive the pageant. “Trump puts his hand in things that are very profitable and glamorous”, said one pageant expert at that time.

Despite its dwindling audiences in developed countries, Miss Universe was still very popular in Latin America and Asia. Though already known in the United States at that time, Mr. Trump was relatively unrecognizable in the rest of the world. The pageant was supposed to endear Mr. Trump to the countries he planned to expand his businesses in.

The partnership seemed to go in the right direction. The already popular Miss Universe pageant also became known as “Donald Trump’s beauty contest” around the world. Mr. Trump’s expertise in marketing luxury projects found its way in Miss Universe. In 2001, supermodels Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell, hosted the Miss Universe contest, in an effort to give the pageant a more upmarket vibe.

Things began to change in 2004. Donald Trump appeared in the show “The Apprentice”. Continue reading Is the Miss Universe Pageant an Asset or Liability to Donald Trump?

Outsourcing Gone Too Far? The Miss Philippines National Costume Drama

Outsourcing is big business. The industry is currently estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.  Companies in countries with high costs will outsource some of their processes in countries where labor and materials are cheaper yet dependable.

But are there limits to what can or cannot be outsourced to another country? Can goods/ services of national and cultural importance be outsourced to foreign entities?

Those questions have been part of a hot topic recently in the Philippines. During the national costume presentation at the Miss Universe pageant in Doral Forida, Miss Phlippines, Mary Jean Lastimosa, wore a national costume that drew mostly negative comments on the internet.

The internet asked “What the hell was that?” Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa’s national costume for the Miss Universe pageant in Doral. Image from Jory Rivera/ OPMB worldwide


Some compared her dress to a wedding cake. Some compared her outfit to a multi-flavored ice cream combo. Some compared her outfit to a float filled with flowers. On a more serious note, many questioned the relevance of her outfit to Filipino culture.  Continue reading Outsourcing Gone Too Far? The Miss Philippines National Costume Drama

Despite Russia’s Recent Economic Struggles – Miss Russia Wears Ridiculously Expensive Gowns to the Miss Universe Pageant in Doral

It is no secret that Russia has been on an economic slump lately due to economic sanctions brought about by the United States, Europe and their allies. The drop in crude oil prices makes things even worse.

Russia’s GDP grew by only 0.7% in the third quarter of 2014, and the World Bank projects that the country will go into recession in 2015. The Russian ruble (RUB) already lost about half its value. To counter the ruble slide, the Russian Central Bank raised interest rates to around 17%. Inflation is at around 9%.

But you probably cant’t tell what the Russian economy is going through based on what Miss Russia, Yulia Alipova, has been wearing to the Miss Universe 2014 pageant in Doral, Florida.

For the official evening gown portraits, Yulia wore an Elie Saab haute couture gown. Fashion pundits estimate the gown’s price tag at USD175,000. Yes, the number of zeroes are correct – the gown costs as much as a house. Continue reading Despite Russia’s Recent Economic Struggles – Miss Russia Wears Ridiculously Expensive Gowns to the Miss Universe Pageant in Doral

Opportunity: Miss Universe in Doral Miami

Since this is an investment related blog, it’s only fitting that I see opportunities where there is one.

The 63rd Miss Universe will be held tonight in Florida (tomorrow morning Manila time), where Miss Universe 2014 will be crowned. It is already 2015, so it seems that there has been a slight delay.


This blog goes (virtually) to Doral. Image from


A lot of people do not care about pageants anymore, but many people still do – Filipinos and South Americans in particular. To reach out to that audience, I will be posting Miss Universe related investment information.




Learn more about the actual pageant here. If you are in the area, see if you can still buy tickets here.