(SDN) — EVERY summer every year Cagayan Valley in Northern Luzon, experiences sizzling hot temperatures.
In fact, Tuguegarao City, the capital, had the Philippines’ hottest temperature ever recorded at 42.2 degrees Centigrade on May 11, 1969, according to Quora.com.
And ever since that day, maybe even before, the people of the province have been hard put shielding themselves from intense heat. Death from sun stroke had also struck some residents.
One top-tier businessman leader hopes to help fight the heat in Cagayan Valley through a project he calls “Green Canopy.” It’s a “pet project.”
He is Lucio K. Tan, Jr., a scion of one of the Philippines’ mega-tycoons, his namesake. The young Tan is vice chairman as well of the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL).
On Saturday, June 15, Gerardo “Gerry” Tan Tee, of Absolut Distillers, Inc. and chief operating officer’overall-in-charge of Lucio Tan Group of Companies’ (LTGC) Distillery Operations, announced at the Century Park Hotel, in Malate, Manila, the plans, nay, the ongoing project for the greening of Cagayan Valley.
He said it was at first a “secret project” of Tan, Jr., one of his pet projects, a part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the company.
Lucio “Bong” K. Tan, Jr., vice chairman of Philippine Airlines (PAL). Photo: Eggshell Public Relations Agency)
The revelation came as part of the press conference for the announcement of the company’s Tanduay product being awarded as the world’s No. 1 rum for second straight year.
Tan. Jr. happily shared the feat with Filipinos as he honored them for their ingenuity.
“This is a milestone not just for Tanduay, but for the Philippines as well. This shows that Filipino craftsmanship is truly world-class,” said Tan, Jr., whose fondly called “Bong” by his kin, friends and associates.
The Filipino-made “spirits” thus, remains the world’s industry leader as far as rum is concerned, now on its 165th year. It beat other foreign brands as shown by Drinks International’s (DI) latest report.
Gerry Tan Tee fields questions from media. (Photo: SDN)
Tee also briefed members of the media and the audience about Tan, Jr.’s eight-year-old project on Boracay Island long-before President Rodrigo R. Duterte dubber it “a cesspool” and ordered the closure and rehabilitation of the world-famous white sand beach (including the island itself) last year.
He said the scion of tycoon Lucio Tan, Sr. directed the rehabilitation and planting of mangroves in one of the island’s barangays (villages) as “a way of giving back” of the company.
Tee emphasized the success of the company’s products it owes to Filipinos.
For the Cagayan Valley Green Canopy Project, he said they have already started planting in Baggao municipality 2,400 rubber trees in 2,400 hectares, 500 trees per hectare.
This is how the Lucio Tan Group of Companies (LTGC) works in four ways, a well-rounded approach that leaves none behind. (Photo: SDN)
He said the company’s Green Canopy Project comes in “double” which means rubber tree plants increases two-fold in every phase.
“The first phase will have 3,000 rubber trees, the second phase with 6,000, the third phase with 12,000, and the final phase with 24,000,” said Tee.
Depending on available funds, he said they are open to the idea of expanding the project to other areas.
He said the mangrove planting in Barangay Manok-Manok on Boracay Island and the Green Canopy Project are only two of the company’s many CSR projects, “the company’s way of giving back to the community.”
He said the two projects, among others, are also aimed at lessening “our carbon footprint, rehabilitate the mangroves.”
“Bong (Tan, Jr.) asked me, ‘how do we give back to this community, find out about the mangroves (on Boracay Island).'”
In Cagayan Valley, Tee said Tan, Jr.’s “dream is to make a Green Canopy, a future endeavor of the company.”
DI, a global spirits market think tank, released just this month of June its “Ranking of the World’s Million-Case Spirits Brands for 2019. The think tank has been coming up annually with industry updates and rankings of brands that achieve record volumes of a million nine-liter cases of above the previous year
The Philippine pride beat 153 other brands in the survey DI conducted in 2018.
DI noted that it was no longer a two-way race between Bacardi and Tanduay.
“The two horse-race between Bacardi and Tanduay seems to be a thing of the past, with the later boasting an additional three million cases in 2019,” the think tank’s report pointed out.
DI also noted the improvement of the major players in the industry in the run category, which “seem to be in a more powerful state than they were 12 months ago.”
Tan. Jr. has been steering the Absolute Distillers ship amid oceans of challenges, managing, however, to achieve growth of Tanduay as a global brand, as he gave credit to his people behind the rise.
“Our people rose to the challenge and worked even harder. Exports expanded as far as the United States, Europe, and Asia.
“We have also embarked on high profile marketing initiatives. Today, we are reaping the fruits of our hard work. We have once again maintained our stature as the world’s number one rum.”
As this developed,Tanduay announced its partnership with the City of Bacolod in staging the first Rum Festival in the Philippines on August 17 to 24, which is a way to pay homage to the city’s sugarcane industry.
Paul Lim, chief marketing officer of Tanduay Distillers, Inc., paid tribute to Filipinos’ craftsmanship.
“Tanduay has always taken pride in the hard work and craftsmanship of the Filipino. Through the Tanduay Rum Festival, we join the city of Bacolod in giving a toast to the men and women who have made its sugarcane industry what it is today. They are a huge part in Tanduay’s success,” he said.
In relation with the festival, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia welcomed his city’s partnership with Tanduay.
Paul Lim in an interview. (Photo: SDN)
“We are honored to have the world’s number one rum as our partner in staging the first Rum Festival in the Philippines. This festival is being done to celebrate the humble sugarcane. The celebration highlights Filipino excellence in different fields — from culinary arts and music and dance,” the mayor said.
The festival will also feature on opening day an Open Kitchen Competition and Mixology Contest, a food bazaar, visual arts (Street Art and Barrel Art painting).
Participants in the kitchen and mixology events will be tasked to concoct dishes and cocktails using rum. Prominent culinary and mixology professionals will judge the competition.
On the June 24, there will be a 5K Rum Run with mini-obstacle course, then a Street Dance parade and contest, as well as a Rum Festival Float Parade with cash prizes awaiting winners.
Paul Lim, chief marketing officer of Tanduay Distillers, Inc., said they will also continue with their partnership with the Golden State Warriors. (SDN)
Update: The story has been, and may still be, updated, some editing, etc.