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News Articles

BizBuzz: Charity commission

10/10/2012 | By: Daxim L. Lucas

Alphaland Corp.'s new Balesin Island Club resort is all the rage among the well-heeled nowadays, but that hasn't stopped the firm's honcho, Bobby Ongpin, from using some unique marketing methods to sell his project.

One such method is a regularly e-mailed update on the project, which features notes and musings from the colorful (to put it mildly) businessman himself. Usually, the innocuously named "Balesin Update" contains thinly disguised sales pitches for the upscale resort. Ongpin also includes tantalizing snippets like "I'm writing you this e-mail from the white sand beach," or such.

But the latest update was unique in that the first half of the letter contained what sounded like a rant by the businessman on how the sheer number of visitors had forced Alphaland to take on a Bombardier Q400 chartered from AirPhil Express, replacing the two nine-seater Cessna Grand Caravans that used to ply the Manila-Balesin.

The larger plane now allows the Mediterranean-themed resort to be fully populated on weekends. But Ongpin laments- and strikes an almost apologetic tone- that his "de buena familia" clientele has to temporarily bear with the tedious check-in procedures and long lines at Naia Terminal 3 ("until we can accredit our Alphaland hangar for passenger boarding," he adds).

And with the typical Bobby Ongpin panache that his critics have come to hate, he tells Balesin"s clients that the chartered flights, which cost the company P300,000 per cycle, "will fly even if you're the only one on board." Impressive.-Daxim L. Lucas