CLARK FREEPORT – The grand opening of Midori Hotel and Casino here finally pushed through on Monday with Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III leading the ribbon-cutting rites.
Pimentel, who was also the guest of honor and speaker during the hotel’s groundbreaking ceremony in 2013, recalled that he was a re-electionist senator back then but now in its grand opening, he is not only an elected senator but he is also the president of the Philippine Senate.
“So who got lucky? Midori or me?” quipped Pimentel during his speech.
“If you believe that I was one of your lucky charms when I broke ground here from three to four years ago and you are now successful, you think again because when you invited me for the groundbreaking I was then only a candidate for the Senate and right now I am not only a senator but I am the president of the Philippine Senate,” Pimentel said.
“That only means our chemistry is good, so let us continue our collaboration. Let there be more Taiwanese investments not only in Clark but also in other areas of the Philippines,” he added.
BB International Leisure and Resort Development Corp. (BBI), a consortium dominated by Taiwanese investors, is the developer of Midori Hotel and Casino.
BBI top executives led by its chair Jack Yang, director Ford Chiang and president Dr. Irineo “Bong” Alvaro Jr. were on hand to cut the ribbon with Department of Tourism regional director Ronnie Tiotuico, Clark Development Corp. (CDC) AVP Atty. Noelle Meneses as well as Midori GM Vic Chan and Pimentel.
Other guests included Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) OIC Alexander Cauguiran and Mabalacat City Mayor Marino “Boking” Morales who expressed his felicitations to BBI for raising the bar to another level with its high-end investments. “I feel good and I think we were right all along that there is indeed life after the American bases but it’s a much better life,” Alvaro said at the sidelines after the ceremony.
Costing around P4 billion to build, Midori Hotel and Casino has 111 luxury rooms with the smallest room measuring 42 square meters, while the biggest is 368 square meters embellished with chic décor and high-end amenities.
It is destined to off er the fi nest in the hospitality business in Central Luzon which has a total area of 9,900 square meters.
Some of the hotel rooms feature an outdoor bath tub placed on the balconies, allowing guests to enjoy the tranquil and green surroundings of this freeport.
The hotel’s main lobby is accented with world-class Dedon furniture and exceptionally arranged by Taiwan’s renowned interior decorator.
For guests’ luxurious comfort, Sealy beds, ACCA Kappa and L’Occitane essentials are provided. “That is why if you will notice this is different from an ordinary hotel,” Alvaro said. “We told CDC we want to join you in raising the benchmark in raising the standards of tourism in this area.”
“I gave all my life to Clark. I never left Clark. This is where I started where I spent the prime of my youth under the US Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and after that when the Americans left we had some people in the workers union who said we can do it without the Americans and we proved it,” he said.
“What we are doing right now, either in Midori or at Mirej, is a continuation of trying to prove that there is life after the Americans,” he added.
“This has been our thesis ever since when we were working inside the base because there were some who believed that if the Americans leave, we would die. But we did not believe that in Midori. We proved them wrong and Mirej is a continuation of proving even without foreign support we can do it with sheer determination,” he explained.
“Part of our effort is to bring our own tourists from Taiwan, Japan, and other places like right now we have visitors from Tokyo who came here just to attend the grand opening of Midori,” he said. “With God’s help we can do it.”