10 Biggest Business Money-Making Opportunities in Manila in 2015! (Must Read!)

Biggest Opportunities
(Copyright: Alpha Spirit / 123RF Stock Photo)

2015 is the year to start a new creative business and capitalize on new opportunities in Manila!

It’s the year when you can throw new business ideas into the marketplace and have a higher chance to succeed. People nowadays are more exposed to travel, more open to new concepts, and demand more groundbreaking businesses.

It feels like 10 years ago, when blogging was still in its infancy and the Philippines was just being discovered by the world. There’s a real opportunity to get that first-mover advantage and capitalize on the trends.

2015 is the year of NO EXCUSES. If you don’t make lots of money this year, you only have yourself to blame for not capitalizing on the biggest opportunities.

I would like to share with you the 10 Biggest Money-Making Opportunities in Manila in 2015

1. Madrid Fusión & the Culinary Revolution in Manila

Elena Arzak
Elena Arzak (Arzak, 3 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)

Madrid Fusión Manila is the gastronomic event that will introduce the flavors and ingredients of Manila to the world. It’s envisioned to be the catalyst for making Manila the center of culinary excellence in the region.

The event consists of three exciting events–the International Gastronomy Congress, the Trade Exhibition, and the Flavors of the Philippines Festival. It will be held at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City this summer, from April 24 to 26, 2015.

It will feature the best of critically renowned chefs from Spain and Manila:

Featured Spanish Chefs:
● Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz, 2 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Elena Arzak (Arzak, 3 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Quique Dacosta (Denia, 3 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Ramón Freixa (Ramón Freixa Madrid, 2 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Francis Paniego (Echaurren, 2 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Paco Roncero (La Terraza del Casino, 2 Michelin stars & 3 Repsol suns)
● Mario Sandoval (Coque, 1 Michelin star & 3 Repsol suns)
● Paco Torreblanca (Torreblanca Bombonerías, Best Pastry Chef in Spain and Europe)

Featured Filipino Chefs:
● Fernando Aracama (Aracama)
● Margarita Fores (Lusso)
● Jay Gamboa (Cirkulo)
● José Luis Gonzalez (Gallery Vask)
● Pepe Lopez (Rambla)
● Rob Pengson (The Goose Station)
● Bruce Ricketts (Mecha Uma)
● Myrna Segismundo (Restaurant 9501)
● Claude Tayag (Bale Dutung)
● Juan Carlos de Terry (Terry’s)

The Manila culinary landscape will surely move to the next level.

Are you prepared for Madrid Fusión? Is your food & beverage business ready to take advantage of this culinary revolution in Manila?

For information on the chefs, the activities and registration, please visit http://madridfusionmanila.com.

2. Visit Philippines 2015 & the 10 Million Tourist Milestone


2015 will be the Breakout Year for Tourism in the Philippines, where we expect to see a record of 10 Million tourists in the country. Think about the tourist market opportunities in Manila! This is the time to set up those tours to experience authentic local activities and to create products specifically for tourists. 

Manila is not yet tourist-friendly and I would not consider visiting the malls as a local experience.

We need a new breed of entrepreneurs to take advantage of this opportunity.

For more info, visit the official website: 2015 is the Visit the Philippines Year!


3. Golden Age of Travel

TBEX Day 2-38.jpg
Robert Reid @ReidonTravel from National Geographic Traveler and former Lonely Planet Editor declared 2015 and beyond as the Golden Age of Travel in last year’s TBEX in Athens.

Traveling to a new place will be like eating in a fancy restaurant

The cost of accommodation is going down with competitive prices from Online Travel Agencies like Agoda and Expedia, and alternative living experiences with Air BnB, Homestays, and Home Exchange programs.

The cost of airfare is going down with fuel prices at their lowest. Budget flights are becoming more and more affordable, and travel fairs and deals are happening all year round.

Filipinos are traveling every chance they get with family and friends, to explore new destinations and experience new seasons. 

Traveling will be the new trend, and we will go loco on the latest travel gadgets.

Are you ready to capitalize on this business opportunity?


4. Our Local Soul

The Henry's-1.jpg
(The Henry Malate)

With the influx of international retail and restaurant brands in Manila, there is a danger of losing the Filipino essence of Manila. Tourists will be looking for more authentic local experiences where they can truly say it is more fun in the Philippines.

Most tourists bypass Manila to go directly to Palawan, Boracay, and the Visayas. The city is used as a transit point to destinations in Luzon, especially to Vigan, the Banaue Rice Terraces, and Donsol.

There is an opportunity to captivate this transient and layover market and make them stay and experience Manila, just like how Bangkok or Hong Kong were able to do it.

Think about it, if you go to Bonifacio Global City, where can you experience the authentic local soul of the city?

Where can you experience the true contemporary art and indie scene in Manila?

We need more patriotic entrepreneurs to create meaningful programs, tours, shops, BnB places, and experiences to promote the local soul of Manila.


5. Hawkerization of Manila & Filipino Street Food

Midnight Mercato 1

2015 is the year where we celebrate our Filipino street food and home-cooked food culture. We will see the Hawkerization of Manila as the market matures from the weekend night pop-up markets.

Did you know that the number #1 tourist spot in any Asian destination is a Food Market?

We will see that happening in Manila in 2015, as more tourists demand for local cuisine and local foodies get tired of international chains and look for Filipino comfort food.

They say that Filipinos don’t have a street food culture like our ASEAN neighbors. Yes, I have to agree, but we love our home-cooked Filipino food based on heirloom recipes passed down through generations.

The westernization of our Asian culture by the Americans and Spaniards provided a great integration of flavors and cooking techniques from the best of Europe, the US, and Asia

We need more Food Entrepreneurs to champion our local Filipino Food scene! Will you join us?


6. Social Enterprise Boom

gawad kalinga

Did you know that there will be 500,000 social businesses 10 years from now?

The new breed of social entrepreneurs are not satisfied with just making money for themselves but also alleviating poverty in the different communities in the Philippines.

How can we work hand-in-hand with the poor communities to improve lives in Manila?

While there were only a handful of these businesses last 2014, we will see an exponential growth, especially with the call of Pope Francis to learn to weep with the poor.

Now is the time to start your social enterprise business! 

Read More: Tito Tony’s New Year Message


7. The Age of Mobile + Video

Travel Content Takes off
This is the slide that convinced me that now is the time to focus on 100% mobile and 100% video

This was one of the key revelations from YouTube’s Khurram K. Jamali’s presentation entitled “Travel Content Takes Off on YouTube” in the TBC Asia conference in Sri Lanka.

Now is the time to start your mobile app project and start teaching yourself how to do video. 

We need more YouTube superstars in Manila and transition from a country of video consumers to video producers.

Did you know that the number 1 site for our boys is YouTube, followed by the App Store

As virtual reality and video technology matures, we will see more visual and gaming platforms. Technology progresses exponentially and we need to future-proof our online businesses.


8. E-commerce & the Worst Traffic in Manila


Traffic will go from bad to worse in Manila. There will be localization of services within the immediate vicinity. People will prefer to go to neighborhood mini-malls. 

Young Filipino families are migrating to the new South to avoid the pollution and the hassle of traffic.

More Filipinos prefer to shop online than brave the traffic from Makati to BGC or to other areas in the metro. Online and delivery businesses will boom. 

Filipinos will use the “traffic time” to learn new skills from online education platforms.

How can you capture the attention of Filipinos stuck in traffic? How can you turn the problem into an opportunity?


9. One Year before Elections

Presidential Watch
This is the last productive year of the “Daang Matuwid” of the President before the 2016 elections. 

I’m optimistic that we are looking forward to another 6 years of growth and stability unless we vote another corrupt politician into office.

This would mean that we need to build a business with a strong core foundation and independent of what happens in the political climate.

While there is an opportunity to build businesses geared towards the election season, there is also an opportunity to overtake the competition distracted by the election.

This is a unique business climate situation that only happens every 6 years in the Philippines.


10. One Year before ASEAN Integration

Asean Integration
We will become ASEAN Citizens by the end of December 2015. Is your business ready for ASEAN integration?

There will be more interaction and engagement among the different member countries. Traveling to Singapore, Jakarta, and Bali will just be like traveling to Cebu, Davao, and Boracay.

It will be easier to work in other countries and mental barriers between our cultures will start to go down. 

We have the opportunity to collaborate more and learn from each other. Re-apply what works in other countries here and expand our businesses to other countries where it makes sense.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity in the history of our ASEAN identity.


Let’s take advantage of this unique business opportunity climate this year. Remember, there’s no excuse for not making money in 2015!  

Live an Awesome Life,

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. Watch out for the OAP-Digital Social Media Manager Program and Maven Secrets Coaching and Mastermind Program announcements this week. Join us as we take advantage of the online business opportunities in 2015. 🙂

4 thoughts on “10 Biggest Business Money-Making Opportunities in Manila in 2015! (Must Read!)

  1. Indeed there are still a lot of opportunities out there, especially online since even though many Filipinos “do” Social Media there is an apparent lack of other online (local) offers here. Especially in niches where online meets offline, like for traveling. Trying to find out about whats going on in Metro Manila for example, blogs like yours are doing a good job and big news sites report on major stories but there is so much happening thats just difficult to follow without a lot of groundwork.
    Or try to find your way around the city. Here’s a new tool for example that is trying to make this part a bit easier: http://www.travelario.com/en/philippines/manila-map/
    A map of NCR with close to 900 places for tourists and locals to explore.

  2. Hi! I would like to ask your permisssion if it is okay for me to post this article in my fb timeline.
    Your article is too good that needs to be shared. Thank you & God bless!

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