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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has wines named in his honour

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Singapore's President Tony Tan toast before a state dinner at the Istana in Singapore, December 15, 2016. REUTERS/Wallace Woon/Pool

It is estimated that over 10 million Filipinos live outside of Philippines and many of them remain actively engaged with politics in their mother country while maintaining family and cultural connections.

The 2016 election of President Rodrigo Duterte has galvanised the Filipino diaspora as Duterte’s policies seek to break with the status quo of virtually all of his varied predecessors.

Filipinos throughout the world are renowned engage in global commerce and other interesting international activities.  Filipino entrepreneurs in Spain have decided to honour President Duterte by combining the excellence of Spanish wines with a cause designed to help raise awareness for the rehabilitation initiatives in Philippines which are supported by President Duterte.

The initiative is the brainchild of Monaco based entrepreneur Maria Elizabeth ‘Olga’ Briton who along with her business partners and associates is set to launch the product on the 26th of August in Barcelona.

Maria Elizabeth ‘Olga’ Briton

The Duran spoke with Olga’s business partner Chona Abiertas Tenorio who is working to brand and distribute of a new range of wines and cava (sparking Spanish wine) branded as DU30 wines and cava, DU30 being the popular social media abbreviation for Rodrigo Duterte.

Chona Abiertas Tenorio explained her support of Duterte and how soon it will be possible to purchase a drinkable souvenir dedicated to the Philippine President that also helps to support the charitable causes associated with the President.

AG: Could you please tell us about yourselves and how you get into the wine business? I understand you were born in Philippines and currently live in Spain.

CA: My name is Chona Abiertas Tenorio. I was born in Mamburao Occ. Mindoro, Philippines and currently live in Spain. It was early autumn of 1987 when I arrived to Barcelona, I  was 24 years old then. I left my young family with two kids behind as well as my work as a Disbursing Officer in the Provincial Government of Occidental Mindoro to seek better job opportunities.  Life abroad is not easy so I grabbed the first job opportunity presented to me as a babysitter. But I kept struggling to change and improve my situation. I pursued studying while working to support my family and give my children the best education they deserved.  I finished my law degree at the University of Barcelona and engage in International Private Law practice. I have my own Law firm with offices in Barcelona and Madrid and created a Social Enterprise denominated as Cat Financial and Marketing Services S.L.

Cat Financial is a social enterprise offering integral services, mostly to the Filipinos, from RIA Money transfers and Remittances, DKV Health Insurance, Travels and Tours and Entertainments tie-up with ABS-CBN Star Cinema.

A couple of years ago, my colleagues proposed me to start with the import and export business, helping the small producers of Wine in Penedes to export their Wines and Cava to the Philippines and  Latin American countries. We already have our own trademark DUC de Montgros Wines, yet we are still finishing the legal procedures and negotiations with the Distributors in Columbia and Mexico.

Things changed when one day, a friend from Monaco came to visit me in Barcelona to organise a group of Duterte Supporters. We’ve been thinking on how we could help our President to beat the pandemic social problems in the Philippines.  We know that it is not a “one-man battle”, but a collective responsibility of all Filipinos  to make our country the best place to live. We believe in his causes and we want to support his livelihood and rehabilitation program.

So, our desire to help in our humble way brought us to launch DU30 Wines and Cava Special Edition in honour of our President to support the livelihood and rehabilitation project of the President.

AG: Could you tell us about the DU30 wines you are currently selling?

 CA: DU30 Wines come with a Guarantee of Origin D.O. Massis del Garraf. The Red Wine is a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah provides colour intensity, Balsamic hints and its tannin is very pleasant to the palate. The Merlot provides freshness and aroma and the Cabernet Sauvignon gives structure and complexity to this wine. This Wine won the Guia Peñin Best Wines Awards in 2013 in Spain with 91 points and took the Silver Medal in the Wine Master Challenge 2013 in Lisbon.

The Cava is certified with a Guarantee of Origin . D.O. Massis del Garraf as well, which is a blend of typical varieties of grapes: 35% Xarello, 30% Macabeu, 20% parellada, 10% Chardonnay and 5% Subirat Parent. It offers an aroma of sweet bread, smoked nuts and varied white fruits. It is tinged with small and persistent bubbles, a smooth texture and is good balance in the mouth. It’s a perfect example of taste, style and luxury Cava.

This Cava won the International Wine Challenge 2008 in the UK with the Commended Medal with a 90 points rating by Wine Advocate- Robert Parker in 2011, Rated 91 points by the Globe & Mall (Canada) Beppi Crosariol in 2013, 88 points  by Guia Peñin in 2015 and 94 points by the 50 Great Cavas in 2016.

AG: What was the specific inspiration for naming a line of wines after Rodrigo Duterte?

CA:This line of wine is a special edition to honour our President, to show him our undying support and show our love for him as he also shows his love for our country and its people.

AG: Does President Duterte know about your wines? If not are you planning to try and inform him?

With due respect to our President we informed him first, before we did the Press Release.

AG:I understand that some of the profit from the sale of the wines goes to charity. Could you please tell us more about that?

We have commited to donate 0.20€ or PHP12.00 for every bottle sold to the Rehabilitation/Livelihood program or whichever will be the President’s choice and we are looking forward to announce which we choose, on the Launching Day of the new product line.

AG:What countries is the DU30 wine currently sold in and are there plans to expand in the near future?

It will be available to the public after this month’s launch and most of it will go to the Philippines.

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