1. Mandarin Chinese
Whether you love it or hate it, the era of Chinese economic dominance in East Asia is here, and it's probably here to stay and grow. Despite its well publicized slowdown in GDP growth, China is still expected to grow at decent rates, and is set to overtake the US as the world largest economy within our lifetimes, joining the ranks of developed countries as their GDP-per-capita and standards of living rise. The Chinese economy is simply too large of an entity for any business in East Asia, including the Philippines, to ignore if they plan to grow, and it's likely that Chinese businesses themselves will be engaging in increasing amounts of trade and investment in neighbouring countries in an attempt to expand. Chinese may be torturous for anyone to learn, true, but the benefits of having the ability to communicate clearly with those under such an economic behemoth are too large to be missed.
Having Mandarin Chinese fluency is not only useful if you're engaging with businessmen from the People's Republic. Mandarin Chinese is a major language in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore–all major regional partners of the Philippines.
Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, respectively, are the languages of two of the largest economies and political players in Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia, and with the upcoming integration of the Southeast Asia market, expect a greater volume of trade and engagement with businessmen from these two countries.
The two languages are not mutually intelligible, and learning one does not necessarily guarantee that you will understand the other, but they have enough similarities to make it easy to learn both. Also, Bahasa Indonesia has a reputation for being one the easiest languages to reach a conversational level in, so in terms of value for your time, and you personal situation, this might just be the language for you.
Yes, French still matters. And not necessarily because France has experienced a resurgence that made French literally the lingua franca once again, but because of her old colonies that are on the rise. French is an official language in countries like the Congo, Canada, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, which are all countries that have much economic potential and could be global players within the next few decades.
French is also linguistically similar to English, which makes it an relatively easy language to learn bar some aspects of it.
Japan may indeed give of an appearance of a spent economic power that has nowhere to go but down, but it is still a very relevant player in East Asian business. For one, Japan is still the number one trading partner of the Philippines, and many Japanese businesses are deeply involved in the Philippine economy, ensuring that the Japanese decline aside, Japanese will maintain its relevance as a business language for the coming years.
Where to learn? We've also compiled a list of foreign language classes available to the public in the Philippines. Check out our article Foreign Languages Classes in the Philippines!