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In 1898, history saw the unfurling of the Philippine flag for the first time during the declaration of our independence. This signaled our freedom from almost four centuries of Spanish colonization, tyranny, and injustice.
Our grandparents and parents lived through the period of tyranny and most of the readers have also seen the period of injustice and loss of freedom during the Martial Law days. We were lucky to be a part of history when Filipinos learned to fight again for democracy. The democracy we have now is the fruit of so many battles that the earlier generation had to encounter so that the children of today will enjoy the freedom that they all deserve. This had been a blessing for many who are still alive and have been part of the struggle towards true democracy. It has built character in many of those people.
Today, we are definitely in a period of economic upswing. We now enjoy strong confidence in the economy, after a series of positive growth rates in the 5.5 percent to seven percent range, backed with reforms in governance and excellent economic and monetary management that led to several investment-grade ratings. Our country is usually credited by many fund investors we meet as one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.
People always say that growth is felt more at the upper end of the pyramid, but on the contrary, I would say that growth is felt by everyone who participates in the economy. One might be an investor, a worker in a fast-growing company, an entrepreneur, a BPO talent, a market vendor, a farmer or an agri-processor, or simply anybody who is part of the economic system, working hard, working smart. Those who try and those who dare to dream enjoy the benefits of growth.
If one does not do anything at all or simply would prefer to hang around and drink and gamble all-day, well I guess that person might be happier that way and we canâ€™t blame him, but just the same, he cannot ask for any trickledown effect on him.
A lot of opportunities arise from this economic development and it is up to us whether to ride with it or simply watch on the sideline. Along with the freedom we have is the freedom to choose the kind of life we want to have and choose the kind of mindset we should have. We have the opportunities to learn the skills and competencies needed in the system right now, and the technology and abundant information sources to know what people look for and what kind of products or services are in demand.
Excelling in what we do and finding ways to maximize an opportunity in a situation is being entrepreneurial. This is where economic freedom is achieved. We Filipinos are never destined to be poor. This coming July, Go Negosyo celebrates nine years of continuous efforts of inspiring and educating people to have a better life through entrepreneurship. Go Negosyo has touched many hearts and enlightened many minds to become entrepreneurial and to have an enterprising mindset and knowhow; only then can they have the means to win over poverty.
During our business/family trip last week to London, we came across a cafÃ© that is proudly Filipino. Its owner, Claire Buyson, is a good example of an enterprising woman whose dreams became a reality because of her persistence, passion, and courage to achieve her dream business.
LAKWATSA â€“ Synonymous to socializing, going out and having fun with friends, owner Claire Buyson (right) captured both the taste buds and the hearts of her customers through her truly Filipino food offering.
Our Go Negosyo friend Chit Juan who met Claire told us that when Claire was growing up, she was fond of going out and travelling to different places. Her mom would usually tell her that she was again doing â€œlakwatsa.â€. To Claire, the word became synonymous to socializing, going out and having fun with friends. You can imagine how she was eager to break free and achieve independence, which of course, she later got.
Claire worked part time at a Thai restaurant when she was in college and continued to work for another Asian premium restaurant chain for more than four years while she was at university. One of the business people that she met gave her a break to work at his investment firm where Claire honed her entrepreneurial skills, giving her the opportunity to travel and explore many places and try other restaurants, knowing that someday she may have her own small restaurant as a business.
Her mom, who is a good cook, inspired her to take Filipino food and flavor to her cafÃ©. Located in Notting Hill in London, her cafÃ© LakwaTSA is known for its milk tea, and bubble teas. The menu also offers Filipino dishes like adobo, lumpia and merienda servings. She proudly brought Filipino dishes to a foreign land where it became appreciated and loved.
Her emancipation from her comfort zone and eagerness to explore and learn led her to her triumphs. Seizing the opportunities around her and making the most of her resources, skills, and knowledge allowed her to pursue her dream business.
As we enjoy the freedom that we gained from our brave Filipino heroes, let us continue to seek ways to be better, or to be the best that we can be. Once we take the initiative and the first step to combat poverty, only then will we realize that we can do so much more and we can also help others move up in life. Remember, we Filipinos are not destined to be poor. We are not destined to live a life of misery.
Happy Independence Day!
We are pleased to announce that the Go Negosyo Bill has passed the 3rd reading and has been approved in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Thanks to the initiatives of Sen. Bam Aquino and his co-authors and their counterpart in the House, Committee Chairmen Mark Villar and Neil Montejo and all their colleagues and to all the institutions in government and private sector that worked for the passing of the bill.
We invite you to join Go Negosyoâ€™s Magandang Business Advise (MBA) Seminar on Marketing and Innopreneurship, on June 19, to be conducted by our marketing guru Josiah Go, 1 â€“ 6 p.m. at the RFM Auditorium. For more information, visit www.gonegosyo.net or call 637-9347/637-9229.