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As we all welcome the New Year, we have a lot to thank our Lord. Over the weekend, family and friends gathered in our home in Batangas to celebrate my fatherâ€™s 82nd birthday. Joecon, as he is known to many as founder of NAMFREL â€“ an organization that was able to get the Filipino nation to believe that a peaceful and honest election is what is needed to topple the dictatorship at that time in the â€™80s.
A young boy like myself admired my fatherâ€™s courage to stand up and even risk our business at that time. While many of our relatives moved to the States and Canada, my father stood his ground. Then a Senator and now Secretary of State John Kerry during a recent speech mentioned my father and the NAMFREL organization that he worked closely with during those dark days.
That will forever be my fatherâ€™s legacy to the Filipino people that the impossible is always possible. This is how the People Power began. God blesses us with life for us to use to bless others no matter how small â€“ from a simple janitor to the President of our country. No matter what role it may be, we need to do it to our best.
We treasure every year our parents spend time with us and our family, something my father was not able to do as much during his younger days as he was the one who devoted his time to bringing the yellow revolution to reality.
I could only wish the best for him this year and the years to come.
In my past column, I asked my friends and fellow entrepreneurs about their wish for themselves and for the country this 2014. Theirs are wishes that reflect concern for the country and its people and love for their families which we can live up to.
Islands Souvenirs president Jay Aldeguer said â€œThe year that passed was bittersweet. On one hand, the Philippine economy reached unprecedented heights, but at the same time we were also plagued with some of the worst calamities in history. I just hope 2014 will bring solidarity among our countrymen. We are on the cusp of being one of the more formidable nations in the region. We should not let this moment slip away. Personally, I will try to become more responsible and active in bringing about change and betterment to the country. But on a more personal note, I am looking at leading a more balanced life.
Felix Ang, president of CATS Motors said â€œI wish for a safe and peaceful new year for everyone, hoping that we will be spared from major calamities and crisis. It was amazing how the entire nation worked together for relief operations for the calamity victims. I hope we can continue this kind of spirit and strength as a people to move our nation forward. For all entrepreneurs, big or small, I wish for more growth opportunities and successful endeavors since we all know that a thriving business creates more jobs for our kababayans and better lives. For the family, I pray for good health and happiness just being together.â€
Founder and director of Marine Resources Development Corp. Rosalind Weeâ€™s wish for herself is good health and to be able to make people laugh and enjoy her jokes. For our country, she wishes that God will spare us from calamities and disasters.
Bounty Fresh Food Inc. president Tennyson Chen doesnâ€™t have any wish for himself. Instead, he said â€œI wish all my family members good health and safety throughout the year. For my country, I wish that weâ€™ll attain another seven-percent growth following this yearâ€™s impressive growth.â€ An economist once said, â€˜we need seven years of seven-percent growth to get our country to the status of a tiger economy. So the next six years are very important and every Filipino should do his part in attaining this goal.â€™â€
French Bakerâ€™s CEO Johnlu Koa wishes that the Philippines would continue to improve its reputation backed by honest government, hard working people and a clean environment. His personal wish is to be able to help realize it.
Belo Medical Group medical director Vicky Belo said that when there is no longer any corruption, greed and inhuman behavior, the Philippines would finally become the great country it was meant to be.
Businessman Victor Tanâ€™s wish is good health, to be blessed by his work and business in order to be a blessing to others. He also said â€œI wish to have more time with my family. For the Philippines, I wish harmony, in society and in foreign relations with all countries for 2014 so our country can truly progress. Happy New Year!â€
Also, Dean Pax, bestselling author of 21 Steps & How to turn your passion into profit, said â€œMy wish for all is to â€˜GET to be a TOP-SMEâ€™. My wish is for the Philippines is to be a house of talent and technology. The paradox of a profitable/sustainable business comes easily to those who forget themselves in the service of others. After all NEW YEAR means N-ever E-ver W-ithdraw Y-our E-ntrep A-spirations R-esponsibility.â€
Positivity, strong will, and selflessness are just some of the values that we need to imbibe this year. We can make our wishes come true if we take the first step in achieving it. Believe that together, we can make it. Let us start on the right foot and influence and inspire others to become better citizens.