Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
Most of us have encountered a period in our lives that tested our courage and made us what we are today. We call these our defining moments — situations that show us our worth and contribution to people around us.
Go Negosyo has mounted several activities here and abroad, and every single caravan, seminar, and summit that we did helped us see how far we have reached. It is true that not everyone among the thousands who have attended our activities will turn out to be entrepreneurs, or successful ones at that, but we are happy that our advocacy is able to reach many Filipinos and somehow make them consider a different kind of mindset and attitude in life, harnessing their respective strengths and passion to later become more successful.
The past weeks have been defining moments for Go Negosyo, as we realize greater involvement in several fields. Let me share with you some of these moments.
The National Livelihood and Development Corporation, headed by its president, Lina Amata, with the support of Landbank president Gilda Pico, has been holding the Sipag Awards, which recognizes inspiring micro-entrepreneur borrowers from their system, as well as the contributions of microfinance institutions, non-government organizations, and cooperatives to the lives of the people in the marginalized sector through better access to training and financing.
The Sipag Awards started in 2006; winners take home not just an award and a cash prize but also a validation of the micro-entrepreneurs’ success and of the institutions that enabled them. For the past three years, they have involved Go Negosyo in the selection process of winners through our executive director Mon Lopez, who sits as a member of the board of judges. And it is nice to know that government and private organizations such as ours can really work together in a project that benefits everyone.
This year’s national winners are People’s Bank of Caraga of Agusan del Sur (Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution), Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. of Iloilo (Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization), Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Agusan del Norte (Most Outstanding Cooperative), and John F. Cabillon of Iloilo (Most Oustanding Micro-entrepreneur).
John’s story is a journey of a man who is willing to do anything to provide for his family, despite his physical condition of being a hunchback and a person who was not able to get a college degree. He and his wife had to hurdle a lot of challenges, but their perseverance and faith paid off. Today, not only are they able to establish a sustainable business, they are also blessed enough to give back to the other members of their community.
A week after that, we were in Cebu for the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. It was actually a joint project with the Sacred Heart High School, Batch 1987, headed by Jay Aldeguer of Islands Group, who is one of Go Negosyo’s advocates, and John Dytian of Chikaan, with the support of their Alumni Association president Edmun Liu.
Go Negosyo trustee Justin Uy of Profoods International and his brother Jerry Uy supported the event by allowing it to be held at the newly constructed J Centre Mall. Our entrepreneur advocates shared their time to empower the youth, and I thank Tommanny Tan, Cristalle Henares, Ray Gapuz, Haresh Hiranand, and Fred Moreno for being with us there.
We were really happy as students from Mandaue City and nearby towns were able to attend the whole-day affair, and it was meaningful for us to see that the reception for the advocacy is still high even in Visayas. Through the help of our partners from Cebu, we have recognized 10 young and inspiring entrepreneurs, namely Renault Lao (Loft), Jan Rodriguez (Ilaputi), Don Edrian Tirol (93rd and 1st), Ken and Kaz Onozawa (Rhipstop Soul Clothing), Rachel Arandilla (Sprockets Cafe), Diane Uy-Ang (What a Girl Wants), Wesley Chiongbian (Mynimo.com), Jandrick Climaco (Fushu Shoes), Dan Legarde (Japengo/Beat), and Derek Dytian (Creative Cuisine Catering Services).
As I told the young Cebuanos during my speech, I know that Filipinos in general have the capacity to succeed because we are innately hardworking and dedicated. What we need to do is to have the right positive attitude and to follow our passion, whether it is in business or elsewhere, because we can only be successful if we love what we do. And as for those who have already made it, the challenge now is to share their success with other people by giving opportunities to build their lives.
Speaking of successful entrepreneurs, it is really encouraging to see that Filipinos who have already made a name for themselves abroad are back to help those who are left behind. PhilDev, under the leadership of its chairman Dado Banatao, is here in the country through the program “Silicon Valley Comes to the Philippines,” which seeks to celebrate Filipino ingenuity and to encourage us to be entrepreneurs in the field of science and technology. Dado, along with other techno-preneurs including Paco Sandejas, Winston Damarillo, Shiela Marcelo, and Eric Manlunas, started Hack2Hatch: From Hacker to Founder, where young entrepreneurs got to experience being mentored one-on-one by investors and inventors from Silicon Valley, aside from winning seed money to fund their business concepts.
This was followed by an economic forum, where notable entrepreneurs in the field of technology gathered in one event. Even P-Noy himself was there to thank these Filipinos for coming back to do what they can to sustain the initial success that the Philippines is experiencing in terms of economic development. Go Negosyo has been talking with some members of PhilDev to do a project with them early next year. We are glad that they have showed interest in our advocacy, and we hope that the partnership can produce young techno-preneurs who will one day be like them.
As we go through our eighth year, Go Negosyo hopes to continue the advocacy further in the coming years, as we encourage aspiring and existing negosyantes to succeed so that they, too, can have their own defining moments.