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The end of the year is approaching once again. As this column comes out, it will be Thanksgiving Day. Most Americans celebrate, and sometimes even give greater importance to Thanksgiving than Christmas. Just like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving is a holiday when Americans travel cross-country to rejoin and bond with the family and friends. If Christmas is a season of giving, Thanksgiving, to the Americans, is a season to be grateful for one’s blessings.
Sometimes we take things for granted, most especially in the life we live today and with the blessings we have. As I look back at the years I was growing up, or as I watch my children grow, seeing them change, I realize that I am indeed blessed: to have a great wife and children who are Christ-centered, respectful, and most of all, loving to us. Sometimes, we lose sight of the greatest treasure given to us, thinking that power and wealth are the best blessings.
When my father-in-law, Jose Orosa, was still alive, we would gather round a table and write our Thanksgiving wishes and would place it in a box. It always got us avid to open the notes the following year. This continued till he passed away at a very young age.
This Thanksgiving, it’s good to see people being recognized for triumphing over poverty and are now reaping the rewards of their hard work and sacrifice. We are honoring quite a number of entrepreneurs from micro, small, medium and large enterprises. In the past months, Go Negosyo has partnered with so many organizations that recognize entrepreneurs – organizations who have joined in the movement to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship.
This movement keeps growing all because the private sector, composed of many successful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, continues to support us. We have also received tremendous support from our government partners, such as the DepEd, CHED, National Youth Commission, the DTI, and recently, the DILG, with whom we’ve launched our first joint project called NEGOSYO SA BARANGAY. Because of this entrepreneurial spirit, the private sector will always be the driving force for growth.
And this entrepreneurial spirit is surely burning bright in the winners of this week’s biggest awards for entrepreneurs. From the smallest entrepreneurs to the biggest in the country, the winners of the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards and MVP Bossing Awards have been declared.
My congratulations to the Citi MOTY 2011 Masikap national awardee Corazon Bautista, who started as a seamstress earning minimum wages but now manufactures her own line of ready-to-wear corporate wear; and also to Maunlad national awardee Carina Gonato, who innovated on the common lumpia she used to sell to neighbors, and now owns her own brand of special chicken lumpia. Kudos, too, to the other winners, Masikap awardees Jocelyn de Guzman (from Luzon), a manufacturer of her own brand of slippers and sandals; Anastasio Postrero (from Visayas) for growing his now prosperous seaweed farming and danggit buying and selling negosyo; and Danelito Castro (from Mindanao), having earned the trust of loyal customers who can attest to the effectiveness of his brand Millennium Herbal Oil.
Then we also have our other Maunlad awardees Natividad Gabriel (from Luzon) who flourished in her suno culture negosyo and now owns three other kinds of businesses; John Cabillon (from Visayas) who took advantage of the seafood bounty of their province and trades fresh squid, sea cucumber and lapu-lapu; and Andresa Javines (from Mindanao) who has become one of the exporters’ preferred suppliers of packing materials for tuna in her area.
All of these winners started from very humble beginnings and now have negosyos that provide them a steady source of income while also helping their own families and the community.
We never know, but these small-scale entrepreneurs might someday be just as huge as the 2012 MVP Bossings. I’m proud of this batch of awardees because not only are they very inspirational, but also because many of them are strong supporters of Go Negosyo.
The 2012 MVP Bossings are Samie Lim of Automatic Centre and Blims Fine Furniture, Tommany Tan of FERN-C, Martin Lorenzo of Pancake House, RJ David of Sulit.com, Justin Uy of Profood International Corp., Robert Trota of Max’s Restaurant, Francis Juan of Chic-boy, Felix Ang of CATS Motors, Tennyson Chen of Bounty Fresh, Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore, Dra. Rosalinda Hortaleza of HBC, and Willy Tee Ten of Autohub. Congratulations also to Pacita Juan of ECHOstore for receiving a special award for Social Entrepreneurship, and to Phil and James Younghusband for their efforts in youth and sports development.
Then today, at the World Trade Center, we are featuring OFWs turned entrepreneurs, as well as other successful negosyo owners at the 1st OFW and Family Summit, spearheaded by the Villar Foundation in partnership with Go Negosyo. The summit is especially for the OFWs’ families, but it is also open to the public and we encourage everyone to join us in this one-day event.