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Last week, I was able to have coffee with Sen. Mar Roxas after quite a long time. Since the election, he decided to maintain a low profile.
After seeing Mar, I can say that he is definitely back. I saw a new Mar, in very good shape. He lost weight, as he now has more time for exercise (Pilates Yoga in particular). But, his usual self was still full of ideas and concern for the country.
My first encounter with Mar was many years ago, when he started a forum called Philippines Inc. during the time of Erap. He was then the DTI Secretary. He asked me together with other negosyantes to be part of this visioning exercise in Mimosa. There were around 200 prominent figures from politics, entertainment, arts, to business and other fields. He was not yet a senator at that time.
Mar has definitely come a long way from being an investment banker. Today, despite his setback in the last election, he continues to have dreams for the Philippines. He shared with me his vision for the liberal party and it goes beyond politics. He envisions that one day; the same political maturity that America has for its party system can become a reality here where party members are not just for politicians but for those who believe in the same principles and idealism.
In America, being a republican or a democrat means that you clearly stand for basic principles and idealism. How long will it take before the Philippines gets to that level of political maturity? I guess it depends on leaders like Mar to develop a party that would exist not just because the president comes from that party. In some cases, when the president loses, the political party gets lost. We really want to see a party that goes beyond politics.
Mar is a dreamer. But, all things start from dreams. Entrepreneurs dream, believe and achieve.
I also told Mar that Go Negosyo advocate Ben Liuson of The Generics Pharmacy now has close to 900 stores and growing. Mar was a proponent of the generics medicine law. As an entrepreneur and an advocate of a better life for Filipinos, Liuson saw this as a business model. To me, he has the next Mang Inasal success story.
Having been married to Korina for about a year now, I also asked Mar how his married life is so far. He replied, “Excellent. Happier.” Mar is definitely back, with a clearer vision and renewed strength. I am sure Mar will have a place in our country’s future.
For the past days, a number of columnists have given their thoughts on the death of Angelo Reyes. I remember having two encounters with him. One was during the early years of Go Negosyo when we did a special Go Negosyo forum and seminar for the families of the military men to start a negosyo. The other was during a dinner hosted by Myrna Yao, Founder and COO of Richwell. He was still the Energy Secretary then. There were only eight of us seated in that table.
My impression of him as a military man was that he was very respectful and humble. For someone with an outstanding record, honor is the most important legacy he can leave to his wife, children and grandchildren. While for others, wealth is important, honor to this man was something most important.
What is unfortunate is the process that the Senate goes through in its investigation. While it is important that our Senators find the truth, they must also keep in mind that a man is innocent till proven guilty. Let us all keep in mind that reputation and honor are valued by many.
There will be lessons learned from what happened. Hopefully, all parties will move forward so we do not see a tragic repeat. While corruption is PNoy’s main agenda, the cleansing process takes time. It is the system that we must address. As long as the system is corrupt, it is a challenge to resist temptation.
The March 4-6 Go Negosyo: “Babae Kapuso Ka ng Bayan” Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo is off to a great start. No less than the media leaders in the country, GMA 7’s CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon and The Philippine STAR CEO Miguel Belmonte are giving their full support in mounting the biggest entrepreneurship summit and expo. Both Miguel and Atty. Gozon share in our objective to build an enterprising culture and positive attitude among the Filipinos (and Filipinas) as it is the way to rise above poverty and find success in our lives. This belief is likewise shared by more and more corporate partners who have signed in with us to push forward our various programs, forums and free entrepreneurship seminars and mentoring, to empower as many Filipinos as possible. We also recently had a series of gatherings with our various partners to formalize the meaningful partnership for the year. LBC Chairman Santi Araneta and its President Mike Camahort and VP Javi Mantecon led the signing for their team, while BPI Family President TG Limcaoco, and their team Jojo Ocampo and Cedoy Roces led the BPI Ka-Negosyo team in the launching of our partnership. PLDT SME Nation’s EVP Eric Alberto and Kat Luna-Abelarde and Smart’s Marketing Director Bong Mojica likewise are continuing their partnership with Go
Negosyo as we launch more engaging technology solution projects that will help empower small and medium entrepreneurs in the country today. We also welcome our latest partner Avon, represented by Rico Garcia and TJ Nadres, which is now aggressively strengthening their selling and distribution networks while they open up negosyo opportunities to our Go Negosyo communities. We are also getting the full support of Unilever’s Chairman CEO Fernando Fernandez as they would like to help many retail outlets, the bulk of the Micro SMEs population. Let me not forget to thank RFM Corporation for its continuing support to this advocacy and the Department of Trade and Industry for allowing us to be a partner in pursuing common objectives to help the micro SMEs. For this Women Entrep Summit, more partners are coming in and we thank, eBay, Delta Airlines, HBC, Condura, Alakor, BDO, PMacs Inc., Security Bank, Cats Motors, Indios Bravos Group, Ever Bilena, Mang Inasal, Splash Corp., CDO, Profoods, SMC, Acer, Hero, Fern-C, D-Haus, Gapuz Review Center and Marine Resources. Thank you also to our institutional partners – the Philippine Franchise Association and the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. The free Go Negosyo seminars and learning programs would not have reached many Filipinos if not for the support of our equally committed partners.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top rating GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! In QTV, Saturday and Sunday 8 to 8:30 a.m., with replays in NBN every Tuesday 8-9 p.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips in your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.