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Last week, I had the privilege of joining the ceremony to recognize this year’s Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) 2015. The ceremony was graced by Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Commission on Higher Education chairperson Dr. Patricia Licuanan and RFM Foundation president Marie Concepcion-Young. My father, Jose Concepcion Jr., was also present during the ceremony. It was great to have him again since he missed last year’s ceremony.
In my speech, I recognized the parents, teachers and school administrators in the audience. Why? Because they are the source of wisdom for these young heroes. They have guided these individuals to who they are today. Parents are the primary mentors in our lives.
Mentorship is important as this process guides an individual to the right path with right competencies and right values. The parents and the teachers have guided these students as they all enter the real world. That is why I also believe in the saying “the future of the country depends on the parents and mentors.”
TOSP has been existing for more than 50 years except for the years of dictatorship when it was suspended by my father. My father’s dream is to help this country. And this has proved that every leader, no matter how bad or good, has its role in life.
Recalling the Marcos dictatorship, it reminds me not only of the struggle and the problems it has caused. It also reminded me that era brought out the heroes of today. It has strengthened the values system of every Filipino, reinforcing the love for this country. It has showcased the greater nationalism of everyone to dream and achieve for a brighter future for this country. The dictatorship has developed the foundation of what we see today. And I can say “even bad leadership brings out the best in one another.”
When my father and the rest of his supporters in Namfrel guarded the ballots, it brought about greater nationalism.
A few years later, President Cory Aquino turned the economy around. Her leadership brought an element we can all learn from. Today, we are lucky to have a good president in Benigno Aquino III and it has given us a good nation with better governance.
It was also in these times when entrepreneurs saw great opportunities. Many entrepreneurs who started small during these years are now leaders of the biggest brands of this country. Say, for example, Jollibee and SM. This only proves we can see light out of the darkness if we look positively in trying situations. My father Joecon has always said: “It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness.”
But still, the greatest problem we have is poverty. Despite the growing market capitalization and being one of the best countries to invest in, I feel that there is still a lacking element on how we can reduce poverty.
To that, I can only answer – entrepreneurship. It has given the country more jobs, especially for former OFWs who sacrificed just to provide for their families. It has given us foreign reserves. And most especially, it made every Filipino strive to move up in life and proved the resilience of many.
When I started Go Negosyo, I was inspired by my father who believed that this country is worth dying for. We cannot be a nation of just wealthy people who are controlling the economy. We must also give back to the less privileged.
I say, education is the key to help others. Mentorship and education contribute to an individual, making them enterprising not only as entrepreneurs but also in the other roles they will take in the future.
Success, in a way, is really for those who want it most. Nobody can force you to become successful. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your friends. You must want it. Success, when you achieve it, you must return. Learn to give back to the community that has brought you to where you are.
Successful people must help others to become successful.
Congratulations to the Ten Oustranding Students of the Philippines 2015 and I wish them the best success in life.