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Life is indeed a journey, where we will experience happy and sad moments. A couple of days ago, Myrna Borja, who is a good friend of my parents and my uncle Raul, passed away. During the funeral mass, I had flashbacks of how we grew up in Natipuan, Batangas, where we experienced living a simple life together with our whole family. I was maybe in my early teens at that time when Martial Law was declared, and we had to hide my father since he was going to be arrested. The Borjas were one of our family’s closest friends who supported us. And just a week ago, we lost Reuel Virtucio, one of our best Angelpreneurs who has been helping Go Negosyo in its activities. He unexpectedly passed away at a very young age of 49.
Funerals remind us of our mortality and how much time we really have left in our earthly life. But we are also reminded of its beauty through happy occasions. Last Saturday, Go Negosyo trustee and advocate Felix and Grace Ang had their baby Francesca Grace baptized. Having a baby after such a long time is indeed a blessing, especially now that we are in the year of the dragon. Meanwhile, in a dinner hosted by a friend, I greeted Greg Domingo a belated happy birthday. When I asked him how old he is, he said that he is 58 years old. Greg mentioned this is the last quarter of his life, assuming a lifespan of 80 years. Somehow, it makes you realize how precious every moment is, and it allows you to spend time to assess how far you have accomplished your vision for yourself.
Some people are blessed to have reached their 90s. We have Washington Sycip, Helen Benitez – who is still active in the Philippine Women’s University, and of course, Go Negosyo advocate Nanay Coring Ramos. A couple of nights back, we were seated at the same table during the PLDT Bossing Banquet. Nanay Coring was ever vibrant and joyful. When I asked her how old she was, she said that she is 90 years old. It was through God’s gift of happiness that she lives this long, aside from her family’s genes.
As I continue to share the advocacy with fellow entrepreneurs and fill our schedules with work-related appointments, we tend to get so busy that we forget to see the things in front of us. Sometimes, we even take things to the extreme by wanting more and more. The temptation that overrides the quest for power and wealth has its consequences when overdone. We forget what the true essence of life is all about. I am not saying that we should just lay back and stop working hard, but I guess maintaining that balance in life is what will give us real success – balancing time between health, family, social life, and spiritual life.
Filipinos are known to be masipag, maabilidad, and makatao – traits that are embedded deep within our culture. These helps us Filipinos withstand the tests that life throws us every now and then. With this in mind, Go Negosyo and its partners such as PLDT SME Nation formed a beautiful partnership that honors Filipino negosyantes and spread their stories for our countrymen to emulate from.
We were at the Museum of Filipino People last Sept. 19 for the PLDT SME Nation Bossing Banquet. It was a gathering of all Go Negosyo and PLDT SME Nation bossings who we recognize not only because of their contribution to the country by doing their share in the economy and by providing opportunities for Filipinos, but because of the distinct positive values that they have lived with and by allowing themselves to be an inspiration to other negosyantes who aspire to be like them someday.
Now is the time to be a great country once again. But the challenge now is to share the wealth of those who became successful with the small and medium enterprises. This is possible, but we can do so not by giving away money, but by giving inspiration away. And the inspiration, which comes from the bossings, gives our countrymen hope that success is possible for those who believe that it can be achieved. Eventually, all of these efforts will bear fruit. Eventually, the Philippines will become a great country.
Go Negosyo continues to push its advocacy towards the last quarter of 2012. On Oct. 5, our team will be at the new J Centre Mall in Mandaue City to mount the third run of the Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. It will be a whole day of learning for young Cebuanos who would like to have their own negosyo but are clueless on how to start one. We have invited successful entrepreneurs such as Tommanny Tan (FERN, Inc.), Cristalle Henares (Belo Essentials), Ray Gapuz (RA Gapuz Review Center), Ronald Pineda (Folded and Hung), and Fred Moreno (Ystilo Salon) as part of our Now is Our Time forum. We will also award Cebu’s young entrepreneurs together with Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez and The Islands Group’s Jay Aldeguer. The afternoon program will feature plenary talks from Go Negosyo’s Henry Tenedero (Dealing with Failures), Pax Lapid (Business Opportunities), Armand Bengco (Financial Literacy), and Mike Lobrin (Mindsetting). Let me take this opportunity to thank the Sacred Heart Academy Alumni Association for their partnership in the Cebu run, as well as to Justin Uy and his brother Jerry for allowing us to hold the summit in their new mall.
Filipino businesses such as Potato Corner, Lay Bare Salon, and Julie’s Bakeshop are now starting to expand overseas, and we are glad that our partners such as the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc., are one with us in our advocacy to promote the entrepreneurial spirit. Just recently, we sealed a partnership with AFFI, which is now headed by its president Armando “Butz” Bartolome, who is also one of our mentors in Go Negosyo. AFFI will be holding the 11th Filipino Franchise Show on October 12 to 14 at the World Trade Center in Manila. This year, they adopted the theme “Galing ng Pinoy”, showcasing the Filipino ingenuity as well as our capacity to go global. Aside from featuring around 300 booths from different businesses including the One Town, One Product (OTOP) program participants of DTI, the trade show will higlight talks on entrepreneurship from Angelpreneurs Josiah Go, Ardy Roberto, Pax Lapid, and Mike Lobrin. The event will be open to the public.