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Last Tuesday, I was in Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the judging of the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) Award 2009. From there, I had to rush and pick up my wife to attend the most awaited wedding of the year – the Mar and Korina nuptial.
We were late, as I wanted to finish the judging process in BSP and there was the horrendous traffic caused by cars parked in the road as you approached the church. We arrived an hour late. Some friends, who were already in the church as early as 2 p.m., told me that the place was packed. My wife and I decided to walk through the crowd, with our formal clothes. We walked down the red carpet. The funny part was when we noticed that we were walking the wrong way, headed for Mar and his mother Tita Judy Roxas with the whole entourage. That was quite embarrassing, but I was lucky enough to be able to congratulate Mar. I thought we would be the only ones late, but Pedro and Gina Roxas came in a minute later. They also had trouble getting in. We did manage to enter the church and there were still seats at the back. A lot of familiar faces were at the back, many of them negosyantes (who are obviously late like us). The church was full. It was a simple but beautiful wedding.
As we all know, Senator Mar’s quest to become our president changed after Tita Cory died. The “Yellow Fever” took everyone by surprise, even the “Presidentiables”. Mar had to do what was right. He knew it was not yet his time. He gave way to Noynoy and slid down as the VP. He did not wait for more pressure. I saw the Mar I knew before. He used his instinct to do the right thing. What seemed to be the end of Mar’s dream became the beginning.
Mar has attended a number of our Go Negosyo events. Korina has also hosted a number of our events with Anthony Pangilinan. Mar has the experience, working as trade secretary during Erap’s and PGMA’s time. Then, he ran for Senate and came out on the top of the list. When I asked for his dream for the Philippines, this was his response:
“My dream is for every Filipino to have a reasonable measure of control over his or her life. My dream is for our people to have the power to overcome hunger, fight injustice and to be able to will their future—by themselves and through themselves. There is a higher level of humanity in store for us, where everyone can live a life of real meaning, where doing something truly elevates oneself for the common good. This is a dream we all have to fight for, as we rise to reject the default destiny foisted upon us by a discredited system that has left the nation in shambles. Sama-sama, lumaban tayo.”
What completes a man is a woman. Being gender-sensitive, I am sure it is also true the other way around. While we have our own personal ambitions in life, we need a good co-pilot, someone who would guide us in our journey. This is why God blesses us with partners and a marriage that is supposed to last a lifetime. A large part of our success comes from how our partners in life bring out the best in us. For Mar and Korina, the best is yet to come.
Congratulations Mar and Korina! May your marriage bring greater joy to others.
Last Thursday, I attended Manny Villar’s “Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga” Awards at the NBC Tent. Before that, I came from a dinner hosted by Ricky and Lizzie Razon, which aimed to familiarize the guests with the Child Protection Unit Network. I was able to catch the end of the awarding ceremonies in Villar’s event, where he recognized and awarded 70 microentrepreneurs. They were also given financial grants to be able to grow their businesses. They also awarded “Modelo” or inspiring OFWs who fought poverty and faced all challenges in life, working abroad to support their families. The NBC tent was a sea of orange. I seemed to be the only one in white.
Manny and Cynthia Villar have been supporting Go Negosyo way before he had plans of running as President, as both of them have been successful entrepreneurs and know the plight of this sector. Both Manny and Cynthia have appeared in both our books. They have also attended our Go Negosyo events around the country. We continue to support the microentrepreneurs who are really the ones who need most of the encouragement and mentorship.
I met some of the winners. For them, the recognition of their achievements gives them the source of strength to continue to fight poverty. The Go Negosyo slogan “Sagot sa Kahirapan” conveys: it is only through the creation of negosyos that we can really solve poverty and teach people to battle poverty. Microentrepreneurs are at the first level of going into business. Everyone starts as a micro negosyantes. Some accelerate very fast and some stay as micro forever. It does not mean that they fail. It’s just that their business model and capital limits them. Still, they contribute to society by at least creating employment for themselves and others.
Manny Villar’s “Sipag at Tiyaga” is very strong. I observed that the majority of the Citi MOTY winners, who are micro and small entreps, say that their success is because of sipag at tiyaga. Those are two very powerful words, especially for microentreps who just finished grade school and have not made it to even high school. All they have is perseverance and hard work and these values have moved them forward. As Go Negosyo does its forums and seminars around the country to push for entrepreneurship education, we highlight these important values and teach as well the other key differentiating elements in “entrepreneuring”, which are based on continuous creativity and innovations, right positive attitude/ passion and excellent skills. If we all help in spreading these values and knowhow, we will definitely fight poverty and have more prosperous Filipinos moving our nation forward.
Who would be your choice for President and Vice President? Who do you think will be good in creating a vibrant negosyo climate for the country? Please email me your choice and state why. Also include your name and contact information. We will be posting your views.
For feedback, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or thru my Joey Concepcion Facebook account, or thru SMS at 09189656333. For free business advice, visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! Show in QTV, every Saturday and Sunday 8 to 8:30 a.m., with replays in NBN every Sunday 9:15-10 p.m.