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As we commemorate the 35th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, it is high time that we remember what made the People Power successful – the common goal of ousting the dictatorship that limited our progress as a country and took numerous lives in the process. As many cannot relate to what happened during this dark era in our history, the current pandemic is something that we can relate to those dark years. As much as liberty was restricted during that time, we are also restricted in our movement due to the pandemic. Economic growth has come to a halt and this has caused more poverty, hunger, and loss of lives and livelihoods.
Being part of that epoch in our history, I’ve learned and seen a lot. Aside from my father, who has inspired and awakened my philanthropic life view, I think that moment in our history is what fueled my passion to not just work for myself, but more importantly for the people – especially those that need help the most. I am not an expert in politics, but I know that I can offer a lot on business and entrepreneurship. I am the type of person that would go with where I think I can contribute the most, and I was sure and certain that it would be in creating livelihood.
I had my chance in the government when former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed me as a consultant for entrepreneurship. From there, Go Negosyo was born, and the rest is history. Go Negosyo continues its mission to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship and that is best attained by continuously innovating through the needs of the time and the needs of the people.
We have gained some momentum in the past few years as our reach was extending both in the public and private sector. Things suddenly shifted, however, when the pandemic started. Our economy prior to the pandemic was getting better and on Go Negosyo’s part, we were so busy with summits and conferences around the country. Our last event was the Women Summit, which was attended by more than 12,000 people and that speaks of how much Go Negosyo has evolved through the years.
With the pandemic, however, all of these changed – from our Mentor Me on Wheels that we conduct in malls and event areas, our mentorship programs that we conduct both in city-centers and the rural areas, and the summits and conferences we held, among others. But we did not stop. We pivoted where we can help our MSMEs the most. We started by helping our government increase its testing capacity. In this way, we saw that visibility can be provided and our economy can be opened little by little, but the pandemic was more than what we expected.
Almost a year into the pandemic, we have learned a lot throughout the process. We have learned that our nation is capable of uniting and with the recent tripartite agreement that we have formed between that private and the public sector, through the ‘A Dose of Hope’ initiative, we can conclude that the Filipinos’ level of camaraderie and Bayanihan spirit is up to the roof.
Into the end of this period of darkness, with the vaccine nearing its arrival, the task upon us now, for every capable Filipino. COVID-19 is like the Martial Law era that has spread darkness through everyone, took lives, took jobs, and took our liberty as individuals. Like in the EDSA People Power Revolution, every capable Filipino must join our march and take the vaccine. This is our modern-day revolution, a period in our history where we must take the vaccine not just for ourselves, but also for our fellow countrymen.
As a usual takeaway from the EDSA People Power revolution, it did not take just one man for the revolution to be successful, it took millions of our patriotic countrymen for the People Power to be successful. Now, with our modern-day revolution, let’s march, suit up, and unite against COVID-19 – being a part of this revolution of our own.