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For the longest time, Go Negosyo has been inspiring Filipinos to move and work their way out of poverty. We have been adapting different ways to equip our countrymen with the entrepreneurial know-how, such as holding seminars and summits, publishing books of inspiring stories and on key entrepreneurial concepts and strategies, and even featuring these learning principles and ideas on TV, radio and print, through our media partners GMA News TV and DZRH/Radyo Natin and THE PHILIPPINE STAR. But before an aspiring negosyante could proceed, he must first instill a strong passion inside him. Without passion, he or she will be weak in facing obstacles that will surely come his or her way. And this fact is not limited only in doing business. A person who is passionate about doing what he loves best in life will surely attain success.
Passion has been the moving force behind acclaimed filmmaker Ramona Diaz in doing documentaries. Ramona, who was born here in the Philippines but is currently based in Baltimore, is the director behind “Imelda” which showed a different side of the former first lady Imelda Marcos and “Don’t Stop Believing”, a film about the first year of Arnel Pineda as the frontman of the band Journey. Her love for storytelling prompted her to take up filmmaking as her career. It is not as easy as it seems, because Ramona has to deal with challenges such as getting support to fund her films. But with passion, Ramona believes that any aspiring filmmaker can overcome challenges and succeed.
Last Tuesday, her feature film “The Learning” had its premier screening at the Powerplant Cinema 6. It was organized by the Assumption Convent San Lorenzo High School Batch 1979, where Ramona and my wife were batchmates. The proceeds from the screening will benefit the Assumption Mission Schools. In the film, she tells the story of Filipina teachers Dorotea, Angel, Grace, and Rhea as they took the chance to teach in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and their experiences during their first year in America are recorded on film.
The four teachers in the film were motivated by their love for their respective families, that they chose a life away from them to work as teachers in a foreign land so they can provide for their families’ needs. Dorotea, for instance, made it clear when she talked to her class on the first day of school. In that scene, she told them that she has a dream; that she took this job as a teacher in Baltimore to fulfill her dream of giving a better life for her family and a better education for her children. She shared that to pursue her dream, she has to sacrifice and live alone, away from her family whom she loves.
For people to achieve their dreams, one must want it. One must be able to endure all the trials, and even make sacrifices along the way just to attain it. This struggle is actually not limited to our OFWs. We can see the same struggle with our microentrepreneurs here at home—the nanays who are tending their sari-sari stores that are open up to the late hours at night, the takatak boys who are selling cigarettes braving moving vehicles in the street, and even the vegetable vendor at the wet market who wakes up early just to get the freshest vegetables to sell. These people are enduring struggles because they have a dream of getting their families out of poverty. And this is the character that Go Negosyo is promoting: to be able to cultivate a passionate attitude towards changing our lives.
I am certain that there are better ways for Filipinos to be successful other than to go abroad. It is true that the service industry is a major contributor to our economy’s growth, but it would not hurt if people would stay here and do business here together with their families. One has to pursue what he loves doing or where he is good at. Or it can oftentimes start at opportunities in their area or unmet demand, an abundant resource waiting to be processed, or any sound business idea. It would be a good time to turn those ideas into reality. To take action, especially in good times like what we are having now. We have observed, and many investors have been telling us that they are bullish on the kind of growth they are seeing especially in the consumer sector, catering to the domestic market.
This year, we will be bringing the Go Negosyo Young Entrepreneur Summit (YES) to the key provinces in the country to reach out to more young entrepreneurs who want to move out from poverty. The YES caravan will kick off in Southern Luzon State University on Aug. 24 for South Luzon, which will be followed by the North Luzon run on Aug. 31 at the University of Pangasinan. In Visayas, the YES caravan will be in Cebu on Sept. 21 (with Sacred Heart Alumni group), and in Cagayan de Oro College in Mindanao on Oct. 4. Once again, we thank our partner schools and universities in those areas, and we are reminding the nearby schools to take advantage of these summits and let all their students benefit from the whole-day learning sessions that we have prepared for them.
Go Negosyo has also partnered with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) in holding the export coaching program, a boost camp training program to help those who are in the exporting industry find strength and motivation in their operations and sales. We have our Angelpreneurs helping out to discuss topics in cultivating the exporter mindset, marketing, pocket business planning, salesmanship, and finance. The first leg was done in Pampanga last Aug. 1-3. There will be two more runs on Aug. 28-30 in Cebu and on Sept. 5-7 in Manila.
Yesterday, I was also at the Marriott Hotel for the PLDT SME Nation Success Talk. It was led by PLDT EVP Eric Alberto and PLDT SME Nation head Kat Luna-Abelarde. It brought many of us in the entrep community to share our stories and pieces of advice in these interesting times. I value these sessions as they not only allow negosyantes to learn new things in business and how latest info technologies and systems from PLDT can help us level-up our businesses, but also for us to re-establish our friendships and be a constant source of renewed inspiration and positive ideas that may be worth nurturing into another business idea. You may visit PLDT SME Nation’s Facebook page for the next Success Talk dates.