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People have been talking about the end of the world which will supposedly happen on Dec. 21, the date where the Mayan Calendar has stopped. But just recently, we are facing a real, sad situation with the Connecticut shooting last week. This is not the first time that a crime of this magnitude was committed, as we all know what happened in Columbine years back. Despite the fact that this happened many miles away from the Philippines, as parents, this has somehow affected all of us since those killed were innocent children between the ages of six to seven years old. Being a parent myself, we tend to get worried when our children are sick or are still out of the house late at night coming from a party. But these feelings can never stand against the pain of losing a child forever. I am sure that we all can feel for the parents of these children whose lives are violently claimed.
My children are also affected with the Connecticut massacre as they told me the victim’s stories. One of them was recalled asking their dad about what was it like to die on the night before the tragedy, while another one was expressly saying “I love you very much” to her parents. As we offer our prayers for the victims and the families that they left behind, I am also hoping that this will change the gun control laws in America. I am glad that our laws on gun control are quite strict in the Philippines. My siblings and I were not allowed by our parents to play even with toy guns when we were growing up. While I have friends who love to do target shooting and are responsible gun owners, I think it is wise to start early so we can prevent situations like this from happening in the future.
This sad incident came during the Christmas season, and things like these remind us to really treasure every moment of our life and the lives of our loved ones. Sometimes, we take these relationships for granted, thinking that it will always be there. But let me remind that not one of the parents knew that something would happen to their children on that day. The thought of valuing relationships follow not only to our affectionate children, but to our parents as well, who are now at the twilight of their lives. As entrepreneurs who are in the second or third generation, working with a parent can strain the personal relationship and cause serious friction. I have experienced this myself, working with my father in our prior years. His approach in business was towards serving the nation, even if our business model was gradually changing. It took time for him to realize that, but was too late when he did. But even if millions or billions is lost, one has to respect the wishes of a father. As difficult as it might be, things will come to pass through time, and the next generation will be able to exercise its own vision. After my short speech during a recent Christmas dinner with the RFM senior management, I got a warm hug from my father, and that was the very first time that it happened since I joined the company. As we both grow older, we realize things and we eventually learn to respect each one’s views. I know there are still many out there who face this situation, but right or wrong, we children need to respect and honor our parents first.
Since I am talking about honoring our parents, I would like to extend my condolences to an active Go Negosyo trustee and advocate Ray Gapuz, the founder of a well-known review center for the nursing board exam. His mother passed away from liver cancer which she battled since 2008. When they found out that she has cancer, the doctors said that she only has months to live, but his mother went on to survive for four more years. Ray is a good son who took good care of his mother. Even if he was hurting, Ray manages to keep a straight face, probably because he knew that he did everything to show his mother how much he loved her while she is still here.
We may come from different faiths and we may even question ourselves why, but God allows these things to happen because our experiences in this world should make us better people in preparation for next life. Maybe this Christmas is a good time to mend relationships, as we realize that we cannot enjoy life on earth forever. After all, this season is all about relationships with friends and family. This Christmas, let us make it special for those we love.
The biggest technopreneurship event is about to unfold. Since we launched the Go Negosyo 2nd Filipino Technopreneurship Summit about a week ago, which is slated to be on January 21, we have been receiving an overwhelming response from students and organizations to attend the event. Because of this, we are considering to move it from the NBC Tent to the SMX Convention Center. We will be joined by no less than MVP, whose company PLDT will be the event’s major sponsor, together with Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.
The summit will be a one-day event featuring the who’s who in entrepreneurship. We will open the day with a forum by successful Filipino-American technopreneurs from the Silicon Valley such as Engr. Dado Banatao, Eric Manlunas, Paco Sandejas, and Winston Damarillo, whom I have written about a few months back. They must have really taken the tag name “Pinoy Avengers” seriously, because are now more passionate to encourage Filipinos, especially the youth, that technopreneurship is a good avenue for them to start their own business and succeed from poverty. The second forum will show respected names in the industry like Jack Madrid (Multiply.com), RJ David (Sulit.com.ph), and Marx Melencio (Grayscale Business Consultancy), among others, who are successful entrepreneurs who have depended on technology as the medium for their businesses. For our third forum, we have invited representatives from the government and the private sector, which are the needed support of budding technopreneurs to thrive in the country. Among those who confirmed their participation are Dr. Luis G. Sison of DOST-UP Enterprise Center for Technopreneurship and Alvin Gendrano of Microsoft Philippines. Lastly, there will be a forum on bloggers featuring Anton Diaz (ourawesomeplanet.com), Carlo Ople (NewMedia.com), and Tricia Gosingtian, where participants can hear their insights which will help guide technopreneurs to optimize their online presence.
Expect an informative day to happen on January 21 at the SMX Convention Center, as we take a different approach of fighting poverty by engaging in technopreneurship. Visit our website and Facebook page for more information and further announcements. See you there!