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Mondayâ€™s elections seem to be a vote of confidence for P-Noy. From what the current unofficial results look like, a 9-3 win for Team PNoy seems to be sure, with Grace Poe topping the senatorial elections. She spoke during our Women Summit this year, and she was well liked by those who attended. She is also from the Assumption School, and it seems Assumption has produced two topnotchers in the Senate in Grace and Loren Legarda. I am happy that both Bam Aquino and Cynthia Villar seemed to make it also in the Senate. As I have mentioned in my past columns, both have contributed a lot to the development of entrepreneurship in the country, and we hope they would continue to fight for the small entrepreneurs as they join the Senate. Another great inclusion in the list of new senators is Sonny Angara, who joined our Technopreneur Summit and is also an entrepreneurship advocate, as he has definitely been mentored well by his father.
I think most of us have noticed that there was a greater call to exercise conscientious voting in this recent election than in the previous ones. In general, voters kept themselves informed about their candidatesâ€™ qualifications and warned about ill practices such as vote buying. Media has carried this positive trait further and offered a lot of balanced airtime for people to learn more about each candidate. Media has also strongly influenced more voters to vote wisely and adopt a â€œDapat Tamaâ€ attitude. While it is true that there are so much more to improve in our electoral system, we are a young democracy that thrives on positive influence. Change is indeed happening in our country, and we hope to sustain it in the coming years.
On another note, I appreciate the huge potential we still have in Philippine tourism. Sec.Ramon Jimenez has been doing a lot of great things for the industry that brought up record levels in terms of the number of foreign tourists in the past two years. We are currently travelling towards North and South America, as well as the Caribbean, on board a cruise liner. The Philippines still ranks no.1 for me with regards to the best beaches and diving places, but South America has its own gems. Costa Rica is the place where zip lining came from. They have over 300 zip lines that are located in their very lush forests which is home to a wide diversity of birds and beautiful mangroves. We are not far from that, but we still have to find how to market ourselves more actively to tourists and make them feel part of nature. In a way, we now have zip lines that also blend with nature. We can build more zip lines through waterfalls and forests that will surely show the beauty of our country, just like what it did with Costa Rica.
Crossing the Panama Canal was also a great experience. This is definitely a favorite tourist destination here. The government in Panama makes so much money from the canal which is now operating 24 hours due to the huge volume of vessels and cruise ships that are passing through. It would also be nice if we could allow cruise lines to come to the Philippines and check out areas like Coron, Cebu, Boracay, Bohol, Palawan, and the Calamianes islands. This will encourage more tourists to discover our 7,107 islands, as well as generate more income and jobs for the island locals. Tourism will be our next biggest thing, although we may need to fix our airports first before the rest can follow.
Speaking of victory, I got an email from Ardy Roberto, one of the Angelpreneurs in Go Negosyo and the CEO of Salt and Light Ventures. He was able to interview Nick Vujicic, an inspiring Australian who was born without any arms or legs but was able to live his life in the best way possible. Let me share his story.
Nick was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and it was a shock to his parents that he was born without limbs. There is no medical reason for it. When he was 10 years old, he tried to end his life by drowning himself in a bathtub. After a couple of attempts, he realized that he did not want to leave his loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from his suicide.
A janitor at his high school inspired him to start speaking about his faith and overcoming adversity when he was 17. He spoke only a dozen times to very small groups over the next two years. But there was one time when he found himself talking in front of 300 Grade 10 students. Within the first three minutes of his talk, one girl came up and hugged him in front of everyone, and whispered in his ear, â€œThank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am.â€ Her gratitude inspired him to go across 44 countries and speak 2,000 times.
Nick went to college, majoring in both accounting and financial planning at a university. He has appeared on Oprah, was an endorser for the World Cup in South Africa, has met presidents of nations and has spoken all over the world to audiences as diverse as church goers in China to VIP delegates at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. He also plays golf, soccer, surfs, and even sky dives. He definitely knows how to live his life to the fullest, and is now inspiring more abled people to also experience the joy of living. Today, he and his wife Kanae are parents to Kiyoshi James, who was born a year after they got married.
Nick is coming to Manila for the first time on May 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, for his â€œUnstoppableâ€ world tour. For tickets call 813-2703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that we could all find meaning to Nickâ€™s story. To me, this kind of victory is far greater than anything else.
Attend the Go Negosyo Negosem Basics on May 24, 1 p.m., at the auditorium, RFM Corporate Center. For inquiries, call 637-9229.