Christmas has always been the happiest time of the year for many Filipinos. For us, the celebration of the Christmas season starts at earlier dates, from the beginning of October or September, one can hear Christmas carols in the radio. The celebration lasts up to January. This only shows how much we value all the things that this season means for us: love, family, and most especially, the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year, we are blessed to have Pope Francis at the start of the year in January. I can say that our 2015 has been blessed by him. During his short visit, we are reminded of the Christian values we must possess which include love, mercy and compassion. He reminded us that our Lord showed us perfect examples of love for others which we must follow. We must do all things out of love for one another by showing kindness to all and extending help to the needy. May the love of the Lord transcend to us as we share our blessings to others.
It was a once in a lifetime experience for our family to have met the Pope for a few hours but what is more important is his lasting reminders to all of us. I’d like to share with you a simple message from Pope Francis when we had a chance to meet him in Mall of Asia Arena along with thousands of people. In his message, the Pope mentioned, “I would like to rest in the Lord with all of you and to reflect with you on the gift of family.” To us Filipinos, our families are the center of our lives. We work for them, doing our best that we can do just to give them what they deserve. Many of our kababayans even sacrifice for their family, leaving them temporarily to work abroad and become OFWs. Despite the hardships that they are facing, they continue to strive to provide for their families. Our family-centeredness is definitely one of the best Filipino traits that we are recognized for. I see entrepreneurs of today putting correctly their priorities centered on the family, for what is success in business if it will lead to issues in the family.
More importantly, as we enjoy the company of our family and friends, let us not forget that the real meaning of this season is Jesus Christ. God has sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, and we have received so many blessings because of Him. His birth has truly brought joy and meaning to our lives.
As we wrap up the 2015, let me briefly recognize our partners in the advocacy. Go Negosyo was blessed this year as we celebrated our 10th year of building an enterprising nation. We have forged new partnerships and welcomed entrepreneurs who share the same advocacy. Our 10thyear has been meaningful after knowing that we have touched and inspired the lives of many aspiring, young, and even established entrepreneurs. Their entrepreneurial growth and journey mean so much to us as we continue to guide them in their paths. And even those not in business, we are pleased to see them succeed as well in their careers, more inspired and more innovative and positively enterprising in spirit.
Our programs, from the Filipina summit, APEC SME Summit we did with APEC Business Advisory Council up to the OFW and Family Summit with the Villar group and the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshops with US Embassy, and the fora and seminars in between have been instrumental in guiding many Filipinos towards entrepreneurship. Seeing them eagerly listen to the talks of our entrep-mentors shows us their eagerness to have a better life by having an enterprising mindset and knowhow. Our way to spread a success-mindset.
My wish for this Christmas is to have peace and prosperity in our country where everyone move up in life. Inspiring and empowering the bottom of the pyramid is key to poverty alleviation and real inclusive growth. We experience a better economy compared to the last few years and compared with other countries, and this has provided many opportunities for all of us. I wish that this growth and development that we are experiencing will continue, most especially with the next administration. I hope that the next president will have a clear goal and a bright vision for our country. After meeting most of the presidential candidates during our series of fora with them, I am confident that they all will continue to help in building an enterprising nation.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!