Last Monday, together with other 84 Padma Awardees, I received the Padma Shri Award in New Delhi, India. I was accompanied by my wife Marissa and my children, Christian, Olivia and Magsy. The ceremony was held at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan Palace, which is the home of the president of India. The ceremony was led by President Ram Nath Kovind, with the attendance of Prime Minister Modi and the Cabinet secretaries of the Indian government.
As my name was called, Prime Minister Modi remembered me as I walked forward and bowed with my hands pressed together. Prime Minister Modi was happy that I got the award. He remembered how successful and well-attended the ABIS was last year. He was very friendly to us and even told my wife Marissa that he admires me and what I do for our country.
This is also a testament that we are on the right path of helping others. I am proud to share this award to the Go Negosyo Kapatid community, including our mentors, sponsors, conglomerates and advocates who are one with us in the advocacy of poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship.
This recognition is not just a personal merit. Instead, I treat it as a reminder of the great works that we are doing for our country.