Archive for April, 2009

Philippines, it’s our turn to ‘Dream a dream’

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The first time I watched Susan Boyle in YouTube , I said to myself, what a perfect comparison to the Philippines and its people. If only through this example, Filipinos will start to realize that we have prejudged our own country, then maybe this could spark a change in attitude and bring about greater confidence and ‘malasakit’ for the future of this country.

Last week’s column, I dreamed a dream for the Philippines, was one of the most interesting columns I have managed to write. A fellow columnist in Philippine Star, Babes Romualdez, sent me a note, saying that it was a great column. I got a call from Peter Favila. He was with PGMA at that time, and they congratulated me for the column. So many others also extended their congratulations. This is why I thought it would be best to turn the column into an advocacy ad. Through this, I would like to try to see if we can bring about people to give their thoughts on the Philippines’ turn to dream a dream.

I dreamed a dream for the Philippines

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Last Sunday, I noticed that my wife and daughter were teary-eyed. I asked them what was wrong. Did someone die? They were glued to the internet then they told me to watch this singer. I asked what about this singer and what was so special. I did not cry watching Josh Groban live or even Andrea Bocelli. They insisted that I watch and that it was different. They said it was this inspiring lady in a reality show entitled Britain’s Got Talent. I was quite curious because of how they were moved and inspired. So, I watched the video on Susan Boyle, and then I understood.

Susan Boyle is a 47 year-old Scottish church volunteer. She has lived a simple life, and has never married. She looked much older than her actual age, maybe because she has gone through hard times in caring for her mother. With her father who passed away and her siblings who left home, she was left to look after her old mother who died in 2007. In fact, it was her mom who encouraged her to join singing competitions, particularly Britain’s Got Talent. In an interview, she mentioned that she joined the show as a way of paying tribute to her mother. Because of her “unpolished” appearance, she got the attention of the crowd and the judges even before her performance. They were skeptical and seemed to have pre-judged her performance. This mentality is seen in all levels of our society. It is a fact that many of us are guilty of this mistake. As the music started and as she opened her mouth, the same skeptical judges and audience stood up in awe and they were stunned.

Believe it. It’s happening.

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Last December, I had my seven wishes. My fifth wish was for the Philippines. I wished for God to grant our nation with a blessing that will uplift the level of poverty in this country and create a prosperous negosyo climate. That wish was also for our fellow Filipinos, who continue to be prophets of doom for our country and government. In the beginning of the year, I also had my Ten Reasons why we should be happy in 2009. I wrote that the world will avoid a depression.

At that time, the world seemed like it was about to end with so much misery. Today, looking at how things have progressed, the stock markets are also up with quite a strong rally. While I do not believe that the market has changed from a bear to a bull market, I agree with many that what we see is a bear market rally. Singapore has reported a GDP number of negative 11%, which is quite huge. The rest of Asia, which is dependent on the American consumer to spend, will definitely feel the slowdown. Because of the very aggressive governments of the world with their stimulus packages and America using its printing machine to print dollars and save banks from bankruptcies, I am confident that the world will definitely avoid a depression. However, the chance of a prolonged recession is quite high, which can last for so many years. My view is similar to what we have witnessed in Japan over the past 15 years. America will follow the same pattern. This is a better-than-depression scenario.

Grand Fiesta Summer Bazaar

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


A Celebrity and Charity Bazaar

“A Health, Wellness, Wealth, Shopping, and Family Adventure Experience”

April 24-26, 2009
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
World Trade Center

By CBB Events and Management

Together with Ching Bersola and Christine Babao, Go Negosyo will be conducting an Entrepreneurship Forum on the last day of the GRAND FIESTA SUMMER BAZAAR: April 26 (Sunday), 6:00 PM, at the World Trade Center.


To avail of free slots, interested attendees must register at the Seminar registration booth beside the Ticket Booth from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Slots will be given on a first come, first served basis.

After the 200 slots have been taken, a PhP50 entrance fee will be charged. Part of the proceeds of ticket sales will go to the beneficiaries of the bazaar.  


10:30 AM    Holy Mass by the Rogationist Seminary  
12 NOON    Celebrity Auction and Raffle Prizes every hour

12:30 PM    “Wellness Talk, Herbal Oils”
by well-known Chinese herbalist Ms. Fely Guy Ong

2:30 PM    Fire Safety Talk
by Mr. Ube himself: Mr. Gerry Chua  

3:00 PM    Amazing Bubble Show and Balloon Twisting Show  

4:00 PM    Personality Development Talk
by  Image Consultant Ms. Abbygale Arenas  of Personi-Fi  

5:00 PM    Food Franchising , The Sulit Pinoy Way
by Arnold de Guzman


Efren “Ping” Sotto
HR Consultant and Self-Help Guru

Ramon Lopez
Executive Director, PCE-Go Negosyo

Abbygale Arenas

Rommel Juan
President, Binalot Foods
President, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI)

Henry Uy
President, F101 Direct Sales

Gladys Reyes
Part-owner, KSA Magic Products

Host: Tintin Bersola-Babao

7:00 PM    Back-to-Back Mini Concert with Ms. Sheryn Regis and Sitti
and other surprise numbers

8:00 PM    Star Records Artists  Mini-Concert  

10:00 PM    Grand Raffle Draw!
Summer Trip to Cebu courtesy of Journeys of Faith and Travel Inc.  

AUCTION ! AUCTION ! Precious items generously donated by your favorite celebrities will be auctioned off to raise more funds for various charities.


1. Learn and Play Corner by Galileo Enrichment Learning Program   
2. Indoor Rock Climbing for all ages by The Indoor Rock  Climbing Experts, The Apextreme Group
3. Bird and Reptile Show
4. The Amazing Bubble Show
5. Daily Treasure Hunt Games
6. Parenting Forums
7. Live Human Statues, Mime Acts, Balloon Twisters 


For inquiries, please call (02) 931-0852.


Grand Summer Bazaar


Have you gone to confession?

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

This week is a time for us to reflect on our spirituality. We visit churches, complete the Stations of the Cross, and make confession – which my Mom used to be quite strict about in our childhood years. Well, it was funny the other day, it was my wife who took my Mom’s role in making sure that I enter the confession box and come clean with all my sins. I told her that I can’t remember all my sins, and it seems to be the same every year. But, she didn’t let me off that easily. She waited until I entered the confession box. Thank God that they had the Act of Contrition posted for people to read. It felt good after. It was an annual tradition that we always did since we were small. I am glad that my wife has taken my Mom’s role, since my kids also had to do the Stations of the Cross.

It is important as a family that our spirituality is given equal attention as what we give our work. As Catholics, we are often criticized about our rituals and traditions. My wife’s family and most friends are Born Again Christians. I believe that our respective faiths, be it Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, etc., serves as our guide as human beings living on earth. It is like the schools or family, who serve as our mentors in education and values formation as well as in our spirituality. Whatever faith or Church we may have, our beliefs still serve the same purpose. If your Church guides you the wrong way, then you as a person may not be practicing the right values in your earthly life. These are the values important to enter His kingdom.


Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Last Friday, I tried a different ice cream brand just to see how good it was versus our very own Selecta – now the number one ice cream brand in the Philippines.

I remember buying Selecta from the Arce family in 1989. We acquired it at around 20 million pesos at that time. Elmer Yanga, my personal assistant, had his charm in convincing families to sell. He helped me close the transaction. My brother John, then starting with RFM, was tasked to lead team Selecta. With his strong “intrapreneurial” ability and passionate leadership, he steered the growth of the ice cream company with the help of his young dynamic team. The rest was history. From practically a nil market share in 1989, Selecta has grown to be the undisputed number one ice cream brand in the Philippines.