Archive for May, 2016

Kwentong Go Negosyo: Café with a Twist

Friday, May 27th, 2016

travel cafe 2
Café businesses are now emerging here in the country, but there’s this one café in Bicol region that has a distinctive concept café where you can dine and booked a trip in one.

The man behind the idea of this Travel Café is Jerome Palma. A 36 years old man raised in Camarines Sur graduate of Fine Arts in Advertising in University of Santo Tomas. Jerome grew up with the basic knowledge of business because his parents own a restaurant.

“When I was a kid, I remember helping my parents in our restaurant. I really think that I have a great passion for business.” he said.

Young entrepreneur Jerome Palma reading one of Go Negosyo's best selling book.

Young entrepreneur Jerome Palma reading one of Go Negosyo’s best selling book.

The restaurant owned by his parents was built in 1990 and called Bob Marlin. The idea of their business is a reggae and ambiance in which it gives a good vibes and relaxing feel to their customers. Aside from the good ambiance, they also cater mouth-watering foods. One of their best seller is their Crispy Pata that only cost P350.They were also recognized by ‘So Pinoy’ as one of the top Crispy Pata in the Philippines last 2010.

In 2014, Jerome attended a franchise expo and had a restaurant booth set up. His attention caught by the speaker, Dean Pax Lapid. “Sobra akong na-inspire at mas nagging interesado sa pagnenegosyo habang nakikinig ako sa lecture. I thought of buying the 21 Steps on how you build business kasi alam ko magiging malaking tulong sa akin ‘yung libro,” said Jerome.

As he goes along with their family business, Palma thinks of putting up his own business. “I considered the foreigners who usually go to our Province for a tour and vacation. So naisip ko bakit hindi ako magtayo ng negosyong ticketing and booking sa Caramoan and Calaguas Island, at the same time kainan na din.”

Thus the born of Travel Café.

Since he is a Fine Arts graduate, he exemplifies his skills through the concept and design of Travel Café that which revolves to the theme of different places herein the Philippines and other countries.

travel cafe 5

Today, Palma is enjoying his passion in business at the same time practicing his knowledge in Fine Arts and applying it on his own business. “Mas nag-enjoy ako sa pagiging entrepreneur kasi hawak mo ang finances at time mo,” he added.

For Jerome, failures will always be there but it is how you handle and beat it. “Try lang ng try when it comes to business. You should stand out and be different,” for his parting words.


Social Entrepreneur to Head ASEAN Women Group

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Pacita “Chit” Juan, Founder of ECHOstore and a staunch green growth and coffee advocate is the incoming Chairperson of the regional body “ ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs ‘ Network” (AWEN) for the years 2016-2018. Juan takes over from Vitenam’s Madame Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh who was appointed inaugural chair upon the group’s establishment and official launching in April 2014. Juan represents the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines, a policy advocacy group, and also the appointed focal point to represent the Philippines in AWEN.

Incoming AWEN Chair, Pacita "Chit" Juan.

Incoming AWEN Chair, Pacita “Chit” Juan.

AWEN will be closely working with ASEAN business groups like the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC). This Council represents bigger businesses in the region whilst AWEN will represent women-owned and/or operated MSMEs. AWEN will work to spur more collaboration and linkages among MSMEs in ASEAN to better address common challenges facing smaller producers and entrepreneurs.

One example of its programs will be the GREAT Women in ASEAN Initiative (GWAI) launched in May 2015 at the ASEAN SME Showcase and Conference 2015 in Kuala Lumpur. This event brought together products of women enterprises form most of the ten ASEAN member countries. USAID-ACTI and the SME Corporation Malaysia jointly sponsored the GWAI exhibition which well-attended by many ASEAN officials, including the SME Working Group, and members of the public.

As Chair, Juan will promote AWEN as mentors and ambassador for women empowerment through business. “I think the we can work together because we have similar aspirations despite our diverse cultures, “she said in a statement. “ The women of ASEAN especially our entrepreneurs are a powerful force if we band together and produce for the world, “she continues. Known for her marketing savvy, Juan hopes to erase language barriers and blur national divides as the women of AWEN are exposed to global markets.

You may reach the AWEN secretariat at or find them on Facebook AWEN-Asean Women Entrepreneurs Network.

It All Starts With A Dream

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion during the 88th Commencement Exercises of Far Eastern University (FEU).

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion during the 88th Commencement Exercises of Far Eastern University (FEU).

If there is one thing that we can contribute in this life, it is to inspire people to do more and do better. And it is a privilege to be able to inspire not just the aspiring entrepreneurs that Go Negosyo has but also the youth who will be the next generation-movers and change makers of this country.

Last week, I was invited by good friends Gigi Montinola and Gianna Montinola of Far Eastern University to be their commencement speaker for the Institute of Accounts, Business, and Finance. It was a privilege to be their speaker that morning despite having come from De La Salle University who lost to FEU in some basketball games.  But kidding aside, I first congratulated all the parents who were there and also the parents abroad who did a great job in raising the children and providing for their needs. These parents did the right thing in choosing a good school that will mentor their children and guide them to their future.

Like what I have shared countless times, mentorship is important. I shared the many times that I was inspired by my parents’ love and mentorship. I even shared a personal anecdote from my college years when I have to drop a subject but through perseverance I was able still march and appear in the yearbook.  Several years after, I was invited to even become one of their board directors.

I am not saying this to encourage all young kids to follow the same path that I took. I am saying this to encourage them to study more and maximize the education that they are receiving, most especially the mentorship. Mentorship inspires the best in all of you. I was fortunate to have parents who inspired me to persevere and still do my best despite some failures in life.

I was inspired by my father’s passion and love for this country. He believed in this country’s future and its people. And he fought for what he believed in. Fighting the Marcos dictatorship is a great challenge this country has faced. But through my father’s leadership, he established NAMFREL and empowered people to believe in themselves and fight for the right, fight for democracy. His battle against dictatorship greatly instilled in me the right passion, values and principles that I should have in this life. This is the kind of mentorship that I have received in my younger years.

But mentors can only do so much. In school, you can be mentored by the best teachers but if you will not listen then you will not make it. And mentorship from parents combined with mentors from good schools will definitely create the most important part of your life which is character. Character will define one’s success.

Looking at the crowd, I told them that as they step out of the venue, they will be facing real competitions. And the learning process has to continue.  Why? Because there will be people who will do what it takes to have the position that you have. For corporations like RFM, many brands want to take the market positions that we have. That is why we continue to learn and develop.

But how did we start? It started with a dream to become the largest company in soft drinks and ice cream. When we still had Cosmos (PopCola), we were the biggest name in the beverage industry. After 13 years, we then sold it to Coca-Cola for close to 15 billion pesos. Today, we have Selecta, in joint venture with Unilever which is the market leader in ice cream with close to 80% market share. Aside from that, we also have our market leading pasta brands Royal and Fiesta.

With passion and grit, we were able to achieve the stability that we have today. As the Philippines continues to compete for its place in the world and as local businesses compete to gain their market shares, employees and entrepreneurs will have to do the same. Continuously innovating to grow and compete in the market. Mistakes are inevitable. There will be times that you will make bad decisions. But what is important is that you will learn from these as well. Mistakes are part of the learning process.

Let me also share the example of Injap Sia. He came from a school in Iloilo and not from Manila. His business exposure was limited compared to those in Manila. His father exposed him to his supermarket in Iloilo and from there, he saw the hard work and passion of his parents. He then established his own business using the start up capital from his father. 8 years ago, we awarded him for Mang Inasal as one of the young entrepreneurs in Iloilo. When we awarded him, he had less than 40 stores. He eventually expanded to around 300 stores, and I was privileged to hand to him again another award from the Ernst & Young Small Business Entrepreneurship Award. He eventually sold Mang Inasal to Jollibee Corporation close to four billion pesos, but he did not stop being entrepreneurial.  He continued to develop other ventures and now has become even bigger with his relatively new listed firm DoubleDragon Properties which develops CityMalls.

If someone from the province like Injap can make it even though they did not come from a top university in Manila or abroad, it shows that the young generation has their chance of success. The only difference will be in how much passion and perseverance you have to reach it.

I can name more entrepreneurs who had the same story as Injap’s, but the common winning trait that is more valuable is their enterprising attitude. A positive enterprising attitude really leads to more opportunities.

Going back to the Marcos era, a lot of companies did well then.  Of course we had the cronies, but for many others, there were lesser competition because nobody wanted to come to this country. So many of these companies became the first movers. The environment was not so conducive but there were still opportunities. The incoming leadership of Duterte- Robredo presents more opportunities to more entrepreneurs as both have a common vision to help the underprivileged and micro/small entrepreneurs. We would encourage big businesses to find ways to link and include small businesses in their value chains so that we can create a sustainable growth system for all entrepreneurs. The real essence of inclusive growth must be done. And to me, the votes signaled the importance of making more people part of the growing economy.

All these started with a dream. Everybody has to dream of something. I dreamt to fight for a cause just like my father. And today, I never thought I would lead an advocacy in entrepreneurship which is in a way, similar to NAMFREL but different in approach. Go Negosyo is helping many micro, small entrepreneurs out there succeed in life. True Philippine progress cannot be achieved if the small sectors are left behind.

And that is my dream. Through Go Negosyo with close to 800 entrepreneurs who joined this cause, we are now training micro entrepreneurs to show an inclusive growth and ensure that many other entrepreneurs have pathways to success.

In the end, I reminded them that destiny will spell it out for them. But they cannot depend on destiny alone. It is with hard work, passion, perseverance, and destiny that will lead you to where one should be.

US Embassy-Go Negosyo Mentor Me Innovation Forum Cebu

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
Go Negosyo Mentor Me Innovation Forum (Manila) held last March 10, 2016 at the Enderun Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. In photo (L-R) Go Negosyo entrepreneurs Ferdinand Maranon (Sagrex Corporation), Josiah Go (Mansmith & Fielders), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion, Senior Adviser to US Secretary of State Amb. David Thorne, Sheel Tyle (Seed Practice), Deborah Magid (IBM Venture Capital Group), Manny Ayala (Endeavor Philippines), Mike Cassidy (Google), Jason Fischer (UL's Asia Pacific), Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez, Javy Infante (Enderun Colleges & Navegar Fund), Dr. Edgardo Rodriguez (Enderun Colleges), Delby Bragais (North Road Image and Fashion Group), and Rj Ledesma (Mercato Centrale) .

Go Negosyo Mentor Me Innovation Forum (Manila) held last March 10, 2016 at the Enderun Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
In photo (L-R) Go Negosyo entrepreneurs Ferdinand Maranon (Sagrex Corporation), Josiah Go (Mansmith & Fielders), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion, Senior Adviser to US Secretary of State Amb. David Thorne, Sheel Tyle (Seed Practice), Deborah Magid (IBM Venture Capital Group), Manny Ayala (Endeavor Philippines), Mike Cassidy (Google), Jason Fischer (UL’s Asia Pacific), Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez, Javy Infante (Enderun Colleges & Navegar Fund), Dr. Edgardo Rodriguez (Enderun Colleges), Delby Bragais (North Road Image and Fashion Group), and Rj Ledesma (Mercato Centrale) .

As part of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW), Go Negosyo, together with the US Embassy is organizing the Cebu run of the Mentor Me Innovation Forum (MMIF) on July 14, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the University of San Carlos.

This forum is a gathering of innovators and enablers whose expertise will cover major topics such as innovative products or services development, operation processes, and innovative business models.

YEDW-MMIF aims to gather participants from the youth sector, micro and small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), aspiring young entrepreneurs, and academe to enhance their innovation models as a way to take the business to a higher growth plane.


For Students and Teachers (Academe)
Each school is allocated ten (10) slots only. Registration for Students and Teachers is FREE. Interested schools may get in touch with the MIFF- Cebu Secretariat through (02) 637-9229 or (02) 638-8489 to request for the MMIF-Cebu Official Invitation Packet.

Registration must be made until June 17, 2016.


Interested participants (colleges and universities, students and teachers of business or creative courses, aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs and other attendees) may get in touch with our Programs Development Officer, Gianina Napo at

For Interested Institutional Partners
Interested institutional partners, sponsors and exhibitors may get in touch with our Marketing Officer, PA De Guzman at

For Interested Media Partners
Interested media partners may get in touch with our Media and Communications Officer Aeron Morado at

For Interested Individuals
Interested participants may get in touch with the YEDW-MMIF Cebu Secretariat through (02) 637-9229 or (02) 638-8489. Click the link to register: Registration is until June 17 only.

Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (GoNegosyo)
5/F RFM Corporate Center, Sheridan cor. Pioneer Sts.
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
DL: +632 6379229 | +632 6318101 (loc 7106)
F: (02) 638-8489

President Duterte to Help Micro and Small Entreps

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte met with Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez last week in Davao, as he puts priority on initiatives that will assist and empower the millions of underprivileged Filipinos and micro and small entrepreneurs to level-up and beat poverty. Go Negosyo commits to continue its 11-year private-sector advocacy movement to support the government in helping communities to build a country of enterprising Filipinos and inclusive prosperity.

In our Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiables forum with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte last February, he reiterated that he will have programs to support the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country to help alleviate poverty. He said that he will allocate a budget to the Department of Trade and Industry to help assist MSMEs and provide trainings and seminars for them. He knows that there are many micro entrepreneurs in the urban areas that still needs financial aid and additional technical support.

For the past 11 years, Go Negosyo has been helping create an enterprising nation through its programs that inspire and empower aspiring and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. Through its sectoral programs, it addresses the concern of all micro entrepreneurs from different industries such as agriculture, tourism, retail, manufacturing, franchising, and many more. With partnership with different institutions, Go Negosyo has imparted the right mindset and knowhow to many Filipinos.

With the support of the Duterte administration to the advocacy, we can expect a strengthened and empowered entrepreneurship community.

 Here are some micro entrepreneurs we have recognized in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. They will be among the many micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs from different industries who will benefit from the entrepreneurship programs under the Duterte administration.

Here are some micro entrepreneurs we have recognized in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. They will be among the many micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs from different industries who will benefit from the entrepreneurship programs under the Duterte administration.

Go Negosyo Executive Director met with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in Davao last week to discuss Go Negosyo and its programs.

Go Negosyo Executive Director met with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in Davao last week to discuss Go Negosyo and its programs.

Go Negosyo's Ramon Lopez and Flor Amate with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Bong Go

Go Negosyo’s Ramon Lopez and Flor Amate with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Bong Go

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion with incoming President Duterte in the Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiable Forum last February .

Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion with incoming President Duterte in the Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiable Forum last February .

Duterte: The Right Brand at the Right Time

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte during the Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiables Forum last February.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte during the Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiables Forum last February.

It’s been 10 days since the election day and a lot of people are still shocked and amazed in a good way on how Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte captured the presidency with the least amount of time, budget, and preparation.  Compared to the other candidates, his announcement to run for the highest office came late. He filed his certificate of candidacy a few days after his rivals have filed theirs. We can also say that since he has been reluctant in the previous interviews, we can see the lack of budget most especially that he publicly announced that he will not accept any form of donation from people who have transactions with the government. This only means that he and his team had to work with a budget relatively smaller compared to the other presidentiables. After seeing his campaign materials, most especially his television ads which are mostly testimonials type, we can say that their limited funds were put into good use.

In building brands, the importance of positioning is very essential. One has to look at the current climate in the market to see and to develop how to uniquely position the product. But more than the climate, the product itself must be believable and acceptable by the consumers. You cannot position a product on whatever position that you want if it is not believable and has no credibility.

When former President Cory Aquino passed away, the emotions were so high that we saw millions of people grieving altogether. The need to solve the corruption gave way to a new face. Then Senator Noynoy Aquino, who was quite a low profile politician was propelled to presidency because of his strong position to fight against corruption and promised that he would carry the legacy of his parents. So it all just fell into place. That is why people say that presidency is a destiny.  And just like a brand that has the momentum, it was difficult to stop.

Similarly, in this recent elections Mayor Duterte won the presidency with good positioning. He is known in Davao as a strong-willed leader who made substantial achievements in solving crime and corruption. He is quite a street smart in the sense that he does not over analyze things and just gets things done on the basis of gut feel. This is important in brand marketing. While research is equally important, I see many successful people who do not even use research but do extremely well based on gut feel.  But gut feel can only be successful if one is exposed to the right market.

This has been the case for Mayor Duterte since he had been exposed in Davao as mayor for so many years, people have accepted his character. From his appearance to the way he talks and answers questions. His cockiness and rough attitude. The way he dresses – folded sleeves or barong over maong jeans. No make up during debates and his simple hair style portrayed him as the product that can deliver on what he promises even without the glitz and glamour.

For all marketing experts, he is a product that matched the calling of the time. We can admit that the country has done extremely well during PNoy’s time. His leadership has led to many good things such as financial stability, better governance, and less corruption which resulted in the generally upswing trajectory of the market and property prices. But undeniably, many of those in the bottom of the pyramid would say that they have yet to feel the gains of economic growth. Especially those who are in the agricultural sector which comprise the biggest bulk in the economy and population. Many of our farmers and fisher folks are still living day-by-day, working their best to put food on their table.

Yes, employment has gone up, with the massive construction and investment in different industries. Yes, lives have improved but not to those who could not afford to own properties and stocks or participate in the booming economy. Big corporations just got bigger. But members of the low-income communities continue to struggle. We have yet to achieve total inclusive growth. Therefore, it is a wake up call for many big and medium-sized businesses to really push for inclusive growth within our own ecosystem. It is about time that we put more effort in helping those in the bottom of the pyramid.

For the past 11 years, this has been my calling together with other entrepreneurs – to help those micro and small entrepreneurs move up and be sustainable. We inspire and empower them to grow by imparting with them the right characteristics and values and right knowhow and skills. Aside from MSMEs, we also inspire the youth to be enterprising. Poverty is not our destiny.

This is our only way of bringing about inclusive growth. Through our mentorship programs which discuss many business topics such as brand marketing, franchising, finance, skill development, and many more, we hope to help more MSMEs. The Negosyo Centers created by Sen. Bam’s Go Negosyo bill will be effective if it can provide these mentoring services. Some of the big corporations are doing it already by having franchising opportunities but there are a lot of business models that we need to develop for the micro and small entrepreneurs. The list of business opportunities is long and the success of which can be done with the big brother-small brother approach. Inclusive business model encourages big businesses to have small businesses as part of their value chain model. Example, small businesses or farmer cooperative can supply big businesses with their input requirements. Or small businesses can be the distributor/retailers.  As big corporations help small businesses, we will be able to see those in the bottom of the pyramid move up and have a better life. By this, we are solving poverty.

With Mayor Duterte as the president, we can say that these programs for the MSMEs will be implemented and supported by his administration.

Change is Coming

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

If only our nine-year old daughter, Isabella, could vote, she would say that she will vote for Grace Poe, only because she came from the same school as hers, Assumption. But kidding aside, we just witnessed the most engaging and talked-about election period in our history. With more fora, debates, and rallies mounted, plus the power of social media, where everyone have a voice real-time, this election was exciting.

In fact, we often hear the phrase, “Change is Coming.”  While we still do not have the official announcement, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be our next president.  Major candidates have conceded and our admiration goes to Sec. Mar and Sen. Grace for an act of statesmanship. Mayor Duterte may have started from the bottom of the list, but his clear and strong proposition for change attracted many to his side. Of course he has the track record in Davao to prove he can do it, although I was wondering why he rarely referred to this track record whenever doubts arose.  Maybe he is that confident that the record speaks for itself.  As we all heard, he was the only one who would often say that if you don’t like him, don’t vote for him; that he is not too keen to win.  But the Presidency is a destiny.  With the support of the Filipino mass-based voters and frankly many in the ABC voters, he gained the big numbers.  The desire for change is too strong.

Duterte is a tough talker, a non-conformist, and not the typical candidate. Compared to all the other candidates, he is street-smart, unorthodox, and as his supporters say, has a strong political will to get things done.

He gets things done effectively and quietly without fanfare. We now see a progressive Davao, with all the necessary infrastructures, favorable business environment, and of course, peace and order.  He delivers whatever is good for the welfare of his constituents. He is consistent in his promise to focus on the fight against corruption, drugs and criminality. As he said before, if these issues were addressed, everything will follow.

Mayor Rody Duterte with me, my wife, and our youngest daughter Isabella.

Mayor Rody Duterte with me, my wife, and our youngest daughter Isabella.

We have talked to some friends and entrepreneurs in Davao who shared with us how Duterte has made Davao to what it is today.  During the campaign, he was often criticized as the one who is relatively silent on his economic platforms, but in certain fora, like in our Go Negosyo: Meet the Presidentiables, he mentioned his clear plans to promote the micro SMEs, to enhance fair trade, industry and agriculture, education health and social services.  He was just silent on tax reforms as he said he needs to study the matter carefully and that he was advised not to commit yet.

But from what Duterte has done in Davao, we will see continued economic progress.  He also said that he will continue the good programs set in place and even promised to copy the good part of the economic platform of the other Presidentiables; a statement that sounded funny but highlighted either his humility or his simply being a non-conformist in giving answers.  What he did in Davao was worth noting, especially in simply providing an enabling environment, free from red tape, that drastically improved its rank in ease of doing business criterion under the Competitiveness report.   He built hard infrastructures (bridges, roads, and highways) and soft infrastructures (training workforce, management, software, and technology support). He has set the stage and the business growth follows.

The part I like and expect from a Duterte leadership is the return of discipline among the Filipinos.  I know many would have this but this dimension of our culture will surely be enhanced.  Rules and laws will be followed.  Reduction or elimination of corruption. Discipline and efficiencies in the delivery of government services. We heard stories how he couldn’t tolerate inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in government. He promised to remove erring and ineffective officials. This we love to see.

Like many out there, we were all concerned that a very strong leader might develop into a very authoritarian leader or even a dictator. But I now take comfort to what he said during our forum with him last February, when we directly asked about the tendencies in abusing power to which he answered, “There is no dictator who died happy. I will not be one.   If you are a law-abiding citizen, a God-fearing Filipino… I will die for you.”

According also to our friends in Davao, he is the humblest public official there is. Contrary to the tough image that he has been portraying for the past months, his approach in leadership is that of being a servant leader. He bows to many people he meets or will ask for a hand blessing. Again, he does things quietly.

His recent visit to the grave of his parents may have shown a different Rodrigo Duterte. He is a tough guy with a soft heart, for family and children, and for the poor and needy.

I guess many like him too because despite the black propagandas and issues hurled against him, he seems to be not vindictive.  He’s a guy who can say, “Let’s move past these trivial issues and focus instead on the problems that we need to face.”

Amidst the election fever, as we selected the new leaders of our country, I believe in the end that the change we want to see must start from within us. The leaders just need to inspire and create the enabling environment.  Our success and happiness depend on our own mindset, resourcefulness, perseverance, and hard work, and service to others. We just need an environment that will attract opportunities and encourage everyone to be the best that they can be.

These Duterte programs are promising. It will also bring in the right values that we want to instill in our children. Positive values such as passion, obedience, God-fearing, and many more must be promoted as well congruent to these programs. As mentioned in my previous column, we are entrusting the life of our children to the next leaders of this country so they must be good examples to them.

Yes, there was the usual election jitters from the market but we now see a quick rebound. As the next administration settles down, I’m sure that the business confidence will go back to where they were or even better once they see the policies and programs laid out.

We have a healing new President.  Post-election unity is needed and we all do our share in nation-building.  We have one country, one great nation, where everyone will be destined to move up in life.

Change is definitely coming.

Advice to our New President

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Today’s the much awaited election day. After months of grueling campaign, debates and fights among friends, we will now cast our votes and hope for the best in the next six years. Whoever wins the election, let us hope that he or she will pursue not his or her personal interest but sincerely dedicate his leadership for the welfare and progress of our country. We hope to see a president who will be a selfless unifying leader.

While our next president may have many advisers upon his proclamation, I asked some entrepreneurs in our community to share their advice to the next president. As mentioned in my column last Thursday here in Philippine Star, there are a number of problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Let me share with you the insights of some Go Negosyo entrepreneurs:

Miguel Belmonte , Felipe L. Gozon, Alice Eduardo, Justin Uy and Felix Ang.

Miguel Belmonte , Felipe L. Gozon, Alice Eduardo, Justin Uy and Felix Ang.

1. Miguel Belmonte (Philippine Star)
I want to see a government that is sensitive to the needs of our countrymen who have less in life. A government that sincerely cares about the plight of poor Filipinos and acts immediately to improve their condition. I am expecting that the mistakes of past administrations will not be repeated, and in fact that changes for the good of everyone, especially the less privileged, be implemented sooner rather than later. The priority should be poverty alleviation by providing more job opportunities even for those with limited educational background. Provide better mass transportation system to ease traffic and shorten the time needed for commuters to get to and from work. And finally, stop all forms of corruption at all levels.

2. Felipe L. Gozon (GMA Network Inc.)
I’d like to see that the new top leaders in the executive and legislative departments of our government are seriously, sincerely, unselfishly and honestly thinking of and doing what is best for the country and the great majority of the people. If those who will be elected in the executive and legislative departments possess the qualities I specified above, we can expect high economic growth, political stability and peace in our country.

Inadequate infrastructure (traffic), unemployment and underemployment, agriculture, peace and order (smuggling, drugs, etc.), poverty, slow economic growth, industrialization, West Philippine Sea problem, graft and corruption, red tape, faster dispensation of justice, etc.

3. Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation)
I want to see a leadership where sincerity is converted to action. I want a governance that is sensitive to the needs of the people and one that shows such good examples that it inspires citizens to be their best. For both the immediate and multiplier effect, the focus should be on infrastructure and mass transportation, also education and access to health care.

4. Justin Uy (Profood International)
A genuine government that wants to help the people and businessmen. Cut red tape!

5. Felix Ang (CATS Motors Inc.)
The incoming administration will have many areas of concern, but I believe that infrastructure (and specifically mass public transportation) should be at the top of the list. I believe that the infrastructure problems we are facing today are holding back the Philippines from reaching our greatest economic potential. From an economist’s perspective, the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila alone is a multi-billion-dollar problem that when solved, will have trickle down benefits to both corporations and consumers alike. It also erodes that quality of life for Filipinos who travel around Metro Manila for work as travel time takes away from family time, rest and leisure. My sincere hope is that the next administration quickly creates a sustainable mass public transportation system that gives every Filipino an opportunity to have more work-life balance.

Eric Alberto, William Belo, Ray Gapuz, James Bernas and Joseph Calata.

Eric Alberto, William Belo, Ray Gapuz, James Bernas and Joseph Calata.

6. Eric Alberto (PLDT Group)
We would like to see a new government that could unite all Filipinos to move in disciplined cadence towards our country’s achieving a respected place in the league of nations, economy-wise and as a proud people. Focus and attention must be given to much needed infrastructure development that would enable us to be truly globally competitive, and much needed poverty alleviating programs that will sustainably lift the quality of life of ALL Filipinos.

7. William Belo (Wilcon Builders)
The next president should fast track infrastructure development to ease the traffic so the commuting public would not spend long hours in the road. It affects the productivity and the quality of time that one can spend with their love ones, if they would be stuck in traffic for hours. This would also greatly help business to move their products faster, improves the productivity and cut costs.

Fast track the Clark International Airport development to make it the main gateway for the international travelers. Resume the high speed train to connect Manila to Clark. This would greatly help our tourism industry, with more numbers of tourists visiting our country, this would help not only the formal business sectors like the hotels, resorts, tour operators but the also individuals that sell food and souvenirs [to] the tourists. Countries like Thailand and Malaysia who have 15 to 20 Millions tourists have seen hundreds of thousands of individuals benefitting from selling souvenir items and food to the tourists.

Peace and order will come into place when people have work. Job creation is the key to crime prevention. “An empty stomach knows no law” as the saying goes.

8. Ray Gapuz (RA Gapuz Review Center)
Our country is so far experiencing a deluge of changes, both from within – the elections, k to 12 education that has forced displaced academic experts to leave the country, new economic policies ; and external – ASEAN integration, social media, internet –based enterprises etc. All of these have to be fully addressed. Thus the new government should be led by a president with a clear vision not just a slogan. Decision making based on new laws enacted must be holistic and not short term and more importantly, the new government must establish its priorities to encompass the basic needs of its people- nutrition, health, safety and education. A country cannot be competitive in the global market if its professionals are not  adequately supported by the government.

Personally, I  believe that those who are aspiring to run the government are all good people. I don’t want to judge them based on their platforms and their accomplishments. For me what matters is what they do. For as long as they do what is right and they decide holistically, that’s all I expect.

If we are to aspire to be the next  Asian tiger economy, it’s high time that our government should recognize the expertise and potential contributions of the young professionals whose ideas are more aligned with the economic directions in the world. It is high time that our older mentors be promoted to be consultants and allow the more dynamic and more creative talents of the new generation to lead. In the present state of the professional world in our country, it can be noted that organizational leadership have remained stagnant and being shared routinely by a few individuals. It is high time that new ‘surnames’ be given the opportunity to serve.

9. James Bernas (MBank)
I would like to see a government that is firm and resolute in implementing the laws without fear or favor. I expect nothing less than public service because that is the job description. A public service that looks at a balanced short, mid and long term solutions for our country’s numerous challenges. A public service whose decisions are based on integrity and anti corruption. The president should prioritize transport infrastructure, sustainable agriculture development, national ID so that microfinance can be less risky and bring down the cost of capital. Lastly, hire the right people who are honest, competent and courageous. The rest will follow.

10. Joseph Calata (Calata Corporation)
I would like to see transparency in the new government. The freedom of information bill should finally be prioritized and approved. The agricultural sector is in need of utmost attention and I am hoping that the incoming leaders would create programs to promote modern farming technology and make it a viable option for our youth.

Samie Lim, Joe Magsaysay, Johnlu Koa, Siu Ping Par and Josiah Go.

Samie Lim, Joe Magsaysay, Johnlu Koa, Siu Ping Par and Josiah Go.

11. Samie Lim (Philippine Franchise Association)
Hope the new government will be magnanimous in their victory, and will focus on moving forward. May the leadership have the HEART to honor the living & dead heroes of our land. The MIND to visualize the FUTURE of the Philippines as a first world country. The SKILL to EXCELL in the performance of his task. And the WILL to continue to serve ALL our countrymen ALWAYS!  The government job is not to hand out fish/cash but to teach them how to start a business and thereby creating jobs and income for all.

12. Jose Magsaysay Jr. (Potato Corner)
I expect the next administration to:
1.  Stop being vindictive
2. Love everyone even the new government’s enemies
3. Be God-centered
4. Address problems in this order: peace and order, drugs, smuggling, teach discipline and courtesy, take care of OFWs (improve this national treasure so that we are the best manpower provider worldwide), and their families that are left behind, lower power rates, target 20M per annum foreign tourist visitors, target same internet speed at Singapore, and improve love and pride of country.

13. Johnlu Koa (French Baker)
New government should simply build on existing gains and get really qualified individuals to implement all vital projects and finish them ahead of time.

14. Siu Ping Par (PR Gaz)
First is continuity on the economic reform and growth that we have been experiencing.

Second is transparency. Transparency on the actions and decisions of every government agency. Third is building more infrastructure.  It is a basic requirement to economic development.  It facilitates economic activities by creating external economies and spreading economic growth outside of Metro Manila and other key cities in the Philippines. On a daily basis, I hope that the new government and the new president will address the traffic condition in the Philippines which is a source of frustration and inefficiency.

15. Josiah Go (Mansmith and Fielders)
I want to see a momentum president and his/her team that the world can respect. Crime is just one part, a vibrant economy that can solve poverty is indispensable. I want to see a unifying president that attracts instead of offend different groups. I want to see a role model government starting from the president.

Jerry Ilao, Richie Cuna, Butz Bartolome, Alan Escalona and Delby Bragais.

Jerry Ilao, Richie Cuna, Butz Bartolome, Alan Escalona and Delby Bragais.

16. Jerry Ilao (AFFI President)
I expect the government to continue building Philippines to become $1-trillion economy by 2030.  We have gained so much in the last few years from being the sick man of Asia, to being a rising tiger of Asia, and perhaps to become a 1-trillion economy by 2030.

The Philippines should continue to address corruption and eliminate red tape in government.  One way to do this is by using technology to automate tasks and foster transparency in all government transactions.  It’s time to tap into the many brilliant start-ups and technology companies here in the Philippines and let them help the government develop these technologies.”

17. Richie Cuna (Fiorgelato, AFFI Board)
I have very simple areas of my expectation for our next administration: First, restoration of trust & confidence on governance. Second, implementation & delivery of people’s basic needs. Third, peace & order, which includes anti crime & corruption. Fourth, stronger foreign investments on various projects.

18. Butz Bartolome (AFFI Chairman)
Basically what I like to see is the restoration of Peace and Order. There have so much crime and even crime of passion is something ordinary. People are scared to go out regardless of the time of day or evening. The pressing problems I see is the curtailing the FLOW of DRUGS. One almost see areas where young minds are becoming victims; CORRUPTION. We need to STOP and meaning STOP this corruption issues. The gap of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer is a common sight.

19. Alan Escalona (PFA President)
I’d like the new government to speed up what has been started on the economic side. We will not be the 2nd fastest growing economy if the policies are not good. With the momentum on our side, I expect that gains be tripled in the next 6 years. Priority should be that the masses feel a big improvement in their lives. Improved basic services for all, all changes should be seen and felt. Lastly, corrupt practices should be cut and eventually put off.

20. Delby Bragais (Northroad Image and Fashion Group)
I would like to see improvement in following areas: 1. Ease of doing business in the Philippines (example: cutting down on red tape, faster internet speed similar to that of Singapore, lower telecom rates instead of that dictated upon by only a few large players in the industry, lower power rates, improvement of infrastructure, addressing the traffic situation that eats on productivity); 2. peace and order – decline in criminality; 3. zero corruption in government; 4. increasing the standards of education; and5. modernizing and upgrading the military.

Tina Papillon, Dustin Andaya, Christina Liamzon, Frank Reyes and Sarabeth Soriano.

Tina Papillon, Dustin Andaya, Christina Liamzon, Frank Reyes and Sarabeth Soriano.

21. Tina Papillon (Pamora Farms)
1.) COOPERATION WITH RESPECT – whoever wins this election should work together as one team to serve our nation, to serve the people, even if they come from different party.

2.) EDUCATION… TEACH THE PEOPLE HOW TO FISH – We Filipinos are naturally survivors in many aspects of life. I do not believe in just giving cash to the poor to survive is the answer to their poverty. TESDA is a good example. Teach the people to use their hands, their ability & strength to work for their needs. Giving them money because they are poor is not helping them to improve, instead it just tolerates their laziness and taking advantage of their “poor” situation.

3) INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS – As a nation, we need to be more competitive with our neighboring countries and even to the whole world. We need more efficient & reliable infrastructure to do business in this country to create more jobs.

We have GREAT potentials to be successful but investments are needed in our telecommunications, power (electricity), major roads & hi-ways for land transports, airports and seaports, railways, agricultural products’ processing facilities that should be economical yet high standards and easily accessible by the farmers to create more value-added products, the irrigation & water systems, and public hospitals to each province and at least a functional clinic in each Barangay…

22. Dustin Andaya (Island Rose)
I expect the new president to be more decisive than the outgoing administration.  From the business point of view, I believe we have to simplify the east of doing business and introduce reforms in the major government agencies with priority to the BIR, BOC, DOLE, BOI, DPWH, and DOTC.  I would also like to see more programs to uplift the lives of the poor people in this country.

23. Cristina Liamzon (Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program)
I hope the new government will express a real bias and provide full support for the poor, especially our farmers, fishers and IPs who produce our food and proceed with the necessary programs that will empower them over the short and long-term. This means a continued support for the immediate completion of land reform with the needed services to make the lands productive and provide the farmers the incomes that can allow them to participate in the economic growth and development that is supposed to be taking place in the country.

The government should address the widening gap between the poor and the rich through anti-trust laws, progressive taxation etc., end labor contractualization and provide support for real and meaningful local economic development through cooperatives and other community-level enterprises; ensure that business contributes to the local economy and community and does not suck out the resources from the community. Social protection through social services, including the CCT needs to continue and in fact expanded and strengthened. All the above are critical in reducing the high poverty levels in the country, particularly in the rural areas!  There should be equal priority given to the protection of our bio-diversity and the environment which are the base of our country’s resources.


The new president should set up a migration debt that would consolidate and integrate various services for overseas Filipino and overseas Filipino workers.

24. Frank Reyes (Reyes Barbecue)
​I want to see a government that would continue the good things started by PNoy and correct the areas needing improvement. I want the country to gradually metamorphose from good to great rather to take drastic experiments of change which might retrogress (from FAIR TO WORSE) our visible iteration of improvement. ​

I want a government with a long vision rather than one whose aim is to give showboating quick solutions which might put our systems to jeopardy. Systems bring about SUSTAINABLE quality, CHARISMA don’t.

I want a government that would strongly prosecute and jail politicians. every politician jailed will provide a ray of hope for the Filipinos that crime does not pay indeed.

I want a president that would serve as a good example and inspiration to the youth.

25. Sarabeth Soriano (Baliwag Lechon Manok)
I hope the next administration makes it possible to start a business, with trade name and government permits, completely online so those who are not used to the process of starting a business become more encouraged and less intimidated to do so.

A problem that can be addressed is on the issue of inclusive growth. It is relatively pointless in our economy statistically getting better, but does not trickle down to and cannot be felt by the ordinary working Filipino.

Revolution Towards Greatness

Thursday, May 5th, 2016


For the past weeks you may have noticed that we have been talking about the elections, consistently discussing the candidates and their platforms. Today’s column will be the last before the elections on Monday, May 9.  I would say that this is the most talked-about elections compared to previous ones.  With the presence of media and the influential power of social media, we have read, heard, and seen commentaries and opinions on who to vote for and why. Either a show of support or a shower of criticisms, we see an active participation of many Filipinos today.

Aside from that, the COMELEC-sanctioned debates, both for the presidentiables and vice presidentiables, have been instrumental in knowing more about the candidates’ competence, character, and plans for the country. The discussions were extensive and covered important topics. Since these debates were televised by the top networks and were hosted in different provinces in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and NCR, Filipinos from all walks of life have been involved in the discussion.

When one asks other people, may it be the waiters, janitors, colleagues and superiors, the answers will be varied. But, I’m sure that their answers will most likely be with conviction, definite, and solid. Many have decided.

There were a lot of issues raised, and a lot of interactions online, including cyberbullying which is a result of the freedom of expression and contrasting opinions. Some relationships even ended because of their endless banters on social media.

But more than these, there are bigger problems that we, most especially the next president, need to face. After talking to many entrepreneurs, here are the major issues raised by most of them.

First on the list of the entrepreneurs is poverty. It is still the biggest problem of this country. From the cities to provinces, we have countrymen who are challenged everyday, fighting for survival.  From the basics such as food and nutrition, health, shelter.  We need to eradicate this with a long term sustainable program- educating them and providing livelihood assistance and trainings.

Next is the fight against corruption. The Aquino administration can be credited for its intense fight against corruption and it has achieved a good level of success in this area. But many perceived this as a continuing issue at the lower levels of government operation.

Transportation system. Another problem of the country that must be solved. We experience traffic everyday. A travel from North Edsa to Makati will take a commuter two to three hours. An MRT rider will have to fall in line for an hour or so before he can ride the train, with the possibility of mechanical problems along the way. There must be a more systemic solution to this issue.

Peace and order.  Crimes are prevalent and as parents, we are always worried for the safety of our children whenever they are out in the streets. Our worries never stop until they get home in the evening safely. Relatedly, admit it or not, this country needs a big cup of discipline. Many have lost their respect for rules and regulations, and even law.

Lastly, the support for MSMEs. Our entrepreneurs know how entrepreneurship development and empowerment are needed in the country. We have a growing number of entrepreneurs from different sectors and with the help of the next administration, we hope to see them all level up.

We released a column and an ad featuring some of the candidates’ programs for entrepreneurship. They have reiterated their commitment to support reforms that will benefit the MSMEs of this country. And Go Negosyo will continue to be their partner in empowering the micro SMEs to level up.

There are other issues raised such as education, military modernization, healthcare, infrastructure developments, and agriculture development.

We hope to see continued progress in our country. We have the basic economic reforms in place. We have good economic fundamentals and the next leader will have to sustain these reforms. We are already one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

Let me share an anecdote. Recently, we talked to an OFW and she shared that “as long as there is no corruption, and there is peace and order, our progress will continue.” I agree, and as long as the new government prioritize the fundamental needs of the nation, this country will progress.

We have different types of candidates. Some are from political families, some are novice in public service, some are with impressive accolades and track record.  While Bongbong may be a new Marcos, Leni Robredo is a fresh source of confidence and heart for public service. She’s a lawyer with a track record in helping the marginalized and underprivileged sectors of society, providing free legal services and livelihood empowerment to those in need.

We need government officials who think beyond their positions and more for the people who need them. We need more public officials who will uplift the lives of those who are in the grassroots level. We need more of servant leaders who are selfless, caring, and dedicated to serve the country.

We may not have the same choice of candidates and more so in votes, but we must work together to make it work. May it be from the colored yellow, red, white, or blue, in the end, we should all fight for our country.

The flag that bears our nationality should be raised with dignity. Let’s rally behind the unifying leader. One who will harness the resources and competencies of all to create a national synergy.  Our progress depends on nation building. As what we always share, success of one depends on how we help ourselves and others. Let’s elect a leader who will revolutionize the country towards greatness.


Magandang Business Advice (MBA): Franchising

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

MBA Web Photo 3

True to its commitment of helping transform the Philippines into an entrepreneurial nation, the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. – Go Negosyo, is organizing the Magandang Business Advice (MBA): Franchising on May 27, 2016 at the RFM Auditorium, RFM Corporate Center, Pioneer corner Sheridan Sts., Mandaluyong City.

It shall be four-hour training on the basics of franchising. This learning opportunity is intended for aspiring entrepreneurs who are eyeing to get a franchise business and practicing entrepreneurs who would like to convert their businesses into a potential franchise. Learn how certain brands started small and now invading international market.

– Aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to learn more about franchising as a business model
– Aspiring entrepreneurs who are thinking of getting a franchise business
– Those with existing businesses who would like to expand their knowledge about business models and business operations
– Seasoned entrepreneurs who want to know the process and requirements of transforming their existing businesses into a franchise
– Aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs who would like to know more about practical experiences to be shared by franchisees and franchisers themselves

Armando O. Bartolome or “Mr. B” is the president of GMB Franchise Developers Inc., a pioneer franchise development company established since 1993. This was co-founded and managed by his wife, Lyndah. The company has assisted numerous entrepreneurs whose brand names are now known in the country. Some of these brands are like Julie’s Bakeshop now on its 35th year, Generika Drugstore, Gingersnaps, Fiorgelato Ice Cream, Laybare Waxing Salon, Potato Corner, Lots’ A Pizza, Bayad Center of Meralco, Mang Inasal, Brothers Burger, Ahead Tutorial and Review Center, Freska Ilonggo Seafood and a host of 880 other brands.

MBA Speaker 2

The many clients he mentored dubbed him as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru. He is one of the 34 chosen Angelpreneurs of Go Negosyo. The Guru is also the resident consultant writer of Entrepreneur Magazine. He weekly writes for Abs Cbn News Online under “The Business Mentor”.

Bartolome likewise has been giving numerous seminars within the country as well as in Asia, Middle East, North America and in Southern France to both private and government agencies like Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), San Miguel Corporation, La Salle University, Ateneo University and Asian Institute of Management (AIM). He also has given back-to-back seminars with Francis Kong, Bo Sanchez, Anthony Pangilinan, and other known personalities.

Aside from Franchising, he gives seminars on Business Start-Ups, Developing Business Mindset for Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, Handling and Managing Family Businesses, Effective Customer Service and Strategic Marketing Techniques.

A never tiring man with full of ideas, Bartolome aims to help the Philippines in alleviating poverty. November 28, 2013, he was elected as the Chairman of a 120 strong company member of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI), a non-profit and non-stock organization whose members are successful micro and small entrepreneurs who have taken Responsible Franchising as route to expansion.

– Basics of Franchising
– Franchising as a Tool
– Checklist if Your Business is Franchisable
– Choosing the Right Franchise Brand for You
– Qualities of a proven Franchise Brand
– Understanding Franchisee – Franchiser Relationship
– Secret of a Successful Franchisee
– Avoiding Franchise Scams

Learning Fee is One Thousand Five Hundred Pesos Only (P1,500) to include one (1) Go Negosyo book, PM Snack, and a Certificate of Completion.

Regular Rate: P1,500
Special Rate: P1,200 for Students, LGUs / NGOs, Senior Citizens and PWDs (with proof of valid ID)
Early Bird Rate: P1,200.00 (on or before May 18)

For registration assistance and other inquiry, kindly contact Ms. Gianina Napo, Programs Development Officer through (02) 637-9229 or email us at

Sign up at :

**If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online:


BANK: BDO Pioneer Highland Branch, Mandaluyong City
ACCOUNT NAME: Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. (SAVINGS)
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 485-0088-492

– Refunds will be honored if we received a written notice of cancellation 30 days prior to the event and must be emailed at
– Cancellation received less than 30 days prior to the event will be charged 20% of the total learning investment fee while those received one (1) week prior will be charged 50%.
– Refund is unacceptable made for cancellations after the stated deadline.
– Substitution is possible but only upon the advice of the original attendee. The original participant can email the details of the representative.
– Reminder: As proof of payment, please present your deposit slip at the registration booth.

Address: 9/F RFM Corporate Center, Pioneer cor. Sheridan Sts., Mandaluyong City

How to get there: From North Bound EDSA, turn right to Pioneer. You will find a 7-Eleven and Joey Pepperoni on the ground floor.

Parking: There is parking for participants behind the RFM building. There is a gate located beside 7-Eleven or you can turn right on Sheridan St. and you’ll find the parking entrance on the left side.

Gianina Napo
Programs Development Officer
Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo
Program Development Unit (Go Negosyo Academy)
(02) 637-9229 / (02) 631-8101 loc. 7106