Merry Christmas

December 22nd, 2011

Let me greet all of you, readers of the Ask Go Negosyo column for the past three years, a very merry Christmas, as we celebrate once more this well-loved holiday on Sunday. For the past month, my daughter Bella keeps asking daily how many more sleeps to Christmas. She is four years old today and the most excited among all our kids in anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus.

We are now celebrating Christmas in San Francisco, and later in the month we will be celebrating my father’s birthday as he turns 80. Close to 45 of the Concepcions children, spouses, and grandchildren  will be celebrating with him. What a riot.

We are just like every Filipino who enjoys Pinoy bonding moments, endless picture taking, and the traditional Pinoy noche buena, so we need to go to Daly City “Filipino town” to look for a place that can provide this feel. Pretty soon, California may one day vote for a Filipino senator with the growing number of Filipinos in the area. But most Filipinos here do miss home and this is why many return to the country during the Christmas season to be with their family. There is no place like home.

I asked some of Go Negosyo’s entrepreneurs and MVP Bossings to send in their Christmas or New Year’s wish for themselves and the country. Before I share what theirs are, let me start with mine…

Recently, while trying to invite Merle Alferez to one of our Go Negosyo gatherings, I was informed that she passed away. She is the founder of the MSA Academic Advancement Institute. MSA is perhaps the pioneer in institutionalizing academic assistance and has come to be known for its effective tutorial programs. She is also a Go Negosyo Woman Entrepreneur awardee and one of the very first who joined the cause in helping other entrepreneurs. Merle will surely be missed.

Also, we send out our condolences to Atty. Felipe Gozon and his family, whose mother has also just passed away. Our deepest sympathies to the Gozon family.

In instances when we lose a loved one or a friend, we are reminded about our mortality. And more than wealth, I wish for good health for myself, my wife, children, parents and siblings. I thank God for blessing me with great parents who are still with us today. I thank Him for blessing me with a way to push for an advocacy, together with other entrepreneurs who have already been helping many Filipinos succeed in life and to not give into poverty. I wish that our country will soon enjoy economic prosperity not just for the well-off but for others who are still struggling and fighting poverty. I also wish that the countless microentrepreneurs find more success and become large entrepreneurs one day.

Now let me share the wishes of other entrepreneurs…

“For myself, I wish that God will continue to bless me with good health, so I will be able to carry my mission as the newly elected governor of the Phil. Red Cross. For my family, I wish that we will be able to travel together more and maintain our weekly family council meeting. For our country, that we be spared from disasters and calamities.”  – Rosalind Wee, Go Negosyo trustee, entrepreneur and philanthropist

“For myself, I wish that I be blessed with strength & wisdom, so that we can continue our task in pursuing the dreams we have for FERN’s one million members. For my family, I wish them health, happiness & contentment. I have always taught my children the value of even the smallest & simplest of things, so that they are always appreciative of what they have. Lastly, I wish for my countrymen to see the value of entrepreneurship, so that we may uplift the lives of as many Filipinos as possible and eventually share prosperity with the rest of the world when we begin doing business overseas in 2012.” – Tommany Tan, President and CEO of FERN Inc., 2012 MVP Bossing

“As we say goodbye to 2011, which is full of great achievements and experiences, a new year is waiting for a meaningful new chapter to be written. I wish the New Year brings us all the very best, and unfolds new opportunities and new dreams. I wish the New Year turns our dreams into reality and all our efforts into great achievements. May 2012 teach us to rejoice in simple pleasures and gear up for new challenges. Finally, I wish that everyday finds us all in good health filled with joy and happiness.
Happy New Year to all!!!!”  – Francis Juan, founder of Pier One and Chic-Boy, 2012 MVP Bossing

“I wish that the new year will turn out to be not as bad as many have been expecting in terms of the Euro financial crisis, the regional geo-political conflicts, tensions in the Middle-East as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings, and the U.S. Presidential elections. On a personal level, I wish for good health for me and my family, and opportunities for business growth. Finally, I wish that more entrepreneurs will look at the domestic population of nearly 100 million consumers as an opportunity to start a business and contribute significantly to creating jobs for our countrymen.” – Johnlu Koa, founder of French Baker

“May each and everyone nurture INNER PEACE… When we have embraced this peace, we will be able to accept things as they are, appreciate the blessings of the past year and look forward to more graces to come in 2012.”  – Cora D. Ong, founder of CDO, Go Negosyo trustee, 2011 MVP Bossing

Next week, we will be featuring more of the wishes of our Go Negosyo entrepreneurs. Again, a Merry Christmas to all.