My Christmas Wish List

December 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas. I am sure the first thing people would not do during Christmas day is read the newspaper, but I still decided to write this column. There would still be the Fil-ams who follow this column and those who decided to stay in America to conserve their resources this holiday season.

My friends say that there are now so many bargains in the malls in San Francisco. Everyone is trying to get rid of their inventory, in anticipation for a very weak first quarter in 2009. The only good news coming out is the proposed stimulus package of Obama, which he says will create three million jobs.

Back home, the traffic has been horrendous, which is a good sign of economic activity. People here are shopping. Christmas to Filipinos is something special. The Filipino family bonding is still very strong, even for those overseas workers coming home for Christmas. Being with our family is something important. The bad part during Christmas gatherings and parties is our tendency to gain weight.

One of the gifts I have received that was quite unique is a plastic bag with three canned goods and a White King champorado – one of the products we make. It was a pass around gift from a friend. It is to be given to those who need it more, and see their faces beam with joy. My wife, Marissa, together with our kids spent this season going around giving gifts to the many street children of Laura Vicuna and Vides. These are organizations that help street children. This is one of the traditional things that my wife has done for the past years. This season, they went to about three sites. I joined them in one of their visits. This is something different, because our children get to see how lucky they are and they get to realize what they have in life. The children in these foundations and organizations very much appreciate the presents and gifts that they receive. While we see the level of poverty in our country, we also still see these children smile.

I am too big for a Christmas wish for Santa. This morning, we open our gifts, and of course, my kids still qualify to make their requests from Santa. If the gifts are not as good as last year’s, lets blame our private bankers as this financial crisis has brought our standards lower. Even so, I still made my Christmas wish.

First, I thank God for blessing us with a daughter, especially at my late age of 50. My wife certainly set a record with Doctor Celdran. Isabella is already a year and a half old. She can already be my granddaughter. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. I wish that we would be blessed with a long and healthy life to be able to see her grow.

My second wish is for my wife, as she helps her father battle his cancer. She loves her father very much. Her wish is that God grants her the grace and courage that she needs in times like this.

My third wish is for my children. I wish that they will be able to soon realize their purpose in life, and pursue it the best they can. I wish for them to continue to realize that God is the source of all their success in life.

My fourth wish is for a friend who loves motorcycling all over the Philippines. He is now in Houston, fighting for his life. I wish that God gives him the courage to not give up. He has a great wife and loving family – his source of inspiration.

My fifth wish is for the Philippines. I wish that God grants our nation with a blessing that will uplift the level of poverty in this country and create a prosperous negosyo climate, which will foster more jobs. This wish is also for our fellow Filipinos, who continue to be prophets of doom for our country and government. May they realize that complaining is not the solution to our problem. It is about time that we start to find out how we can contribute to solving the problems we have. I wish that God will bless more Filipinos with the right attitude in life – a YES WE CAN attitude.

My sixth wish is for myself. I wish that He continues to guide me in pursuing the advocacy of helping the entrepreneurs in this country, especially those who are micro, small and medium. I hope that we continue to make them realize that through hard work, passion, optimism, anything is possible. The spirit of hope, that many cling on to, will not be lost.

And, my last wish is for our President to be able to leave a legacy behind in her last year and a half, by prohibiting people to tamper with the constitution in order to extend her term. I wish that God continues to bless her. Her economic reforms have prepared us for one of the biggest financial crises. In 2009, she continues to build a negosyo climate. She started with the objective of creating three million entrepreneurs by the end of her term. I wish that we may be all blessed to have created this number by the last year of her term.

Merry Christmas to all the readers of this column! I have been writing for The Philippine Star for almost three years now, and I never thought I would be able to write. To those who have made the Go Negosyo books into bestsellers in National Bookstore, thank you. To the thousands of viewers of our Go Negosyo Bigtime television show on Saturdays and Sundays at 8am, we thank you. Our TV ratings just continue to go higher. To all our sponsors: PLDT SME Nation, Smart, Globe, San Miguel, RFM Corporation, Concepcion Durable, PAGCOR, The Philippine Star, Splash, V-Cargo, Malacañan PMS, Proctor and Gamble, Philamlife, Banco De Oro, Belo Medical, Nokia, Insular, among others; thank you. We have all worked together in continuing to inspire people to believe in YES the Filipino can attitude. To all the entrepreneurs who continue to join me in sharing this vision, (if I were to name them all, there would not be enough space), you know who you are and thank you. Let us keep the YES the Filipino can attitude and continue to Go Negosyo.

Let me share with you some feedback on my previous columns.

“Sir, your gonegosyo column at phil star continues to inspire the aspiring enterpreneurs, as well as athletes & coaches who always believe that YES, THE FILIPINO CAN!”

“i agree with joey – passion and hard work is the key.”

“I just want 2 complmnt on ur column…What we really need now at least is 2 hav a positve percption n lyf, that evrythng has a solution.,gold(bsac-slu”

“Fantastic! I read d column of joey concepcion just 2day at phil star. I fully agreed with him. D filipinos can with their ‘yes’ attitude. I have been a lawyer for d past 13 yrs. Like pacquiao n d rest of many filipinos, i tried hard n had a dream, i started as a lowly court employee, study hard during d nights n worked dutifully during d day. From 1979 to 2006, i served d government. Wen i retired last 9/2006. Klients keeps coming in. I believe dat God’sblessings wil be upon us, if we put Him first in our lives. He worked wid pacquiao n me, HE wil work wid d rest of d filipino. Mabuhay. Atty torno, lubao, pampanga.”

“Great column 2day! Keep it up! Make more pinoys see the doughnut, not the hole! There is opportunity in adversity… but only 4 d positive minded!”