A Go Negosyo year

We spent our weekend in Baguio right after the long Christmas break to feel the cold. I normally go to Baguio every year, and I notice the Korean population increasing. This year, I was amazed to see the number of Koreans that have invaded Baguio City. When I went to SM Baguio to get a feel of the consumer spending there, I noticed that even the band playing was a Korean band. Starbucks in Camp John Hay was full of Koreans. When I took my two-year old daughter horseback riding, a busload of Korean students arrived to go riding as well.

If the Filipinos have raised the Pinoy flag in Daly City, California, the Koreans have surely raised their flag in Baguio City. This phenomenon is happening all over the Philippines. Pretty soon, more Asians will find it cheaper to live in the country. It is not only the cost of living but the good quality education that we have here, particularly when it comes to learning the English language. We have the best English teachers at a fraction of the tuitions of schools in Asia. Also, the cost of owning or renting a house or a condo here in the Philippines is far cheaper than in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan etc.

It has its advantages and disadvantages. While some Koreans don’t have the best manners and are pretty rough, they are contributing to the tourism market and the local economy. We will see more of other Asians as well as our infrastructure improve. More airports, superhighways and expressways will really pave the way for a boom in tourism and boom in negosyo opportunities for all of us, especially for the people in the provinces.

During a cocktail hosted for the departure of US Ambassador Kristie Kenney, Economic Attache` Brian Doherty told me that they see the optimism in the country today, especially with elections coming. I told him that these are exciting times and the Philippines now has the opportunity to really move up in ratings closer to investment grade country.

While our budget deficits are increasing, I am pretty much comfortable with this, provided that we continue to spend money wisely for projects that will spur long term growth. Labor-hiring as we create more roads, airports, schools, etc. will spur growth in the countryside and in the tourism sector. All countries have huge deficits. If we can push our growth back to the high single digits, it will be great. In fact, I believe that the economic growth should have been much more, as official reports do not include the huge underground economy we have.

Most big and medium entrepreneurs are bullish. We need to get the small entrepreneurs to also be bullish about our economy. We need to encourage and empower those who are underprivileged but have the strong will to succeed.

The country has indeed progressed but we should be able to continuously address the country’s biggest problem – poverty; and by having a massive attitude change to being more positive and enterprising and by empowering them with right concepts and tools, the broader base Filipinos will in the medium term be a massive source of progress and even greater income and employment opportunities for all – a virtuous cycle.

I asked a friend of mine, Filipino-Indian Entrepreneur Haresh Hiranand, who owns quite a number of Jollibee Stores, about his New Year’s Resolution. He says, “As we usher in the New Year with renewed hope and optimism, we trust that the message and spirit of G0 NEGOSYO will continuously inspire the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of the FILIPINO to pursue with renewed vigor in establishing innovative business ideas that will spur economic growth.”

Let me share with you other resolutions from entrepreneurs.

Lamoiyan Corp. President and CEO Cecilio Pedro: If we want change, it has to start with me.

French Baker President and CEO Johnlu Koa: Start my day earlier, see more of the Philippines and create more products with local raw materials.

Mang Inasal President Edgar “Injap” Sia: To delegate m0re work in 2010, to gain m0re time to further enhance our business operati0ns flow & to be able to explore more opportunities abroad

Mindset Guru Francis Kong: My number one resolution is not only to study harder but to broaden my range of studies. Everything is integrated now and as a trainer I need to spot trends and innovation in different areas of one’s life and business. I dislike calling it a resolution. I would rather call it a resolve.

Felta Multimedia Inc. President and CEO Mylene Abiva: To continue my passion in providing MARKETING technical learnings to ensure that Entrepreneurs will SUCCEED

Entrepreneur School of Asia Dean Pax Lapid: Never Ever Withdraw Your Entrep Advocacy/Responsibility to all = NEW YEAR

Self-help Guru Ping Sotto: I wish I could be a more effective catalyst for change… not only in rekindling dreams but more importantly in helping create pathways that will enable and empower our less fortunate brothers through our Go Negosyo advocacy.

Profood International Corp. President Justin Uy: To expand some more to create jobs and high value process fruit products

Athlete, Entrepreneur and Go Negosyo Youth Idol Chris Tiu: I will share more of myself to the less privileged Filipinos.

KSA Magic Co-owner and Go Negosyo Kaya Mo! TV Host Gladys Reyes: To have more bonding Moments with my family and to put up more branches of my KSA MAGIC

Nurture Spa Founder Cathy Turvill: To help make the world/the country a better place to live in, be it through being more environmentally conscious and being a more peaceful and positive person

Multiple Intelligence International School Directress Joy Abaquin: Live more. Love more. Serve more!

Entrep Guru Andy Ferreria: Exercise and eat healthy food so I can have more energy to mentor entrepreneurs

VSS Optical Corp. President and CEO Dr. Vivian Sarabia: I am going to Slow down… Breathe… and Enjoy… before Life passes me by!

Gandang Kalikasan President Anna Meloto-Wilk: To double our efforts in supporting community-based enterprises empower the poor and build up their capacity

Zen Zest President and General Manager Michelle Asence: To quit smoking

Bobson President and CEO Victor Tan: To be more Christ-like in my actions and in dealing with my fellowmen

V-Cargo President Paulo Tibig: My priority – health. An entrepreneur should have a healthy body and mind in order to be at his best form to be productive. Entreps tend to neglect it. This time, it’s a must to include in our daily regimen.

Fiorgelato President Richie Cuna: If there is anything better than sharing the best of what you have, it is sharing the best of who you are. Never stop doing good to others.

Franchise Guru Butz Bartolome: To work for the greater good of all!

Anna Marie Home Collection President Anna Marie Periquet: To start a ‘one-third theory’ that will support the community to flourish: from the total annual profit, one-third to keep, one-third to save, one-third to donate

Potato Corner’s Joe Magsaysay: For all entrepreneurs to realize that sharing rather than keeping their ideas and techniques to themselves is the key to the success of our country and setting the ‘negosyante’ bar higher for us to be globally competitive. They may copy your operations manuals but there is one ‘secret’ that people or competitors cannot copy, it is ‘passion’ and ‘integrity’ for why you are in business for. And it is this that defines a ‘negosyante’; not ideas, not money, not a successful fad that will be gone after five years, not connections, all which are available to many. So, I hope in 2010 many ideas are shared.