Dreams shatter, dreams begin

Last year, while watching Bloomberg, a technical analyst who follows the Elliot Wave in charting the stock market predicted that the Dow would hit 9t. At that time, the Dow was trading at 13t level. It seemed ridiculous and crazy then, but we saw that it collapsed to 6500t. Today, it has rallied to 8t.

As I spent some time with my family in San Francisco, I still feel that the American problem is just beginning. While the US Government is doing everything it can, a problem like this cannot be solved overnight. Wealth has definitely been destroyed. For example, a lot of Americans have lost so much from their 401K Retirement Plan. It may not even be enough to secure them a comfortable life during their retirement days. People are still losing jobs. Most of people I know in America have been laid off or have been asked to go on long leaves.

The shopping malls are quite empty when you compare it to malls in Manila, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia. Houses are also still losing value. People ask me if this was the time to buy a house. I advise them to postpone, as financing to foreigners have been stopped. Banks are now exactly the opposite in terms of credit. From their lax standards in the past, they are now very extreme with their strict lending qualifications. Default rates on credit cards are now reaching historical heights and it will continue.

Most American families are in quite a bind. I would say most of their income is leveraged. This is why, if countries expect America to return to being a consumer-led country, they might end up waiting endlessly as most of them will have to deleverage and start to save.

When Japan felt the worst recession about 15 years ago, their savings rate was high. On the other hand, the American’s do not have savings to take them through this problem. A lot of American dreams have been shattered with this financial crisis. We are definitely blessed with our country’s service-based business model.

Meanwhile, let me share with you other BIG dreams of other Filipino entrepreneurs back home.

“I hope that I am able to do my job until I’m a hundred years old! I hope that the Philippines becomes even more progressive, so that business will improve even more.”

-Nanay Coring Ramos (General Manager and Founder, National Bookstore)

“My dream is for a first world Philippines – out of poverty and corruption by 2024, where there is peace, justice and abundance for all; a nation that will no longer be an exporter of cheap raw materials but producers of high value world class products; a nation not just of cheap labor to the world but of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators; a nation that will be a top destination for visitors and investors; a nation where our citizens live with dignity and honor; a nation that every Filipino can be proud of.”

-Tony Meloto (President, Gawad Kalinga)

“My wishes for this country: that corruption may be a thing of the past and that all corrupt men and women are put to jail; that hunger and poverty will finally end; that education be a right and not a privilege, even if and especially if one is poor; that PEACE will reign; and that the business sector and entrepreneurs will prosper in order to create more jobs.”

-Tintin Bersola-Babao (Owner, Precious Memories)

“I always say that I want to make the Philippines beautiful, one person at a time. I’ve been doing this through the Belo Medical Group, which offers world-class services to Filipinos. It’s my way of giving back because when you give back, it makes your spirit soar. I also want to improve the country’s tourism. I’ve travelled so much and I have seen what makes tourists happy, yet we don’t do it. The only thing that can resuscitate the country without spending so much money is to increase tourism.”

-Dr. Vicki Belo (Medical Director, Belo Medical Group)

“I dream for my country to become a manpower superpower. I believe that the Filipino people are prepared for the “bigtime”. We just need to be united and cohesive in our efforts. As a denizen of this country, I hope to be an inspiration to my fellow Filipinos through my scholarship foundation.”

-Ray Gapuz (President, R.A. Gapuz Review Center

“I agree that perhaps using micro entrepreneurs is what we want for our country. Sariling sikap is another good description. Let us change the minds of Pinoys towards generation of wealth by going into business. Ask ‘Anong negosyo mo?’ instead of ‘Anong trabaho mo?’.”

-Cecilio Pedro (President and CEO, Lamoiyan Corp.)

“I’m dreaming and working hard to make Ever Bilena an international cosmetics brand, like Jolibee that is a truly Filipino brand. If every Filipino entrepreneur will push hard, we will be a Manny Paquiao in our line of businesses and our beloved Pilipinas will be an economic power for sure!”

-Dioceldo Sy (President, Ever Bilena)

“I dream of a Philippines where we are all proud and united Filipinos; where there are many celebrated achievements; where there are many who work hard to achieve; and where there are many who study to be able to contribute to the workforce.”

-Dennis Valdez (President, Philweb)

“My dream of a better Philippines will start with us – no blaming; being flexible and proactive rather than reactive; and being responsible businessmen. Our future lies critically on how we choose elective officials. After all, we deserve the government we choose. The Philippines is so beautiful and all we need is a beautiful mind and respect for our country.”

-Les Reyes (President, Reyes Haircutters)

“I dream of good health for me and my family through consumer awareness. I long to see that every consumer product such as burgers or French fries will have a nutrition labeling in their wrappers; and food manufacturers should educate the Filipino people in the understanding of nutrition table to have a safer and better Philippines.”

-Pinky Tobiano (Founder and CEO, Qualibet Testing Services Corp.)

“I hope that the nation’s economy will continue to progress and that Filipino Entrepreneurs will once again be the expertise in the Global market. Let’s nourish and support the young entrepreneurs, they are the future of this country.”

-Richie Cuna (President, CEO of Fiorgelato)

“My dream is for the Philippines to become truly Christ-centered: where the Lord Jesus Christ is honored and worshipped; and where all Filipinos live with dignity and sufficiency in accordance with God’s plan for a just, humane and caring society. As for myself, my dream is to be a vessel of blessing to my country and fellowmen.”

-Ruth Callanta (President, Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries)