Te Amo

During the wake of my father in law, I was surprised to find out about the number of people who follow the Ask Go Negosyo column. There are many who read the column and wait for it to come out on Thursdays. It feels good to know that ever since I began writing two years ago, I am able to touch the hearts of so many people. I share parts of our life and the lives of other people, as we all go through this journey that God has given us.

In the Necrological Rites, I was called by surprise to share. I have been doing my speeches extemporaneously in many of our entrepreneurship events. But, I found this one to be the most challenging, as I could not help but breakdown. In fact, I told the audience of close to 300 that this is the first time my children would see their father cry. While this may be a bit embarrassing, I guess in times like this, our guards are brought down. Humility brings out the real person in us.

While this is supposed to be an entrepreneurship column, I hope that our readers will not mind me sharing some of our lives’ most important moments. This column is meant to inspire and motivate people to achieve greater success in their lives.

Last week’s columnand this column would hopefully encourage the many successful workaholics to give time to life. When we keep ourselves so busy with our negosyos, always looking for more, we may forget certain things that are also equally important – family.

Sometimes, people whose parents are still alive take these moments for granted. They fail to realize what should have been done before the people they love are gone. You can imagine the sacrifice our OFWs. They give up their time with family, while those who are lucky to spend time with their parents take it for granted.

Let me share with you my wife’s letter to her dad. She read this during the eulogy. “Te Amo Pappy”.

Dear Pappy,

When Mom died, it took me many months to remove the pain for her death. We have been so close like sisters, staying up late while I tell my problems and ask for advice. Many times, I would ask God. Why? But, God was good. Before she passed away, Christian, our first son, was born. She enjoyed Christian for a very short time. As I look back now, God knew the pain I went through and blessed us with a son that helped me go through those trying times. The love I wanted to express to my mom was done through my son. Two years ago, when you were diagnosed with colon cancer, I asked God why again. You have taken my mom and now my father. At the same time during the discovery of your cancer, we also discovered that I was pregnant with Isabella. God is great. God does really work in mysterious ways. He knew I would be deeply affected by Mom’s death. He gave us Christian after years of trying. Now, he has blessed us, at my age then of 46, a miracle child Isabella. But, this time, he has blessed you with two years to enjoy her. She will definitely help me go through the pain of losing you. My love for you as a father is hard to replace. You have been a great Pappy and mom to us, during all these times. I will surely miss you in all our Sunday dinners, family reunions, and vacations in the San Franciso Fishermans Warfe, Napa Valley, and your love for wine. I will especially miss the times we spent together in our boat. You always loved the sea and fishing. But, most of all, I will surely miss my morning calls to you, and your fatherly advice when I would consult you with my problems. I will surely miss the affection you showed my children, the way you called Christian Bodung; even Isabella, who everyday would call “Lolo, Lolo”. I will miss your singing, especially the last one during your birthday, Las Manananitas. During the last days before your death, I will forever remember that moment when I held your face with my hands and said “I love you Pappy”. You replied with a smile and whispered I love you. Then, I knew you were ready to go. To my stepmother Merele Orosa, thank you for being there for my father, especially during those most trying times, and giving him a faith that could move a mountain. It is so hard to say goodbye. But then again, thank you Pa. Joey, I and my Children will surely miss you. And don’t worry, I will always to be your eldest daughter to keep our family together. And, I will always help my brothers and sisters whenever they need help. Please tell Ma, I love her so very very much. Please be our Guardian Angel and watch over us. Bye Pappy, Te Amo Pappy Te Amo.


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Wow! What a welcome party for all the guests that came for our Bicol Express event. What a huge crowd. More than five thousand Bicolanos attended our Go Negosyo sa Bicol Express last Friday. This is one of our most successful and well-organized caravans. Thanks to the local volunteers of Gov. Lray Villafuerte. It had the most microentrepreneurs in attendance.

The warm welcome of Bicolanos was overwhelming. They have the tremendous interest to learn about entrepreneurship. Go Negosyo sa Bicol Express was presented in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, under the leadership of Gov. Lray Villafuerte who is also a Go Negosyo Trustee. Gov. Lray sets a very good example, being a “champion” of entrepreneurship in his province. He has innovative projects that attracted many tourists, foreign visitors, and investors to the once quiet town of Camarines Sur. His slogan: “Visit Bicol and Be Cool”.

We also invited possible “presidentiables”, and it was only Senator Manny Villar who was able to join our forum. He left the Bicolanos with inspiring and practical negosyo advice. His “sipag at tiyaga” story surely inspired many aspiring and starting entrepreneurs who wish and work hard to rise from their humble beginnings. We now encourage more local leaders to champion the cause of Go Negosyo in their areas.

We thank our Go Negosyo mentors who have been relentless in helping us spread the entrepreneurial culture: MDI Group’s Myla Villanueva, French Baker’s John Lu Koa, Gawad Kalinga’s Dylan Wilk, Entrepreneurs School of Asia’s Dean Pax Lapid, Reyes Haircutters’ Les Reyes, Vintel Logistics’ Paulo Tibig, Bobson’s Victor Tan, Personifi’s Abby Arenas de Leon, Gapuz Review Center’s Ray Gapuz, SB Corp’s Benel Lagua, PLDT SME Nation’s Kat Luna and Gabi Qui, Globe’s Ramil Canabe, DTI Regional Diector Joy Blanco, DOST’s Tomas Briñas, and Go Negosyo’s very own Mon Lopez. Rico Hizon of BBC News also flew all the way from Singapore to support the Go Negosyo cause. He hosted the event together with Go Negosyo Bigtime hosts Eco Dela Sala and Roxanne Barcelo.