‘Til death do us part

Last week’s column, again, elicited a lot of response from many people. These are even the people who I thought would not read my column entitled “10 reasons why we should be happy in ‘09”. In fact, students even posted it in their personal blogs and social sites.

Anthony Pangilinan sent me what he thought should be the 11th reason. He wrote: no. 11, God still loves YOU Joey! Corruption is another 11th suggestion, which is a negative thought. Of course, there are still a number of people who believe that under this PGMA administration, the Philippines will not move forward.

Last week, the Philippines raised 1.5 billion dollars, being one of the four countries that were able to do so after the crisis. The other three are Brazil, Columbia and Korea, but the Philippine bond is the only one holding up quite well. This means that the Philippines has a great future, or else, it would not have been over four times oversubscribed.

This present financial crisis has more effects than the loss of financial properties. Just recently, a German billionaire committed suicide because he has lost what he has created and earned. This billionaire was even one among the 100 richest people in the world and holds the record for Germany’s fifth wealthiest. After this death, another business tycoon committed suicide in Chicago. He was one of the tycoons in America’s real estate industry. Even last year, the founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors was also found dead and had apparently committed suicide. Reports say that he lost as much as 1.4 billion of his investments. The thought of being poor makes the rich decide to end their lives. This is why the financial crisis that the world faces today has hit the rich very hard. But, even though these people may have lost a lot, they are not even close to being poor compared to others.

Lately, I have been visiting my father-in-law Jose Orosa, who has been confined in St. Luke’s Hospital. He is now in the ICU. His cancer, which started in the colon, has now spread all over. It is just a matter of days or weeks. As I look at a dying man, it makes me think of how others can take their own lives, when people who have been given their death sentence due to terminal cancer are still trying to fight for their lives.

It is a challenge to think about what is more important. This is a big challenge, as when we are brought up, we are told to succeed in life. Mostly, we achieve this through material wealth, because in the physical world the things that we can touch are the ones that make more sense. It is all about the cars that we drive and the houses we live in. In this very competitive world, we start school and we are supposed to excel. Our grades become the measure of our success. As we mature and graduate from school, our measurement of success is the wealth and fame we have achieved. It is all about how big our negosyo becomes, etc. But, life does end.

My father in law was a workaholic, unfortunately. Even until his last days prior to an operation that should have never been done, he was still busy. His children, all five of them, love him very much. They are not embarrassed to show the affection they have for their father. In the spiritual world, all these material wealth and power don’t mean anything. As we get older, the realization becomes clearer for those who are open to embrace the more important non-material things in life. For those who have taken their lives because of wealth loss in this financial crisis, they have given up to the pressure of what this physical world demands.

As I write this column, it does not mean I am able to succeed in beating the temptations of this world. It is maybe through this process, as we see people move on to the spiritual world, when this realization becomes more real. When we get married, the priest would say “Til death do you part…” I wonder how many people really understand this and what it means to part with relationships and material things in the world we know. In pursuing our negosyo challenges in life, we should remind ourselves that these are all temporary things. For those who are fortunate to have a good life, maybe it is a bigger challenge. But, for those who have less or nothing, maybe it would be easier. But, as we all strive to move up in life and become successful, we should not part with the belief that being successful is being happy and contented. It is all about staying healthy, being able to help others, and above all, having stronger relationship with our Creator.

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Go Negosyo receives the People of the Year Award from People Asia, a magazine owned by The Philippine Star. Annually, they recognized people who have contributed to the Philippine society. This year, Go Negosyo is one of the awardees. This goes to all the entrepreneurs who gave their time, effort and support in inspiring fellow entrepreneurs in the micro, small and medium group. The only way our country can move forward is through the creation of more negosyantes who will employ people. An enterprising Filipino culture is what we need. Thank you to The Philippine Star for helping us inspire this nation of Filipinos and continue to light the candle of hope.

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Let me share with you other feedback from readers of this column:

“Hi Joey. Happy New Year. Just read your article. Article was very timely. It gives you confidence to think positive for 09 and also entertaining. Congrats again on the tremendous success of GO NEGOSYO.” Vince Tanjutco 

“Good evening Mr.Conception!i’m Monica,a psychology student here in Baguio.i just read your article in the philstar.its good that you’ve written such write-up because it gives us joy knowing that there are still reasons why we should be happy this year,amidst global crisis.i can’t help but smile.Godbless!” Monica 

“boss joey im touch and im proud to be a filipino im inspired in your ten reason why we should be happy , every filipino must read it it will boost our moral and the spirit to make new ideas be unleash the time is now!!! im noel lobo from pampanga and im proud to be a filipino!!! Keep up the goodwork Boss!! God Help Us” Noel 

“Hi Joey, I really appreciate your enthusiasm on your latest column. Yes, there is no other way but UP in these tough economic times. I thank God for people like you who share the optimism and passion for economic growth. Innovation and creativity, I believe are key words for 2009. More power to GONEGOSYO!” Alvin Lizada 

“…Filipino’s are like bamboo trees and very resilient in any problem they are facing. We will survive during this hard times… If we Filipino can start Patronizing our own Goods (Filipino Made Products) . These measure will certainly can generate opportunities and can create jobs. It’s been awhile that a company like yours RFM made a big consideration to augment the needs of our people by slashing down your market price in order to help people and thereby patronizing our own !!!!! Please continue to be the 1st Model Filipino Company to revolutionize the patronage your own products. I firmly believe by doing so, we will overcome any adversity at hand. God Bless for your Company and to you Sir!!!!” Edward P. Asis

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