PAGBABAGO 2010.2016

As the USA elections unfold, I took time to visit Washington with my kids just a week ago. We went to see the tourist attractions, one of which was the World War 2 Memorial. I was surprised to see the Philippines as one of the countries recognized for helping America. Our country’s name and flag were acknowledged, together with the 51 states of America. For a while there, I thought the Philippines was the 52nd state. I’m sure a number of Filipinos would have wanted the Philippines to be the 52nd state.

Kidding aside, Americans take pride in honoring their nation, same as in honoring their heroes, like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, who have brought America to its present democracy and political maturity. It will take generations for the Philippines to get to where America is in terms of their mature political system – a two party system and a bicameral presidential system, with senators representing each state. The Philippines has basically copied the American system, but not quite completely. We don’t have a two-party system and our senators are not representing a particular region or province.

For more than 20 years since the EDSA revolution, we have gone through a Philippine boom and bust cycle brought about mainly by political ramblings. We have come to a point when we need to put forward more serious discussions on the country’s future; and it starts from a review of our current constitution. We have started a movement called Pagbabago 2010.2016, which calls for our country’s leadership to start taking the desired changes that our people want to see.

The presidential race in America has Obama as the favorite with his unique advocacy to change the culture of American politics and failed policies of the past through the grassroots movement. People see him as someone who will lead change in America.

So far, our country has a number of possible aspirants planning to run for presidential elections: Mar Roxas, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Richard Gordon, and Noli de Castro. This list will become longer as we come closer to the 2010 elections. As elections approach, we hope that discussions will center on issues and platforms that need to be changed. What political structure is fit for us? What economic structures need to be changed in our constitution? What provisions need to be re-examined like on the extent of foreign investments in our country’s utilities, education and media. How can we allow more recognition and participation from provinces towards national development? These are only some of the questions that voters have to ask themselves as the 2010 elections approach.

Time has come for aspiring candidates to come forward and present their clear programs for change. Will the Philippines have an Obama in the making? America may have their first woman president or the first young African-American President. For us, this is our chance to elect the Philippine President who will start real changes.

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In line with the objectives of PAGBABAGO 2010.2016, Go Negosyo continues to move forward in our desire to build an entrepreneurial nation. Our stories of success reached as far as the Middle East as the Go Negosyo: Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories was featured in the Times of Oman Magazine. “Stories that Inspire” referred to the book as it was acknowledged as one of the top-selling books in the Philippines.

Let me share with you some comments on the book from the article:


“In this collection of stories written by different people, there are valuable entrepreneurial lessons to be learnt.”

“The actual stories are exciting and cover entrepreneurs of all ages irrespective of gender. The sole factor in featuring them is their success as entrepreneurs.”

“The write-ups are short and precise by different writers – almost like newspaper articles – focusing on the person and how the entrepreneurship was built up. The reading is simple and, well, inspiring. Entrepreneurs are not born, this book convinces the reader. Indeed, they are discovered and developed…”

We also got very good feedback from new entrepreneurs from as far as Davao and Dipolog, who have credited their venture into entrepreneurship and their current strategies from Go Negosyo mediums like our weekly Bigtime TV show, forums and the books we published.

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We were also happy to see a good crowd in our Go Negosyo: Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Stories of Entrepreneurs Celebrity Edition book tour last Mothers’ Day in Powerbooks Greenbelt. We would like to thank the people who participated in the intimate business forum with Tintin Bersola, Abby Arenas-deLeon, Cathy Brillantes-Turvill and Mike Turvil. It was inspiring to hear their stories and their learnings as they were too generous in sharing their entrepreneurial advice. We also invite you to join us in the next mini forum with our celebrity entrepreneurs. Go Negosyo will be in Powerbooks Trinoma on May 25, 3-5 pm for a mini-forum and free business consultations.

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Last Tuesday night was also a proud moment for entrepreneurs, as the Nokia Mobile Entrepreneur Awards recognized the innovative Filipino entrep. Nokia Philippines General Manager William Hamilton-Whyte and Go Negosyo Exec. Director Mon Lopez presented the award to two very young entrepreneurs, who have shown creativity and innovation and who have also been using extensive mobile technology in their business. They are Alvin Tan of Technominds and Oliver Kuy of Kuy Digital. The other 4 finalists are Mary Grace Pauline S. Llamas of Asian Link Bath and Body Essentials, Francis Anthony Zapanta of Netland Cellcard Station and Cellphone Repair Center, Dennis T. Camus Autozone Paint and Bodyworks, and Paulo M. Tibig Vintel Logistics, Inc.. We are glad to be a part of this project that aims to surface new inspiring entrep business models. We thank Go Negosyo advocates who helped in the judging – Dondi Mapa and Dickie Gonzalez, together with Director Myrna Pablo of DTI and Nokia’s Nikka Abes Singson. Joint efforts of various sectors for the common good really go a long way in touching lives.