Spreading the Wealth

Over the long weekend, I had the chance to go with my family to Sydney and took the new Singapore 380 Airbus, though not on its maiden flight as I could not afford paying those ridiculous prices for the tickets. I have always been a Singapore Airlines loyalist because of the ultimate service of their stewardess and the facilities of the plane. This plane is really close to riding your own jet. Anyway, Singapore Airlines should owe me a ticket for promoting them in this column!

On a more serious note, the Filipinos are also known for our exceptional service and hospitality. That is why we are the most favored overseas workers especially in healthcare services such as nurses, care givers (Filipinos control most of the care-giving facilities in the US) even as nannies and domestic helpers. Every hotel, cruise ship and hospital I have been to overseas would say Filipinos give the best care. This inevitably creates greater demand for Filipino workers abroad. This to some extent depopulates the country and balances off the high population growth and brings in the dollars that contribute to our GDP, our real estate boom and hopefully as capital to fund more small negosyos for families of OFWs.

On the downside, the dollar weakness due to the problems that plague America because of the sub-prime and real estate oversupply is still a haunting nightmare. America’s fortunes are turning against them due to the huge trade and budget deficits. This has caused the dollar to weaken against all currencies and not just the peso. How does the strengthening of the peso help the ordinary Filipino? At least now the peso has more value than the dollar and I would not convert my pesos at these levels as this can still strengthen depending how bad the US economy gets, and I see the peso going back to the 30s.

In a way, the peso of the Filipinos will be less but those who bought real estate stocks have made good profit by now. The stronger Peso has also definitely tempered the impact of global prices of oil and other imported commodities like beef, milk, corn, sugar and wheat, which have increased over 100pct. Oil which was around $38 per barrel not too long ago is now close to $100. Milk from $2,500 per metric ton is now close to $5,000. This is partly due to the huge demand that China has created. Imagine if the peso were still at 56, we would be experiencing hyper inflation which will lead our central banks to increase interest rates. This is not happening now since inflation is under control despite the huge commodity price increases.

In a way, the misfortunes of America have brought us some good things. With high oil prices, this has allowed Middle East countries to expand so more construction workers are needed there which then benefits more Filipinos. Even Arch. Jun Palafox is busy doing a lot of work as the demand for construction services goes higher in these areas. As misfortunes are created elsewhere, good fortunes come to our countrymen. As they say, problems are merely opportunities in disguise.

While having dinner in a restaurant in Sydney, a couple of Filipinos called out to me and said “That’s Mr. Negosyo”. That’s a name I hope I don’t develop but in a way it felt good knowing that even as far as Sydney, Filipinos see and read the good news brought about by the Go Negosyo advocacy and the other good fortunes that are starting to come to our micro and small entrepreneurs. And as I told them, our time has come to see our fortunes change for those who want it. One cannot be a mere observer, they must have the passion and determination to partake in the good times that are happening. The Philippines will be part of a new emerging Asia and the good fortunes in China, Hongkong and other Asian countries will rub on the Philippines. Don’t just watch, join in, spread the wealth and invest in your own country.

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Let me share with you some encouraging comments from readers

Mr. Concepcion:

My name is Nancy and I live in San Francisco, I migrated to the United States, 25 years ago. I am a product of a U.S. Government program that trained Women for career opportunities. The training helped me acquire the skills I needed to increase my employability. There are decisions you make to survive and there are decisions you make due to lack of wisdom to take the best course. I fell in the category of the former.

Like the song goes Manila, Manila simply ain’t no place like Manila, Manila I’m coming home—Pampanga is my home. It is my goal to give back to our community by sharing my knowledge and experience to help others grow into their potential.

I currently serve as a Sr. Manager at Oracle USA Inc in Redwood Shores, CA. As a Manager, I am responsible in interviewing and hiring candidates that will fit our organization. My responsibility also includes the training and coaching of the Contracts Staff. I am very passionate about what I do…

Armed with my knowledge and experience it is my goal to teach the next generation of professionals who will not only fuel the growth of our country’s sunshine industry, but also the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to compete globally.

I dream of opening Excel Institute of Professional Development “EIPD”. The objective is to provide training to the next generation of business professionals who will not only fuel the growth of our country’s sunshine industry, but also provide the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to compete globally. We aim to produce graduates of distinction, regarded as the “best of the best” globally.

I am in the process of doing a Tarzan maneuver, I plan to ask for a 3 months leave in the middle of 2008 and start my dream. I value your opinion and thank you in advance.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards, Nancy Coquioco

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Hi Sir Joey,

Thanks so much for educating us on entrepreneurship and giving us updates on business developments all over the country thru your highly successful Go Negosyo caravans. Your column in the Phil. Star as well as your GoNegosyo book also inspire us and a lot of existing and would-be entreps. I am a branch head/cluster head of Plantersbank which is quite active in assisting SMEs and I find your articles and caravans very inspiring in the light of all the negative news now in the papers. Praying to God to give you strength to sustain all these and achieve your noble vision. God bless.

From: Mel Anes (Plantersbank-Angeles Branch)

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Dear Sir Joey,

I have read your Go Negosyo book and it really inspired me a lot!!

My mom read it first and when I was about to get my book from her, she insisted of having a copy. I bought another copy and gave up my original book which has all the signatures of CEO from different companies during signing at LKKS CDO-atrium last October 19. I hope to read another set, another volume, of inspiring entrepreneurs someday. Thanks so much for the inspiration!