Are the Good Times About to End?

Some people are saying that with the market in the USA crashing due to concerns in the sub-prime loans and weaker US housing market and I guess the ballooning US budget deficit because of America’s support for the war, what will make things worst is a continued stock market drop. Can America afford a collapse in the housing and stock market? Some analysts believe America is headed for that, which will lead to a recession.

While the Philippines is just about to enjoy the fruits after so many years of agony, and as the stock market brokers are about to buy their new BMWs, Benz and Porches, the stock market likewise reacted with some corrections. Is the party over? If these events do happen in America, will this be the end of the good times that has just started for the Philippines? Definitely not for as long as we don’t get all too greedy and push our own stock and property market to values that will lead to another collapse. Eventually, whatever happens to America will always affect us but in the end if Asia’s economic fundamentals are strong we will dechain from America’s downtrend.

* * * * *

We were in Baguio over the weekend for the second edition of Teen Negosyo and were luckily greeted with good weather. This is something unusual for Baguio since rains are normally expected this time of the year. As usual, we had again a full house of 2,500 students and teachers, who poured into the streets outside Benitez Hall in Teacher’s Camp. It felt good walking in, feeling the message of Go Negosyo has slowly crept in these past few months. Almost everyone has heard about Go Negosyo and wanted to meet the entrepreneurs many of which were saying “Baka mahawahan ng kayamanan nila”. Well in a way it’s true. Brother Mike uses the panyo as a symbol of God’s grace of fortune and maybe the mere presence of these entrepreneurs and hearing them share their stories will inspire the people to become the next millionaires of this country.

Our Go Negosyo book completely sold out in an hour and as orders kept coming in, we had to rush shipments twice from Manila to Baguio. People lined up and got autographs, took pictures with the entreps both those from Manila and those Inspiring Baguio and CAR entreps who were recognized. This is the kind of environment we want to create. Inspiring people is truly fulfilling and if just a couple would become a Narda Capuyan, Evelyn Ibay of Ibay’s Silvershop and Michael del Rosario of Sunshine Grocery, then our objective would have been met.

Both Baguio City Mayor Bautista and DepEd Sec. Jesli Lapus gave very interesting speeches. Mayor Bautista whose family owns University of Baguio and who also taught HRM is running the city of Baguio like a hotel where excellent facilities and quality service are key. I believe Sec. Lapus is on the right track when he mentioned that he gives equal importance to good quality education as well as relevant vocational courses and technical training programs. Yes, we have many people who want to go to college but do they qualify and do we have the infrastructure that can take all of them? What we hope to see are trained and competent Filipinos who are able to pursue their dreams and ambitions in life, becoming productive members of our society. Both Sec. Lapus and I believe that what we need is a mindset change towards equipping the Filipinos with the appropriate education and/or training that will empower them to take on a career or excel in business. I was also concerned with quite a number of questions that were asked, such as why is government not helping? Paolo Bediones told the young man who asked this question to not wait for the government to help you, and that you should help yourself. Ray Gapuz of R.A. Gapuz Review Centers, Ronald Pineda of Folded and Hung, Les Reyes of Reyes Haircutters and Narda Capuyan of Original Ikat Creations also shared that they have never relied on government given that they also started with very limited capital. This is the mindset change that we need. We need to give them hope and encourage them to be independent and rely on their skills and determination to succeed in business. A number of private and government institutions provide these skills and entrep training programs and these information were shared during the forums. These are also made available in the and through DTI’s website and hotline.

In the end, this is what Go Negosyo hopes to achieve, to get entrepreneurs to come out and share their stories, give tried and tested business advise and inspire people not to lose hope and to take control of their destiny. As the caravan moves around the country and awards the most inspiring entrepreneurs, we are fortunate to have Philippine Star as one of our major partners as they share our vision that it’s time good news are told. The Go Negosyo advocates such as Victor Tan, Johnlu Koa, Chit Juan and Paolo Bediones, who continue to inspire and share their stories, DepEd CSCA Executive Director Joey Pelaez, Director Adelaida Inton and Ms. Joey Urmeneta of PTTC, Dean Pax Lapid of ESA, Willy Arcilla, Engr. Ferrenal of Southville International School and Colleges, Professor Rudy Ang of John Gokongwei School of Management, Jay Bernardo of AIM, our inspiring OFW entrep awardee Dr. Dayag, Peanut butter entrep and Citigroup awardee Jennilyn Antonio together with the veteran moderator Cito Beltran and the other local entrepreneurs all share their time and talent in spreading the good news on entrepreneurship in Baguio City. May God reward all these people and all those who joined us in giving hope and empowering other aspiring entreps in earlier caravans/forums.

The good times for the Philippines will last for as long as we don’t lose hope and believe that our time has come. To those entrepreneurs who are willing to share their time to join our caravans, please email us at [email protected] or thru sms at 09175591245, and send us information on your story.