Women of Vision

PGMA, Vicky Belo (Belo Medical Group), Nanay Coring (National Bookstore), Chit Juan (Figaro), Margarita Fores (Cibo), Julie Gandionco (Julie’s Bakeshop), Gov. Gwen Garcia, Doris Ho (Asia Society), Gina Lopez (ABS-CBN Foundation), Sandy Prieto (PDI), Tessie Sy (SM), Vivienne Tan (Entrepreneurs School of Asia) and Myla Villanueva (MDI Technologies Inc.)… What do these women have in common? Aside from beauty and brains they have a strong character and I consider them women with vision.

When Isaac and Kevin Belmonte invited me over lunch since they were not able to attend my birthday, we ventured into a discussion of why some of the Go Negosyo women entreps are successful and somehow intimidating to their spouses. Women of vision do tend to intimidate their husbands and require a very understanding spouse to have a win-win relationship. I believe it’s because they are women with passion and a drive to excel. They have become inspiration to many women… and even to men…Vivienne for example decided not to join her father’s empire and set up her own school to prove her independence. She was even voted by People Asia’s 7 most beautiful women but that didn’t distract her from pursuing more meaningful goals in life. My experience with Gov. Gwen during the Go Negosyo sa Cebu showed that she is a driven person and quite enterprising and creative in promoting ways to have a progressive Cebu. I will be kind to say that in a way many of them are dictators, a term I myself use in the company. However, both Nanay Coring and Julie Gandionco because of years of experience have a way of exuding their motherly leadership and this must be the reason for their success. Tessie Coson, the elder sister of Go Negosyo advocate Harley Sy, is a very outspoken and articulate woman. My experience with her during the Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards shows she is capable of taking bigger roles in their family empire. Doris Ho and Gina Lopez are both social entrepreneurs who have been truly passionate with their respective advocacies, Asia Society and Bantay Bata. Currently, Gina is also working on helping microentrepeneurs thru microlending and education. Myla Villanueva, the world-renowned Filipina technopreneur, who is frequently out of the country and a supporter of Go Negosyo is a very enterprising and systematic leader herself. Gaita Fores and Chit Juan have also been successful in growing their respective food businesses, not running out of innovations in food offerings and service. And of course, our President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who has been a strong advocate herself for Go Negosyo has withstood the toughest periods in her career by keeping focus like an entrepreneur in pursuing the key development goals of Philippines Inc. I guess everyone would agree that these women are tough and very busy and somehow the challenge for them always is on how to maintain a balanced family life; and yes they are able to do it which makes them even better individuals. That ended our interesting lunch. The rest is a secret.

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Go Negosyo goes to Bacolod this July 13 and no less than PGMA has agreed to join this second leg of the caravan. The one day forum will be held in the La Salle coliseum while the 2-day expo/exhibit will take place in SM Bacolod. Brother Rolly Dizon will co-chair the event with the support of Bobby Montelibano of the Bacolod Chamber of Commerce. As what we have done in Go Negosyo sa Cebu, we will also be awarding the most Inspiring Bacolod Entreps. I am glad that PGMA has agreed to come and visit La Salle despite the move of some La Salle brothers over a year ago asking her to resign. I guess PGMA is always for reconciliation. We hope Go Negosyo takes Bacolod like a storm and inspires the youth and aspiring entreps in the area. MSME czar Secretary Cerge Remonde and his 33-member agencies in the MSME Council and their offices in Bacolod and Negros region, plus high school and college students are expected to be there so we are expecting a huge crowd of over 5,000 participants. It will be a good sight to see more and more young people getting exposed to these forums and meeting the new Philippine Stars, the entrepreneurs. We all agree to starting them young, as we believe that creating these interactions would lead to many good changes in their lives and better entrepreneurial mindset among many Filipinos. And we encourage more people to join in our band wagon of optimism.

These Go Negosyo caravans and forums would not have been possible without the support of Globe, Pagcor, Philippine Airlines, PLDT-Smart, Hyundai, Island Souvenirs, DTI-OTOP, RFM, La Salle Bacolod, SM Supermalls, and Bacolod Business Inn.