Cebu Explodes

That’s right! Cebu explodes with optimism and great enthusiasm towards entrepreneurship, as can be seen from the eyes of the thousands of students and other attendees in the GoNegosyo sa Cebu last Tuesday. It was so well attended that you could barely walk to the front row of the plenary hall of the Cebu International Convention Center. We are fortunate to have a very hard-working co-chair in the GoNegosyo sa Cebu, Islands Souvenirs president Jay Aldeguer. He is also this year’s CBM Entrepreneurship Conference Chairman. CBM is the Cebu Business Month which the Cebu chamber of Commerce and Industry is currently holding. Thus we also had the full support of CCCI as key officials like its president Francis Monera, Sam Chioson, Dr. Mila Espina, Tess Chan and Teri Pono all attended the GoNegosyo.

More than two thousand people attended the opening of GoNegosyo sa Cebu: The Entrepreneurship Conference, which consisted mostly of students from all levels, partner government agencies and of course, Cebu’s most successful as well as budding entrepreneurs. It was so jampacked that the students were seating on the floor that even our special guest PMS Director General Cerge Remonde and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia found it difficult to go their seats. PCCI president Samie Lim also graced the occasion as we awarded Cebu’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs.

The GoNegosyo Caravan in Cebu was truly a tremendous success. Even young students and aspiring entrepreneurs from nearby areas such as Dumaguete and Bohol came and they did the right thing by attending the event which is the first and most important step in wanting to take control of their destiny and achieving their entrepreneurial dreams. I guess this is the first time that the Cebuanos have witnessed a big gathering of the new Philippine stars, the entrepreneurs. Manila-based entrepreneurs Vivienne Tan, Ronald Pineda, Les Reyes, Ray Gapuz, Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Victor Tan, Joel Santos and Professor Jay Bernardo joined our Cebu stars and entrep awardees Bobby Aboitiz, Steve Benitez, Kenneth Cobonpue, Jack Gaisano, Julie Gandionco, Augusto Go, Bernie Liu, William Liu, Michel Lhuiller, Wilson Ng, Norberto Quisumbing, Justin Uy, Melanie Ng, Mike Jurado, Jay Yuvallos and Pete Delantara. We also had entrep educators and DTI-OTOP entrepreneurs who shared their advice and stories during the whole day forum.

GoNegosyo sa Cebu would not have been a success without the involvement of these advocates and mentors and the support of the other partners like CHED, DEP-ED, DTI and TESDA.

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Last column talked about the new Philippine Stars who are the entrepreneurs and I told the Belmonte brothers the best time to really shine as a paper is now since The Philippine Star has always encouraged people by writing positive news even during those darkest days. I am not saying this because I write for the Star or the Belmontes are good friends since the Prietos of Inquirer are also good family friends.

Good news is now IN and bad news is OUT. Not to say that bad news should never be reported but surely it should never be exaggerated to sell a paper. Good news is what will sell today. Rico Hizon who is not your typical OFW in Singapore, aside from anchoring BBC, has a baby project called He too has joined this advocacy of spreading more good news. GoNegosyo believes that we should highlight the positive news because it is what encourages people to have a positive mindset and succeed. So many people are now busy focusing on how to make money thru the stock market. Billions are being raised in the stock market and now every one has a chance to become a multi-millionaire. At last, we now see the beginnings of a new Philippine era. The politicians should allow the new Philippine stars to take the center stage so that we can finally become the shining star in Asia.