The New Philippine Stars

You may think I am referring to the Philippine Star newspaper which is ran by the Belmonte brothers Isaac, Kevin and Miguel and their Auntie Gracie, whose combined entrepreneurial abilities have given rise to the circulation of their broadsheet; nor am I referring to the new webpage that Kevin Belmonte initiated of which we have a small investment in.

What I am really referring to as the new Philippine Stars are the entrepreneurs. The Phil Star newspaper has given full support to Go Negosyo over the past months and now they are helping us build the future stars of our country. Phil Star has recently started featuring inspiring entrep stories in the front page of their newspaper thus helping create positive news which the Philippines sorely needs. The Star has always been an advocate of good news, and it has proven this thru its support of Go Negosyo, that it’s not only bad news that sell but also good news. People are fed up of reading bad news and they want to be inspired, they want to be empowered and more informed. They want to have the confidence to pursue their dreams of becoming the new millionaires or billionaires of this country.

We have witnessed fortunes improved dramatically in the last 12 months. In the recent Go Negosyo Caravan presscon, a writer asked me how real is the current report on strong economic growth and how will this trickle down to the masa or the greater Philippine population. My answer to him is if he has been following Go Negosyo for the last 18 months, the basic message we are trying to advocate is that good news shared and published can inspire more people and bring about confidence. We believe that our advocacy of promoting an optimistic and entrepreneurial mindset has somehow helped Filipinos to gain more confidence and to take control of their destiny rather than just complain and not do anything about it. For economic growth to trickle down or for them to benefit and ride with any economic upturn, they must do something productive like start even a small negosyo.

Of course the PGMA government has done its share in managing the fiscal deficit as well as the trade balance. On top of the Philippine growth we have seen greater remittances from OFW workers and a vibrant stock market. Given these circumstances, people might ask: Are we in a dream and when we wake up will it still be there? I can clearly say that this is not a dream and for those who did not just dream but took action by investing in property, stocks, bonds or a negosyo in the last 18 months, have made a fortune. For those who thought they were in a dream and have lost the opportunity to do something about it, it’s not too late if they wake up now and have the WE BELIEVE attitude. So many people are excited of the opportunities that are now coming from investment deals to the series of IPO’s that will hit the market and a lot of new and innovative categories and business models. It is now the year of the new Philippine Stars, the entrepreneurs..the negosyantes.

To emphasize this, we will be awarding the inspiring entrepreneurs of each city where we will have the Go Negosyo caravan. The first leg of the caravan will be in Cebu on June 26-27. I am fortunate to have a very dynamic co-chair Jay Aldeguer, the marketing genius behind the fast-growing Islands Souvenirs shops. For this destination, Go Negosyo works in partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry headed by Francis Monera and Sam Chioson, in time for their Cebu Business Month. Manila-based entrepreneurs will fly to Cebu to join fellow entreps from the host city in the various forums lined-up. We are expecting the MSME Czar himself Sec. Cerge Remonde and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia to join us in the awarding ceremonies of the Most Inspiring Cebuano Entrepreneurs.

Aside from the usual Go Negosyo forums, exhibits and book signing session, we will be awarding the 12 most inspiring Cebuano entrepreneurs: Bobby Aboitiz of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. and Aboitiz & Co., Steve Benitez of Bo’s Coffee, world famous furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, Jack Gaisano of Metro Gaisano Malls, the founder of Julie’s Bakeshop Mrs. Julie Gandionco, Augusto Go who is known and respected both in the Cebu business community and the academe as the president of University of Cebu, creative retailer Bernie Liu of Penshoppe, William Liu who is the owner of Primary Structures Corporation, the man behind the MLhuiller Group of Companies Michel Lhuiller, technopreneur Wilson Ng of Ng Khai Development Corporation, automotive giant Norberto Quisumbing of Norkis Trading Corp. and the humble Justin Uy who exports his world-renowned Philippine Brand Mango in 42 countries. The awardees and other Cebuano entreps shall be joining us in the interesting forums we will be having during the day so we invite the general public, the youth, the students to join us at the Cebu International Convention Center on June 26 and more expos that will take place at the SM City Cebu. Admission in both the forum and expos, as always, is free. As we go to Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro etc., we shall be mounting the same forums and recognizing as well the most inspiring entreps from these areas.

It is also high time we make known the corporations and institutions who help spread the advocacy of entrepreneurial optimism nationwide and they are Globe, Pagcor, SM Supermalls, PLDT-Smart, Hyundai, Island Souvenirs, CICC and Marriott Cebu. Thank you for partnering with us.

And of course to Philippine Star, congratulations for being the first newspaper to sell more good news and for taking part in creating the new Philippine stars.