Hope and Go

As I read the headlines this week, the front page was all about GO. I thought for a while that it was about Go Negosyo, only to find out that it was actually about the political party “Genuine Opposition”. Then, as I read the entertainment section, another word was all over the pages: “HOPE”. The business of my good friend and very successful entrepreneur Vicky Belo, who is a strong advocate of Go Negosyo, has been implicated in this controversial issue and I guess when you are successful, a lot of people want to see you fail. This reminds me of how Ray Gapuz felt when some people were trying to make certain accusations against his review school, but the reputation was redeemed when the exams were retaken and most of those who topped the nursing exam came from his school. I am sure Vicky will come out a much more successful entrepreneur after this issue is over. I hope that this crab mentality goes away and people should instead be happy when others become successful. We should find inspiration and learning from their success so that we become successful ourselves. The words GO and HOPE are what Go Negosyo is pushing for as the Go Negosyo mentors pursue a mission to “teach a nation how to fish and we feed our nation for many lifetimes”. In our task of having our Go Negosyo mentors share their time to inspire, give business ideas and advise other aspiring entrepreneurs, we are giving our Filipino brothers HOPE and a better chance of succeeding in life. Hope is so powerful that it can really lead to a positive attitude and an optimistic mindset. This positive outlook usually leads to being productive and doing something instead of just complaining about everything or blaming everyone. This is the power of the word “GO” which is to act and take control of your destiny. In looking at the stories of our successful Go Negosyo entrepreneur/advocates, one can get inspired to act; we want to make them realize that if these successful entreps did it, they can also do it. This is basically what Go Negosyo aims to achieve, bring HOPE to the Filipinos and encourage them to GO into business.

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A lot of people went to the SM Mall of Asia for the Tourism Negosyo expo last March 2­-4. The forums and expo showcased the different business models, which need not be capital-intensive, that one can get into in starting a Tourism Negosyo, such as a bed and breakfast facility, spa services, tourist transport rental services, specialty restaurant, adventure or aqua sports resort places, travel agency etc. The expo also featured exhibits of the various provinces like Aklan, Antique, Biliran, Bohol, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Pampanga, Sarangani, Sorsogon, and Sulu, which showcased not only their wonderful places but more importantly the Negosyo opportunities in their areas. We also awarded the 11 Inspiring Tourism Entrepreneurs and a special award to Gov Lray of CamSur, again in our effort to recognize the modern day business heroes who can serve as inspiration as well as mentors for our youth and aspiring entreps. The awardees were all present to receive the award, which was handed out by President GMA. During the awarding, it was most touching to see Ambassador Del Rosario, a great entrepreneur himself, present in a wheelchair to witness his son Jose Mari del Rosario receive the award for Microtel which is the fastest growing hotel chain in the country today. Aside from awarding the inspiring tourism entrepreneurs, PGMA also awarded the Teenpreneur’s Most Improved GK Product to Tabernacle of Faith Christian Academy. The objective of the Teenpreneur Challenge was to provide exposure for the schools on how they can help improve the viability of existing products of Gawad Kalinga communities. The schools were also mentored by different entreps such as the service-oriented Association of Filipino Franchise Inc. headed by Richie Cuna, together with other unselfish entreps like Johnlu Koa of French Baker, Jay Aldeguer of Islands Souvenirs, Gov. Lray Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, Tessa Prieto Valdes, Paolo Bediones, Secretary Arthur Yap, Harley Sy and other mentors. As we left the Music Hall for lunch at Good Earth with PGMA and the awardees, it took the President 15 minutes to leave. So many people greeted the President and she enjoyed every minute of talking to the teenpreneurs, negosyantes and the governors who attended the expo such as Gov. Lray of Camsur, Gov. Gwen Garcia of Cebu, Gov. Sally Perez of Antique and Gov. Ben Loong of Sulu.

Last Saturday was certainly jam-packed with events with the Teenpreneur challenge running simultaneously with the book signing of the newest best selling book for National Bookstore, the Go Negosyo book of 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories. The 13 entreps who were present of this book signing were Nanay Coring (National Bookstore), Jay Aldeguer (Islands Souvenirs), Illac Diaz (My Shelter Foundation), Gaita Fores (CIBO), Ray Gapuz Jr. (R.A. Gapuz Review Center), Chit Juan (Figaro Coffee Company), Johnlu Koa (French Baker), Ronald Pineda (Folded & Hung), Les Reyes (Reyes Haircutters), Vivienne Tan (ESA), Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Myla Villanueva (MDI Group Holdings) and myself. Prof. Andy Ferreria whose business lessons were included in the book and editor Phillip Cu-Unjieng were also present in the book signing. It felt so good to see people buying the book and the entreps patiently signing, talking and inspiring them. It was certainly a sight to witness. I hope we will have more negosyantes out there to join the bandwagon of inspiring people. Again, thank you to our government partners, Sec. Cerge Remonde, Sec. Peter Favila, Sec. Ace Durano, Sec. Arthur Yap, Usec Carissa Cruz-Evangelista, Usec. Oscar Palabyab, PCCI President Samie Lim and co-chairs of Tourism Negosyo Gov. Lray Villafuerte and co-chair of Teenpreneur Ms. Vivienne Tan. The success of the Tourism Negosyo would not have been possible without their valuable support. Again, congratulations to the tourism entrepreneurs and the winners of the Teenpreneur Challenge. Thank you to those who are making the Go Negosyo book of 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial stories a best seller now in National Bookstores. Special thanks to our co-presentor Hyundai, which also has an advocacy promoting entrepreneurship with their Pro Negosyo Starex van. Thanks also to the SM Mall of Asia for their superb venue, Islands Souvenirs and DTI-OTOP, and our major partners PAGCOR, PLDT, Smart and San Miguel Corporation.

We shall have the the Go Negosyo Probinsya this June, with Cebu as the start of the series of Go Negosyo forums and expos in the provinces. So we hope to see everyone there!