Father and son

Last Thursday, I was able to watch the Ateneo vs. La Salle basketball championship game. I sat behind the Ateneo bench with some die hard La Sallites.

The coliseum was crowded with more Ateneans than La Sallites. Ateneo won the championship, which I predicted to many of my La Sallite friends. I told them that team of Ateneo is so strong that it can even beat the PBA teams of today. Despite the controversy on Maierhoffer committing a technical foul in the third quarter, Ateneo deserved to win the championship.

It was also the last game of Chris Tiu, who approached and hugged his father when they won. Jerry Tiu, the proud father, is an entrepreneur who owns Mega Publishing Group and part of The Discovery chain hotels. Both were teary eyed as they enjoyed Ateneo’s victory. I also went to Jerry and congratulated him. What was most touching is having a son realize that if not for his father’s guidance, he would have not reached his level of success in life. Chris is a bright young man who plays basketball very well with the right attitude. Now, he comes out in different TV shows.

This is every parent’s dream – to see their children reach their own level of success. The best award for a parent is their child’s recognition of their mentorship.

As we look at America’s problems today, we can still see a father and son relationship. Uncle Sam has basically taught the Americans to spend beyond their means. The proliferation of credit cards and a credit system made it very easy and tempting to borrow. In fact, Uncle Sam today has borrowed from the world close to 12trillion dollars. In my column last week entitled ‘Learn to Save’, I mentioned that the credit system is one of the basic reasons why America is facing one of the biggest challenges. This has been an intergenerational problem, from Uncle Sam down to every generation. People were taught not to save.

Last week, I also stated that Asians have higher savings rates. I have enumerated these stats: People’s Republic of China’s gross domestic saving is 48.6% of Gross Domestic Product. Hong Kong has 32%, Korea has 30%, Malaysia has 42%, Singapore has 51%, and Thailand has 34%.

Here in Asia, our parents also tell us to spend within our means. Credit cards are not given to children. Still, a number of my friends don’t even use a credit card so they are not tempted to spend. Most of the homes are bought not with credit. If it is bought through credit, it is with a very high down payment. You see people paying cash in 7/11 or Ministop, while people in America use a credit card for even a dollar-worth of purchase.

The congress’ rejection of the financial bill last Monday sent shock waves across the financial markets. However, I still think that the congress will eventually pass this bill, as America will indeed go bust without it. America has a very strong entrepreneurial climate. Its economy hinges from the small and medium entrepreneurs all over. These people will suffer the most in a credit crunch, having the credit lines cut. In fact, America is a great model on how they developed small and medium entrepreneurs. Franchising was also invented in America.

The problems in America are not yet over. Even with the bailout package being approved, the consequences of wrong decisions in the past will take its course. We will feel the effects, no doubt. But, there are opportunities since outsourcing will definitely continue in call centers and BPOs, among others.

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In our desire to further spread the good news of finding solutions to poverty through Negosyo, we are now heading for Bulacan for our Go Negosyo Caravan.

Together with the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce, we will also be awarding Bulacan Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Micro Entrepreneurs. They are the entrepreneurs and micro entrepreneurs who rose from the challenges of life, serving as role models in their own businesses. Their successes have proven the Bulakeño’s ability to utilize their innate sense of resourcefulness, determination and enthusiasm in developing profitable entrepreneurial ventures.

We will be giving the Most Inspiring Bulakeño Entrepreneur Award to the following:

Coun. Gemma Sevilla Alcantara of Sevilla Sweets for constantly improving products through research and development while preserving a three generation-old family recipe;

Dr. Alicia Bustos of Baliuag University that has been granted a high accreditation status and fostered innovation and academic excellence;

Dr. Isabel Lopez-Nazal of Clinica Dermatologica and YSA Skin Care Center for displaying total commitment towards brand innovation and product excellence;

Engr. Donald Esterban Jr. of Proest Phils. Inc. for being one of the leading safety gear manufacturers in Bulacan;

Dr. Antonio Fortuna of St. Martin of Tours Credit and Development Cooperative as the first and only cooperative in the country that utilizes ATM/VISA systems for their borrowers, serving entrepreneurs for 20 years;

Jose Hernandez Jr. of Milko Ice Cream for constantly creating innovative and globally-competitive products;

Joven Ong of Dragon Fireworks for leading in the Philippine fireworks industry and staying true to the company’s commitment towards manufacturing safe and high-quality fireworks;

Dr. Abraham Pascual or Pascual Laboratories Inc. for his aggressive leadership in improving the quality of his product to engage in the Generics and Herbal Medicine Market;

Enrico Roque of Bodega ng Bayan for making the strong brand name synonymous with affordability and good quality service, and taking risks despite limitations in the initial stages of the business; and

Nestor Santiago of Bulacan Garden Corporation for leading for thirty-five years in the horticultural and landscaping industry, and strengthening competence in business management while retaining Filipino values of humility, hard work and social commitment.

Most Inspiring Bulakeño Entrepreneur Special Awards will also be given to Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina of Centro Escolar University, which has garnered the distinction of having the highest number of accredited courses among private higher education institutions in the Philippines; and Amb. Jesus Tambunting of Planters Development Corporation, which continues to cater to the marginalized sector and underserved borrowers, and has displayed remarkable commitment towards assisting small and medium enterprises.

Likewise, micro-entrepreneurs will be recognized as the Most Inspiring Bulakeño Micro Entrepreneurs. This award will be given to Teresita Castro-Boado of Barasoain Bakeshop, Corazon Dela Cruz of LCJ Garments, Desiree Duran of D. Duran Farms, Teddy Bequizo of Buntal Ethnic Enterprises, Arnel Papa of ER Shellcraft, Carlito Del Rosario of Sta. Ma. Dairy Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Eng. Ramon Santos of Disenyo Pandi – Bagong Barrio Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Go Negosyo sa Bulacan is presented by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo, in partnership with the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Teofilo Rivera Jr. Go Negosyo sa Bulacan will also be graced by Presidential Management Staff Secretary Cerge Remonde, who is also the Chairman of the Cabinet Oversight Committee for MSME Development. Go Negosyo mentors and entrepreneurs will also be joining our forums to share their stories and business advice.

Go Negosyo sa Bulacan Caravan is the latest leg of the continuing Go Negosyo campaign. It will be on October 03, Friday at the Centro Escolar University Centrodome, Malolos City, Bulacan. The event will be open to the public and admission will be free of charge.