Tagumpay ang Kabataan!

Last Monday was an overwhelming success. Young (and not so young) people flooded the World Trade Center to attend our Go Negosyo Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. Busloads of students from as far as Cebu and other provinces have travelled to participate. This was our second big event for the year, following the Women Summit last March. This was also the second run of our Youth Entrepreneurship Summit. And, we definitely see a third one coming.

Vice President Jejomar Binay was very gracious to make the Youth Summit a part of his morning. He even delivered a short message for the youth and presented the award to this year’s Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneurs. In my welcome message, I talked about VP Binay’s own Tagumpay story as a little boy who worked hard to support his studies. I also mentioned his victory in the elections, as it was an unexpected turn. Binay’s story encourages more people that it is always good to dream big. These are the types of stories that we share in Go negosyo. We hope that he continues to extend his support to the advocacy of Go Negosyo, as we believe and recognize his accomplishments in the City of Makati.

Atty. Gozon, who is a Go Negosyo Trustee, even delivered the keynote message. He related his beginnings and rise in GMA7 to the lessons he wanted to share to the young Filipinos. Aside from Atty. Gozon, Trustees Injap Sia, Ray Gapuz, Rosalind Wee, Carla Limcaoco, Prudencio Garcia, and Corazon Dayro Ong joined VP Binay and me in the awarding ceremonies. Go Negosyo’s strongest supporters like Kat Luna-Abelarde, Fernando Fernandez and TG Limcaoco also joined the group in recognizing the awardees.

This year’s of Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneur awardees are very diverse. They belong to different industries. They also have different types of personalities and entrepreneurial journeys. This year’s Go Negosyo Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneurs are Happy and Viva Andrada of F*Art, Reymont Choachuy of Noble House, RJ David of Sulit.Com, Anton Diaz of OurAwesomePlanet.Com, Creative Entrepreneur Tricia Gosingtian, Cris Guerrero of Ideal Events, Valerie Mendoza of Y3L Hand-Painted Shoes, Mary Grace Santos of Li’l People Enterprises, Richard Sanz of Food Asia Corporation, and Timothy Sarvida of El Buono Pizza. We also recognized a special set of awardees – the Inspiring Young Filipino Social Entrepreneurs. They are Reese Fernandez of Rags2Riches, Mark Ruiz and Bam Aquino of Microventures and Hapinoy, and Dylan Wilk, Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto of Gandang Kalikasan.

I can still clearly picture how the crowd was when I went up the stage. High school, college, and different youth groups crowded the venue. I can still remember their faces when each time they heard a story from our entrepreneurs in the forums. There was a young boy who squatted on the floor beside me and he couldn’t stop clapping, smiling and making remarks in awe, especially with Dylan Wilk’s story. One of my staff even offered a chair for the boy, but he preferred to sit on the floor just to listen. I guess that’s how young people are these days.

Aside from the forums, our young audience also got inspired and motivated by the powerful messages and sharing of Brother Bo Sanchez and his companion Alvin Barcelona. They delivered a crucial message and corrected the notion that being rich is bad. It is not bad to be wealthy and we must strive to do our best and become successful, so that we may be able to help others. Being poor and lazy does not make one closer to God. These messages directly hit the hearts of the audience.

Francis Kong, as always, never fails to motivate the crowd. In sharing his beginnings and being able to turnaround his past mediocre life into one that can even bring out the greatness on anyone, is a perfect example that anyone has a great chance to win in this life. One simply has to set his priorities, and work on it; to be God-centered and show concern for others.

I am very thankful that to all our speakers and panellists who took the time to grace the summit and share their gifts.

Apart from the program in the plenary area and in the seminar room, we opened one-on-one mentoring sessions in the Go Negosyo booth. Young Filipinos lined up to ask negosyo advice from our Angelpreneurs. We would like to thank our Angelpreneurs Josiah Go, Paulo Tibig, Ardy Roberto, Carlo Calimon, Jorge Winiekie, George Saguinsin, Luis Cruz, and our Executive Director Mon Lopez for sharing their time with the people seeking advice.

As young people may say, the Youth Summit was indeed a blast. We would like to thank everyone who was part of the summit starting from the speakers, mentors, entrepreneur panellists, partners, guests and all our sponsors who supported us and allowed us to mount this Summit. We thank all the schools who sent their students and continue to believe that more wisdom can also be obtained from these off-classroom exposures and sessions. We thank all the attendees and participants. It was a privilege to have all of you in such an overwhelmingly successful summit. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts in Go Negosyo. Let us continue to empower the Filipinos with the positive and enterprising character and knowhow to allow everyone to succeed in life.

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The RFM Foundation will be recognizing this year’s The Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) on Oct. 7 at the Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace. The awarding ceremonies will be graced by President Noynoy and CHED Chair Licuanan. We are proud to be recognizing and presenting another batch of inspiring youth who set a living example for the rest of the young Filipinos out there.

Allow me to introduce the 2010 TOSP Finalists: Chaston Ciriaco of Benguet State University, Aprille Nena of Riverside College, Camille Remoroza of San Pedro College, Princes Baniqued of University of La Salette, Mohamad Ben-Usman of Mindanao State University – Marawi, Joaquin Bunag of Ateneo De Manila, Jihan Santiago of Visayas State University, Armando Araneta Jr. of John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Arevalo, Luis Dimaguila of Ateneo De Zamboanga, Rankinee Novabos of University of San Jose – Recoletos, Rodolfo Semira Jr. of De La Salle University – Manila, Marc Yap of University of San Carlos, Marianne Jalgalado of Bicol University, Coleen Navarro of Araullo University – PHINMA, Paul Joseph Nuval of Benguet State University, Mark Popioco of West Visayas State University, Rachel Rojas of UP Los Baños, April Seville of St. Therese College, Ronnel Competente of University of Nueva Caceres, Janna Lagare of University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos, Alea Macam of De La Salle University – Lipa, Jane Manalang of Assumption College, Englevert Reyes of University of San Jose – Recoletos, Ephraim Domingo of Ifugao State University, Heno Chin of UP Cebu, Mohammad Domado of Mindanao State University – Main, Raymund Li of UP Diliman, Nadia Ong of De La Salle University – Manila, Philippe De La Cruz of University of St. La Salle, Nestor Necesito of UP Visayas, and Raymond Suarez of Holy Angel University. Congratulations to all of you!