Are we ready to be great?

For the next few weeks, I will be asking some of our Angelpreneurs — Francis Kong, Josiah Go, Ping Sotto, Pax Lapid, Ardy Roberto, Henry Tenedero, Andy Ferreria, and Anthony Pangilinan, — on “How can we be the best that we could be?”, “What is success?”, and “What do we mean by being great?”.

When I travel, I normally catch up on the movies I missed. I was able to watch a very interesting and inspiring movie entitled “Invictus”. I highly recommend this to all our newly elected political leaders.

Invictus is a story on South Africa and how Nelson Mandela won the battle against the apartheid. For many years, South Africa was controlled by the apartheid, a policy of racial segregation. This was until Mandela’s group won in a democratic election. Mandela was jailed for 27 years. When he was elected, he had to make sure that he will be able to unite South Africa as one nation, with the whites and black Africans together. Invictus is the story of how he did it through a national rugby team. Rugby was a sport that the “apartheids” enjoyed. Mandela had to find a way to inspire the team to become a championship-caliber team. People even wondered why the special interest in making sure that the rugby team got a chance at the world cup. He did inspire the captain and the team and they did win the world cup in 1995. It was the start of uniting South Africa.

I visited South Africa sometime in 1998. There was a prospective company named Tiger Oats that wanted to invest in RFM. South Africa is a beautiful country. It even has a lot of similarities with the Philippines.

Our new political leaders must bring together unity, even with the new opposition. We cannot achieve greatness for the Philippines if we have a divided country. While an overwhelming mandate was given to President-elect Aquino, all groups must be brought together and inspired to work towards a common vision.

In a way, Nelson Mandela and Ninoy Aquino had a similar faith. One of them was exiled and the other was jailed. In the case of Ninoy, his dream for the Filipinos was to be executed by his wife Cory and now his son Noynoy. God gives man a chance, but then again, it is through proper attitude and hard work that greatness can be achieved.

PGMA excelled in building and laying a strong starting point in our economy. We do not have racial discrimination as a problem, unlike in South Africa. Our problem is really the crab mentality and the cynicism that are still prevalent in many Filipinos. We hope that this changes.

Noynoy needs to continue to inspire Filipinos to achieve greatness. This can be done by highlighting the many small and medium entrepreneurs who continue to fight and beat poverty. We need to make them icons of hope and inspiration. It is also important to bring to light the political and social leaders who continue to excel and make a difference in helping give a better chance for others.

How many among our Filipino brothers and sisters are hungry for success? I am sure that there are many. That is why they seek greener pastures by working overseas to provide a better education for their children and to improve the lives of their family. There are a lot of Filipinos out there who need inspiration.

The Philippines has come a long way from a dictatorship to a full democracy. Now, the engines of our economy are starting to rev up. It is time for a leader to inspire all to greatness.

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Our congratulations to Go Negosyo partner PLDT SME Nation as they launch their latest “Bossing” campaign to push for entrepreneurship development in our country. Led by their dynamic chairman Manny Pangilinan, who is also an entrepreneur in his own right as the Bossing of Burger King, PLDT SME Nation aims encourage more Filipinos to aspire for their entrepreneurial dreams and at the same time push for technology solutions to grow their businesses. We are fortunate to have the PLDT SME Nation team headed by Eric Alberto, with Kat Luna Abelarde and Gabby Cui as partners for the last three years. We share the same vision to have more innovative and vibrant entrepreneurs, not making them stay micro and small all the time but retooling them with technology to help increase sales, seek innovations and lower their cost of operations. The entrepreneurship community will be gathered tonight at the NBC Tent in a concert launch.

PLDT SME Nation and Go Negosyo continue to present entrepreneurship icons. We need good role models — people who pursued their dreams and held on to their passion. With the right positive and enterprising attitude, skills and creativity, any Filipino can also reach their dreams.

I was told that together with other “Business Bossings”, I will be part of the launch as “Bossing” of my own little pizza resto concept Joey Pepperoni. We hope we can have more of these empowering activities to rally the Filipino people towards a change in mindset.

Congratulations again to the team of Manny and Eric, as they continue to be the enabler that will help make Negosyo as the nationwide key to progress and solution to poverty.