Vote your Color

As we get closer to election, family members seem to have divided views on their choice for president. In our case, my father (coming from his NAMFREL days) says that he is neutral. But, I know his heart is for yellow, having served under Former President Cory as DTI Secretary. Some would be for Gibo or Villar. My two brothers are for Nonoy because of their own reasons.

On the other hand, I am for the person who would bring about an exciting negosyo climate -someone who would understand that the solution to poverty is by helping more people believe that their destiny is not determined with what the government will do but what attitude they have to overcome poverty.

While some would say, “Why waste your vote on Gibo if his ratings are very low?”, I on the other hand would encourage people to vote for someone who they believe will take this country forward, even if the surveys show a low rating. It’s conviction that should count most.

Sometimes talking about politics during family gatherings can lead to ugly debates and discussions that tend to be divisive. Our weekly Sunday lunch gatherings, which are already argumentative in nature, become more challenging because of politics. It just shows the passion we Filipinos have in wanting the right leader.

Nobody has the proprietary right of knowing who is best for this country. We have been molded as different individuals with our own set of priorities and vision on how this country can move forward. This is what makes democracy great. If a person believes that orange will be the best color for our country because a negosyo climate will help reduce poverty, then he is free to stick to that.

Go Negosyo believes that Filipinos must have faith in themselves. They are the ones who will determine their own destiny. No one else will. If someone would choose yellow because he feels that corruption is what causes poverty in the country, his view must be respected. We should not let our colors divide us after May 10. Whatever color comes out to win, we should all support that color. We want the Philippines to be the new shining star. If Manny Pacquiao can do it in boxing, there is no reason why we cannot make it in our economy.

Bernie Villegas has been the perennial optimist, and I harmonize with his positive view. This election will be the start of good things to come our way.

While I know that some would not agree with my view that PGMA has done good things for our economy, I speak as an entrepreneur exposed to so many things going on out there. Many are happy because for the last nine years, we have had industrial peace. You can count with your fingers the number of strikes we had. The Department of Labor has been very aggressive in ensuring that management and labor work out to solve their differences. I believe this is what PGMA contributed on top of relatively stable economic and financial fundamentals, the development of more infrastructure, farm-to-market roads, and other innovative ideas like the RO-RO. There is no doubt that most negosyantes will give her an A for the economy.

The challenge for the next president is to continue the momentum we have. One would need experience in being able to make judgments that are important. Philippines Inc. needs a Chief Executive Officer or a CEO. A CEO needs experience. While one can have a lot of advisers, the key is choosing the correct advice.

As we elect our future leaders, we should also see if he has a stable family. Who are his children and who is his spouse? What kind of family does he have? Is his spouse a good co-pilot? People sometimes downplay the role of the co-pilot. I believe that the co-pilot is very critical to the President. A spouse can provide a balance when it comes to his views.

People should also assess the previous responsibilities of a candidate. What were his previous positions and how did he perform?

Choosing the CEO of Philippines Inc. is like choosing the CEO of your own company. You only want the best for your own company. So, we cannot chose based on emotions. If you truly believe in a candidate, vote for him. This is your right to vote and select who you think can be our future CEO. After all, we are a democratic country with various views.

In the end, as the winner is determined, we should support whoever has won because the majority has spoken. We should set aside our differences even if our candidate has lost. To those who will win, maybe it will be time to forgive and move on. We should be goal-oriented and pragmatic in our approach. A lot is at stake in building our nation to be great.

The Philippines has a great opportunity to be the shining star of Asia. We can achieve this. On May 10, Filipinos will not just be voting for a president. Filipinos will be voting a great future for our country. Don’t feel bad if you vote for someone who is not topping the survey. Vote your conscience.

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Let me greet Butch and Mecca Prieto a happy 21st anniversary. Congratulations for reaching this far, despite the odds of having the worst Chinese signs of dog and dragon. It just shows how important a co-pilot is in a relationship.