Sunday, July 26, 2009

Negosyo Gets a Boost

Negosyo gets a boost
by Joey Concepcion

Throughout Michael Jackson’s memorial, the whole world was tuned in. Many of us, whose teenage and courtship days were during the MJ era, were quite deeply moved.

My children, nephews and nieces turned into their own version of MJ. Fans are buying and downloading his music over the internet. Even my kids, who said that our music was ancient, were emotional over MJ’s death. In fact, they stayed up late for the memorial, while I just watched the replay.

Even with the death of an icon who brought us inspiration through his music, we have to move on as life, for all of us, is just a moment in time.

The other day, I got an SMS from my sisters. Our cousin, John Santos Ocampo, died of a heart attack. He was in good shape and has just celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary. He was also just about to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Richard Sandoval, who was our sugar supplier in Cosmos back then, went biking with a couple of friends as he was trying his new bike. He met an accident and died on the spot. I extend my condolences to his family.

It may be difficult to understand why these things happen. But, we just have to focus on how these people have inspired us while they were alive. Let us look around and learn from the lives of those who have brought about positive and inspiring stories.

In some way, Go Negosyo shares the inspiring stories of different people. We have seen a lot of Filipinos inspired with stories of people who have struggled in life as entrepreneurs or as students who received the TOSP awards. All of them did not give up. They overcame the struggles. This is why the Go Negosyo books have been bestsellers.

Late last week, PLDT SME Nation launched the “Negosyo Boost”. It is the newest product of PLDT made especially for people who would like to grow their start up business. It offers three different packages that include DSL connectivity, voice services and hardware such as netbooks and printers.

PLDT has been supporting our advocacy for quite sometime. This time, I told PLDT Senior Vice President Eric Alberto that I am glad he used the word “NEGOSYO” since it helps us promote the Negosyo advocacy to more people.

When I delivered my message at the launch of the Negosyo Boost, I told them the success story of our Condura Negosyo Ref. When my cousin used the brand Condura Negosyo Ref, it became the fastest selling brand in the market. It has brought our refrigerator brand to almost number one in the Philippines. They designed it well for the profitability of those who will be using it in their negosyo. The biggest buyers were the mothers who said that “if it is good for a negosyo, then it will also be good for my home”.

More and more companies, foundations, and non-government organizations have been partnering with Go Negosyo. We are willing to help as best as we can. It is only through big companies from the private sector and negosyo enablers that entreps are mentored and supported. We hold their hands until they are able to walk on their own. There are also inspiring government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education, and Department of Science and Technology.

The success in creating an enterprising environment is through the encouragement of all the enablers to also motivate and assist as many entrepreneurs as we can. As we mounted the Negosyo MSME Summit last week, we were privileged to partner with the DTI MSME family led by Sec. Peter Favila, Usec. Merle Cruz, Asec. Angel Pelayo, Dir. Dodit Leano, and our MSMED Council. The Summit deliberated on new policies and program initiatives to promote more innovative and vibrant MSME’s. We also thank all the panelists and moderators who helped make the Summit a success.

Let me congratulate the recipients of the awards and citations from no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the Negosyo MSME Summit. Thank you for helping build the entrepreneurship community.


* Dr. Volker Steigerwald, German Technical [GTZ Private Sector Promotion (SMEDSEP) Program]
* Mayor Arturo Angara, Municipal Government of Baler, Aurora [Streamlining of Business Permits and Other Licenses]
* Mayor Bartolome Ramos, Municipal Government of Sta. Maria, Bulacan [Streamlining Program on the Issuance of Mayor’s Permit]
* Mayor Marcial Vargas, Municipal Government of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija [Streamlining Program on the Issuance of Mayor’s Permit and Business Licenses]
* Mayor Nenito Santos, Municipal Government of Talavera, Nueva Ecija [Streamlining Program on the Issuance of Mayor’s Permit]
* Mayor Efren Cruz, Municipal Government of Hermosa, Bataan [Streamlining Program on the Issuance of Mayor’s Permit]
* Gerald Patrick Nepomuceno, City Government of Angeles, Pampanga [Business Permit and Licensing System in the B.O.S.S. of the Angeles City Government]
* Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, City Government of San Fernando, Pampanga [Streamlining Program on the Issuance of Mayor’s Permit]
* Vice Mayor Rene Gaudiel, City Government of Bayawan, Negros Oriental [Simplified Procedure for Business Permits and Licenses Renewal Project]
* Gov. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., Provincial Government of Camarines Sur [Tourism Development Project]
* Sy Yap Chua, Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. [Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. (CFBCI) SME Center]
* Sr. Preciosa Rusiana, RVM, St. Mary’s College Tagum City, Davao del Norte [SMC-Business Resource Center]
* Julette Botor-Lacuin, Baao Multi-Purpose Cooperative [Aflatoun, Agricultural, Salary, Damayang Pangkalusugan and Social Financing Programs]
* Gerry Lab-oyan, Cooperative Bank of Benguet [MSME Financing Programs]
* Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, Simbag sa Pag-Asenso, Inc. [Microfinance Programs]
* Vicente Paterno, MASICAP MSME Development Foundation, Inc. [Medium and Small Scale Industries Coordinated Action Program II (MASICAP II)]
* Dolores Torres, CARD Bank, Inc [CARD e-System]
* Aurelio Luis Montinola III, Bank of the Philippine Islands [For overcompliance as per R.A. 9501 of its mandatory lending to MSMEs]
* Ambassador Jesus Tambunting, Planters Development Bank [For overcompliance as per R.A. 9501 of its mandatory lending to MSMEs]
* Gil Verallo, Fair Bank [For overcompliance as per R.A. 9501 of its mandatory lending to MSMEs]
* Jenifer Cruz, Cebu-GTH Foundation and DTI Region VII Office [Subcontracting Partners for Innovation (SPIN) Program]
* Mayor Jerry Pelayo, Municipal Government of CANDABA [FARM FRESH (Bagsakan ng Bayan)]
* Mayor Wilfredo Paraiso, Municipal Government of Lumban, Laguna [Burdang Lumban Festival]
* Dir. Edmund B. Benavidez, St. Louie University Extension Institute for Small Scale Industries Foundation, Inc. [Benguet Beekeeping Project]
* Engr. Michael Cases, Inglass Sardines of Dipolog Association [Productivity and Efficiency Program for ISDA under its Clustering Program]
* Ciriaco Lagunzad, National Wages and Productivity Commission and the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards [ISTIV Productivity Program]


* Roger Munda, Roger and Beth Pilinut Candy
* Rose Marie Madejanon, Dood’s Enterprises
* Benjamin Lao, Lao Integrated Farm
* Maria Lydia Lomibao, J. Emmanuel Pastries
* Guidon dela Cruz, President Filbake Food Corporation
* Pedro Barrios, Manolette Bakeshop
* Arturo Tabbu, Lighthouse Cooperative
* Isabel Lovina, Vicmik Enterprises
* Rizalie Calma, AMS Employees Fresh Fruits Producer Cooperative

For feedback, email me at or through SMS at our new hotline 0918-9656333. For free business advice, visit Add Joey Concepcion in Facebook and Multiply, and be one of Go Negosyo's fans .

Click here to read more Ask Go Negosyo articles.

21 Steps on How to Start Your Own Business

JULY 22, 2009

6:00 PM

National Bookstore

Archaeology Wing

Powerplant Mall, Rockwell

Buy a copy of our book and grab the chance to have it signed by Go Negosyo entrepreneurs and mentors.

Go Negosyo is on the search for the Go Negosyo Most Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs!

We are looking for individuals or groups of young entrepreneurs, professionals, secondary/tertiary school students or out-of-school youth who have established and managed creative and innovative business ventures despite challenges and obstacles, and have demonstrated that can-do Go Negosyo attitude.

Search is open to all Filipino citizens below 35 years old who have been running their business for at least three (3) years.

Know someone truly inspiring? We accept nominations as well.

Click HERE to learn more about the mechanics.

Go Negosyo, Kaya Mo!
July 18-19, 2009
Gladys Reyes: Go Negosyo, Kaya Mo!
This week's episode is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to take risks.

Isn't it about time you owned up to your spending habits and thought about making your money grow? Learn how to manage your money as Mr. Jesus HofileƱa of Insular Life talks about financial literacy. Mr. Amada, a.k.a. the Stock Guru, walks us through the risky yet potentially rewarding arena of stocks.

Establishing the country's newest and most modern testing facility, overcoming cancer, and weathering controversies and crises are but a few of her accomplishments. Find out how Pinky Tobiano, President and CEO of Qualibet Testing Services, demonstrated admirable resiliency and strength at the face of numerous challenges.

Plus, we take a closer look at the latest trends and innovations in the paintball, coco coir, and videoke businesses.

Watch the all new Go Negosyo, Kaya Mo! with celebrity mom-preneur Gladys Reyes. 8-8:30 Saturdays and Sundays on QTV 11 and 9:15 Sunday at NBN4.

Go Negosyo Sigaw ng Kabataan
Go Negosyo Youth Entrepreneurship Summit
SMX Convention Center
SM Mall of Asia
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Go Negosyo is holding a Youth Entrepreneurship Summit . We'll be bringing in our network of entrepreneurs to allow for mentoring sessions and forums on the basics of putting up a business. Not only that, we're awarding the Go Negosyo Most Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs. Get to meet like-minded people who are pursuing their passions and turning them into viable business opportunities. Plus, we will be showcasing possible business models that you might want to look into.

Admission is free!

For more information, click here .

If you want to join, please call Go Negosyo at 637-9229 or Ideal Events at 431-3694.

For interested exhibitors, avail of our early bird rates! Download the Application Forms . For more information, call 431 3694 and look for Kai Reston or e-mail

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Using Small Math to Make Big Profits

By Trace Trajano

Unlike most people I love math. I am an engineer by training so I am used to "Big Math" know the kind of math that involves too many Greek symbols. However, in real estate investing all you need to know is small math - addition, multiplication and subtraction. This is the math that your third grade teacher wants you to master. If you can do third grade math or small math you can make BIG profits in real estate.

In my book, "Think Rich - Quick" - which you can order through this blog (, I revealed my formula for making the right offers on a property. This formula works in any market - whether the market is HOT or cold and it works in any country. No other formula for making offers works as universally and it uses "small math". It works whether you're trying to rehab a deal or you're trying to wholesale it.

Here's the formula:

MAO = CF x ARV - Repairs - Profit

Top 10 Strategies EbookTo find out how one of my students in Michigan made $7,000 and another student based in the Philippines made P800,000 using this formula, go to

dedicated to your success,


Friday, July 24, 2009

Business Matters 5

Mayonnaise And Coffee
By Francis Kong

One day a conversation took place between the husband and the wife.

The wife was not in a very happy disposition that morning and so she complained:

“You think so much of your old game you don’t even remember when you were married.”

The husband calmly replied: “Of course I do, my dear; it was the day I sank that 30-foot putt.” Oops. Priorities!

Here’s another story.

A wife was getting tired of her husband golfing every Saturday, so she decided to go with him to see what the attraction was.

His first drive of the day went into the rough, then his second shot bounced across the fairway into the lake. After retrieving his ball, his third shot wasn’t any better. It went back across the fairway into the rough again.

After taking several more shots to finally reach the green, he turned to his wife and said, “And you thought I was having a good time!” Again, priority!

I think this is a rehash of an old story with a twist but is worth retelling because of its practical benefit for today.

Peter McIntyre from Far East Broadcast Company sent me this material entitled: “The Mayonnaise Jar & 2 cups of coffee.” How true this is!

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the was jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “Yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things— God, your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions— and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter– your job, your house, and your car.

The sand is everything else— the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Shall we have coffee then?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Business Matters 4

Ooops and Mistakes!
By Francis Kong

One day an extremely upset newspaper subscriber stormed into a newspaper office waving the current edition, asking to see “whoever wrote the obituary column”.

When referred to a young reporter, he stormed, “You can see I’m very much alive, and you’ve put me in the obituary column! I demand a retraction!”

Replied the reporter, “I never retract a story but I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll put you in the birth column and give you a fresh start.”

I certainly have.

Some people will never admit their mistakes and worst, some people will never want to correct their mistakes the proper way.

Have you ever committed mistakes in your life?

You’re probably thinking, “What a stupid question, of course I have.”

Well now that you have admitted you’re committing mistakes from time to time, how do you deal with your mistakes?

Mistakes that offend others, you have to be big and courageous enough to admit your mistake and make amends. But mistakes that you have done to yourself… think through them and learn from them. Mistakes are experiences in life that teach us lessons and make us wiser over time but the key thing here is that we have to learn from them.

When people say, “Experience is the best teacher….” I smile because I know this is not true. Only evaluated experience is the best teacher. As a people, we keep on making the same mistakes year in and year out because we have never taken the time to evaluate the experience, learn from it and resolve to correct it.

Smart people learn from their mistakes. But here is another thing to consider.

Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

Somebody says mistakes are mistakes but it’s a question of perspectives and it depends on how you really look at it.

Consider the following:

* If a barber makes a mistake, it’s a new style…
* If a driver makes a mistake, it is an accident…
* If an engineer makes a mistake, It is a new venture…
* If parents make a mistake, it is a new generation…
* If a politician makes a mistake, it is a new law…
* If a scientist makes a mistake, it is a new invention…
* If a tailor makes a mistake, it is a new fashion…
* If a teacher makes a mistake, it is a new theory…
* If our boss makes a mistake, it is our mistake……
* If an employee makes a mistake, It is a “MISTAKE”

I have committed a lot of mistakes in my life and some of them not very smart but most of them offered lessons I have learned from and has helped me a lot in my life and career today.

Some people cuss and some people curse when they make a mistakes but most people say: “oops!”

I do. But there are people I am sure you would not want to hear say “oops! From:”

1. Your surgeon.

2. Your dentist.

3. Your nurse.

4. Your hairdresser.

5. Your mechanic.

6. Your tax accountant.

7. The computer tech person.

8. The house painter, plumber or electrician.

9. The pilot.

You know you are growing and you know you are learning if you are making new mistakes. The key word here is “NEW.” But if you are committing the same kind of mistakes then YOU ARE THE MISTAKE!

Learn from the mistakes of others – you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.

CICERO, the Roman statesman and philosopher, wrote the following some 2,000 years ago: THE SIX FATAL MISTAKES OF MAN:

1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others;
2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit reading and studying;
6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Welcome mistakes. They are our friends but they should also be our teachers.

Accept them and do not defend them.

Elbert Hubbard says it best: “The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid to make one.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Business Matters 3

The Jump Shot
By Francis Kong

One day, two elderly men were talking about their favorite sport, basketball.

“I wonder if there’ll be basketball in heaven?” Ed asked.

“Of course there will,” Henson responded, “or it wouldn’t be heaven.”

Not long after that, Ed passed away; then, one night while Henson, was sleeping, Ed appeared in all his radiant glory- in a bright light at the foot of Henson’s bed. Henson was badly shaken.

“Calm down, Henson,” Ed reassured his friend.

“Everything’s going to be all right. I just came back to visit and to bring some good news and some bad news. ”

“What’s the good news?” Henson asked. “The good news is, there is basketball in heaven.”

“That’s great!” Henson responded. Then he paused and slowly asked, “Now, what’s the bad news?”

“Well Henson, the bad news is, you’re playing this coming Saturday.”

I love basketball and I used to play a lot of it when I was in high school.

I still have a lot of friends my age or even older who are still crazy about basketball.

That’s why somebody says: “OLD BASKETBALL players never die they just go on dribbling.”

Thinking back, I can’t dunk, I was too short, I ran a lot and I was fast and so lay ups and jump shots were the only ammunition I had. So let’s talk about jump shots. You would never see an NBA all-star toss a ball into the air casually and just crosses his finger and hopes that the ball hits the net. That’s for amateurs. Now look at the slowmo… Before each jump shot, players pause, find their footing, set their sights on the net, and visualize a swoosh before the ball has even left their fingertips. That’s what they do to make points and this is what you and I have to do in the workplace every start of the day to be productive. We should take the same approach at work by vi­sualizing a successful day before it officially begins. It all comes down to the first twenty minutes.

As soon as you get to work, before you turn on your e-mail or check your voice mail, take twenty minutes to plan the day ahead. Don’t just rush into your work without a plan. And here are some ideas on how you spend the first 20 minutes of your work day.

* Define your top priority for the day. Remember- develop a mindset that says, there is only the word “PRIORITY” not “priorities.” There is going to be the one big important thing that you would sacrifice all others to achieve-to help fo­cus your energy. Next…..
* Update your “To Do” list. Allocate time for the tasks you need to accomplish. And these would include meeting preparations, conversations and allow a little room for interruptions like unscheduled and unexpected phone calls. Next…
* Prepare before hand the agenda for your meetings. Consider the people you will be meeting. Jot down the ideas you have that are important and will have to be discussed during the meetings. How many times have people spent hours in meetings and then hours later regretted the fact that there are important things they forgot to discuss about. Next…
* And if nothing comes out of this exercise, cancel the appointments. This would simply mean a waste of your time.
* Glance at your schedule for the remainder of the week and month to make sure you’re still focused on the right things.

Then check your e-mail (and voice mail) and start your day. This is like taking a jump shot. As you leaped up in the air, you focus and you train your eye and hands towards the goal and then shoot. There is always a system to everything you do. Do not the mundane drag you from doing the important. Live each day too the full for everyday is a gift from God. So the moment you enter your work place, think of the jump shot.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Business Matters 2

The Wind and the Fog
By Francis Kong

Arriving late at Heathrow Airport, after a long flight, taking a long walk riding a long bus ride I finally arrived at the heart of Commercial London called Oxford Street. It’s not easy traveling alone but somehow I have gotten used to that. I had to spend the night in the city and prepare to leave for Queen’s College in Oxford University and attend a one-week conference – another item in my bucket list that I have drawn up years before.

And as I look at picturesque London my mind brought me back to some historical events that happened many years to this country that few people in ours remember. Steve Farrar in his beautiful book entitled “God Built” talked about this and allow me to share it with you.

“In God We Trust” is imprinted on every coin issued in the United States. In 1588 England, the Queen of England Queen Elizabeth ordered that a gold medal be struck with the motto: “He blew and they were scattered.”

Now why in the world would that phrase be put on a gold medal? Here is the story behind the story.

In May 1588, Spain was the most powerful nation on earth. And riding the crest of that power, the Spanish had set their sights on invading and capturing England. To accomplish that task, King Philip of Spain sent his navy - the most powerful navy on the seas. This fleet, made up of over a hundred warships, was knows as the Invincible Armada. No nation on earth could hope to defeat it. Departing Spain, the fleet sailed north toward England. Before they could attack, however, they ran into a monster storm - actually, a massive hurricane with its murderous winds that virtually annihilated the Spanish Armada. This became the end of Spain as a world power.

The winds have stopped them before they could reach England. And all of England, including Queen Elizabeth knew that God had sent the storm. “He blew and they were scattered” was the phrase of praise that was uttered in every village. pub and church in all of England.

Not a word was said about “mother nature” or a chance event. All of the glory went to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

And then Farrar talks about another similar incident. While God sent the wind to England, He used a fog to turn the tide of history in America.

Farrar said: It was fog that saved 9000 American soldiers under the command of George Washington on Friday, April 30, 1776. Trapped in Brooklyn, New York,, the soldiers were sitting ducks for the shells of the British navy ships - and were on the verge of being surrounded by British troops. So Washington ordered a radical solution. They would evacuate all 9000 men and their equipment, including wagons, by boat. They would have to make a mile-wide river crossing in the dark of night without any lights.

As soon as night fell, the soldiers began to load into the boats. Not a word was spoken aloud and not a light was lit. Through out the night, crossing after crossing was made. With dawn soon approaching, however, many men remained to be evacuated. But astonishingly, just before the rays of dawn brought light to the scene, a heavy, thick fog descended. It was impossible to see more than 6 feet. “Even with the sun up, the fog remained as dense as ever, while over on the New York side of the river there was no fog at all.”

A little past 7 in the morning, the last soldiers landed on the New York side of the river, and within minutes the thick fog lifted. 9000 American troops had been evacuated from the grasp of the enemy - with the aid of darkness and fog. As the fog lifted, the British officers were utterly astonished. They could see Washington’s soldiers waving at them from the New York side.

The same God who 200 years earlier had saved the British Navy, now confronted the British Navy.

In 1588, God blew and they were scattered.

In 1776, God blew and the fog scattered.

The same God that gives us The Bible is the God of Revelation as He reveals Himself to us is the same God that is the God of History as we see how history reveals Him.

It takes greater faith not to believe in the Power and the Presence of God.

Study the Bible and study history as well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Business Matters 1

Do Well What You can Do
by Francis Kong

Posted: 15 Jul 2009 05:35 AM PDT

Roger Crawford is an inspirational speaker. So what makes him special?

Somebody wrote a story about him and I do find his life inspiring.

Roger Crawford had everything he needed to play tennis - except two hands and a leg.

When Roger’s parents saw their son for the first time, they saw a baby with a thumb-like projection extended directly out of his right forearm and a thumb and one finger stuck out of his left forearm. He had no palms. The baby’s arms and legs were shortened, and he had only three toes on his shrunken right foot and a withered left leg, which would later be amputated. The doctor said Roger suffered from ectrodactylism, a rare birth defect affecting only one out of 90,000 children born in the United States. The doctor said Roger would probably never walk or care for himself. Fortunately Roger’s parents didn’t believe the doctor.

“My parents always taught me that I was only as handicapped as I wanted to be and they never allowed me to feel sorry for myself or take advantage of people because of my handicap. Once I got into trouble because my school papers were continually late,” explained Roger who had to hold his pencil with both “hands” to write slowly. “I asked Dad to write a note to my teachers, asking for a two-day extension on my assignments. Instead Dad made me start writing my papers two days early!”

Roger’s father always encouraged him to get involved in sports, teaching Roger to catch and throw a volleyball, and play backyard football after school. At age 12, Roger managed to win a spot on the school football team.

Before every game, Roger would visualize his dream of scoring a touchdown. Then one day he got his chance. The ball landed in his arms and off he ran as fast as he could on his artificial leg toward the goal line, his coach and teammates cheering wildly. But at the ten-yard line, a guy from the other team caught up with Roger, grabbing his left ankle. Roger tried to pull his artificial leg free, but instead it ended up being pulled off.

“I was still standing up,” recalls Roger. “I didn’t know what else to do, so I started hopping towards the goal line. The referee ran over and threw his hands into the air. Touchdown! You know, even better than the six-points was the look on the face of the other kid who was holding my artificial leg.”

Roger’s love of sports grew and so did his self-confidence. But not every obstacle gave way to Roger’s determination. Eating in the lunchroom with the other kids watching him fumble with his food proved very painful to Roger, as did his repeated failure in typing class. “I learned a very good lesson from typing class,” said Roger. “You can’t do everything - it’s better to concentrate on what you can do.”

One thing Roger could do was swing a tennis racket. Unfortunately, when he swung it hard, his weak grip usually launched it into space. Roger stumbled upon an odd-looking tennis racket in a sports shop and accidentally wedged his finger between its double-barred handle when he picked it up. The snug fit made it possible for Roger to swing, serve and volley like an able-bodied player. He practiced every day and was soon playing - and losing - matches.

But Roger persisted. He practiced and practiced and played and played.

Surgery on the two fingers of his left hand enabled Roger to grip his special racket better, greatly improving his game. Although he had no role models to guide him, Roger became obsessed with tennis and in time he started to win.

Roger went on to play college tennis, finishing his tennis career with 22 wins and 11 losses. He later became the first physically handicapped tennis player to be certified as a teaching professional by the United States Professional Tennis Association. Roger now tours the country, speaking to groups about what it takes to be a winner, no matter who you are. You can learn more about him in his website

“The only difference between you and me is that you can see my handicap, but I can’t see yours. We all have them. When people ask me how I’ve been able to overcome my physical handicaps, I tell them that I haven’t overcome anything. I’ve simply learned what I can’t do - such as play the piano or eat with chopsticks - but more importantly, I’ve learned what I can do. Then I do what I can with all my heart and soul.”

What a great lesson to learn.

So what is it that you can do and why not do it well?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dreams shatter, dreams begin by Joey Concepcion

Dreams shatter, dreams begin
by Joey Concepcion

Last year, while watching Bloomberg, a technical analyst who follows the Elliot Wave in charting the stock market predicted that the Dow would hit 9t. At that time, the Dow was trading at 13t level. It seemed ridiculous and crazy then, but we saw that it collapsed to 6500t. Today, it has rallied to 8t.

As I spent some time with my family in San Francisco, I still feel that the American problem is just beginning. While the US Government is doing everything it can, a problem like this cannot be solved overnight. Wealth has definitely been destroyed. For example, a lot of Americans have lost so much from their 401K Retirement Plan. It may not even be enough to secure them a comfortable life during their retirement days. People are still losing jobs. Most of people I know in America have been laid off or have been asked to go on long leaves.

The shopping malls are quite empty when you compare it to malls in Manila, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia. Houses are also still losing value. People ask me if this was the time to buy a house. I advise them to postpone, as financing to foreigners have been stopped. Banks are now exactly the opposite in terms of credit. From their lax standards in the past, they are now very extreme with their strict lending qualifications. Default rates on credit cards are now reaching historical heights and it will continue.

Most American families are in quite a bind. I would say most of their income is leveraged. This is why, if countries expect America to return to being a consumer-led country, they might end up waiting endlessly as most of them will have to deleverage and start to save.

When Japan felt the worst recession about 15 years ago, their savings rate was high. On the other hand, the American’s do not have savings to take them through this problem. A lot of American dreams have been shattered with this financial crisis. We are definitely blessed with our country’s service-based business model.

Meanwhile, let me share with you other BIG dreams of other Filipino entrepreneurs back home.

“I hope that I am able to do my job until I’m a hundred years old! I hope that the Philippines becomes even more progressive, so that business will improve even more.”

-Nanay Coring Ramos (General Manager and Founder, National Bookstore)

“My dream is for a first world Philippines - out of poverty and corruption by 2024, where there is peace, justice and abundance for all; a nation that will no longer be an exporter of cheap raw materials but producers of high value world class products; a nation not just of cheap labor to the world but of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators; a nation that will be a top destination for visitors and investors; a nation where our citizens live with dignity and honor; a nation that every Filipino can be proud of.”

-Tony Meloto (President, Gawad Kalinga)

“My wishes for this country: that corruption may be a thing of the past and that all corrupt men and women are put to jail; that hunger and poverty will finally end; that education be a right and not a privilege, even if and especially if one is poor; that PEACE will reign; and that the business sector and entrepreneurs will prosper in order to create more jobs.”

-Tintin Bersola-Babao (Owner, Precious Memories)

“I always say that I want to make the Philippines beautiful, one person at a time. I've been doing this through the Belo Medical Group, which offers world-class services to Filipinos. It's my way of giving back because when you give back, it makes your spirit soar. I also want to improve the country's tourism. I've travelled so much and I have seen what makes tourists happy, yet we don't do it. The only thing that can resuscitate the country without spending so much money is to increase tourism.”

-Dr. Vicki Belo (Medical Director, Belo Medical Group)

“I dream for my country to become a manpower superpower. I believe that the Filipino people are prepared for the “bigtime”. We just need to be united and cohesive in our efforts. As a denizen of this country, I hope to be an inspiration to my fellow Filipinos through my scholarship foundation.”

-Ray Gapuz (President, R.A. Gapuz Review Center

“I agree that perhaps using micro entrepreneurs is what we want for our country. Sariling sikap is another good description. Let us change the minds of Pinoys towards generation of wealth by going into business. Ask ‘Anong negosyo mo?’ instead of ‘Anong trabaho mo?’.”

-Cecilio Pedro (President and CEO, Lamoiyan Corp.)

“I’m dreaming and working hard to make Ever Bilena an international cosmetics brand, like Jolibee that is a truly Filipino brand. If every Filipino entrepreneur will push hard, we will be a Manny Paquiao in our line of businesses and our beloved Pilipinas will be an economic power for sure!”

-Dioceldo Sy (President, Ever Bilena)

“I dream of a Philippines where we are all proud and united Filipinos; where there are many celebrated achievements; where there are many who work hard to achieve; and where there are many who study to be able to contribute to the workforce.”

-Dennis Valdez (President, Philweb)

“My dream of a better Philippines will start with us - no blaming; being flexible and proactive rather than reactive; and being responsible businessmen. Our future lies critically on how we choose elective officials. After all, we deserve the government we choose. The Philippines is so beautiful and all we need is a beautiful mind and respect for our country.”

-Les Reyes (President, Reyes Haircutters)

“I dream of good health for me and my family through consumer awareness. I long to see that every consumer product such as burgers or French fries will have a nutrition labeling in their wrappers; and food manufacturers should educate the Filipino people in the understanding of nutrition table to have a safer and better Philippines.”

-Pinky Tobiano (Founder and CEO, Qualibet Testing Services Corp.)

“I hope that the nation's economy will continue to progress and that Filipino Entrepreneurs will once again be the expertise in the Global market. Let’s nourish and support the young entrepreneurs, they are the future of this country.”

-Richie Cuna (President, CEO of Fiorgelato)

“My dream is for the Philippines to become truly Christ-centered: where the Lord Jesus Christ is honored and worshipped; and where all Filipinos live with dignity and sufficiency in accordance with God's plan for a just, humane and caring society. As for myself, my dream is to be a vessel of blessing to my country and fellowmen.”

-Ruth Callanta (President, Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries)

* * * * *

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BIG dreams for the Philippines

BIG dreams for the Philippines
by Joey Concepcion

For those who read last week’s column entitled “My dream for the Philippines ”, there are actually a couple of sentences lacking in my dream. But due to the advice of some very caring people, I decided to remove it. But, then again, dreams are meant to be said no matter how crazy or how impossible it may be to some people.

When I was a very young boy, my dream was to have my own home, to have a boat, and to be Batman. All of it did come true. I guess the Batman part came true through my being a crusader, by means of our advocacy in Go Negosyo.

Today, my dream is for Go Negosyo. I dream that one day, our advocacy towards uplifting the Filipino people from centuries of poverty and uplifting the quality of their lives will prove to be so effective and lasting that will be adopted as a model for the developing world and even recognized by an international body such as the Nobel Prize. It is such a wild dream. But, who knows… If Go Negosyo fulfills its mission, all things are possible. Don't be scared to dream no matter how far it may seem to be.

To the young kids who are reading this column: if you would like to be the country’s president one day, write it down. If you will not be able to achieve it as it is, keep on trying or focus on achieving it by doing other things. Imagine me being Batman, the cape crusader. It would look funny at my age - wearing a bat outfit going to the office. But, I guess the crusader part is something that I achieve by helping people move out from poverty. Through Go Negosyo, I am able to bring out the Batman part in me. I did, in a way, achieve my dream of being Batman (but not through the bat outfit and a bat mobile).

Let me share with you the dreams of others.

I dream to live a useful and happy life in a Philippines that is at peace with itself and its neighbors, where society is more just and humane and where there is equal opportunity for all.

–Sec. Cerge Remonde

After having served as governor for five years and realizing that power in government can be noble and great if only it is used well, I dream that more decent, competent and selfless Filipinos choose to run for public office; and that Filipino voters learn to choose to vote them.

-Gov. Grace Padaca

I want to see a Philippines that celebrates, nurtures, and patronizes the multifaceted talent and skill of the Filipino. My hope is that I will continue to play a role in creating such a Philippines.

-Sec. Ace Durano

As a father, I would like to see at least one of my children get involved in our business in the future. But being an entrepreneur myself, it wouldn't be too surprising if they all decided to get into their own fields or businesses. It would be a dream to see them succeed in any field they choose. The Philippines, from a tourism standpoint, has so much to offer. I would like to see our infrastructure improve, to be able to address the needs of our domestic and International tourists. From an investment standpoint, I would really like to see our laws change to allow foreigners to freely buy and own land here.

-Jean Henri Lhuillier (President/CEO, Lhuillier Group of Companies)

My dream for myself is a greater vision, clarity and awareness of my bigger self. For our country: governance with principles, integrity, vision and keen awareness of the vital importance of our natural resources; that our people en masse develop a reverence for our natural resources.

-Gina Lopez (Managing Director, ABS-CBN Foundation)

I dream of ordinary things we see abroad that can bring extraordinary relief to our people - massive infra projects that will link the countryside to central business districts. I dream of low food prices, with shortened travel time from distant farms to city markets. I dream of zero squatting - when houses and lots that can be priced so cheaply like Indian Nano cars the moment efficient rail link can decongest Metro Manila and bring workers home to as far North and South as possible. I dream of many more tourists visiting the Philippines and admiring the beauty of our land not because it's man-made but because it's God-given. Finally I dream of politicians recognizing that the dreams of this generation can still be saved by learning lessons from past mistakes, listening more and serving with humility.

-Johnlu Koa (CEO, French Baker)

My dream for my country is that it shall one day be a nation of citizens who will love their country. I dream of a nation where we will believe in ourselves and in our capability to pursue integrity, excellence and discipline. I dream of a nation where all will be given an opportunity to be educated and where children will not have to roam the streets to beg. We have been blessed with natural resources and I dream of a time when this shall be nurtured and properly used for the benefit of all. I dream of a time when our Filipinos will have jobs that will utilize their talents in our country and those who leave will do so to pursue professional growth. I dream of a time when there will be peace between Filipinos regardless of religion. I dream of a time when we are able to practice our faith to bring about social justice. I dream of a time when we will not have to be worried about the safety of our family and where laws will be upheld to protect all. Each of us can do ou r share if we focus on giving all that we can to each day and believing that change is still possible.

-Carla Limcaoco (Executive Managing Director, Philippine Transmarine Carriers)