Go Negosyo's true philanthropists

GO NEGOSYO - Joey Concepcion () - June 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Last Thursday, close to 400 entrepreneurs and partners confirmed attendance to our Pasasalamat affair. It’s an annual event that we do to thank the Go Negosyo community, since so many of them take time out of their busy schedule to attend many of Go Negosyo’s activities, providing support, training and mentorship.

We expected it to rain that day as we learned from Typhoon2000.ph (a good website to monitor the weather). But still, to our surprise, the rainband was so thick and caused a heavy downpour in Luzon, just as our gathering was about to start, resulting in flash floods and major traffic jams. So many entreps got stranded, and they informed us that they couldn’t make it. We replied through SMS that we definitely understand and their safety was much more important.??

Sec. Cesar Purisima texted me two days before the event date and said he was on the way, and I had to remind him that he was going to be two days early if he pushed through. But on the night of the affair itself, he ended up caught in a major traffic jam. Even Isaac Belmonte of The Philippine Star had to turn back. Sandy and husband Philip Romualdez, who arrived close to midnight, told us of their adventure managing through the flood and traffic. Harley Sy arrived as all guests were about to leave; and though tired from being stranded for hours, he still came to greet. Similarly, Sec. Greg Domingo and wife had to wait it out and have dinner elsewhere, but managed to come.??

Still, the night of Pasasalamat was well attended, with close to half of those who confirmed. Many of those who attended lived close to the village. Atty. Felipe Gozon and wife, who are our neighbors, surely did not have to encounter traffic. Our biggest supporter, PLDT and Smart CEO Manny V. Pangilinan was able to make it, and even said a few words as we closed the evening.??

As some said during the evening, rains bring good luck. Didn’t put too much thought into that until the next day. Quite early in the morning, executive director of Go Negosyo Ramon Lopez called me and said that Go Negosyo and I were recognized by Forbes as one of Asia’s 48 Philanthropists of the year. At first, I thought what he meant was the Forbes list in terms of wealth. What ran through my mind was, “Wow, the BIR will take notice.” But kidding aside, as I became fully awake, I realized that it was for the philanthropic efforts that Go Negosyo has done for the country. That sounded even much better, and somehow a feeling of excitement rushed over me, just as I felt in the evening of the Pasasalamat.??

The timing fell just into place, for this recognition of philanthropic deeds goes out to the many entrepreneurs and partners who have put in time, talent and treasure to help many Filipinos. This also includes the DTI, the regional and provincial directors, and the SME Bureau under Usec. Merly Cruz and Sec. Greg Domingo, who have been serving the MSMEs. I always kid Usec. Merly that, whether she liked it or not, we are DTI’s natural partner in the private sector, as we have a common

objective of making the Philippines a country of enterprising and empowered Filipinos, with bigger chances to succeed, while creating employment for others. To us, this is the real lasting solution to overcoming poverty.

Last week, we thanked all of our partners and fellow advocates.  With the recognition from Forbes magazine, we once again extend our extra gratitude to our community. You’re the real philanthropists, our new heroes and superstars. You inspire many not to lose hope, and instead aspire for a better life. We also thank Forbes Asia for including us.  I’m sure that there are many more deserving of this recognition.

Yes, it did rain that day, and maybe it was a sign of good luck. But luck doesn’t come to those who don’t work hard for their passion. God has blessed us with life. It’s up to us to make full use of His blessing to help others in whatever way we can. And, sometimes, just through inspiration, we can change the lives of people. Thanks again to all those who have helped in this advocacy.

* * *

DESPITE THE RAINS AND FLOODS, the Negosems still went on. Let me salute our Angelpreneurs who continued with our Negosems even with the storm. Usec. Merly Cruz and our lecturer Prof. Carlo Calimon were in Sorsogon for the DTI SME Caravan, and luckily, came back earlier. However, our other mentor Jorge Wieneke, along with our staff, got stranded. After the seminar, they had to move to Legaspi to catch a flight the next day.

Another team led by our executive director also went to Cebu for a Negosem that’s part of the Cebu Business Month.  He was fortunate to catch the last possible flight, after which all flights to Manila were cancelled. Thus, other Angelpeneurs Paulo Tibig, Ed Pilapil, Reuel Virtucio and Tess Dimaculangan didn’t make it back that day and missed our gathering.  We truly admire our dedicated lecturer-mentors who volunteer to help us empower many Filipinos.??

Provincial Negosems with DTI are still ongoing. Last Monday, Go Negosyo was in Mati, Davao, led by Paulo and Reuel again. Tomorrow, we have our Executive Director Mon together with Ardy Roberto and entrep Donna Jiao in Dipolog, while next week we will be in Dumaguete. Angelpreneurs Ping Sotto, Reuel, and entrep couple Nelson and Siu Ping Par of PR Gaz will also be there. Thanks to you all.

* * *

We would also like to extend our thanks to our other partners Full Circle, Select Media, and Ideal Minds for helping Go Negosyo reach out to as many Filipinos as possible.

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