Friday, January 30, 2009

Last Friday, we had our lunch at the Sharjah Carlton Hotel [posted above is the hotel‘s façade, thanks to Yahoo! for the download]. The said lunch was arranged by my parents’ employers for their entire clan and that had been a chance for me to meet some of them for the first time since I came back. Everybody was surprised and happy to see me again. Everyone kept exclaiming “Masha Allah”. I think its one of their expressions to denote a feeling of surprise from seeing someone they haven’t met for a long time. And MEYN, I too felt a lot of shock seeing the kids I played with before. They sure grew! I mean, yeah, they all outgrew me. [L sad face from someone disappointed of his own height]. My favourite playmate before was ABDUL AZIZ, my parents’ employers‘ eldest grandson. He’s actually 5 years younger than me and now you’d be surprise to see him with a lot of facial hair and about 5” inches taller than I am. Even his sister YASMIN outgrew me! She’s just 12 but I think she’s a inch taller than I am. And when I left she could barely pronounce well, now she’s typically talkative for her age.

Man, that afternoon became really busy for me from all that smiling, which slightly strained my entire face. I also did a lot of shaking hands with all the people I was introduced with. It was really awesome because I felt a bit like a celebrity that day. Heheh! J Not to mention the FOOD. Yep, they were all Arabic food, but the were all delicious! Especially the dessert! Yumm. I can’t wait for another one of those parties coz my mom only makes Arabic desserts occasionally. Sigh.

And for all of those who are curious, YEP my parents work domestically. My mom’s their maid and my dad’s their driver. Would you believe me if I say that my mom has been with them for the last 28 years already?! Yup. That’s so true. Furthermore, my dad started working here when he and my mom got married. He used to work here as a mechanic when they haven’t met yet. You see, my mom came here when she was just 19 years old and lucky for her (and even for us) to have found really kind and generous employers. She went abroad at an early age when her father became incapable of sending her to college because life was really hard for them back then. That’s why my mom opted to fly abroad instead to help my grandpa. And that’s the story. My dad naman, he was able to come here through the help of his mother who also used to work here as a maid. Coincidentally, my grandmother’s and my mom’s employers are relatives, so that’s how my parents met. Then they got married and had me as a baby after two years. They couldn’t quit their jobs just to take care of me so my grandparents from my father’s side took the responsibility of looking after me while my parents resumed their jobs here abroad. When I got a little older, I think I was five when they took me here for the first time where I stayed until my 7th grade and then I went back to the Philippines to resume my education. Now that I’m all done with studying, I came back to pursue a career. I hope I really do find a decent job amidst this obnoxious financial turmoil going about the entire world.

Oh well, thanks for reading. Till next post!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm back for good! (i hope)

I miss blogging. That’s one fact in my think-tank that I can not eradicate no matter how persistent I am on trying to ignore this longing. It has already been almost 10 months ago since my last post and obviously a lot have happened during that lengthy hiatus, such happenings that are really worth sharing with my blog, but I failed to do so because I was too lazy to write all about them. Another factor was, I don‘t have my own internet connection anymore. It would be a pain, going to and fro the town centre just to go online, with my parents being so stingy to me these days, I hated it. But now the long wait is over. I can not ignore this burning desire forever. I’m a born writer! A writer has to write even if people don’t actually read his writings. Right?

I guess at this point, you’re already expecting me to relate a summary of the happenings that has been, but I won’t. These happenings are already a thing of the past, and relaying them to you would just take me ages to finish writing them down. Since it’s the start of the new year, why don’t we just stick to the present, for now.

At this moment, I’m typing this down in our room, my family’s room, here in Sharjah, UAE. It has been a great feeling being reunited with my family once again, since it has only happened once before when they came home in the Philippines, when I was still staying there trying to finish my studies. But right now is more special because this isn’t just another one of those vacation trips like before. I guess we’ll be together for quite a longer time, well at least that’s what I’m hoping for. It’s really great being given a chance to come back here in this country where I grew up. I guess that’s the reason why I had no difficulties trying to adjust to my new (yet not so new) environment, though a lot has really changed since the last 8 years that I’ve been gone. Not just a lot. I mean, this place just BOOMED, big time. Not that I’m not aware of it, its just a different experience when you’re actually here getting an actual view of the place. Everything here is just spectacular. Comparing the past with the present has just recently been my favourite hobby. I guess it’s a more fun thing to do when you’re able to see them directly, not just trying to visualize the whole thing. A lot has changed and everything is just spectacular. (Did I say that already?) Don’t worry coz in my succeeding posts, I think I’ll tackle some of my ventures here within the Emirates. That’d be exciting!

Aside from that, because of this nasty financial turmoil, I’m still (unfortunately) unemployed. Yet I’m still grateful because without my parents’ employers’ support, I wouldn’t be here right now. Plus, they are the one’s who referred me to Citibank, coz one of their nephews is a manager there. So a week ago, I got invited for an interview, I don’t really know how I did coz they just told me to wait for a call after a week or two but until now, I haven’t received any. If until this coming week and still no call yet, I’m afraid they’d deploy me at Emic (Emirates Metallic Industries Corp.). But I don’t want to! I wanna work in the financial district of Dubai, not within the Industrial Area. That’s why I’m ain’t giving up on hope. I just wish good news will come this coming week.

End! ‘till next post! :D

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I have just finished packing some of my stuff because my Mom will arrive tomorrow from Dubai and we'll go straight home to the province right after picking her up so i'm just gonna bring my packed things with me to go with the van.

Gawd, all those packing made me so exhausted. But somehow, i felt very reminiscent because while packing my school things, it reminded me a lot about my past years in college. I saw some of my test papers, quizzes, homeworks, kodigos [harhar], and projects that made me realize one thing. I'm really gonna miss my college life. Sigh. How i wish i could stay in school forever. It's already less than 2 weeks before graduation. I'm excited but at the same time sad. Buhuhhuhuhu! [Shit, ang korny!]

Nway, I'm sleepy now. Goodnight bloggie.
I'll be back on the 26th. Chao. :D

Oh and before i forget, lemme just greet you guys!

Happy Easter - Greetings - More amazing video clips are a click away

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I never thought i'd enjoy this much in college. In fact, this has been entirely the happiest chapter of my life and now that it's almost ending, it feels like a very vital organ in my entire system is about to get ripped out.

In this chapter, i've learned a lot of lessons from countless failures. Here, i managed to stand up after a terrible stumbler. Here i met lots of people. I mingled with them and they taught me life's valuable lessons. This is the part where i grew up maturely.

This is also the part where i met my FRIENDS who have played more than a major part in my entire college life, and who, i'm quite sure, will be my companions for life.

They are:

He's my bestest friend among the bunch, so we call each other "bezty". He's smart. Studious. Funny. and so maarte, coz he doesn't like walking so much. He's a guy who i can really talk to about anything. He'll be graduating with honors on our graduation day, i can't be any prouder.

She's my future wife. She lives a very simple life but strives to give herself and her family only the best. She's a good singer. She loves walking. and she's very diligent and dedicated. Plus, she's also a cry-baby.

I love annoying this girl simply because she doesn't really get annoyed. Haha. She only dreams about living a simple happy life in the future. Yes, for her simplicity is beauty!

He is a very nice guy. He never tried to smoke, nor drink, and doesnt like x-rated conversations. Haha. He likes playing musical instruments, politics, business, and pets. We love annoying him because he's such a pikon.

Though he coudn't be counted on in terms of studies, he can still be the best friend that you need. and although he is a minister's son, he's pretty debauched, haha only a little! He's the one considered as beastfriend ng lahat, hehe.

She's my girl bestfriend, so i call her "bezzy". She's a born artist and a certified camwhore! I like her for being so independent and practical.

Another honor student! Yehey! She's a very fun person to be with. We never run out of topics to discuss. She's a girl who knows her priorities and knows how to perform them well.

Another one of my beztys. I like him for being just. and i really appreciate how he worries about us because he's the eldest.

The most punctual among us all. (can you smell the sarcasm?!) Haha. She's a great dancer. She's funny, and she can always be counted on anytime, anywhere. Just not on the punctuality part. Hehe.

There. These are the people who i can never live without because they became my family, when i had none [coz my family's abroad]. They are the ones who came out of nowhere and shared their lives with mine and now it feels so sad because among all of us, im the only one who plans to work abroad right away, and it feels so terrible just thinking about me leaving. :(

Friday, March 14, 2008


I wasn't able to watch the Bb. Pilipinas pageant that night when it was aired live at GMA-7 because i was too lazy to get out of my room. I only heard about the results the following day from my friends who actually watched it, and i felt very unsure with what i've heard. At first i just ignored it in disbelief but i fared the opposite when news from everywhere just came popping out about how Bb. Pilipinas-World, Ms. Janina San Maiguel has won the pageant. I'm sure you bloggers have already heard about how annoyingly she won despite her imperfect english and juvenile mannerisms. I know im too judmental to conclude that it was a very dumb decision the judges made to have made her won and to have been given a chance to represent our country in the Ms. World Pageant since i didnt really watch the entire show myself, but im quite sure that there even more deserving contestants in the pageant than her. I just wish that the overall Bb. Pilipinas Planning Committee chose better judges. Im so disappointed. I think we should ready ourselves to get embarassed now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Ruckus

Classes in school yesterday were cancelled because of a major church activity, so i decided to spend the rest of the morning sleeping my head off until my cellphone began ringing and ruined my beauty sleep. I then pealed my eyes and realized i wasnt in slumberland anymore.

So reached for my phone, which was on a chair beside my bed to see what the ruckus was all about. Thinking it was the alarm, it was actually a phone call from someone i didnt know, using a landline. So with a husky voice, i answered "Hello?". "Hello. Is this dexter?". It was a lady's voice. "Yes, speaking", i replied. "Hi, this is Sherry, from RCBC HR Office". Then blah blah blah... The summary is she just told me that she had just recomputed my time record of my OJT and that my own computation was wrong. I shoud've deducted one hour from each day for my lunch break.

Great! So that means that i still lacked 12 hours more to complete my required 200. Damn. All this time i thought i was already in a breather from all the hecticness in my schedule this semester. Still drowsee as i was, i just listened as she spoke, merely saying "yes" and "ok" as confirmation that i undrstood every stated instruction. So i still have to go back to the branch were i work in to fill up my still-lacking hours to complete my OJT history.

Just great. What a wonderful disturbance now that were already busy with our clearances. Sigh.. But after all, it'll just be 2 days. But still, grrr, i'd have to wake up early for 2 consecutive days. What a bummer.

After her call, i didn't feel sleepy anymore, so feeling quite annoyed from the bad news i just heard, i stood up and decided to start my day with a mug of coffee. Somehow, the aroma and taste casted away my slight discomfort.

Friday, February 29, 2008


GOOD NEWS!! i got my laptop back!! hurray!! :D

now i need to do a little summary of the things i missed to blog about:

1. our final exams went quite well last week. cant wait for the results!

2. we are now working on our clearances, but we (JFINEX Officers) are on hold at the auditor's office because we haven't done liquidating our expenses yet. darn our treasurer!!

3. i'm now done with my OJT. hurray!! my last day was last feb.20. where my evaluator gave me a generous grade of 99% on my evaluation report. yehey! :D (sablay lang ng 1% sa punctuality! hehe)

4. this month we celebrated our college week and we had to organize the finance exhibits and seminars and phew! that went rather great. except for all the cramming part. but we still garnered a job well done from our dean! :D

5. this month we also attented CAMP 3 (Conference of Aspiring Marketing Professionals) at the Mall of Asia. the organizer was a professor from my school that's why we were forced to go. hehe. Pero the SM MOA-SMX looked great! i loved the venue.

6. official date of graduation is on match 28! waah! there's only less than a month more to go! buhuhuhuhu, i'm really gonna miss college.

so there. till next post. :D

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


my laptop's gone hay-wire so i won't be online until it's fixed. really sorry for the sudden hiatus guys. i'll be back soon. :D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Moping (again!)

Anak: Tay, huwag mo muna ilipat!! Di pa tapos ung marimar!

Ama: Aysus! Maghapon ka na nga nanunuod diyan eh.

Anak: Di naman. Pumasok kaya ko kanina.

Ama: Umaga lang kaya pasok mo! Kaya ako muna dito. Magaral ka na!

Anak: Kakatapos lang kaya ng midterm. Sige na tay! Sa siyete muna!

Ama: Pakita nga ng exams mo.

Anak: Wala pa. Di pa binibigay. Tay, yung sinabi ko sayo ha. Sa friday na yun.

Ama: Wala pa kong pera! (pasigaw)

Anak: Tay naman eh! Nun ko pa kaya sinabi yun! (pasigaw)

Ama: Bakit ba sumisigaw ka?! (pasigaw)

Anak: Ikaw kaya unang sumigaw! (pasigaw)

Ama: Bakit ba tuwing tayo naguusap, laging pasigaw?!

Anak: Tay naman, iniiba mo usapan eh!

Here's a father-daughter conversation i overheard from a neighbor while waiting for our gate to be unlocked by my roomate upstairs. Lesson-learned=none!! i just missed my dad. :(

Read to be inspired

You'd benefit from this, im quite sure u would. :D

This was a speech of a filipino magnate, John Gokongwei at the 20th Ad Congress Nov 21, 2007
"Before I begin, I want to say please bear with me, an 81-year-old man who just
flew in from San Francisco 36 hours ago and is still suffering from jet
lag. However, I hope I will be able to say what you want to hear...
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Thank you very much for having me
here tonight to open the Ad Congress. I know how important this event is
for our marketing and advertising colleagues. My people get very excited
and go into a panic, every other year, at this time.
I would like to talk about my life, entrepreneurship, and globalization.
I would like to talk about how we can become a great nation.
You may wonder how one is connected to the other, but I promise that, as
there is truth in advertising, the connection will come.

Let me begin with a story I have told many times. My own.
I was born to a rich Chinese-Filipino family. I spent my childhood in
Cebu where my father owned a chain of movie houses, including the first
air-conditioned one outside Manila . I was the eldest of six children
and lived in a big house in Cebu's Forbes Park ..

A chauffeur drove me to school everyday as I went to San Carlos
University , then and still one of the country's top schools. I topped
my classes and had many friends. I would bring them to watch movies for
free at my father's movie houses.

When I was 13, my father died suddenly of complications due to typhoid.
Everything I enjoyed vanished instantly. My father's empire was built on
credit. When he died, we lost everything-our big house, our cars, our
business-to the banks.

I felt angry at the world for taking away my father, and for taking away
all that I enjoyed before. When the free movies disappeared, I also lost
half my friends. On the day I had to walk two miles to school for the
very first time, I cried to my mother, a widow at 32. But she said: "You
should feel lucky. Some people have no shoes to walk to school. What can
you do? Your father died with 10 centavos in his pocket."
So, what can I do? I worked.

My mother sent my siblings to China where living standards were lower.
She and I stayed in Cebu to work, and we sent them money regularly. My
mother sold her jewelry. When that ran out, we sold roasted peanuts in
the backyard of our much-smaller home. When that wasn't enough, I opened
a small stall in a palengke.

I chose one among several palengkes a few miles outside the city because
there were fewer goods available for the people there. I woke up at five
o'clock every morning for the long bicycle ride to the palengke with my
basket of goods..

There, I set up a table about three feet by two feet in size. I laid out
my goods-soap, candles, and thread-and kept selling until everything was
bought. Why these goods? Because these were hard times and this was a
poor village, so people wanted and needed the basics-soap to keep them
clean, candles to light the night, and thread to sew their clothes.
I was surrounded by other vendors, all of them much older. Many of them
could be my grandparents. And they knew the ways of the palengke far
more than a boy of 15, especially one who had never worked before.
But being young had its advantages. I did not tire as easily, and I
moved more quickly. I was also more aggressive. After each day, I would
make about 20 pesos in profit! There was enough to feed my siblings and
still enough to pour back into the business. The pesos I made in the
palengke were the pesos that went into building the business I have

After this experience, I told myself, "If I can compete with people so
much older than me, if I can support my whole family at 15, I can do

Looking back, I wonder, what would have happened if my father had not
left my family with nothing? Would I have become the man I am? Who

The important thing to know is that life will always deal us a few bad
cards. But we have to play those cards the best we can. And WE can play
to win!

This was one lesson I picked up when I was a teenager. It has been my
guiding principle ever since. And I have had 66 years to practice
self-determination. When I wanted something, the best person to depend
on was myself.

And so I continued to work. In 1943, I expanded and began trading goods
between Cebu and Manila . From Cebu , I would transport tires on a small
boat called a batel. After traveling for five days to Lucena, I would
load them into a truck for the six- hour trip to Manila .. I would end
up sitting on top of my goods so they would not be stolen! In Manila , I
would then purchase other goods from the earnings I made from the tires,
to sell in Cebu ..

Then, when WWII ended, I saw the opportunity for trading goods in
post-war Philippines . I was 20 years old. With my brother Henry, I put
up Amasia Trading which imported onions, flour, used clothing, old
newspapers and magazines, and fruits from the United States .. In 1948,
my mother and I got my siblings back from China . I also converted a
two-story building in Cebu to serve as our home, office, and warehouse
all at the same time. The whole family began helping out with the

In 1957, at age 31, I spotted an opportunity in corn-starch
manufacturing. But I was going to compete with Ludo and Luym, the
richest group in Cebu and the biggest cornstarch manufacturers. I
borrowed money to finance the project. The first bank I approached made
me wait for two hours, only to refuse my loan. The second one, China
Bank, approved a P500,000-peso clean loan for me. Years later, the
banker who extended that loan, Dr. Albino Sycip said that he saw
something special in me. Today, I still wonder what that was, but I
still thank Dr. Sycip to this day.

Upon launching our first product, Panda corn starch, a price war ensued.
After the smoke cleared, Universal Corn Products was still left
standing. It is the foundation upon which JG Summit Holdings now stands.

Interestingly, the price war also forced the closure of a third
cornstarch company, and one of their chemists was Lucio Tan, who always
kids me that I caused him to lose his job. I always reply that if it
were not for me, he will not be one of the richest men in the
Philippines today.

When my business grew, and it was time for me to bring in more people-my
family, the professionals, the consultants, more employees-I knew that I
had to be there to teach them what I knew. When dad died at age 34, he
did not leave a succession plan. From that, I learned that one must
teach people to take over a business at any time. The values of hard
work that I learned from my father, I taught to my children. They
started doing jobs here and there even when they were still in high
school. Six years ago, I announced my retirement and handed the reins to
my youngest brother James and only son Lance. But my children tease me
because I still go to the office every day and make myself useful. I
just hired my first Executive Assistant and moved into a bigger and
nicer office.

Building a business to the size of JG Summit was not easy. Many
challenges were thrown my way. I could have walked away from them,
keeping the business small, but safe. Instead, I chose to fight. But
this did not mean I won each time.

By 1976, at age 50, we had built significant businesses in food products
anchored by a branded coffee called Blend 45, and agro-industrial
products under the Robina Farms brand. That year, I faced one of my
biggest challenges, and lost. And my loss was highly publicized, too.
But I still believe that this was one of my defining moments.
In that decade, not many business opportunities were available due to
the political and economic environment. Many Filipinos were already
sending their money out of the country. As a Filipino, I felt that our
money must be invested here. I decided to purchase shares in San Miguel,
then one of the Philippines ' biggest corporations. By 1976, I had
acquired enough shares to sit on its board.

The media called me an upstart. "Who is Gokongwei and why is he doing
all those terrible things to San Miguel?" ran one headline of the day.
In another article, I was described as a pygmy going up against the
powers-that-be. The San Miguel board of directors itself even aid for an
ad in all the country's top newspapers telling the public why I should
not be on the board.

On the day of reckoning, shareholders quickly filled up the auditorium
to witness the battle. My brother James and I had prepared for many
hours for this debate. We were nervous and excited at the same time.
In the end, I did not get the board seat because of the Supreme Court
Ruling. But I was able to prove to others-and to myself-that I was
willing to put up a fight. I succeeded because I overcame my fear, and
tried. I believe this battle helped define who I am today. In a twist to
this story, I was invited to sit on the board of Anscor and San Miguel
Hong Kong 5 years later. Lose some, win some.

Since then, I've become known as a serious player in the business world,
but the challenges haven't stopped coming.
Let me tell you about the three most recent challenges. In all three,
conventional wisdom bet against us. See, we set up businesses against
market Goliaths in very high-capital industries: airline, telecoms, and

Challenge No. 1: In 1996, we decided to start an airline. At the time,
the dominant airline in the country was PAL, and if you wanted to travel
cheaply, you did not fly. You went by sea or by land.
However, my son Lance and I had a vision for Cebu Pacific: We wanted
every Filipino to fly.

Inspired by the low-cost carrier models in the United States , we
believed that an airline based on the no-frills concept would work here.
No hot meals. No newspaper. Mono-class seating. Operating with a single
aircraft type. Faster turn around time. It all worked, thus enabling
Cebu Pacific to pass on savings to the consumer.
How did we do this? By sticking to our philosophy of "low cost, great

And we stick to that philosophy to this day. Cebu Pacific offers
incentives. Customers can avail themselves of a tiered pricing scheme,
with promotional seats for as low a P1. The earlier you book, the
cheaper your ticket.

Cebu Pacific also made it convenient for passengers by making online
booking available. This year, 1.25 million flights will be booked
through our website. This reduced our distribution costs dramatically.
Low cost. Great value.

When we started 11 years ago, Cebu Pacific flew only 360,000 passengers,
with 24 daily flights to 3 destinations. This year, we expect to fly
more than five million passengers, with over 120 daily flights to 20
local destinations and 12 Asian cities. Today, we are the largest in
terms of domestic flights, routes and destinations.

We also have the youngest fleet in the region after acquiring new Airbus
319s and 320s. In January, new ATR planes will arrive. These are smaller
planes that can land on smaller air strips like those in Palawan and
Caticlan. Now you don't have to take a two-hour ride by mini-bus to get
to the beach.

Largely because of Cebu Pacific, the average Filipino can now afford to
fly. In 2005, 1 out of 12 Filipinos flew within a year. In 2012, by
continuing to offer low fares, we hope to reduce that ratio to 1 out of
6. We want to see more and more Filipinos see their country and the

Challenge No. 2: In 2003, we established Digitel Mobile Philippines,
Inc. and developed a brand for the mobile phone business called Sun
Cellular. Prior to the launch of the brand, we were actually involved in
a transaction to purchase PLDT shares of the majority shareholder.
The question in everyone's mind was how we could measure up to the two
telecom giants.. They were entrenched and we were late by eight years!
PLDT held the landline monopoly for quite a while, and was first in the
mobile phone industry. Globe was a younger company, but it launched
digital mobile technology here.

But being a late player had its advantages. We could now build our
platform from a broader perspective. We worked with more advanced
technologies and intelligent systems not available ten years ago. We
chose our suppliers based on the most cost-efficient hardware and
software.. Being a Johnny-come-lately allowed us to create and launch
more innovative products, more quickly.

All these provided us with the opportunity to give the consumers a
choice that would rock their world. The concept was simple. We would
offer Filipinos to call and text as much as they want for a fixed
monthly fee. For P250 a month, they could get in touch with anyone
within the Sun network at any time. This means great savings of as much
as 2/3 of their regular phone bill! Suddenly, we gained traction. Within
one year of its introduction, Sun hit one million customers.
Once again, the paradigm shifts - this time in the telecom industry.
Sun's 24/7 Call and Text unlimited changed the landscape of mobile-phone

Today, we have over 4 million subscribers and 2000 cell sites around the
archipelago. In a country where 97% of the market is pre-paid, we
believe we have hit on the right strategy.
Sun Cellular is a Johnny-come-lately, but it's doing all right. It is a
third player, but a significant one, in an industry where Cassandras
believed a third player would perish. And as we have done in the realm
of air travel, so have we done in the telecom world: We have changed the

In the end, it is all about making life better for the consumer by
giving them choices.
Challenge No. 3: In 2004, we launched C2, the green tea drink that would
change the face of the local beverage industry - then, a playground of
cola companies. Iced tea was just a sugary brown drink served bottomless
in restaurants. For many years, hardly was there any significant product
innovation in the beverage business.

Admittedly, we had little experience in this area. Universal Robina
Corporation is the leader in snack foods but our only background in
beverage was instant coffee. Moreover, we would be entering the
playground of huge multinationals. We decided to play anyway.
It all began when I was in China in 2003 and noticed the immense
popularity of bottled iced tea. I thought that this product would have
huge potential here. We knew that the Philippines was not a traditional
tea-drinking country since more familiar to consumers were colas in
returnable glass bottles. But precisely, this made the market ready for
a different kind of beverage. One that refreshes yet gives the health
benefits of green tea. We positioned it as a "spa" in a bottle. A drink
that cools and cleans...thus, C2 was born.

C2 immediately caught on with consumers.. When we launched C2 in 2004,
we sold 100,000 bottles in the first month. Three years later, Filipinos
drink around 30 million bottles of C2 per month. Indeed, C2 is in a good

With Cebu Pacific, Sun Cellular, and C2, the JG Summit team took control
of its destiny. And we did so in industries where old giants had set the
rules of the game. It's not that we did not fear the giants. We knew we
could have been crushed at the word go. So we just made sure we came
prepared with great products and great strategies. We ended up changing
the rules of the game instead.

There goes the principle of self-determination, again. I tell you, it
works for individuals as it does for companies. And as I firmly believe,
it works for nations.

I have always wondered, like many of us, why we Filipinos have not lived
up to our potential. We have proven we can. Manny Pacquiao and Efren
Bata Reyes in sports. Lea Salonga and the UP Madrigal Singers in
performing arts. Monique Lhuillier and Rafe Totenco in fashion. And
these are just the names made famous by the media. There are many more
who may not be celebrities but who have gained respect on the world

But to be a truly great nation, we must also excel as entrepreneurs
before the world. We must create Filipino brands for the global market

If we want to be philosophical, we can say that, with a world-class
brand, we create pride for our nation. If we want to be practical, we
can say that, with brands that succeed in the world, we create more jobs
for our people, right here.

Then, we are able to take part in what's really important-giving our
people a big opportunity to raise their standards of living, giving them
a real chance to improve their lives.

We can do it. Our neighbors have done it. So can we.
In the last 54 years, Korea worked hard to rebuild itself after a world
war and a civil war destroyed it. From an agricultural economy in 1945,
it shifted to light industry, consumer products, and heavy industry in
the '80s. At the turn of the 21st century, the Korean government focused
on making Korea the world's leading IT nation. It did this by grabbing
market share in key sectors like semiconductors, robotics, and

Today, one remarkable Korean brand has made it to the list of Top 100
Global Brands: Samsung. Less then a decade ago, Samsung meant nothing to
consumers. By focusing on quality, design, and innovation, Samsung
improved its products and its image. Today, it has surpassed the
Japanese brand Sony. Now another Korean brand, LG Collins, is following
in the footsteps of Samsung. It has also broken into the Top 100 Global
Brands list.

What about China ? Who would have thought that only 30 years after
opening itself up to a market economy, China would become the world's
fourth largest economy? Goods made in China are still thought of as
cheap. Yet many brands around the world outsource their manufacturing to
this country. China 's own brands-like Lenovo, Haier, Chery QQ, and
Huawei-are fast gaining ground as well. I have no doubt they will be the
next big electronics, technology and car brands in the world.
Lee Kwan Yu's book "From Third World to First" captures Singapore 's
aspiration to join the First World .. According to the book, Singapore
was a trading post that the British developed as a nodal point in its
maritime empire. The racial riots there made its officials determined to
build a "multiracial society that would give equality to all citizens,
regardless of race, language or religion."

When Singapore was asked to leave the Malaysian Federation of States in
1965, Lee Kwan Yew developed strategies that he executed with
single-mindedness despite their being unpopular. He and his cabinet
started to build a nation by establishing the basics: building
infrastructure, establishing an army, weeding out corruption, providing
mass housing, building a financial center. Forty short years after,
Singapore has been transformed into the richest South East Asian country
today, with a per capita income of US$32,000.

These days, Singapore is transforming itself once more. This time it
wants to be the creative hub in Asia , maybe even the world. More and
more, it is attracting the best minds from all over the world in
filmmaking, biotechnology, media, and finance. Meantime, Singaporeans
have also created world-class brands: Banyan Tree in the hospitality
industry, Singapore Airlines in the Airline industry and Singapore
Telecoms in the telco industry.

I often wonder: Why can't the Philippines , or a Filipino, do this?
Fifty years after independence, we have yet to create a truly global
brand. We cannot say the Philippines is too small because it has 86
million people. Switzerland , with 9 million people, created Nestle.
Sweden , also with 9 million people, created Ericsson. Finland , even
smaller with five million people, created Nokia. All three are major
global brands, among others.

Yes, our country is well-known for its labor, as we continue to export
people around the world. And after India , we are grabbing a bigger
chunk of the pie in the call-center and business-process-outsourcing
industries. But by and large, the Philippines has no big industrial
base, and Filipinos do not create world-class products.
We should not be afraid to try-even if we are laughed at. Japan ,
laughed at for its cars, produced Toyota .. Korea , for its electronics,
produced Samsung. Meanwhile, the Philippines ' biggest companies 50
years ago-majority of which are multinational corporations such as
Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever Philippines , for
example-are still the biggest companies today. There are very few big,
local challengers.

But already, hats off to Filipino entrepreneurs making strides to
globalize their brands.

Goldilocks has had much success in the Unites States and Canada , where
half of its customers are non-Filipinos. Coffee-chain Figaro may be a
small player in the coffee world today, but it is making the leap to the
big time. Two Filipinas, Bea Valdez and Tina Ocampo, are now selling
their Philippine-made jewelry and bags all over the world. Their labels
are now at Barney's and Bergdorf's in the U.S. and in many other
high-end shops in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East ..
When we started our own foray outside the Philippines 30 years ago, it
wasn't a walk in the park. We set up a small factory in Hong Kong to
manufacture Jack and Jill potato chips there. Today, we are all over
Asia . We have the number-one-potato-chips brand in Malaysia and
Singapore .. We are the leading biscuit manufacturer in Thailand , and a
significant player in the candy market in Indonesia . Our Aces cereal
brand is a market leader in many parts of China . C2 is now doing very
well in Vietnam , selling over 3 million bottles a month there, after
only 6 months in the market. Soon, we will launch C2 in other South East
Asian markets.

I am 81 today. But I do not forget the little boy that I was in the
palengke in Cebu .. I still believe in family. I still want to make
good. I still don't mind going up against those older and better than
me. I still believe hard work will not fail me. And I still believe in
people willing to think the same way.

Through the years, the market place has expanded: between cities,
between countries, between continents. I want to urge you all here to
think bigger. Why serve 86 million when you can sell to four billion
Asians? And that's just to start you off. Because there is still the
world beyond Asia . When you go back to your offices, think of ways to
sell and market your products and services to the world. Create
world-class brands.

You can if you really tried. I did. As a boy, I sold peanuts from my
backyard. Today, I sell snacks to the world.
I want to see other Filipinos do the same.
Thank you and good evening once again."

there. it's quite lengthy but i have to say it is worth it.