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PIA Press Release

Go Negosyo holds caravan, awards 11 Kapampangan entrepreneurs

by Eloisa P. Galang

San Fernando City, Pampanga (24 October) -- "One of the legacies which I want my administration to leave to the nation is for more entrepreneurs to succeed and contribute to the marginalization of poverty."

Thus spoke President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she addressed the Go Negosyo team caravan in Pampanga, held at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention center here, the fifth to be held since the team's inception four months ago.

Fresh from her own Go Negosyo trips in China and India, the President thanked the Go Negosyo team headed by Jose Ma. "Joey" Concepcion III, also presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and a successful businessman himself.

Arroyo disclosed that the team, having held successful caravans in the cities of Cebu, Bacolod, Baguio, and Metro Manila, has been waking up the entrepreneurial spirit among Filipinos.

"Pampanga has its own inspiring stories from way back; empirical data from a book by John Carroll showed that the most outstanding entrepreneurs came from Pampanga."

"And now, fresh signs of a resurgence of this spirit can be seen in Pampanga and other central key areas." She mentioned the increased assistance being given in the form of microfinance to some four million entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), incentives and programs for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"No amount of political noise can prevent us from pursuing this track - negosyo, trabaho- to continue empowering our people."

Concepcion stressed the fact that the stock market has been reaching all time high records and the Philippine peso new lows against the US dollar, indicating that "despite political controversies, optimism among our people increases day by day".

He addressed the mainly young audience from various high schools in Pampanga, "do not expect too much from the government; it will be there to assist you but it is time for you to take control of your destiny."

"Isulat ninyo sa papel kung ano'ng gusto ninyong mangyari sa buhay ninyo, 10 years from now - what you want to become, where you want to live, how much money you want to have - and pursue it in the best and most positive manner possible."

"You can do this by emulating the 11 awardees which the Go Negosyo team has chosen for their outstanding entrepreneurial spirit and success in their chosen businesses."

Arroyo, along with Concepcion, SME Czar Cerge Remonde of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), and Pampanga Governor Eddie T. Panlilio presented the awards to Emmanuel Angeles of the Angeles University Foundation for his success in the field of education and health care; Jose Bituin of Betis Craft for furniture making; Teresa Carlos of the Bank of Florida for financial assistance to SMEs; Fatima del Rosario of Sasmuan Delicacies; Michael Escaler for pioneering in sugar mills and expanding into water and electricity; Prudencio Garcia of Mekeni Meat products, a consistent winner in the triple A category for best meat processing plant; Lolita Hizon of Pampanga's Best, a pioneer in the meat processing industry as well; Peter Nepomuceno of the Angeles Electric Corporation and other businesses for power generation and real estate; Ryan Razon of the famous Razon's halu-halo and palabok; Wilfredo Tan of the Hausland Development Corporation for real estate; and Jaime Uy of Saver's Mall and other businesses for malls, internet and media services.

The President expressed confidence that "we can produce more of such entrepreneurs" if we were more "mapaniubuk, masikan a lub", as she addressed the predominantly young crowd in the venue.

Two forums were held with media personalities Cheryl Cosim, Karen Davila, and Cito Beltran as moderators. Panelists in the morning forum were Paolo Bediones, one of the program's emcees and an entrepreneur himself; Margarita "Gaita" Fores, a restaurateur; Nene Tamayo, grand winner of Pinoy Big Brother reality show and now an entrepreneur herself; Myla del Rosario on information technology; Ed Morato of the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation and the 11 awardees.

The afternoon forum had as panelists Rachy Cuna, chair of the International Franchisers Association; Les Reyes of Reyes Haircutters; Victor Tan of Bobson Jeans; Ronald Pineda of Folded and Hung; Rey Lapid of Lapid's Chicharon; Johnlu Kua of French Baker.

The students asked pertinent questions of the panelists who in turn shared their experiences and gave tips to would be young entrepreneurs.

Among the tips given are have a goal; seek information and knowledge; be driven; love your work; be innovative but stick to what you are good at; get a good location; have a good product; keep in mind your target markets and please them; source out potential customers; and the good, old and often repeated sipag, tiyaga, sigasig, likot ng isip o pagiging malikhain at pakikipag kapwa tao.

Sam Concepcion, a young stage and television personality and new ambassador to the youth of the Department of Education (DepEd), performed musical numbers and urged the youth to focus on their studies and follow the example of the successful entrepreneurs awarded earlier.

The Go Negosyo team is scheduled to hold their next caravans in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Makati, Batangas and Pangasinan in its bid to continue tapping the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipino. (PIA-Pampanga) [top]

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