John Gokongwei speech

Speech delivered by John Gokongwei at the Ad Congress on November 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 today.

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 anything!”

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 knows?

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 se rv e as our home, office, and warehouse all at the same time. The whole family began helping out with the business.

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 ne rv ous 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 beverage.

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 value.”

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 world!

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 usage.

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 marketplace.

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 se rv ed 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 place.

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 stage.

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 place.

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 biotechnology.

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,providin g 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 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 se rv e 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 se rv ices 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

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Comments

  1. Jojo says:

    What an amazing hardworking man! Thanks for sharing this speech.

  2. Datu Puti says:

    Filipinos, from the third world, slaves of the first.

    Sure he’s successful, but one must ask how much he has contributed to poverty in the Philippines, deliberately or not. A JUST Capitalistic world is a fantasy, the notion that capital and justice can coexist is fallacy advocated only by the naive.

    There are winners, but a disproportionately larger group of losers.

    It is not possible for every Filipino or every human to work their way out of poverty as long as the upper class exists. It is not possible for everyones standard of living to be equal to that of the average American (who with 5% of total world pop. produces 30% and is a main consumer of Chinese and Indian products). Much less is it probable that the world can live as men like Gokongwei does.

    Goldilocks is nothing to be proud of. They undercompensate and overwork their employees. The workers are paid minimum wage and are given less than 40hrs a week to rid themselves of the obligation of giving their workers benefits. They are urged to get to work earlier than their scheduled time and leave later, and are reprimanded if they clock in during those times rather than the time they are scheduled. (This is in the United States mind you!)

    The only ones that gain from Goldilocks’ success is the Leelin family.

  3. […] and is still suffering from jet lag. However, I hope I will be able to say what you want to hear. (more…) Philippines News : Read the rest of this article […]

  4. Shane says:

    Still, it’s a notable achievement to rise from nothing to someone who has contributed in economic success of the country. Sure there are far more less fortunate. One success at a time isn’t a bad concept. I try to find the good in this man’s achievements and apply the good that he has done. The right decisions he has made I will try to remember as I create my own successes if not just for me but for the trickle effect it will have in the people around me.

  5. Datu Puti says:

    Trickle effect does not work

  6. Luke says:

    To jaded people like you maybe it doesn’t work. But I’ve seen how inspiring stories like these work in effecting positive change.

  7. Sandra says:

    I agree with Luke. Positive change could happen and trickle down if one is willing and hopeful.

  8. Col.Smithe Ret (USMC) says:

    Datu Puti I’d be willing to bet my life he’s done more for the filipino then you have.

    P.S.
    By the way Dala Puta, are you still living in your parents basement apartment sleeping until mid afternoon, and freeloading?.

  9. Datu Puti says:

    Smith, not more for but more to. You have the same tired childish ad hominem arguments again and again.

    Inspiration can trickle down, yes, wealth may trickle down, but more people are drained of wealth than the people that gain from it. There are some positives with such a system but the negatives greatly outweigh those positives.

    Let’s look at it from the ground up, as he came from the bottom. At the palengke, he competed with the other little businesses, through his hard work and money smarts he was slowly able to expand. This expansion does not take place in places that are totally empty, he did not expand without taking a greater piece of the market. As he expanded, he displaced, first, the other palengke market rivals, one by one. The larger one gets, the larger one displaces, much like a ship cruising through the waters. He has, undoubtedly driven more people to hunger than he has to prosperity. And what he inspires is for people to follow the same model.

    The problem with corporations is that they must continually show growth to be considered successful. The problem with this is market and resources are finite. First you dominate a small market and expand that market as well as other markets, at the same time, in order to gain more capital, you pay those you employ the bare minimum, if possible. Resources are also finite and no one, at this point, has access to all of the world’s (whatever the resource is), just as no one has a monopoly in a particular market in the world market. Once one reaches the apex of one of these two, they can stagnate, which corporations hate, die, or become aggressive in gaining market or resource, ie. war eg. all the wars in the Middle East, Latin American dirty wars.

    Let’s take a look at this system in action. With the passing of NAFTA, the markets in Mexico were opened up along with the resources, the people, to big American agribusiness corporations. With the flooding of cheap corn into the Mexican market (think rice) all the small farmers could not compete. The result was thousands of Mexican families driven from the farm, and though the staple was much cheaper, they could not afford to feed their families (the result of which was an increase in border crossing and number of undocumented workers). Over 800 thousand farm jobs were also lost in the United States to cheap labor and lax laws across the border (think CEPZ).

  10. Col.Smithe Ret (USMC) says:

    Datu Puta Isn’t the philippines a capitalist market place? And do you think it’s only the big corporations down here that squezze out the competition. Even the smallest of businesses here screw each other, As a matter of fact I’ve never seen anything like it. So what’s your solution Datu? to the economic woes of the Philippines And have you ever ran a business I’d love to here the details. Cause I’m willing to bet you have no solutions nor have you ran a real business, and being a street vendor doesn’t count.

  11. rollycb (california) says:

    Col. Smith,
    I am sure Datu is unable to propose anything, what this gentleman knows is to criticize others comments/notes.

    The government agencies are corrupt. Instead of our taxes are used in infrastructure projects, the large amount goes to gov’t officials, the rest going to projects. Why commuters still has to pay tool fees at expressways. Why are there floods? Our govt engineers are using undersize pipes and garbage are not collected and disposed properly.

    If we hold on together…

  12. Datu Puti says:

    Smith:

    1. “Puta”?
    2. I realize that the Philippines is also a capitalistic society and the disparity and corruption is greater than it is in the United States.
    3. It depends on how one would define a business. I ran a business of whose profits all went back into the community.
    4. Street vending is an honorable occupation. I don’t understand why you put capitalistic sharks like this one on a pedestal, ones that drive families to poverty and hunger and ridicule those that are giving their all to feed their families. I truly hope that somehow you become bankrupt and are left to fend for yourself so that you may learn the meaning of humility.

    What do I propose? I propose that you read Aldous Huxley’s The Island, Noam Chomsky’s Profit Over People, Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto.

    I’m a social democrat, I believe that we should not violate people’s human rights by denying them food, medicine, shelter, and education. I would like world society to be greatly modeled after The Island, but that is far off, if forecoming. I like the idea of a Communist utopia but do not trust people enought to give up my freedoms to a totalitarian socialist regime or trust people enough to live in anarchy.

    I hope that one day a leader like Hugo Chavez will rise within our ranks, but then again we do not have the resources Venezuela has. This can easily be solved if we have an incarnation of Jose Mercado to once again unite the people against oppression, if we have a Mohandas Gandhi to teach the masses the virtue of humility and we rid ourselves of greed.

    Mercado once asked what the point of freedom would be if the slaves of yesterday will become today’s tyrants.

    Gandhi once pointed out that the world has enough resources to feed the world but not enough to feed man’s greed.

  13. footballer says:

    to datu puti:

    I do not think Mr. Gokongwei is a shark. I know how tough it is to set up a business much less get a lot of people to work for you. Sadly enough with the amount of people that do apply for work, many of them are not qualified or ready or have the attitude for success. Such people come from a variety of backgrounds, some are rich, others are middle class or poor. Many like you blame the system, I think we make the system work. You do not count the fact that the reason why many Filipinos are poor is due to a lot of things and not just because of money not being able to trickle down. Have you read the story in oprah about a homeless man who found USD100K? well he just ended up spending it all and was back to where he started. I live in the Philippines and I have seen poverty up close and the sad part is many of my countrymen have lost their sense of vision, rich or poor. They just want to make money and many of them are one day millionaires. What we have to change in my country is our attitude towards wealth management and how we intend to make our money.

    There is a lot to be wanted from our leaders, and yes it isn’t easy but it is much easier to curse the darkness than to light that candle. I would rather do the latter.

  14. Datu Puti says:

    Footballer: We are not a bunch of pessimists that think that things cannot be change. We do not criticize the system without trying to bring about change, nor do we not have an alternative. Continuing to support such a system does not light any candles.

    Oprah? Really, that’s your source of information and inspiration? For every successful person or business there are a hundred or a thousand disasters. It is impossible for everyone in the world to maintain the lifestyle of the rich, the world cannot sustain it. This whole myth that anyone and everyone can make it if they tried does nothing but give the people false hope. It causes crab mentality, tribalism, oppression, etc.

    I don’t think you have a grasp of the concept of competition, which all capitalism is. Turn off the TV, if not, at least turn off Oprah, and read. MSM does nothing more but brainwash and enslave the masses.

  15. footballer says:

    Hey Datu Puti

    I wonder if you have actually tried building something? What have you done?

  16. footballer says:

    And also I have traveled the world and I do talk to people. And read. Lol. hahahahhaah

  17. Datu Puti says:

    What did you do exactly when you travelled and where have you travelled?

    When I went to H.K., I didn’t spend all my time in Hennessy Road, I spoke to the “DHs” in Central Park. I didn’t talk to Japayukis to get l**d but to understand their lives. In the middle east, I asked my countrymen about their condition. I’ve met TNTs all through N. America and Europe. I’ve spoken to the farming manongs, cannery workers in AK, Old-timers in the USN, all Filipino Immigrants that fled the poverty, always reminiscing of the motherland, living in exile.

    We had a small farm taken by the Marcos regime and “developed” into a Export Processing Zone. My grandfather struggled in the M.E., Vietnam, U.S.; the rest of my family have struggled here in the U.S., none more than my lola.

    I have worked for Goldilocks, as I’ve mentioned, and know first hand of their exploitive labor system. I’ve been deployed in the M.E. twice, shot a gun, looked into the angry eyes of an oppressed Arab.

    My reality is different than yours. I don’t go home to the motherland and hit up the clubs or Boracay. I don’t leave the motherland not wanting to go back. I try to remember the smell of smog and sewage, the images of children starving and the squalor of the masses.

    What do I do? I do what my rights guarantee and afford me. I protest, organize, educate and get educated. I will not reveal which organizations I belong to, it’s unimportant, what is important is the message.

    Brother, you read but what is it that you read. We need to collectively understand the system of capitalism, especially free market capitalism. It’s a simple equation, we just need to let go of our prejudice against social reform, against anything that has “social” tacked to it.

    If you design a competitive society, in which there is an eternal race for wealth and power, you will end up with a thousand losers for every winner.

    I challenge you to show me a place where capitalism has brought equality or rights. Before you use the “Developed” world, remember that they get rich off the resources and labor of the third.

  18. faith18 says:

    your such an inspiring man!!!:)

  19. pretty16 says:

    clap..clap..clap!!!you did a very gud job!congratulations!!!:)

  20. Rene Casibang says:

    Very inspiring indeed…

  21. […] John Gokongwei speech – 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. […]

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