Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ateneo vs La Salle

Many people are asking me why Ateneo and La Salle UAAP basketball championship hogged the headlines of national newspapers for the past weeks. They add that why other universities did not merit the same attention as these two elite private school.
There is only one reason why this two universities captured the print and broadcast media: their die-hard ALUMNI.
These alumni enjoyed their stay in their universities, they are trained to love their school and to treat one another as a member of one big family. That is why you can see on the banner of Ateneo the slogan "One Big Fight" and to La Salle "Animo La Salle". It is common to notice that they treated one another as fraternity or sorority eventhough they do not belong to any Greek letter organization. If you notice every game they sing their alma mater win or lose.
Other colleges and universities can mimic the ADMU and DLSU technique: love your future alumni. If you train your students well, teach them the best by providing the best teachers ,love them irregardless of their shortcomings, and show them how to be proud product of your school, you will never go wrong. Once they are working and earning money they will come back to you even without invitation.
You can produced the like of Pangilinan and Razon who by loving their school donated a gymnasium to their respective alma mater.
So the secret is out: have a die-hard alumni.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wall Street Bloodbath

All of you knows that there is a bloodbath going on wall street nowadays. Thousands of jobs are lost because of Lehman Brothers brancruptcy and the bail out of AIG. The ripples of these corporate failures reverberate around the world including the Philippines. The stocks are down in the country, hot money flowing out and investment in the all time low.
What happened in America is the result of their lifestyle wherein they borrowed a lot of money in order to live too comfortably. The banks and other investment entities smelling profit from the American consumers lend a lot of money even without collateral. This loan is what they call NINJA loan meaning lending money to people with No Income, No Job and Assets. It is the ultimate recipe for failure. Because of this greediness, the Americans are suffering the pain of losing their homes, their jobs and their standing in the world.
In this country this NINJA loans will not happen because our banking system is too conservative. The threat in our country is not what is happening in America but what is happening inside.
The politicians have no concrete plans to stave off inflation.They are busy spending their time debating on insertion and C-5 contreversy. What a curse!
The economists are in illusion that the government is ready on Americas depression. We are not. With the Americans tighthening their belt, there will be less investment, remittance and business going to the country. Do we hear a concrete plan?. Without the OFW money that fueling consumption we will be already on our knees.
This is the time for all the Filipino families to help one another. Let us go back to basic and enjoy everything without spending a lot of money.
We are in a situation like the Japanese in the '50s. They are hungry not only for food but for respect. Then they act relentlessly from the top echelons of the government to the street sweeper in rebuilding their country.
Do we have a tenacity to do it?

Friday, September 12, 2008


(Picture courtesy of Thanks!)
In my working life, I am very fortunate to have a lot of mentors that helped shaped my career and my life.
These mentors made me realized that in order to be relevant to this world hard work is not enough. They taught me that people come first and dignity of the person should be upholded always.
My first mentor was Mr. Cesar V. Almendras. The man is amazing when he is dealing with customers. He is the Pag-IBIG Lucena manager who treats clients as a real Kings and Queens. It is very common to find him walking around the office to see that all employees adhere to the common purpose of serving the customers. Later I found out in my MBA that Mr. Almendras’ style is what we called Management by Walking Around (MBWA). It was my first job and in my 3 years of stay at Pag-IBIG Fund, Mr. Almendras taught me the proper way to delight customers.
When I transferred to Ayala, Makati in Pilipino Telephone Corporation (PILTEL), I was even allowed by Mr. Almendras to file a leave of absence first and resign only if I feel that I fit in my new company. The man is amazing!.
My new company then is a sister company of PLDT. That time we are launching the first cellular phones in the country. The pace of work is different and stress is part of the territory. In PILTEL output is paramount. We work early and stay late. Working in a big company means better pay but the work is damn demanding. The bosses will not accept excuses and everybody is required to deliver. The Damocles sword is always in your head that you feel you can be fired anytime if you fall short of what is needed. In this big company one advantage is having numerous mentors who are expert on their fields.
One of them is Mr. Tony Ramirez. He is the HR Manager and I was under him. My unit is General Services and my job is to handle building administration, janitors, security, fleet and insurance. Mr. Ramirez is very passionate on written communication. It is very common that he issues memorandum and policies on a weekly basis. He required us to make policies and procedures and he is relentless on following it up. I wrote more than 20 HR and Administrative policies and that 20 were subjected to frequent revision, consultation before he signed it. The standard of the man is very high that he himself edited the policies before endorsing to the VP. Mr. Ramirez taught me that I need to put in writing all that is relevant to the organization. To Do Lists, Weekly report, monthly report and to report all of them orally became my ordinary activity. To express my views without being penalized was his legacy to me.
My supervisor in PILTEL was Noel Dacanay. A graduate of Cebu Institute of Technology. Noel is a mechanical engineer who guided me in the intricacies of building administration. The man is simple and very supportive. I made mistakes but he always understand me. Noel taught me that being simple, reliable and understanding worker were the traits of a good supervisor. I will never forget his kindness.
After Mr. Ramirez was promoted, a new manager arrived. His name is Bayani M. Castro, son of the famous Dakila Castro. The man is very good in numbers and costings. His forte is Administration and to him I learn that in order to be a good administrator I should be good in details. It is in the details where company succeed or fail. He never approved what is not necessary and negotiation on the prices should be the norm. Being cost conscious and always thinking what is beneficial to the company were his legacy to me.
In my current works, three nuns I considered my holy mentors.
Sr. Letty Garcia, DC was the former president of Sacred Heart College. She is a nun who believed that every person possessed talent that should be utilized and compensated properly. Her unflinching belief in my ability helped me work harder that I never done before. Her constant teaching about family and her large collection of rare books which I was allowed to borrow were another significant and unforgettable moment in my working life.
Sr. Rebecca Felizardo, DC was the former Dean of Sacred Heart College. She is instrumental of my good performance as a Chairperson. Although our professional relationship is short I learn from her the value of forgiveness and dedication.
Sr. Remedios T. Tidor, DC my current VP practices what she believes in and always thinking that dignity of a person is more important than anything else. She is a nun who trusts her people and as return her people remember her even though she is reassigned to other mission. They have a vow of mobility but this do not prohibit her to be an active administrator.
These mentors of mine made my working life colorful and meaningful which made the work related problems not a burden but a temporary cross that I should carry and move on with confidence of a good future.

Monday, September 01, 2008


I received numerous e-mail requesting ideas on how to invest their money, the Filipino way.
It is a given that we are different from the western countries in terms of economy and availability of investment opportunity.
In the U.S. of A. alone there are thousand mutual funds while in our country we have less than 20.
In the U.S., there are blue-chip growth funds, emerging market stock funds, international aggressive fund, targeted retirement fund, KEOGH, 401 etc. In our country we have none of these kinds.
It is very obvious that the investment opportunities for Filipinos are very, very limited.
In order to enter and survive the Philippine Stock market, a typical Filipino investor need to buy 12 stocks . This is very difficult to a common investor because it will costs him more than P500,000. For the majority of us it is not only difficult but impossible to raise P500,000.
So how will we enter the stock market and buy a dozen stocks without raising P500,000?.
First, invest in INDEX FUND that will automatically give you a stake in more than a dozen companies. The index fund will guarantee a piece of best performing stock that already exists or might emerge later and more important it will give you adequate diversification. You may read BUSINESSWORLD newspaper to check the list of index fund as a starting point. The Index Fund should cover 90% of your investing money.
The remaining 10% should be invested in stocks. Surf as another starting point.
This technique will give you the joy of investing and at the same time minimize risks and maximize hope for profits.
My best regard to all my blog readers.