Luab: Aim for the moon-A A +A
Saturday, September 18, 2010
MANY of the successful business tycoons often look back not only to humble beginnings but also to ultra difficult beginnings.
One friend of mine was not ashamed to tell a group of us: “Do you think I don’t know anything about hunger? When I was small, we had to eat grass. Actually, I can tell you which grass is edible and which is not.”
Coming from one whose assets run into millions, we were wide-eyed at her revelation, when she shared this information to us. We were having a party at one of the plushy houses in a high-end subdivision. There was so much opulence in the air, that the statement made us reflect on what had been achieved. A well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, Lucio Tan was, once mocked as a botelyero (one who buys and sells bottles) but look where he is now.
So many of our powerful politicians, including Sen. Manny Villar, say that walang mahirap sa sumikap (you find no poverty among those who work hard). In fact, during campaign sorties, all we heard from most of the candidates was their very humble beginnings (true or not). Remember the honorable Diosdado Macapagal who spoke at one time that he walked barefoot to go to school because his shoes were no longer usable? He became president of the Philippines.
Stephen R. Covey once said: “We are limited but we can push back the borders of our limitations.” I lifted this quote from the Reader’s Digest. Somehow this caught my eye because in retrospect, I remembered the many friends I had when I was growing up.
I spent my childhood in Tinaan, a small unobtrusive rural place, which belonged to the town of Naga, Cebu. What made Tinaan eventually grow was the fact that Cepoc, a cement factory, was built there. I won’t mention the names of people who grew up in Tinaan or Naga and who have attained success and a certain stature in life, through a determination to reach the heights. I might miss certain names because of the number who, through hard work have climbed, out of the aura of anonymity to a place of high standing in the Philippines and abroad as well.
Today, when I listen to the news, especially when all I hear are criticisms about the hostage-taking tragedy, I get terribly disappointed. Our very own President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) bears all kinds of flak from know-it-all individuals who enjoy finding fault. If our president gives a satisfactory answer, he is accused of talking too much. If an answer is demanded, he says, “After the thorough investigation, you will get the answer to that one,” he is accused of not being transparent! So either way, fault-finders are really throwing stones.
PNoy is my first president since former president Magsaysay, whose honesty, sincerity, and decisiveness I believe in. Actually, PNoy also did not have much money when he ran for public office compared to others who had billions to spend, yet he won convincingly.
Anyone who believes in himself can work miracles. Les Brown also said, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land among the stars!”
Many of our successful people land in fields they actually did not train for. We have physically therapists who are now business entrepreneurs. We have teachers who own gas stations, boutiques, etc. We have people who have not finished college, but are quite successful in running a franchise that offers food, beverage or clothing. The Americans would call this “guts”; the Japanese would call it “destiny”; the Chinese would call it “sweat,” Filipinos say “segun sa agwanta” (it depends on how long you can bear the brunt of life’s hardships).
So many of our pessimists say that it will take a lot of time before the Philippines can recover. Here I’m tempted to quote Sen. Joker Arroyo’s “200 years perhaps” (when he referred to the resolution of the Ampatuan case). Be that as it may, at least there is a projected time table and we all know that Sen. Arroyo was using a hyperbole. So let our new leaders aim for the moon. Who knows? We might just hit the moon.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2010.