Thursday, February 19, 2015


Esteemed to be again invited by CNN Philippines; this time, appearing live in a television interview under their station's flagship public service program, "Serbisyo All Access," with veteran broadcast anchors Mr. Gani Oro and Ms. Amelyn Veloso.
As part of the program's Chinese New Year celebration feature, I represented the Anvil Business Club (Association of Young Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs) as a resource speaker to enlighten the public about the good cultural traits of Chinese people in business. Some of the more pronounced characteristics I mentioned included attributes grounded on traditional Confucian values, such as FILIAL PIETY (孝順), a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors; SELF-DISCIPLINE (自律), delayed self-gratification for the sake of long-term future benefits; and FRUGALITY (節儉), the quality of being economical with current resources.
I was also asked to enumerate some of the characteristics of indigenous Filipinos that, in my view, were stumbling blocks to achieving business success. Three of the most common habits that Filipinos needed to address include: (1) The "NINGAS COGON" attitude, a trait where one starts something with great interest and enthusiasm, then after a very short time, loses interest and stops whatever it is he is doing, eventually, leaving things incomplete – much like a wild fire burning out quickly; (2) "BAHALA NA" demeanor, a defeatist or fatalistic mindset where one is only willing to do so much and leave the rest to God. Some people believe it makes one irresponsible, careless and lazy; and (3) the "MAÑANA" habit, where one procrastinates in doing things to some future period of time what can be done today. I cautioned the hosts, however, that these attitudes were not originally characteristics of the Filipino, but were just passed on by our Spanish colonial masters.
Curiously, some of the salient questions asked by the public also reflected a number of clear misconceptions about the Chinese-Filipinos. "Is there a difference between Filipino and Chinese in terms of entrepreneurial style? Can non-Chinese Filipino be similar to the Chinese entrepreneurs?" I explained that being industrious, frugal or self-disciplined are not exclusive traits of Chinese-Filipino businessmen. They are, in fact, primordial traits that define any entrepreneur worth his salt who would want to succeed in a business venture. After all, it takes tenacity, vision, high tolerance for failure and self-belief in order to overcome months (and even years) of trials and vicissitudes before one can reach his zenith of accomplishment.
"Serbisyo All Access" is CNN Philippines' first public service program produced by 9News and the channel's first locally produced program in Filipino vernacular language, as it serves public needs. It is a two-hour, one stop public service program envisioned to help serve the needs of the Filipino by working with various sectors.

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