The past weeks have been tiring but definitely fulfilling as we have launched our legacy project – ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) in Singapore and Thailand; engaged with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia; and partnered with agencies in Israel for our mentoring programs.
Aside from these ASEAN engagements, I have addressed the youth sector in three different events which fell just a week apart from each other. I never thought youth events could fill up the Mall of Asia Arena especially when done on a weekend. But it only goes to show the drive of these young individuals to learn and be mentored by the speakers and panelists.
The first one I attended was the Global Youth Summit organized by the Global Peace Foundation and SM Cares Foundation which was held last Aug. 25, 2018. Global Youth Summit is a one-day celebration of youth leadership that aims to engage and inspire the world’s future experts and was attended by more than 15,000 participants composed of high school, college, and young professionals.
Few weeks after this, I then talked to young business and finance leaders and students in Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) first JFINEX Conference 2018. FINEX led by its president, Marivic Españo organized the conference which served as a venue to learn and showcase participants best corporate and business practices, concepts, and values.
And last Sunday, one of Go Negosyo’s programs officer, Miguel Lopez who has his own advocacy group – The 2030 Project, got close to a thousand young leaders to be involved in solving the problems in our country and realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Global Goals set by the United Nations which includes no poverty, zero hunger, and decent work and economic growth, among others.
Although it was done on a Sunday, I was surprised to see that they were able to fill up the SM Aura Samsung Hall. And while it is easier for these young leaders to rest and just have fun on a Sunday, they all wanted to learn and be part of the solution by attending this event.
Speaking of Sunday and a side note, I remember in Israel that their day of Sabbath, or a day for religious activities is taken very seriously. I remember our hotels would shut down some of their elevators and basically everyone takes a rest. We even had to change our tour guide as they do not work and respond on this day. Honestly, I admire their faith and their practices.
Going back, I believe that our future lies with the youth of today so we must all invest in them and mentor them well. In my speeches, as much as possible, I try to empower them and help them see the bright future of this country.
I know that our youth are very much active in expressing their views and opinions on different matters. That is why it is important that we acknowledge them as active members of the society.
Briefly, I shared with them what we have gone through during the Marcos dictatorship. I even shared how my father was in prison for six to eight months and how we had to move from house to house just to hide. I told them, “while we can forget and forgive, it does not mean that one can rewrite what had happened.”
Many people might think of what’s next for the Philippines when we have the kind of leadership in our country. I told the youth, “We will never have the perfect leader. It is not one leader that could shape this nation to become great. It is in many leaders.”
I believe that where we are today is because of the many heroes and leaders who died before us. It is them who have started and ignited the development in the country. I know that certain situations and leaders always have purpose in our lives. And for us to change as a nation, we have to go through the process.
This is why I encourage the youth to reach for their dreams, pursue their passion and be successful. In my Global Youth Summit speech, I told them, ““I believe that everyone in this room has the greatest chance to succeed in life if you really want to. I can’t force you to be successful. But in the end, it is what you do with your life. Always believe that this is a journey, our journey, and the journey of the Philippines to become a successful nation.”
Now, how do we make Philippines a successful nation? With the current developments on infrastructure, it now creates a link between farms and markets where agri-entrepreneurs can benefit. We must bring our mentors to all our farmers because agriculture is a game changer and we cannot just waste its potential. On Oct. 1, we will be hosting the ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2018 in SMX Convention Center, Manila. This Summit is dedicated to bring about change and innovation in agriculture across ASEAN. We have invited speakers from all over the world to share with the participants the different business models and technologies on agriculture.
To join, you may register at www.tinyurl.com/ASEANAgriSummit2018.
Source: Philippine Star