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Monthly Archives: July 2013

A lot of stories may have been told in the past about our peer while we were still residing at our university residence hall – Molave. Some of these stories may not be all truth but for most of it…it embodies truth. These stories defined who we were back then – free-spirited, naughty, mischievous, and with a touch of our being “nice”. It was a time that acquaintances found common grounds to later form a bond of friendship where acceptance is valued above everything else.

About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join the get-together of my peer from my residence hall way back in college. Although they have had “reunions” in the past, it was my first time to join them after a long time. They haven’t seen me, as Lems put it,”for decades”. Honestly, I do not even recall the last time I saw these guys.

We have not changed much except for some who looked a bit older (sorry, Lars…hehehe!) and some who gained a “little” weight (uhmm…too many to mention)…it was the same group that I goofed around with during college. It was the same good-looking guys (naks!) with the same distinct personality. Distinct personalities that were all strong but interestingly complemented each other.

It was nice having to share stories about our mischievousness back then. How some of us ended up being called at the dorm manager’s office to explain a presentation, the “pusa-kal” incident which we brushed off and denied, the girls that we loved to hate and make fun of, and even our late night tambay at room 240, which incidentally was our room. These were stories that we made at our time at the university dormitory that we now laugh at, now that we have come of age. We were such a naughty folk back then.

Come to think about it…how did we all end up in one peer group?

I cannot even remember how it started but Room 240 was a focal point in the whole story. We all come from different backgrounds, different courses, different regions, different batches, different beliefs, and even from different rooms. But it was Room 240 that brought us together. It was a case of three individuals who became roommates who incidentally have friends from other rooms from the same floor that we were in. One after another they came into our room to share their stories, their frustrations, their success, and even their observations about other people. Eventually, we ended up spending more and more time inside Room 240.

I guess Room 240 was some sort of an outlet for everyone. An outlet where you can just let anything out for everyone to listen to and everyone was willing to listen and, most of the time, share their opinions. It was the room where you can shout for joy when you pass a difficult subject or vent out your disappointment for a failed exam. It was some sort of a sanctuary for most of us. A venue where we can gather and just be ourselves.

What made our room different? Nothing really but it was a venue where unique individuals gathered and each one accepted each other with no biases. Not that everyone who came in became part of the group, we had people that we had a “special eye” for and if words can kill, we would have massacred half the dorm. But those stories are meant for our consumption only.

Looking back, university life then was harsh and difficult. We have had our own share of sleepless nights reviewing for an exam or finishing a plate. We have had moments where we got frustrated with teachers, classmates, and even dorm mates. We have had moments where we had to work together to get something done or a message sent out. My life in the university will not be complete without the gang of Room 240. They made everything bearable and gave the assurance that at the end of the day…everything will be alright.

It was nice to see everyone that night and relive our “makulit” days in Molave. We have matured over the years and we have made a few realizations in our lives. But the camaraderie has remained the same. It was a friendship that is for keeps no matter where we are based or what we do. As Bobby put it that night, our peer group made us go home early after our class because we did not want to miss out on anything that is happening at Room 240. We were all eager to get our ass back to plan out the next mischievous act.

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Rave: The city of government of Manila recently implemented a mandate that controlled the number of buses plying the routes in Manila that took commuters by surprise. A lot of reactions came through but then it has improved the flow of traffic in Manila. Commuters are complaining now but they will get used to it. I think it is about time that we start instilling discipline to everyone to propel the country forward. It is all about political will.

Rant: “Daang Matuwid” is the present battle cry of the PNoy administration and yet halfway through his term we are hounded by issues on mismanagement of the pork barrel of solons. The sad part of it is that we still need to see a strong show of force on this issue from the President himself. Saan na ang pinaglalaban? Time to show teeth, Mr. President.

Rave: It is nice to know that the National Museum is now working on getting a major facelift. I think that it is about time that the government invest on the upkeep of the historical and cultural treasures of our country. This way we can imbibe the Filipino pride to younger generations at an early stage.

Rant: The recent “party” at Batasan aptly called SONA had everyone dressing up Oscar style. The best dressed solons all came in grandeur. How much did these gowns and suit costs must be checked. I think the Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was right in proposing for a uniform during SONA. Our solons don’t want to send the wrong signals to their constituents. Aanhin natin ang porma kung sa bansa ay wala ka naman nagagawa. Just saying.

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The past two weeks marked another milestone for me. It was a mix of stress, anticipation, frustration, and excitement. It was nerve wracking and yet exciting. We had the soft opening of a franchise that we just recently acquired and for me it was another goal achieved for this year. But it was more than just a goal achieved for me…it was an advocacy coming to life.

I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur – one that will inspire other Filipinos to become one. I wanted to provide job opportunities and eventually to be able to offer to other Filipinos the opportunity of becoming entrepreneurs themselves. I sincerely believe that it is the way to go for our country to move forward and the first step for me is to start my own.

It was not an easy decision to acquire the franchise on my part. I had questions in my mind that I wanted answered and some of it still remains unanswered until now. Just like any individual, I wanted to reduce the risk that I was getting into and I wanted to make sure that I would benefit from the business that I was getting into. I want to be successful in this enterprise and I had questions which admittedly I am still trying to get answers until now. Despite the questions I had, we acquired and started operations and I would have to say that it was a decision that was a leap of faith.

The current set-up that we have is that of a work-in-process – everything is being broken down and analyzed while we are operating. Although the franchise provided us with a basic system, I am breaking down the financial side of the business to get a better perspective of the business and how we can effectively operate. It is quite a challenge as I am not able to see the daily operation of the cart and that I have to depend on my wife’s inputs at the end of the day’s operations on how we fared. I only get to understand our client’s behaviors based on how our product is moving. I only have the numbers to see. These challenges are coupled by the fact that I also have a regular job that I need to attend to and trying to get the right understanding of our business also demands time from me. I just realized that I have significantly reduced my “me time” over the past weeks and if I do get extra time, I just sleep my way through it.

But I am not complaining. I am happy with how things are going and I am excited at the opportunities of the new challenge brought by our Farronccino Cafe. I love what I am doing even if it means that I have to spend extra time on it…besides, it is now my own. I love the fact that I am learning something new each day and the process is teaching me something new. It was like going back to college and studying – the only difference is that it is actual application this time around. I enjoy the amount of time that I spend on understanding the business because I know that I will be able to use the knowledge and skills that I am acquiring now to future entrepreneurs. I know that I can use it to help others in the future.

The process that we are going through is daunting and uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because of the risk involve and the only thing that keeps me going is the thought that we need to make it work. It is a learning process and each turn of events make my stomach churn either from excitement or from worry. Most of the time, it makes my stomach churn out of worry. I really hope that it will start churning my tummy out of sheer excitement.

Did we make the right decision of acquiring the franchise?

Honestly, I do not know. I have some concerns and to me that is unsettling as we are already in operation. One thing is for sure, though…I am trying to find a way to make it work. I guess that is always the way to go – you need to make it work. I am learning a lot from this experience and I know that I will come out of this a better and a smarter person but until then I need to get everything sorted out. Besides, a business will never be a business without the risks.

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Rave: Another business program was launched by ABS-CBN that focuses on giving viewers information on how they can open small enterprises. The show “My Puhunan” is a good show to watch for those who want to venture into their own business. Admittedly, I still need to catch an episode but I am a firm believer that entrepreneurship is still the way to go for our country.

Rant: The MMDA is again proposing a new traffic coding system that will prohibit private and public vehicles from the streets of Manila for two days. I still think that for us to solve the problem of traffic in Manila, agencies should focus on instilling the proper behaviors while on the street. Just this morning, I encountered an undisciplined public bus driver who was driving fast and reckless. You get the point, MMDA?

Rave: Another show that caught my interest was Drew Arellano’s “Byahe ni Drew” over at GMA. I caught over the web and it caught my interest because it was a travel show. The episode that I watched featured “Siquijor” and it did get me interested with the island that I am planning to visit it next year. The great thing about the show is that it promotes the country as a destination to discover. Thumbs up to the team that promotes local tourism.

Rant: Mismanagement of the Pork Barrel? Dummy NGO siphoning money from projects to be given off to “beneficiaries”? What else is new? Unless Filipinos learn to choose our leaders wisely, we will always have these issues on the front pages of our newspapers. Will the present administration move towards accountability or will this be another accusation to be hurled to the previous government? The last question still needs to be answered.