It’s too easy and cliché to thank family and friends for where I am proudly now. You know who you are and how you have supported me in my very unconventional career no matter your worries (and yes a few understandable doubts for my sake).
It’s also too easy to thank my talented team members (including past ones) who have been with me for years and years, trusting that I have your backs and working so hard to keep our clients happy. Among them: my developer John Cosio, Jenn Manigao-Tan (my very first contractor) and Jonathan Olabre. And of course the more recent team members such as Inna, Chesca, Ina and Harold… They too, already know how much I appreciate them.
First, one of the nicest, most supportive and hardworking superwomen I know – Jane Kingsu Cheng. I don’t know how she does so many things and taking care of so many kids at the same time, while always looking so good, relaxed and cheerful. She can’t possibly know that her continued trust and referrals up to this day has opened up and still opening up many doors for me.
The least I can do to thank her is by trying every day to improve my own and my team’s skills to take care of clients she has referred to me directly and indirectly.
Next, are Atty. Tonica Manahan and Sir Monch Cruz who I met at the same time at a lunch a few years ago.
Atty. Manahan is a brilliant estate and corporate lawyer, an art lover with impeccable taste, all around guy’s guy and family man. Even with his incredible work load at his firm he keeps supporting my small business. His work ethics and moral character is beyond reproach and I try to emulate him in many ways.
Sir Monch Cruz is a savvy public relations expert and one of the most stylish men I know. I could only hope to be as good looking and healthy (he does Yoga) when I turn his age. 🙂
Both Atty Manahan and Sir Monch serve as informal mentors to me, and avid promoters who have egged me on bigger and bigger projects that push my capabilities to ever expanding limits. They have supported my business to levels I couldn’t have reached without them.
I also have to thank one of my dearest friends and personal lawyer Atty. Marmoi Salonga. Humble but with razor sharp mind, he has helped me navigate the trickiest business situations and countless challenges I’ve had.
Two other old friends of mine who have shared their level-headed business insights to me from the very beginning, and usually over lots of drinks: Don Soriano and Gio Gatchalian. Both are from the hard-knocks, no-bullshit kind of entrepreneurship done with your own hands. They’ve proven themselves as real entrepreneurs (not the ones you read in magazines).
Some liberally rephrased quotes from them:
Gio: “F$%& passion. May kita ba diyan?” and “If your accounting is your major bottleneck right now, just pay for a system or accountant. Tapos problema mo.”
Don: “Why are you spending time on reading (business theories)? Plus and minus lang yan.” and “Most people want a fancy business. They don’t want to get heir hands dirty on actual brick and mortar businesses that make real money.”
Lastly, I thank Edsel Ramirez. Probably he’d be the most surprise to see his name here.
My mom had a dream of having a toy library for less fortunate children all over the Philippines back in the late 90s (she actually created one in QC City Hall that was later put down for a parking lot or something of even less use) . Edsel without knowing her, had made her dream a reality.
On top of that, this person who I look up to never fails to show me that the real “good life” is not about the material, but being as useful to as many people as possible, being good to your family and doing it so happily, not begrudgingly and not for any rewards. And also showing me the value of guiding and trusting the younger generation, even as he is our mountaineer group’s Manong.
Need I say, I thank very sincerely all my clients past and present. You have entrusted me with your various businesses. My team and I will continue to improve our services and support you with every thing we have and for years to come.
So many more people to thank, but I don’t want this too long drawn, dramatic or to seem like some awards acceptance… Maybe another time.