Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Personal Wishes & Goals for 2011

Thanks for all your very supportive and inspiring comments!

As promised, here are my personal wishes for 2011.

1) For Smart Gilas national team- that we may regain lost basketball glory for our country! I strongly believe we can do it no matter what people say. With the right frame of mind, training, exposure, discipline, skill, it can be done if God wills it. But more than just proving Filipinos wrong, the reason why i want Gilas to succeed so bad is really to unite the Filipino people and inspire them - that despite the odds, we can succeed in life if we possess the right habits and values! Just like how Manny Pacquiao, the Azkals and other sports heroes have done.

2) For Philippine sports - that all sports stakeholders may put aside all personal ambition and glory for the greater glory of the country. It's close to impossible to eradicate totally the politics in sports, but at least start somewhere towards creating programs for the development of our current and future national coaches and athletes. Sports is a legal battleground where we can lift our national flags with pride after defeating our opponents.

3) Philippine economy - I wish that the economy will continue to flourish and that the stock market will keep moving upwards, although experts predict it won't be as hot as 2010.

4) The Philippines - I pray we be spared of major calamities this year. And that the Filipino people will do what is right, and not do something just because everyone is doing it.

5) I wish for good health for myself, my family and close friends.

6) I want to meet Jay Chou & Steve Nash! hehehe

Next, let me jot down my personal goals for this year. I believe it is truly helpful to ones self-improvement if one makes a conscious effort to set concrete goals to enable him/her to work towards it. It doesn't matter if its a long-term goal, mid-term or short-term goal. I'll put mine down randomly. I would advise you to do the same.

1) I will dedicate most of my time to basketball , for my personal improvement and that of the team. (as if i haven't devoted my entire life to the team) I will improve my shooting percentage and be more aggressive. One last hurrah! This could be my last year of competitive basketball.

2) Open at least 3 more Happy Lemon branches

3) I will take a more active role in promulgating my advocacies, such as education and entrepreneurship among others. It is one thing to raise awareness through shows, press releases, etc, but i want to have a deeper engagement as well. This will happen towards the end of the year, after the FIBA Asia Championship in September.

4) In everything I do, i will try my best to set a good example, especially to the kids. I know i have a mission/apostolate to bring people closer to God through my various platforms . But in doing so, i myself must become closer to God. I have my own shortcomings, but I'm constantly trying to improve. I will spend more time in prayer, receiving the sacraments, conversing w/ my spiritual director & doing simple good deeds.

To end, here's a nice reflection i picked up from Bishop Tagle in his Jan. 1 homily in Tagaytay Highlands that I'd like to share. In lieu of the Feast of the Solemnity of our Lady as the Mother of God, Mary was full of grace as she accepted to embrace the responsibility of bearing the child Jesus and bringing Him into humankind. We normally ask God for grace or blessing. We thank Him profusely whenever we receive gifts, money, projects, etc. referring to these as 'blessings'! But these things are fleeting or short-lived. The true essence of the word 'blessing' is about you & me being a blessing to other people - this means that we should be Christ-like. Now here's my challenge to you, HOW can I be a blessing to other people?

Have a great day, folks!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Quick Look at My 2010

2010 was a roller coaster year for me. There were the wonderful moments that I've cherished and appreciated. But naturally, there were also the not-so-desirable occasions , that taught me valuable lessons and made me a stronger person. I've made a quick reflection of my past year.

Here are the highlights of my 2010

Jay Chou concert - The one event which I will never forget is the Jay Chou concert that I went to see live with my cousin, in Singapore. I can still remember vividly the desperate measures I had to resort to in order to get hold of those tickets at the front most section of the stadium. So you know how much it meant, I chose to skip an Ateneo-La Salle game just to watch this. I will blog more about it (with photos) in the future... and will try not to sound too much like a fan boy.

Gilas stints - There were 4 tournaments out of 7 in 2010 where we had a respectable performance. First is the Dubai invitational in January where we finished 3rd place playing with practically no import. Next is the Manila Invitational in July , which we won 1st place by beating the Jordanian national team. Third is the Stankovic Cup in Lebanon in August, where we made the final 4 without most of our main players. And lastly, our 2nd place finish in the ABA Championship in Haining, China where we lost to Samsung Korea by 1 point in the finals through a desperation shot with 2 seconds left in the game. Coincidentally, they knocked us out of the Asian games too.

New TV programs - I was chosen to host the show Ako Mismo on TV5, which features ordinary heroes, with the hope and goal that Filipinos may be inspired to do the same and make a difference in others' lives. Plus, i got to work with one of our most heralded heroes, 2009 CNN Hero kuya Efren Penaflorida. Just in November, the pilot episode of Hanepbuhay aired in GMA7 and garnered high ratings. The show encourages Filipinos to have that entrepreneurial mindset. And at the same time, my partner Love Anover and I give useful tips on how to run a business and come up with business ideas. Thanks to GMA7 and TV5, I have been given a platform to spread my advocacies through a very powerful medium. It's always great to be able to entertain, educate and share the right values all at the same time.

New endorsements
- Thanks to my two new endorsements in the pharma industry, namely Advil and Oracare, my credibility as an endorser was bolstered and my net worth has increased by just a little bit... enough to relieve me of my stress and headaches (haha corny!)

Guangzhou Asian games - This was a major disappointment for me , the team , and the millions of Filipino basketball fans. I could not sleep for many days. I know we are a better team than what the result actually reflects (6th) . It's a painful experience but still I am thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to play in this kind of high-level international competition which happens once in every 4 years, where we got to encounter the most elite athletes all over Asia. I have too much thoughts on this but I will save it for another blog entry.

Barangay Kagawad
- I was re-elected Kagawad (Councilman) in our Barangay in Makati. This gives me another chance to serve our constituents, mainly through sports & education programs .

Favorite Media Personality award
- Just last week , I won the Favorite Male Media Personality award given by the NCCT (National Council for Children's TV) in its 1st awards ceremony. A survey was conducted among 12,000 kid subjects all over the country to determine the winners. I thought only prime-time artistas could win this. This means so much to me, knowing that people out there, particularly the kids, appreciate what I'm doing and trying to communicate to them through my shows, basketball, advocacies and other engagements. I take it as a challenge, not just to serve as a good role model, but to take a more active part in reaching out to them and spreading the Gospel values.

Happy Lemon - My good friends and I (from Xavier & Ateneo) decided to bring in the franchise of Happy Lemon, an extremely popular bubble tea/milk tea brand from Hong Kong & Shanghai , to the Philippines. And after a year of planning and preparation, we finally opened our first branch in Promenade, Greenhills last November 13. We are very pleased w/ the sales and feedback of the customers so far, we are looking to open more branches (no sub franchises) this year. Next will be in the new Eastwood mall this Feb. In fact, we're very honored to be featured in/by OurAwesomePlanet himself. So if you're in the area, please drop by! We'd love to make you HAPPY! (To clarify, I am just a minute shareholder)

Family time - Because it was the first time we were given a break from training & competition in almost two years, I had the chance of catching up on lost time with family & friends. We were able to take short trips to Hong Kong, Macao, Tagaytay & Batangas where we really bonded. I felt I became closer to my family & friends in these last 3 weeks! How timely because it is Christmas season and that is what the spirit of Christmas is all about - giving! Not necessarily by giving material things but more importantly, by sharing ourselves with others - our time, our compassion, our love! Awards / achievements can make us happy at one point, but it is love that will make it last a lifetime! (Cheesy!)

Overall, my 2010 was an awesome one , except maybe for the outcome of the Asian games which dragged down the 'awesomeness' quotient. But I can't complain and I am very much challenged to do better this year. I'd like to thank the Lord first and foremost for all the blessings and good health for myself & my family. (I didn't incur any major injury... *knock on wood*) Thank you Lord for the perseverance when we feel like quitting, for the wisdom when we are uncertain! Everything was made possible because of You! We are merely Your instruments. I would also like to thank all of you have been so supportive with all that I'm doing . As cliche as it sounds, it can't be done without you guys! 2011 will be even better, I know it!! Part of success rests on chance but part of it depends on us. So let's do what we can to make each of our 2011s a fantastic one!

For my 2011 wishes, I have some in mind right now but I'm too sleepy already. Just wait for my next post! Happy New year everyone!!