Why Business will Grow in Manila?

Not every Filipinos knows Gross Domestic Product or GDP. It is a fact. Even for many business people, GDP makes no sense at all when it comes to the everyday opening and closing of their stores. Who cares if we have 6.8% GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012? This is probably the question of many who just come home and go to work on a daily basis. If anyone of them happened to see in the newspaper stand the headline stating “PH Economy seen to expand 6.5% by 2012”, more or less they've just turned into the pages of sports, showbiz or the lotto winning numbers. Most of us, that is what we cared for.

On the Photo: A business slogan showing the Manila City Hall at the background



Business is actually growing in Manila. The increasing GDP is the main indication. However, in 2011, the Philippines was reported to have 7% unemployment rate. This figure in reality is what’s most popular and nerve-breaking to the minds of the average Filipinos. Many of us feel it and this is why our character of being sensitive to government measures, whether good or bad, is undeniable to the whole world. But economically speaking, yes, there is a logical interpretation on why GDP and unemployment percentages are almost with the same figures now. Statistically, it can be interpreted. But this article is meant to convince readers to remain determined in achieving growth, at least for themselves, and not to tackle the oftentimes confusing figures of the economists and politicians.

As a hopeful Filipino, I would like to share my interpretation on why we smile and wave our hands whenever we are in front of the news or media camera. Literally speaking, our individual focus for personal growth is very weak. We would rather choose watching “telenovelas” or famous television game shows after we come home from work than spending a portion of our time for something worth convertible to our personal growth with respect to finance and knowledge. I remember reading a business article stating “ bury your television at the backyard, literally”. That would be too difficult for us to do, I know. But if you would just think of how watching non-sense-at-all television programs steals our time for opportunities, you would agree somehow that television should be turned off from Monday to Friday.

GDP growth rate and unemployment rate are just numbers for many of us today. It doesn't make any sense to the average Filipinos, about 100 million of us. There are long formulas behind each number and it’s crazy insisting for it to be understood by a carpenter, tricycle driver or fish vendor – for now. Most of them will tell you: “We are in a deep crisis and we have no time for that”. But now, let me share with you the reasons on why business will grow in Manila or in the Philippines provided that these three conditions would be met. At least for your personal reason, you can differentiate why walking home from the job at least once or twice a day will lead you to becoming a part of the growing businesses in your area. Too far to see the connection, right? Anyway, let us just make it straight to the point now. Read below.

Condition #1: Mind your own business.
If you have a job and they don’t have, you’re lucky. The great thing is that you have the money to spend every payday; they don’t have. If you run a store or a meat shop, at the end of the day you have this money to count; they don’t have. Simply put, job or small business is your own business. And for people who don’t have any of these, it should be their business to mind having at least one.

Applying for a job requires a mindful strategy. Whether it’s a janitorial or an executive position that you are aiming for, you have to strive hard for it. Successful people will always tell you: ”It is not an overnight process”. That is correct, no doubt. You need to plan and execute well and never to say “Bahala na”(come what may). Remember that when you’re seeking for a job, you are investing your time and money. You should ask where or who is hiring. You should browse the job ads on newspapers or on the public bulletins of labour offices or agencies. As a walk-in applicant, you need to have cash for the jeepney, bus or MRT fares. You will eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner if not the merienda. You need to consider all these things. This is minding your own business of getting that job, at least. You should stay focus because most of the time, you will not be hired. “Bahala na” is something that we should have been killed long time ago.

Condition #2: Forget about varying political and religious point of views.
News are excellent sources of strategies. That’s one big reason on why newspapers and television channels are the continuously-flourishing businesses anywhere in the globe. You will definitely care understanding the war in Afghanistan if you are exporting goods and services in that country. The same thinking should be applied as well by the business people in Manila when it comes to trading of goods and services. If they heard that there will be an oil price hike or there will be rallies in Mendiola and EDSA, then they should at least prepare countermeasures for it in order for their business not to be affected that much. This just tells why news updates are important to all of us.

But why should you ignore politicians, archbishops, militant groups, news anchors, talk show hosts, and FM radio DJ’s on their opinions that are irrelevant to your personal well-being? Would it be best if you would change the channel to something more meaningful or better turn it off and clean the house or backyard instead? What do you think? Why not set a plan on which news to hear or which newspaper portion to read? There are many other things that will help you grow for good aside from these meaningless opinions of politicians and bureaucrats. You should do it on a permanent basis. If your everyday job is to collect cartons and empty bottles on the street, then hear the news from the junkshop. Junk the news coming from the media. Hope you're getting my point here.

Condition #3: Save for real. Invest for real.
Stock market investor; that’s nice to hear. “I buy and sell stocks”. Isn't awesome, right? But listen very well to this. When you invest in the stock market, you can also fail. Always remember that. There are losers and gainers in the stock market the same way there are such two kinds of casino players. Not all go home with a pot of money with them. The sad truth is that there are some who have taken suicide due to meeting bankruptcy that results from poor and awkward investing, if not gambling.

On the Photo: Business slogan showing bags of different sizes and colors for sale


Here is the thing that you should consider. When someone tells you to invest in mutual funds, bonds, forex, insurance, stocks, and so on and so forth, don’t quickly say anything that sounds like you are agreeing or showing interest. Better express your side that you either don’t know it or you don’t like it, if it’s really the truth. There are hundreds to about thousands of fools out there who wants to see you losing money if not giving them some portions of it. It’s still wise and just to bury your money three to four feet below your home ground or keep it lock inside the safety cabinet for ten years. Saving for real and investing for real is all about sufficient knowledge on these two economic terminologies. If you don’t know how, then stick to the fundamentals. Do not engage on anything. Keep your money inside your pocket.

On the Photo: A business slogan showing the Bonifacio Global City in Manila, Philippines


If you've ever heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule of Business, then you can be convinced at least to plan first before investing. This principle simply says that of the 100 people who will invests their money on business, there is an assurance that only 20 of them will become successful and the remaining 80 will be not. This is not for you to believe right now. There is a technical reason behind such principle and you may just spend sometime Googling it if you want. Saving money is about discipline, the same is on investing it. Wonder why most Filipinos are broke or in debt troubles these days. It’s because many of us lacks discipline. We have lots of occasions to celebrate – fiesta, birthday, monthsary, anniversary, Noche Buena, New Year, Valentine’s Day, class reunion, family reunion, outing, Friday night gimmick, shopping every payday, and the list goes on and on. C'mon Filipinos! Better listen now to this famous quotation from one of our top businessmen: “Ubos-ubos biyaya, pag wala’y nakatunganga” (Spend without limits when there is more, stare nowhere when there is none at all).

Will business fail in Manila if you are an investor? Yes, definitely; if you don’t have the discipline and focus. Business will grow in Manila because the resources are already there – customers, infrastructures, communication means, transportation means, local raw materials, president who is fighting aggressively against the corruptions in the government, and the GDP figures that is worth convincing for us to move. It is just you who is the only missing component. And you should go for it. Mind about my point of views above. It might help you.



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Do you have comments or suggestions about this article? Please write them down or send the author Noriel Panganiban an email at norielpanganiban@gmail.com. Read more blogs about Manila and the Philippines by exploring this blog site.

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