Success Story: Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV

Photo from http://www.indolentindio.com

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV at 35 is one of the 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the World for Business, Economic and Entrepreneurial Accomplishment. As the President of MicroVentures, which runs the multi-awarded social enterprise Hapinoy Program and the former Chairman of the Philippine National Youth Commission, Bam exemplifies the best attributes of the world’s young and successful people. Through his Hapinoy program, he helps Filipinos sustain small stores known as “sari-sari stores” in the countryside by providing microfinance to owners. Bam, being the first cousin of the incumbent President of the Philippines and the nephew of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino,  knows that his heart belongs to serving his countrymen.

 

In October 2012, he announced his candidacy for the Philippines 2013 Senatorial elections and wants to run under the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

 

This is his story:

AMS: Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its
mission?

Bam: I was in government for a number of years which I enjoyed, but it came
to a point when I wanted to do something else.  My business partner
and I started to put up “businesses that helped people”.  There were a
few failures along the way, but we eventually met a number of
like-minded and talented individuals that would be instrumental in
putting up the Hapinoy Program.  It was our third endeavor, so in this
case, third time was the charm.

AMS:  What is your vision of these projects?

Bam: The overarching goal of our social enterprise is to improve the lives
and livelihood of our women micro entrepreneur partners.  By helping
them have more effective businesses, they can provide a positive
impact on their communities as well.  We fulfill this mission by
engaging the women in business opportunities and capacity-building.
In this way, we are slightly different than most traditional social
development initiatives.

AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

Bam: My uncle, Ninoy Aquino, has inspired me a great deal.  His bravery and
heroism are two standards I still try to live up to in my own small
way.  Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be in public service
because of his inspiration.  I’ve worked in government, in an NGO, in
media and now in social enterprise.  Not necessarily the traditional
view of public service, but public service nonetheless.

AMS:  Who are your motivators?

Bam: We aren’t here just for ourselves; the best life is the one lived for others.

AMS: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need
 in order to be successful in life- what are they?

Bam: Being open-minded and ready to adapt to change.  Being hardworking.
Being as innovative as possible.  Having a strong and single minded
will that won’t give up easily.  Resilience.

AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?

Bam: I might be running for public office.  That being said, the Hapinoy
Program’s immediate goal is to be truly nationwide and to increase our
partner base. (Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in August 2012)

AMS: What is your definition of success?

Bam: If you are still standing and still fighting, you are successful.

 

About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at amsdaily@yahoo.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily.

Success Story: Hanz Florentino, Author and Serial Entrepreneur

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

 

Today’s featured success story is another young and successful Filipino, Hanz Florentino who just published his first book in the Philippines, “Rich, Real and Radical” with renowned internet marketer Janmck Hilado. Aside from being an author who is also an entrepreneur and sees himself becoming an influential millionaire.

This is his story.

AMS:  Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.

Hanz: I used to remember people calling me “mr.perfect”. Perfect quizzes, perfect attendance, perfect projects, also perfect smile and even, the perfect boyfriend! haha! Modesty aside, I graduated Bachelor of Science in Psychology Magna Cum Laude last 2008. A few days after graduation, I got hired, and became “the perfect employee”. I became a training officer of a big company and easily became the boss’s favorite. Delivered on time, arrived on time, and rendered hundreds of “offer” time. After a year, got promoted and became a Customer Service Manager trainee, and was the youngest supervisor of the company. But the perfect employee did the impossible – I quit my job. Why? One day, sitting in my desk, this question hit me…

“Is this what I wanted to do for the rest of my life?

Right now, I recently launched my first book, co-authored by one of Philippines top internet marketer – Janmck Hilado, RICH REAL RADICAL: 40 Lessons from a Magna Cum Laude and a College Drop-out.

 

(Trivia: They sold 500 copies online… in 10 days… before launching their book!)

We both founded the Radical Millionaires – a success support system that is geared to empowerment thru entrepreneurship. On the personal end, I am a creative marketing consultant that offers design projects and video productions. Of course, I continue to give my training and workshops on leadership and abundance.

“Is this what I wanted to do for the rest of my life? Never been better!”

AMS:  Tell us about how you become involved in your current project/book and its mission?

Hanz:  Actually, it started with a drawing.

This is part of what I drew last December when I attended the Firewalk Boot Camp.  We were asked to draw the life we wanted and is called the Genius Creation System.

As said, “Ask and you shall recieve!”

Then last January, an idea just of a book of stories came to me. I then called up Janmck, and the rest was history.

AMS:  What is your vision of these projects or your book?

Hanz: The book is simply the combined collection of all our stories of how we did it. From ordinary guys, to someone who became “angry” of their situation, worked on it, and are now living their dreams. From all our mistakes, experiences, lessons learned from expensive seminars, overnight book dates, and from many amazing teachers and mentors.

We wrote “Rich Real Radical” with the idea saying, “Hey, you, yes you! There’s no reason why you cannot do it!”

AMS:  What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?

Hanz: I have done and achieved so many, I mean materially, but that which I would really be so proud of now is my very own family. We used to be the ordinary- employee-scarcity mindset family. I grew up waking up at night hearing a lot of yelling and stuffs all flying all over the place. And even to the point of breaking the whole family because of financial problems. Debts here and there. I remember I was still very young, and I really felt afraid seeing people coming to our house getting all our appliances – collateral damage. It was tough.

Everything started to changed when I quit my job.

At first, I became an outcast! Imagine the breadwinner cutting his supply of bread. I even stayed at Janmck’s place for about 3 months just to stay away from the negativity from my family.

Finally, I was able to take off, and my family finally saw the results. That’s when they changed as well.

Currently my dad is running his flourishing construction business. And I still can’t believe that as I go down stairs late at night to make my tea and I would be seeing him, reading “Secrets of a Millionaire Mind”, or watching John Maxwell DVDs, or listening to a recorded talk of Bo Sanchez. And my mom is now doing “tremendously awesome” monetizing her talent of cooking thru Cebu Packed Lunch http://facebook.com/cebupackedlunch.

More than these, we become really close to each other. From scarcity mentality of overly-exaggerated-frugality to parents who are so generous not only to us – Sunday blow-outs – but most especially to dad’s employees and their fellowship with Couples for Christ. Imagine, my parents have given them a treat more times than to their own family!

AMS:  Who are/were your motivators?

Hanz: Myself! My daily goal is to simply be better than who I am yesterday! I tell you, that’s enough motivation.

But of course with the help of a lot of people. Starting from the book/video mentors like Bo Sanchez, Robin Sharma, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Seth Godin, Brendon Burchard, Gary Zuckav, Debbie Ford, Deepak Chopra, and Wayne Dyer. Then of course my family, and extended families: Radical Millionaires (http://radicalmillionaires.com) , Creative Hanz Team (http://creatives.hanzflorentino.com), Feast Cebu Family, and my new Wellness-Yoga-Kalimasada Family. (Filipinos indeed have “Close Family Ties!”)

AMS:  If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?

Hanz: Self-Awareness – It’s basically how well you know yourself. Who are you? What are your strengths? What are you good at? What are your goals? What are your weakness? And of course, what is your story? This can be developed through daily journaling, and meditation.

Clarity – One time, I handled a financial education seminar, and I asked the audience, “Who wants to be rich?!” Everybody raised their hands! Then follow up question, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Nobody raised their hands! That my friend is what I meant about clarity.

Bias for Action – Action, action, action. In our book, we truly emphasized the Ready, FIRE, Aim strategy. Take action now, just adjust along the way. As what I always tell people, “Double time on your dreams!”

AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?

Hanz: My main goal actually is to do yoga headstand by December. =D

More than that is to, as what I declare in my website: http://hanzflorentino.com – Inspire 10,000 Lives before I reach 30. And oh, I have 5 more years to go, and I believe I can really do this. With our book Rich Real Radical, where you can order here – http://richrealradical.com, and as what we are now setting up the Radical Millionaires Academy – where the course is, BSM – Bachelor of Science in Millionaire-ing and subjects are  Entrepreneurship 101, Art of Sales, Stocks Investment, Magnetic Persuasion, Hypnotic Marketing, and the like – 10k lives is way too short!

AMS:  What is your definition of success?

Hanz: Success is about love. Too cliche right? Actually it’s pretty simple.

Let me rephrase, Success is doing what you love, making money doing what you love, doing these with people you love, overflow yourself with love, and teaching to people your story of love.

Editor’s Note: You may add Hanz Florentino at  http://facebook.com/hanzflorentino, and tag him as well!

Success Story: Marie Alexis Baldia, ‘Happy Soles’

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

No matter how young or old you are, what matters most is the time you’ve spent doing something for good, not only for yourself but for others. Alexis Baldia, co-founder of Happy Soles is a young and vibrant lady fromCagayan de Oro,Philippineswho knows for sure how to help out despite being young. It didn’t prevent her from going out in the community to understand the needs of the children around her community, thus Happy Soles is born.

 

Today, she shares her story behind her advocacy and I want you to realize that no matter how old or young you are, it is never too late or too early to start something that will make great ripples for the good of many.

 

Here is her story:

AMS:  Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.

 

Alexis: I’m Marie Alexis R. Baldia, 20 years old; I graduated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Xavier University- Ateneo de Cagayan last March 2012. I am currently preparing for my Nursing Licensure Exam before I take up my medicine course.

 

I am currently involved in Happy Soles: CDO Funds for Little Kids, which is a youth organization we started last June 2011. It is composed of youth volunteers from Cagayan de Oro City who advocate in education for marginalized children in our city, specifically in the far flung areas. Our projects include daycare improvement, tutorials for the children, provision of teaching and learning resources, youth empowerment and other projects that help children have better access to education. There are now 180 children whom we serve and who continue to inspire us in doing more in the service of their community and over 25 youth volunteers who dedicate their time and effort to help these children.

 

AMS:  Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?

 

 

Alexis: It all started last June 2011, when I, my sister, and four of my friends went to a far flung area for a school project. We saw a lot of children and decided to go back to give out slippers, which is why we called our project “Happy Soles”. When we went back to the area, we heard from their parents that the children were not in school because their teacher was sick for several weeks so we decided to pinch-hit every Sunday to give them tutorials and primarily to encourage them to still continue going to school. We raised funds, sold cookies, and anything that will help us provide learning kits for the children. After several months I saw Mr. Jay Jaboneta’s article in reader’s digestasia and I sent him a message in facebook to express how he has inspired us to continue our desire to help. Amazingly he replied and supported us all the way. Through him I was able to meet truly inspiring and influencing people like Dr. Anton Lim and Mr. Josiah Go and many others who really contributed a lot as to why we continue to push ourselves to be involved, to take part and to take action in initiating projects that create social impact.

 

AMS:  What is your vision of these projects?

 

 

Alexis: We are looking towards helping more and more communities in our city especially the children to have better access to education and to help them receive the quality of education they deserve.  We aim to empower more youth leaders to take part and be involved in nation-building through initiating projects that create social impact. We want to inspire them with our story that our movements, may they be small, are always bound for greater things if we just put our heart and passion into them.

 

 

 

AMS:  Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

 

 

Alexis: My family, friends, mentors and the people who support me have inspired me in so many ways. I am blessed to grow up in a family who became my first teacher and I am surrounded with friends and mentors whose commitment to serve and passion towards leadership is amazing.  The children we serve in the communities are my ultimate inspiration. They are the reason why we committed to do what we do and to put our heart and passion to them.

 

AMS:  What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?

 

 

Alexis: For me to continuously give the best I can in everything I do, I always consider myself as still young and there is still so much that life can bring. Let’s just say, that for my greatest achievement, I’m still trying to get there J

 

AMS:  Who are/were your motivators?

 

 

Alexis: The volunteers of Happy Soles whose commitment and love for the children is overwhelming. The amazing people who believed in our group, to mention some of them, Mr. Jay Jaboneta, Dr. Anton Lim, and Mr. Josiah Go, they are the ones whom I consider my models and mentors. And most especially, the children of the communities we serve and we will be serving, they are our number one motivators who really push us to do more and to continue our movements.

 

 

AMS:  If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?

 

 

Alexis: Two latin words. MAGIS and SATIS.

 

Magis means never settling for less and always striving for more.

Satis which means knowing when to say you have done enough.

 

These are the two meaningful words in the spirit of St. Ignatius that I carry with me and I strongly believe will help us pursue our desires. In life, in order to be successful, we must always give our best in everything that we do and to do more for Christ and for others.

 

AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?

 

 

Alexis: I want to live life to its fullest by appreciating what I have now and making the best out of it. J

 

 

AMS:  What is your definition of success?

 

 

Alexis: Success for me is being able to discover your passion and pursue your desires. It is not every day that people realize the meaning of our life and actually lives up to see that purpose being followed. Success is being able to have the faith in ourselves and God, courage to seek what we truly want, wisdom to realize our potentials, and the determination to do what we aspire.

 

 

About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at amsdaily@yahoo.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.

Success Story: Luis Pedron, Filmmaker

 

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

 

Someone mentioned to me a few years back that if you are an immigrant and you conquered New York City, (which means you’ve made yourself known in the industry you are in), then you are golden. That also means you have made yourself somewhat of a success. New York is a city where there are a lot of things going on. And, it is a destination of many people across the globe for something better. Thus, the competition in a given  field is huge. If you are talented and you have what it takes, you will still shine. You will carry on with your passion, your beliefs and your contribution to the community.

Luis Pedron, is not just another Filipino transplant in New York City. He is, along with a few of the people we have featured on AMSDaily Success Story, a Filipino in New York City who has made a name for himself; someone whose impact among his colleagues in the film making industry would make the Filipinos proud of him.

Luis is the co-founder of the International Film Festival in Manhattan, the co-founder and the producer of the Queens Asian Fest

Although I am a Filipino-American residing in Boston, I know, somehow that my friend’s statement regarding New York is true for Luis Pedron.

This is his story:

 

AMS:  Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.

Luis: I have a degree in Filmmaking from the University of the Philippines Diliman and a degree in Acting (Meisner Technique) from the School for Film and Television (New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts). I am currently the Co-Founder, Festival Director, Programmer of the International Film Festival Manhattan. I am also a professional actor, a member of SAG-AFTRA pursuing roles in NYC. I am also a film producer, my latest collaboration is “The Solar Champion” (Dir: Gerry Balasta) a light hearted comedy about the invention called the solar bulb.

AMS:  Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?

Luis: I was the Programmer of the Soho International Film Festival (2010-2011) and the Programmer of the Fanclubx.com Filmmaking Contest (2005-2006). In the midst of all the artistic projects I am involved, I figured I will jump in and go full time in programming thus, Co-Founding the International Film Festival Manhattan www.iffmnyc.webs.com. I serve as the Festival Director and Programmer. We did our inaugural festival last Nov 11-17, 2011 at the historic Quad Cinema in NYC and will be doing our next one this coming November 9-15, 2012 at the same venue.

Mission of International Film Festival Manhattan: “International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) is a group visionaries who believes in the possibilities of New York, the greatest city in the world. We have seen how film, as a powerful medium can make a direct impact on lives or facilitate change. We also have seen the unique diversity of New York’s culture and its people. The city’s appreciation for film and ability to make things happen.”

AMS:  What is your vision of these projects?

Luis: Vision of International Film Festival Manhattan “Our vision is to create an opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their works in a movie house in New York and eventually on a tour within the US and around the world. We will support the filmmakers in finding their audiences and their voice.”

AMS:  Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

Luis: I have covered different film festivals including NY Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival for years as a red carpet interviewer and film reviewer. I was able to obeserve the need of the filmmaker to be in a film festival as part of his or her journey. I have seen the nitty gritty of how it is to run film festivals as well. I said to myself eventually I want to be a Festival Director/Programmer of my own fest.

The person who got me involved in attending film festivals is my Uncle Domingo Hornilla Jr, who worked as the Comptroller of the Film Society at the Lincoln Center NY. In the beginning he gave me passes to the NY Film Festival and he told me “you have access to these films and directors, why don’t you write reviews about them.” After writing reviews for years, there was a clear calling for me to create my own film festival.

My business partner in IFFM is award winning director Gerry Balasta. He brings in his experience as a filmmaker in attending more than 20 film festival around the world for his film “Mountain Thief.”

Regarding similar events I have produced, I also have been a co programmer for a short film fest in Brooklyn in 2011 with programmers: Frances Lozada (Cinema Nights) and Aaron Ingram (Act Now Foundation). I also co-produce the Queens Asian Fest.

AMS:  What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?

Luis: The greatest achievement I have is surviving in NYC. But of course, that’s through God’s help. He has made me find my purpose in life and that is to support the community through promoting artistic endeavors. God gave me opportunities to do important projects within the fields of entertainment and film – in all aspects including PR/Publicity/Producing/Programming.

AMS:  Who are/were your motivators?

Luis: God has guided me in a lot of things I have done in life. He keeps me grounded and motivated. I am inspired by: Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life.” I am blessed to have a supportive family especially my parents Louie and Flor Pedron. They have advised me with everything I do.

AMS:  If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful (in general) in life- what are they?

Luis: In filmmaking, I always remind everyone, filmmaking is 10% filmmaking and 90% marketing. It’s the same thing in all businesses. The 3 tips I have for everyone are:

1) Have the Attitude of Gratitude: Be thankful to everyone who has helped you. Say thank you immediately, both through email and through greeting cards. Thank God for all your blessings. Always say Thank you to your family, friends, business partners and customers. They also are the reason why you are successful.

2) Social Networking: Be sure you have a list: start building your Facebook friends and twitter following. Do not wait until you have a big project. Start now so when you are promoting your project, you will already have a captive audience.

3) No Man in an Island. Attend offline networking events, conferences, conventions, churches, clubs (ex Toastmaster, Lions, Rotary), organization parties, school reunions, film festivals, street fair, etc. Having a network online is not enough. You have to meet people live as well. Remember in finding collaborators, you need to check out their likeability factor. You only see this to meeting your prospects in person.

AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?

Luis: After IFFM NY in Nov 2012, we will be doing IFFM goes to Manila in early 2013. Gerry Balasta and I (with our other collaborators) will be finishing our film “The Solar Champion” http://www.facebook.com/#!/solarchampion. Our group (same as the IFFM) by the way had a successful Kickstarter campaign for our finishing funds werein we raised $15,000 online. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1071073173/the-solar-champion-search-for-pacquiao-and-the-sol. (Historically, in Kickstarter only 41% gets funded)

AMS:  What is your definition of success?

Luis:  Success does not equal only money. Success is when you have reached a point in your life wherein everything you do is what you were dreaming of when you were little. Success is when you can say you are happy with what you are doing. Success is when you can say you have a purpose in life.

My special quotable quote:

“Enjoy the Process.”

 

 

About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at amsdaily@yahoo.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.

 

Success Story: Pacita Juan, Entrepreneur

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

 

Coffee is part of American’s daily routine. Just this morning, a group of high school students rang our doorbell and asked us if we were interested to buy a pound  of Dunkin Donuts coffee from their coffee fundraising. As an occasional coffee drinker and with the amount of ground coffee left from our kitchen we said, yes!

In the Philippines, coffee is abundant – and there is Pacita Juan who is a leader and an entrepreneur in the coffee business. She has successfully put a mark in the Philippines’ coffee business and is continuing to do so as part of her advocacy.

Today, she shares with us her story and how she runs her businesses.

This is her story:

 

AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.

 

Pacita: I graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in BS Hotel and Restaurant Administration. Though I worked in our family company since graduation, I also had a short stint working for a hotel (6 months) just so I could experience working with other people, not necessarily family. I would always find other things to do even while working for my father. I opened a coffee shop with friends from college, I started a music lounge with friends, then I founded Figaro Coffee again with friends.Then now ECHOstore so they say I am a “serial entrepreneur.”

 

AMS: Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?

 

Pacita: I was asked to head the National Coffee Development Board which started as the Presidential Task Force on Coffee Rehabilitation in 2002. In 2005 we changed our name to Philippine Coffee Board Inc.

 

AMS: What is your vision of these projects?

 

Pacita: Our vision is to promote Philippine coffee, to help farmers become sustainable, and to help them add value to their crop.

AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

 

Pacita: I got inspired because I started to see results even just after a few years of work. We were able to raise prices of coffee for farmers simply by teaching them to sort coffee. No machines, no money involved.

 

AMS: What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?

 

Pacita: I think we have helped in putting coffee in the national agenda.

 

AMS: Who are/were your motivators?

 

Pacita: My father always told us to be creators of jobs rather than be employed. I am motivated when I see results even with small steps we make. In lives of people, in our communities, in our country.

AMS: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful in life- what are they?

 

Pacita: I think qualities like compassion, desire to learn continuously, humility and perseverance are important.

 

AMS: What are your next goals for yourself?

 

Pacita: I would like to make a difference in women’s lives like how we made a difference in coffee.

 

AMS: What is your definition of success?

 

Pacita: Being able to change a person’s life for the better, being able to help our community and our country through the businesses we undertake. And of course, being able to help save the environment for our children and the future generations.

 

 

About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at amsdaily@yahoo.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.