On its second year, the OFW and Family Summit of the Villar Foundation and GoNegosyo once again attracted record number of participants. Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) returnees as well as their families trooped to the World Trade Center in Pasay City for the one-day summit that aims to provide information, opportunities and inspiration to attendees to embark on a business of their own.
Senator Manny Villar and Cynthia Villar—Chairman and Managing Director, respectively, of the Villar Foundation— joined by Pasay City Mayor Antonio Calixto, GoNegosyo’s founding trustee Joey Conception and Executive Director Ramon Lopez led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Concepcion and Mrs. Villar led the lineup of speakers and resource persons. The Former Las Pinas Representative emphasized the important role and contribution of OFWs in the country in her speech as she encouraged OFWs and their beneficiaries to handle their salaries and the remittance they receive.
“Gusto namin maunawaan at tandaan ng ating mga OFWs at ng kanilang mga pamilya: ang pagiging masinop ay mahalaga upang hindi masayang ang pinagpaguran ninyo o ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay. Ang maganda sana ay kung inyong mapalago ang anumang kinikita mula sa paghahanap-buhay sa ibang bansa [We want to remind OFWs and help their families understand that handling their finances or salaries well is very important, so whatever they have worked hard for will not go to waste. It is even better if they can make their earnings from abroad grow through proper investment such as venturing into a business of their own]” cited Villar.
“Tagumpay Forum”, which delves on the challenges and triumphs by OFWs turned entrepreneurs, who have persevered, passionately believing they can succeed, was among the highlights of the event.
Former OFWs Mike Casas, Annie Sitjar and Cherry Yack shared their experiences and the challenges they faced before becoming successful in their chosen businesses. Casas has embarked on bottled sardines while Sitjar and Yack ventured into a poultry business.
“Starting small, they’re now making good money while enjoying life with their loved ones in the country. And so, there’s no need for them to work abroad, and this is what the Villar Foundation together with GoNegosyo have been espousing, giving our OFWs and their families an option to earn a living,” noted Villar.
She said the Villar Foundation and GoNegosyo will be behind them in their endeavour and struggle. “We will help you to make it happen. We are committed to help you start it off,” assured Villar.
Henry Tenedero talked about entrepreneurial mindset dubbed as “Tamang Pananaw Para sa Negosyong Hataw”. Ivy Hayagan of Tindahan ni Aling Puring and Willing Camarillo of Finds Convenience tackled spotting business opportunities under the theme “ Maghanap ng Negosyong Hot na Hot.”
Dean Pax Lapid and Richie Cuna discussed financial literacy and how to start a business. Raju Mandhyan of Vista Land and Terso Sahilan of Tech Pacific College discussed “Skills Up”. Speakers from other exhibitors and sponsors, such as Avon and Fern-C (food supplement), discussed other earning opportunities in dealership or distributorship.
Lucky participants also won raffle prizes including a house and lot from Camella Homes, motorcycles from Motortrade, sari-sari stores from Puregold and Finds Convenience Store, Kettle Corn machines from RFM Corp. and dealership kit from Fern-C among many more.