Speech on the Occasion of the Townhall 2015
In my capacity as the President and Chairman I am endorsing the pronouncements made earlier by our COO as we meet the challenges of 2015. Similar, however, to what I have aired during the Christmas Party I am appealing once more that the sense of history should also be accommodated as we look forward. As in every successful endeavor the past is an integral foundation in the decision making process of the present and the future.
I am always referring to my decision early in life to curtail my employment under an executive looking get up with a necktie armed with a fresh college degree from De La Salle College with a prestigious bank and to assist the family business which was initially beginning to engage in publishing (with the buying and selling of secondhand books as the then core of the business) to pursue a sales career.
It was a difficult start wherein within a year’s time one title adoption in one school as the years grow I brought clients which in later years was further nurtured with greater success by our COO until a decision was rendered to professionalize the sales group.
It indeed and truly brought about comparative improvement in sales thus necessitating the relinquishment of the Buhain schools to Clip and later on Malou to which Management has reposed its trust and confidence to continue to nurture and enhance the patronage of these original client schools which earlier progressively dwindled.
Undoubtedly the decision to professionalize brought us to where we are now with comparatively improved infrastructure and supposedly better sales talents and other sophistications thus bringing about greater fiscal autonomy but like what I said during the citation of Mr. Febre during the Christmas PARTY .
Although the desired sophistications were not yet present we were nevertheless were there to fill in the gap during the critical moment to carry on the struggle of uplifting of Rex Book Store from the “never heard” status to that of”partially being heard”status.
Due to the continued patronage until now of the above-cited original schools it could not be denied that roots and relationships have been somehow established as exemplified by my chairmanship of La Consolacion Mendiola and Biñan and also for our COO with correlative greater number of OSA schools.
The hardships and struggles that occurred during the past where we would stay in a very uncomfortable room with only electric fans to neutralize the suffocating heat, availment of dilapidated transportation, the disappointment and frustration of not being allowed entry by the security guard s after tortuous hours of travel , the condemnation and ridicule of a principal who was also lawyer on why I was promoting books instead of going to court which he termed as “disgrace to the profession” ,hearing of Christmas carols while promoting in Mindanao and Visayas books which was a reminder for us to go back to Manila to attend the activities thereto, the promotion of books which do not in series, absence of teachers’ guide, etc. were difficult situations but nevertheless would serve as a bridge to where are now .
Thus the learning’s should not be readily set aside on the face of modernistic appearances which nevertheless remained untried and untested.
I maintain that lasting relationships could not be developed overnight but it is achieved over a long period of time on various encounters although the goodwill that was developed could be transferred to the worthy successors.
If given the chance I would like to call them including myself as heroes and never as outcasts or ignorant or unschooled “tsimoy” “tsimay” not worthy of proper treatment and if necessary to give them remedial assistance tp succeed as well.
Again ,this emotional presentation would not carry weight if it would be proven however on preponderance of evidence or proof beyond reasonable doubt that they are hampering progress where business decision as always would for the greater number.
Allow me also to put a recollection on the decision to put up a big printing press where not a few stated na “walang alam sila hindi nakapagral ng printing sa abroad, sa Rochester etc”. “Maraming pa silang kakainin bigas ang sabi but the family with determination proceeded on the justification that we were college graduates “makaka survive tayo”.
I heard those who said these discouraging remarks had closed shop already. One declared bankruptcy. I pray that Divine Intervention would allow us to survive.
These small experiences accumulated ultimately formed the family values which in turn serve as the basis of the mission and vision.
Having conveyed what I have tried to convey over the past occasions I am hereby reiterating once more that business must have its distinct culture arising from a deep historic perspective to have a distinct branding which according to the ASEAN Economic Community gurus the business must possess in order to succeed.
If it is devoid of a historical past thus likewise devoid of culture it would not have distinct branding or “trusted partner” stature as affirmed by Dr. Ed Morato thus we would be likened to zombies or copycats without a soul and culture thus the chances of succeeding could be slim if not zero amidst greater ASEAN competitions.
Necessarily, whatever happened during the preceding 65 years of struggle should not be set aside to the dustbin.
I am appealing therefore that we should not obliterate the past relationships but include them if possible in the modernistic strategies as we meet the challenges of the ASEAN Integrated Community.
Measurements of efficiency or success or inefficiency or failure should be beyond reproach and totally must not be susceptible to biasedness thus accuracy of figures must not only be fully substantiated .It must be proven beyond reasonable doubt likened to Ceasar’s wife fidelity.
Thank you very much.