Monday, February 21, 2011

Excellent. Happier.

Honor Beyond Politics
The Philippine Star
February 17, 2011
By : Joey Concepcion

Last week, I was able to have coffee with Sen. Mar Roxas after quite a long time. Since the election, he decided to maintain a low profile.

After seeing Mar, I can say that he is definitely back. I saw a new Mar, in very good shape. He lost weight, as he now has more time for exercise (Pilates Yoga in particular). But, his usual self was still full of ideas and concern for the country.

My first encounter with Mar was many years ago, when he started a forum called Philippines Inc. during the time of Erap. He was then the DTI Secretary. He asked me together with other negosyantes to be part of this visioning exercise in Mimosa. There were around 200 prominent figures from politics, entertainment, arts, to business and other fields. He was not yet a senator at that time.

Mar has definitely come a long way from being an investment banker. Today, despite his setback in the last election, he continues to have dreams for the Philippines. He shared with me his vision for the liberal party and it goes beyond politics. He envisions that one day; the same political maturity that America has for its party system can become a reality here where party members are not just for politicians but for those who believe in the same principles and idealism.

In America, being a republican or a democrat means that you clearly stand for basic principles and idealism. How long will it take before the Philippines gets to that level of political maturity? I guess it depends on leaders like Mar to develop a party that would exist not just because the president comes from that party. In some cases, when the president loses, the political party gets lost. We really want to see a party that goes beyond politics.

Mar is a dreamer. But, all things start from dreams. Entrepreneurs dream, believe and achieve.

I also told Mar that Go Negosyo advocate Ben Liuson of The Generics Pharmacy now has close to 900 stores and growing. Mar was a proponent of the generics medicine law. As an entrepreneur and an advocate of a better life for Filipinos, Liuson saw this as a business model. To me, he has the next Mang Inasal success story.

Having been married to Korina for about a year now, I also asked Mar how his married life is so far. He replied, “Excellent. Happier.” Mar is definitely back, with a clearer vision and renewed strength. I am sure Mar will have a place in our country’s future.


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