Monday, February 8, 2010
Manny, Manny, Manny. Money, Money, Money.
At least three Mannys are famous in the Philippines. One is in business and hopefully will remain in business. Another is in business and politics with the possibility of the becoming the president of the republic. The last one is into sport and entertainment but is trying hard to become a legislator.Actually their stories have been told and retold so I will just mention them in passing.
First, we have Manny V. Pangilinan, the head of telecommunication giant PLDT. Also known as MVP, he is a classic Filipino executive who really rose from the ranks. He is also the head of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments which has invested much in toll roads, electricity and water distribution, hospitals, and now television. He started his business career as an assistant to the president of a local company then he went to Hongkong as an OFW. While there, he befriended many rich people until he became the chairman of an Indonesian-owned company. Then he returned to the Philippines as an investor.
Then we have the presidential candidate, Manny B. Villar. We are told that he was born and grew up in Tondo, Manila. We are also told that he helped his mother sell fish at Divisoria Market. Then after being an employee in a local company, he started a construction business which grew into a multi-billion housing concern. He joined politics and was elected as a congressman for three terms eventually becoming house speaker. Then he run for and won as senator for two terms. He was a former senate president and he now wants to cap his political career by running for president.
Last but not the least is another billionaire in the person of Manny Pacquaio. We know he was a former helper in a bakeshop. He trained hard in boxing and he is now considered as the world's greatest boxer of all times and in the process earning lots and lots of money. He used his popularity to become a movie star and a mainstay in television as well as a reliable product endorser. He entered politics in the 2007congressional election but lost miserably. He is again running as representative in the upcoming May election.
Manny Pangilinan traces his root to Pampanga Province while Manny Villar is now a Las Pinas resident. Manny Pacquaio hails from General Santos City in South Cotabato but has transferred his residence to Sarangani Province where is now a candidate for congressman.
All the above three billionaires are trumpeting their rags to riches stories. Yet we can assume safely that only Manny Pacquiao really came from a very poor family. The other two Mannys were at best came from middle class families. They went to private schools and were even able to get Master's Degree. But the fact remains that they were all SELF-MADE people, meaning their wealth is a product of their own sweat and maybe tears. We may not vote for Manny Villar and we may not agree with Manny Pacquaio entering politics but their lives should inspire many Filipinos out there. That in this country, though poor as it is, the possibility to rise above mediocrity and poverty is there.
Hindi matatawaran ang naging papel na ginampanan at ginagampanan pa ng tatlong Manny na ito sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Maraming Pilipino ang humahanga sa kanila. Sana hindi nila basta basta walain ang tiwalang ito dahil sa paggawa ng hindi kanaisnais na bagay. Sana hindi nila gamitin ang kanilang yaman sa ikasisira ng kanilang pangalan at ng kanilang bansa!