I feel so blessed that my work as a speaker allows me to travel all across Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, where I get to engage with so many amazing audiences from all sectors of Filipino society.
My favorite engagements are always opportunities where I can meet the Filipino youth. While I am listening to these inspiring young men and women, I quickly realized most of them are far more gifted and talented than I ever was at their age. Yet I am shocked that so many of these beautiful young Filipinos have such a low opinion of their own capability.
It is heartbreaking to realize that so many of our Filipino youth today do not believe in themselves. Their negative self-talk is telling them that they are not good enough or that they are not smart enough to become the leaders of tomorrow.
How can so many of today’s youth have such false limiting beliefs? How can they ever realize their potential if they continue to hold onto this disempowering mind-set? How did this happen?
First and foremost, this is not their fault. These beautiful kids have been lied to. They have been told they are not good enough or not smart enough. So, where did these lies come from?
It is easy for us to blame parents, government or social media. However, I believe that the primary source of these lies has its roots in a long history of subservience to foreign masters. The “colonial hangover” is still very much alive in the Philippines.
My own country Ireland was colonized by England for 800 years, yet, almost 100 years after independence, some of my own countrymen and women still have our own version of this colonial hangover.
Although being colonialized did bring many positive social changes to both the Philippines and Ireland, the greatest negative impact of prolonged occupation is the disempowered mind-set it leaves on the oppressed people—a mind-set that takes generations to recover from.
But times are changing. I believe there is a new generation of young Filipinos that will finally put an end to this colonial hangover, once and for all.
These young Filipinos are choosing to make a stand. They are the Filipinos who are rejecting the lies of the past they are not good enough or not smart enough. They are the Filipinos rejecting that status quo and the false belief the Philippines will always be a Third World country.
They are the Filipinos who are choosing to believe in the greatness within themselves, and that greatness that lies within every Filipino. These are the Filipinos who are converting their beliefs into action. These Filipinos are my heroes.
In business, they are Filipinos who are creating world-class Filipino brands many, of which I am a proud daily consumer: My favorite personal-care products are Filipino (Human Nature), my favorite chocolate is Filipino (Malagos), my favorite ice tea is Filipino (Bayani Brew), my favorite coffee store is Filipino (Bo’s Coffee).
These proudly Pinoy brands are truly world-class and, in my opinion, better than any of their foreign competitors. Smashing the false belief that foreign products are better than Filipino products.
For me, these brave Filipino entrepreneurs are some of the most inspiring examples of Filipino excellence you will ever meet. They will not be silenced.
I believe this is the greatest time in history to be in the Philippines. There is a new generation of Filipinos, like never before, who are absolutely determined to end poverty in their country and build a walang iwanan economy the like of which the world has never seen.
That is why I believe that the Philippines will inspire the world. The colonial hangover is fading.
The lie is being exposed. More and more Filipinos are choosing to believe in the greatness of this nation. The rise of Pinoy has begun. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.
For comments, suggestions and reactions, contact Mike @mikegrogan.ph.
(This article, previously published on the Business Mirror is reposted with permission from the author. Mike Grogan is an international speaker and best-selling author who believes in the Genius of the Pinoy. As a leadership coach, Irish native Mike has traveled to 39 countries around the world but he believes that there is something very special about the Filipino. Today he works as a consultant for People Dynamics, where he travels across the Philippines inspiring, empowering and motivating Pinoys every week to become World-Class and believe in the Filipino Dream.)