“Gong Xi Fa Cai” or “Kung Hey Fat Choy”! However way we say it, it means all the best for the new year of the Dragon. It will supposedly be an exciting and prosperous year ahead of us. Dragon years have been traditionally associated with new beginnings, happiness and good fortune. In fact, I am told that the Chinese consider Dragon years to be the best times to get married and have children or start a business.
I don’t know much about Chinese astrology nor can I say I believe in it but I will not argue against prosperity, happiness and good fortune that the Water Dragon is supposed to bring. But to tell you the truth, achieving all those good things in our lives depend not so much on any dragon. Peace, Prosperity and Happiness are all within our grasp if we are determined to achieve them.
Still, we cannot but notice that we had a most propitious start to this New Year. Our geothermal exploration group has just been awarded its first international concession area to explore for geothermal energy in Chile. We have applied to work on this way back in the last quarter of 2009. Now, the Chilean government is allowing us to develop the area, drill wells where it can draw the steam and later build a geothermal facility should reserves in the area be proven economically viable. We also plan to explore for geothermal in Peru, another Latin American country.
It is exciting to note that Filipino skills and technology in this field of renewable energy is now being recognized abroad. This is another manifestation of the world class quality of the Global Pinoy. What makes this even more significant is that we are not working for a foreign company but for our very own Lopez Group company, whose technology and capital are now being put to play in the global arena. This is also a practical application of one of the Lopez Values, the one on nationalism, which calls upon us to always proudly carry the Filipino flag wherever we may be in the world.
One other noteworthy project from the Lopez Group I want to highlight is the travel website Choose Philippines, a project of the Regional Network Group (RNG) of ABS-CBN. Again, it is a project based on the belief that we ought to be proud of our country, our people and our culture. This is a perfect example of the Lopez Values of Pioneering Entrepreneurial Spirit and Nationalism as practiced by an ordinary worker in the Group.
It started off as “Pili-Pinas,” a Web portal with a one-man crew in Enzo Lacap, who thought he could do more than his assigned work at ABS-CBN. Two years later, in February 2011, Charie Villa, head of News of the RNG took on under her wing the website, now called Choose Philippines, at the request of RNG head Jerry Bennett.
Lacap started small. By the time RNG picked it up, it had 100,000-plus ‘likes.’ Using only Facebook, it was obvious how potent it was. Choose Philippines was positioned as a sharing portal where travelers’ hitherto undiscovered finds can be aggregated. It has now supporting the government effort, It’s More Fun In The Philippines campaign. Follow Choose Philippines on Twitter and Facebook. Go out there and know your country and you will realize doing so is one of the best things you would have done in this year of the Water Dragon.
In the meantime, it is back to work for all of us. Take advantage of the positive influences of this Dragon year to make new beginnings. Explore new and empowering challenges. And if it makes a difference to you, it probably helps to know Chinese tradition says this year, you will get more than a little help from the Water Dragon.