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“Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.”
Aries Fortuna, family man, nurse and businessman, tries to get to the bottom of the dreams and success in life. Ramon Jarabe talked with him about his activities and views of life.
Ramon (R): Tell me something about yourself.
Aries (A): I was 20 when I came to Vienna. It took me two years to get employed as a nurse. Before that, kahit anong trabaho ay pinapasukan ko. One time, before I got employed as a nurse, I saw a man at a hospital cleaning the wheels of a wheelchair. Ginaya ko, thinking it was the job of a nurse here abroad. They all laughed when they saw me. I believe that life is an adventure. Maraming challenges, pagsusubok. Pero lahat ay malulusutan natin. Kailangan lang ay may vision ang tao at ambisyon. Kahit na anong gawain, just love it and do your best. I have a very strong faith, kaya I just kept on going. I always tried to learn from my mistakes. At I always reminded myself to think long term.
R: What was your turning point in life?
A: Nakaranas din akong matulog na ilang gabi sa bangketa ng Westbahnhof. I had no means during that time at walang trabaho. Natiis ko lahat iyon, but I was so disgusted about my situation. I’m very lucky to have so many friends at madami din na umampon sa akin. I made up my mind to do everything para hindi na maulit iyon and the rest is history .
“Everything happens for a reason “
R: You are saying that owning an apartment in the Philippines can help improve the lives of Pinoys and contribute to Philippine economic progress. Where is the connection?
A: Dole-out, charity and donation – iyan ang ating traditional way ng pagtulong sa ating relatives at kababayan. In reality, hindi iyan nakakatulong, lalo lamang natin silang ginagawang dependent sa more dole-out, charity and donation, hindi ko po sinasabi na itigil natin ito. Of course, we should be generous enough to help our kababayans. We should also think of ourselves, mas masarap or mas magaang tumulong kung meron tayong na invest. Ang model ng Filinvest ay iba. Sa aming “Bahay Panghanapbuhay”, in two years time, mapapaupahan na ito, kaya may cashflow na pandagdag sa monthly income. If you invest in the Philippines, you help our economy, and if you help the economy, you create jobs. At sino ang makikinabang? And mga kababayan na naiwan natin.
R: You are family man, a nurse, Central Dealer of TFC, Area Director of Filinvest, member of the Couple for Christ, etc. How do you manage your time?
A: “Behind every man’s success, there is a woman”. I’m very lucky to have a very understanding wife, Mayette. Once you enjoy what you’re doing, nothing’s impossible and if you will notice, lahat ng business ko ay in service of our kababayans and our country. This is my way of giving what I received. And I hope that all Pinoys will have the same mindset that I have.
“Live you life to make history.”
R: You have two boys, 14 and 6. Talking of legacy, what do you want your children to tell your grandchildren about you when you’re gone?
A: Very simple. That their father has a great respect for others, great love of country and above all great faith in God.
R: What should change in the lives of Pinoys here in Vienna to be successful?
A: It vividly brings back to my mind memories of the day I first left our country. Two Jeepneys, overfilled with my relatives, kaway, galak at luha habang pumapasok ako sa NAIA. Ang paglisan natin ay naging simbolo ng pag-asa. Makakatulong na tayo na umangat ang buhay ng mga naiwan natin. But ng nandito na tayo sa Vienna, naranasan na natin ang sarap ng buhay. Naging passive na tayo. Ito ang dapat nating baguhin, ang ating attitude sa buhay. Masyado tayong naging comfortable. Let’s go out of our comfort zone, madami pang opportunities na pwede nating gawin, wag tayong masyadong maging dependent sa work natin, lahat ng bagay sa mundo ay temporary. I always think of my future and my children’s future.
“Its hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
R: I am now 55, isn’t it too late for me to invest in a condo in Cebu or in Manila?
A: No one is too old to start again This program of Filinvest is also designed for retirees. Within two years, ready na po ang condo for occupancy. Pwede mo po itong paupahan, magkaroon ka po ng additional monthly cashhflow pangdagdag inyong pension. We can show you po how.
R: How do you feel about the present political crisis between the Philippines and China?
A: The protests of Pinoys happening all over the world right now against China are not only affecting our relationship to them. But look at what’s happening to our economy, ang dami ng na-banned na products from China and millions ang nalulugi na businesses sa atin and that means millions din na Pinoy ang magugutom. If there will be a war between China and the Philippines, iisa ang kawawa dito, ang ating mga kababayan sa Pilipinas at hindi tayo na nasa abroad. Kaya if you really love our country, just think of our kababayans.
R: Is there anymore you what to tell our kababayans?
A: FILINVEST for me is not a business anymore. It is a campaign for all OFW’s or Overseas Filipino Winners. We are the modern heroes of our time, so let’s be part of the history, let’s go back to our roots, and be part of this campaign. Together we will make history and leave a good legacy to our children and to the next generations.
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