> Ever since I have been thinking that life is just a big circle. Some have them big and some have them small. There are chapters in life and would want to think how I will put my chapters in a book. I would like to share some here.
CHAPTER 1 / GROWING UP (Age 0-10)
> Picture above was part of chapter 1. It revolves around when I was a young boy growing up in the neighborhood of Block 5 in Tarlac. Mom and Dad would bring me to Mayantoc and when typhoon would destroy the bridge connecting to Camiling, we would ride the "balsa" or raft crossing the Tarlac river to get to the other side. Some pictures of chapter 1 below.
CHAPTER 2 / TRANSITION (Age 11-20)
> This part was my transition from high school to college. It was a big change for me shifting from Tarlac to Manila and meeting new good friends. This chapter was also the saddest as I lost my dad to Leukemia. During this time I was thinking that life was very fast and short but nontheless we are all thankful because we were given 9 years to be with him. Thanks to wonderful prayers answered. Photo below shows us with Mom leading the way. Love you mom.
CHAPTER 3 / BUILDING MY OWN (Age 21-30)
> It was in this episode where I went on my own. From getting married to having 4 wonderful kids to starting our own business. The eldest was born in the US which was very traumatic as my wife almost lost her life just months after we got married but God was still very nice to us as after all, we were given 4 happy babies after.
> Mint came a long way in this section, starting in 2001 with a store in SM Southmall to expanding to 40 branches before this chapter ends. Getting our first run with celebrity endorsers happened in this era.
> Along the expansion came 4 lovely kids. It was hard bringing up kids and at the same time expanding the business but it's all worth it. Growing up was the best part in growing them. 4 kids came before we hit 30. That is just magical!
CHAPTER 4 / GRAVITY (Age 31-40)
> Mint was still growing. We opened as much as 60 stores from Pangasinan to Zamboanga. Along the way, you meet real and unreal people and now you begin to think what life was all about. Busy as we were in the first part of this chapter but on the latter part, we begin to feel the tiredness. After being in the retail for almost 20 years, I began to feel the reality. We had the best years here and the least happy years.
> After fulfilling our dreams of being a national brand, we were so proud of what we have achieved. From joining the Philippine Fashion Week to spreading billboards across EDSA and to being awarded as a Hall of Famer at the Outstanding Filipino Retailer for winning twice. I would consider it a success.
> But...Success is just a seven letter word. The consequence was losing time for myself. It was in the latter part that my wife and I felt depressed. We just got tired of it, we lost the passion. When mall operators begin to take you for granted and start to prioritize global brands with your areas, that felt so sad. Mint's prime spaces was being taken away to give way to new brands. We could have reinvented which we did but life was gone. Passion was gone.
> By 2014, my wife, who was the founder of this brand retired from retail. I told her to go ahead as she was suffering from mid life crisis. Since I still have some passion left for me, I pursued. I rebranded and got James Reid as our endorser and sales went back stronger than ever but after 2 years, I thought that if I would still continue, I would get sick and die early because of stress. Slowly, I lost my passion for retail.
CHAPTER 5 / GROW AGAIN (Age 41-?)
> In a life span, you continue to re-grow. We cannot stop, we just learn from the past and grow again. Now that I have gathered the real people around me, you slowly crawl and find where your passion will bring you. Right now, I am very happy to be back here and growing once again. Owing this to Mint, I started my new baby named after her. It's called MYNT, Making Your Needs Today, Inc. (www.myntmanila.com)
> I am happier now. Real people, real friends. Welcome to the newest chapter of my life. Again, to infinity and beyond.
Friends for life. I lost 2 of them, to Franco and Pepsi, I totally miss you!
Started in Forty Two.