May 21-27, 2018

I was able to register and attend the ICON 2018. ICON is short for Investment Conference, organized by Randell Tiongson. The registration fee that I paid in March was Php 2,000.00. I felt at that time that it was quite expensive but I still wanted to go so I adjusted my budget a bit to make room for this. And after the conference, I felt that it was money well spent!


The conference was jampacked with speakers from different fields. It was so inspiring to listen to all their presentations and stories.

Here are the different speakers:

  • Randell Tiongson – gave the opening and closing remarks. He talked a little about the current Philippine market condition.

  • Ann Cuisa-Lindayag, CEO of Traxion Tech – talked about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. It’s good to learn a little about this topic since I’ve been hearing and reading headlines about this but didn’t really get to read deeper about it. And a girl for a CEO? How does she do it?

  • Mylene Lopa, Chief Marketing Officer of Sun Life Financial Philippines – talked about her journey to prosperity. She presented some statistics about Filipinos when it comes to money, emergencies, savings and investments. But what I won’t forget is about her personal story where even as a manager in her 30s, she did not still have a million and that her Php 300,000.00 savings are just all in the bank. So a friend advised her to consider other forms of investing. So she invested half of her savings and religiously added Php 10,000.00 per year to her investment account. She earned her first million after 5 years.

  • Marvin Germo – his discussion was mainly about the stock market and when to buy, hold sell using the moving average method.

  • Wilson Flores, President, Kamuning Bakery Cafe and Philstar Consultant – his topic was about how to catch a diamond in things that look like there is already nothing good out of it. He did not have any powerpoint presentations. He only had a small piece of paper with him. But his stories and tips were still very powerful. Here are some of his tips: be an optimist, have a heightened awareness about everything that’s happening around you, cultivate your creativity, do not decided based on emotion, do nut rush, be patient, be a nice person, be quick in analyzing, always be humble, try to be well rounded by reading / learning about different things. Also remember that in everything negative, there is good in it.

  • Carl Dy, President of Spectrum Investments, a property guru and speaker – his focus was about hotel investing. One hotel they are marketing now is Hotel 101 Fort.

  • Sean Si, President of SEO Hacker

Another person with an inspiring story as he became CEO at age 22. There were a lot of bumps in his journey but he was able to make it. Even he himself cannot believe where he is now considering his background (ex. Failing grades in school, first business proposal was a 1-page bond paper). He also published a book entitled CEO at 22. Of course I grabbed a copy, got him signed and a picture with him and his wife hehe. Fangirling mode on that time.


↑Sean and his beautiful and supportive wife.

  • Aaron Say from Frist Metro Securities

His topic was also about stock market investing. He summarized it into 3 Ps – purpose, process, patience.

  • Jairus Ferrer

I missed some minutes of his talk because I went out to buy the book of Sean Si and there was a long line. But Jairus’ topic was about iFarms, a blockchain-driven application that lets users, especially farmers trade directly. This allows consumers to buy directly from local farmers. I love this idea. This eliminates too many middle men and so, farmers will have higher chances of profits.

  • Marilen Montenegro, Founder of Marilen Styles, Interior Stylist, Product Stylist, Digital Content Creator

She’s the wife of Hans Montenegro. And according to her, she’s in good terms with Miriam Quimbao who happened to attend the afternoon session. Chismax hehe. She shared how she transitioned from modelling to digital entrepreneurship. My main takeaway from her talk is to know your passion, work hard for it, and go fro that big idea no matter how hard it is.

  • Denise Cacanando, Founder of Ovalese and Noblese, Artist, Entrepreneur

She was home-schooled and her parents did not send her to college. Her dad just sent her to their friends in Manila to work in their businesses as an intern. Her dad wants her to learn the ropes by starting from below. She’s now an artist and an entrepreneur. She’s also the daughter of another speaker, Dodong Cacanando.

  • Rex Mendoza, RFP, Founder and Managing Director, Rampver Financials

What a cool guy! Bursting with energy all throughout his talk to think that it’s already in the afternoon! His topic was about trailblazing success in investing, business and in life. We have to know our why, for what and for whom.

What struck me the most was about having both options instead of having to choose just one – Luxury AND Charity over Luxury vs. Charity, Employment AND Entrepreneurship over Employment vs. Entrepreneurship, Family AND Work over Family vs. Work, Provide AND Deprive over Provide vs. Deprive. I still remember until now his tone of voice every time he says WHY NOT?! to having both of those instead of choosing just one.

Another story he shared. He was finishing late one night, it was date night, and he has an early speaking engagement the following morning. What to do? Have the date night then travel to Baguio at night with the wife in his Maserati because  WHY NOT? Such powerful phrase when combined together. And yes, he truly owns a Maserati as confirmed by Randell haha! Because, WHY NOT?


↑Prior my turn, he got conscious because people started taking pictures with him so I had to wait for him to finish combing before we had our picture taken hehehehe!

  • Dodong Cacanando, Founder of Semilya Farms

Another inspiring story. He is a constant in the ICON for the past years. He was a former country manager of HP until he decided to go into farming in Mindanao. His main source of references in farming was the bible. It was a struggle at first but he was able to turn things around in their farm. His point that I cannot forget is that farming is a business and farmers should act like entrepreneurs.

Farming is always close to my heart this is our source of income and I remember all those struggles in tilling the land only to be met with low market prices. I haven’t lost faith yet that someday soon, I will make it happen that farming will be a sustainable source of income! Someday soon.

It was a very long day but there’s nothing to complain about because I learned a lot from all of the speakers. I want to attend next year’s session again, this time with the boyps so hopefully it will materialize. And I will make sure that I will have my picture taken with the speakers. They were all around the place and they were all approachable. It’s just that I was shy sometimes to ask for pictures and I’m not a selfie expert hahahaha!

I saw in one of the FB posts that next year’s session will be May 25!