Understanding the Philippines Ecommerce Ecosystem with Ace Estrada

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

This week, we are taking a break from talking about Corona Virus. I feel like we have been talking about that too much. Our guest today is a community builder, Ace Estrada, and we talk about the Philippines E-commerce market, the startup entrepreneurs and the Filipino mindsets. He says some pretty amazing things on this interview, so I hope you enjoy and get a little bit of a break from this Covid19 epidemic.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Introduce Ace

    Let us know a bit about you and how did you get into the ecommerce community?

  • Different types of ecommerce sellers in Philippines

    What are people doing in the Philippines to sell online? Dropship, Lazada, Amazon FBA, shopify?

  • What has been the evolution over time?

    What is the hot trend now, and what have been the changes in the ecommerce market in the Philippines over time?

  • What are the hesitations in the ecommerce community here?

    In my experience it has been hard to motivate Filipinos to start their own ecommerce business, is it changing? What are some of the developments there.

  • Why Are Filipinos So Shy (In My Opinion)

    Many Filipinos Mike has worked with are shy, why is that? The colony mindset, the Church used as a tool by the government to put fear in the citizens.

  • Why Is the internet So Slow / Bad in Philippines?

    Ace explains it is an Oligopology and only really 2 service providers that hold back the development of the ecommerce and online business community.

  • Different regions of the Philippines, different situations?

    We are in your hometown of Baguio, my first time here. How is the market for ecommerce here, vs Manila, Cebu, Davao, etc? Must be differences?

  • Foreigners working with Filipinos

    What kinds of ways can a foreigner like me collaborate more with local Filipino ecommerce entrepreneurs?

  • About some case studies

    You do quite a bit here, what are some cases of people who start and grow their ecommerce businesses here

  • Connect with you

    How can listeners connect with you

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 38:37

Thank you so much Ace for sharing. It was a great experience in Baguio and I think talking about this is relevant. We’re talking about the Philippines eCommerce market, startup, entrepreneur communities, and Ace is one of one of those people to talk to you about that.

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Listen in Youtube

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Episode 301 of Global From Asia, from quarantine and China. Going back to a Philippines interview I did in person with the amazing community leader in, uh, in the Philippines market. Today’s a special treat. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

[00:00:26] And now your host, Michael Michelini. Thank you so much for choosing, to download and listen to this magic little MP3 file on your phone. Or maybe you’re on your computer or maybe you’re in your wechat app. We try to get this everywhere. And my wife helps me get into China and I’m back in China and I was just on BBC again.

[00:00:47] They’re following up with me on BBC live radio. Um, I’ll add that to the blah, blah, blah session at the end because it’s live radio. And I get, I recorded it because I don’t want to waste that content. I try to use all the content we get. So we will put that at the outro after the interview today, if you want to hear the BBC.

[00:01:07] People interviewing me for a little bit of a few five minutes segments on there. UK morning show. All right. I am recording this on my birthday, April 2nd if you are on our email list, which if you’re not, I recommend, you get on and. It’s not usually spam. It’s mostly some fun interactive stuff and some special opportunities we had.

[00:01:31] But, uh, we also just finished our webinar for load pipe and we filled the group offer, um, literally going through the orders now and, uh, we got deposits and some people paid up front and there’s quote unquote small wholesale orders and nurse on larger orders. So thank you for those that, uh, believed in us and believed in, uh.

[00:01:53] Supporting this and getting the masks to you have our first group offer one for the records. You know, as I saw this insanity with these masks and PPE, I felt this is the time to launch Load pipe, which has been a domain I’ve had since 2007 if you can believe that pain renewal fees alone is painful every year.

[00:02:14] Thinking about Zack Franklin, who’s on a few weeks ago, thanks for sharing the show in your WeChat group, buddy, and listening to episode 300 last week. I really appreciate that and you know we are a rock and roll on episode 301 for all those web geeks linking. A lot of you are, if you’re an Amazon, I make three on redirects to a.

[00:02:36] From my website to Amazon, so I can track it a little. I don’t know if it’s a hack or a tip, but 301 episode rule and it’s like a redirect. But Ace Estrada is our guest this week. And Ace is an amazing community guy. We met, he, uh, him and his wife Andy, she’s also amazing community leader and a, and a person, um, came to our cross border summit in 2018 one.

[00:02:59] That was one of our I guess all of them have been pretty amazing. But that was a pretty cool one. I mean I like in Shenzhen and it was spring time and uh, this great weather and we had a rooftop place and he came out from that for first time, went to the Canton fair with us together and a tour. And I’ve spoken at his events.

[00:03:16] So this, this, this interview I did with, in person with him, hopefully it comes out good. I did it on my phone and I had him with lapel mic, cause man, I’m traveling on my ATR 2100 all your technical, my microphone, usually use, I’m recording this right now on a label Mike Qutb on. I hope this sounds okay.

[00:03:34] You know, I don’t want to do it on speaker of my laptop, you know? I know sometimes our guests are like that, but I, I want to have a decent audio for you guys if we can. So we did this in person interview and. I guess this week we’re taking a break of Corona virus. I feel like we’ve been talking about that too much.

[00:03:52] Actually. ACE and Andy, his wife had been working day and night, also tried to help people in the Philippines market with test kits and supplies. We’ve been working together on load pipe, so he’s a, it’s really great to have him in our network and uh, sharing with his community and our, our community here.

[00:04:10] So we talk about the Philippines e-commerce market, the startup entrepreneurs, mindsets. He kinda con-, you know, I, I try to keep it real. You know, I have amazing team and most of our team, you know, Alvin making his show and, and Mindy and we have some great team members in the Philippines. They make this exact podcast come alive and I really appreciate it.

[00:04:30] And then the interview, I hope I didn’t offend him or others, but I was just saying, why are Filipinos so shy and why does the internet suck. So much. And, uh, I like to have his quotes. I like to have his input because he’s a local Filipino and he’s a, yeah, he’s not, uh, he’s not afraid to say what he thinks.

[00:04:51] And he says some pretty amazing things on this interview, so I hope you enjoy and get a little bit of a break from this covid19 epidemic. But thanks again, uh, Ace for sharing, having me at your community in Baguio, in Northern Philippines and, uh, and sharing on the show. So everybody enjoy. Are you a  quote unquote small buyer?

[00:05:10] You know, I’m a small buyer. I was, I was maybe still a small buyer, but meaning one of these e-commerce sellers like I was in 2007 when I went to the Global Sources show and Canton Fair. And these guys wanted thousands of orders from me and I’m, I, you know, I was a baby wholesaler drop ship or trying to buy from factory direct.

[00:05:29] Well, we got an option for you. Load pipe.com currently only uncovered 19 PPE supplies for this pandemic nightmare. But the plan is longterm to help you buy products from factories direct with the power of group buying. It’s a mini little site for now, and we would love to have you in its beta closed beta because we’re kind of building this as we go.

[00:05:54] I’m a hustler and we’re startups and we are building this as MVP, minimum viable product. So it’s a little bit embarrassing, but as I say, Reid Hoffman at LinkedIn says, if you’re not embarrassed by first version of your product that you’ve launched too late. We are learning and doing and taking action.

[00:06:11] If you want to be part of this closed beta, check it out@loadpipe.com put in referral code and say podcast and let me know what you think. Okay. Thank you everybody for tuning in a Global From Asia podcast. Ace has been on my list of guests for awhile. Ace Estrada, I’m here in his hometown. Baguio. Yes.

[00:06:30] Yeah. And your hometown, uh, took a nice windy road trip from Manila, and I’m really excited to share today in your community about sourcing. And I’m really happy we got this chance to do a podcast with you for the global, for me to show. Thanks for being here, Ace. And glad to be here Mike. Yeah. So we met at the Cross Border Summit.

[00:06:49] Somebody really appreciate you co a couple years ago coming out into Shenzhen, we also went to the Canton fair together and got to know each other there. And we’ve been in touch, uh, finding ways to help each other. And we’re both, I think, similar where we’re passionate about community and sharing and, and, uh, I hope there’s a lot more we can do.

[00:07:07] So do you want just to introduce yourself first before dive in, uh, to the listeners today about yourself and what you do here? Yes. So my name is ACE Estrada. So I’m, um, I would like to think of myself as a community builder, more like a community knows noisemaker actually. So, um, we manage a community called E-comm Pinoy. It has 16,000 members, uh, online community called Shopify hub and an eco mentorship program.

[00:07:35] So essentially we teach people how to do e-commerce among many things. Uh, in the real world, I have an offline community of freelancers here in Baguio, 140 members, and we work out of a space called Calle Uno, you know, uh, we do call center support, uh, coding, video editing, uh, among many, many things. Yeah. Um, so we’re recording right here.

[00:07:59] You took me a little tour. We’ll also do a little video blog. I always do my videos, but today this is the audio podcast. Uh, but we’ll also link to the videos and some of your other, uh, their, uh, other projects you’re working on. So. Today, I mean, the topic, there’s so much we could talk about, but I think it’s been on my list.

[00:08:17] I’m down here in the Philippines for a while and I want to talk. I want to get to know the community. I want to know the ecosystem. So I think it’d be a great conversation for us to share with people listening. What, you know, I know you also work with a startup entrepreneur community, which I do too, but I think within the e-commerce sellers in the Philippines for the local market, um.

[00:08:37] What, what, what are the kind of groups, I mean, in my world there’s dropshippers and there’s Amazon, of course, FBA is really hot in, in, in, in, for the listeners, what do we have your Shopify or is Lazada what, what, what do you think is a main breakdown of sellers that you know, here in the Philippines?

[00:08:54] Definitely Lazada is top of the mind. Top of the list. Okay. Then Shopify. So, um, Philippines is a sellers’ market. Uh, and then our very local COD is very strong here. But we have a very significant amount of people who do Shopify for the U S and print on demand. Okay. Print on demand via pod. Okay. And so are they, well, I know this whole Corona virus is changing things a lot.

[00:09:22] I mean, even my presentation later today, I’m going to . Change it a little bit based on that, but where they are, they buying locally or print on demand, I think would be fulfilled from the Philippines or from from US or fulfill from the U S so just today we had something called the free e-comm mastermind where people came from all over the Philippines to attend a workshop.

[00:09:42] Um, the thing, the message I was telling them about is that you don’t come here to learn from me, but you come here to learn from each other, to know each other, to know how you can help each other. And with the very significant, um, uh, news about coronavirus the message today’s, that China is the main source, but for now when it’s still shut down or not fully operational, should find your products elsewhere and you don’t need to look beyond the Philippines, you can only look into the Philippines, into the towns and cities, or even your own cupboards.

[00:10:15] What can you make in your kitchen that you could sell? What do you love that you could brand. What can you be passionate about and sell to each other? So, uh, this was the message that day and I think it took very well. Yeah. Yeah. I w I did a little thanks for our introduced meters. I think 60 people downstairs in here.

[00:10:32] Every time I meet you at or some kind of a, a mastermind or events, it’s really inspiring. So the evolution, so we’re in a year where we’re early 2020 year, 2021 recording. Um. For me, like, you know, I came Philippines first time 2009 I don’t know if you know that, and it was in case on the city. I did, I very small, little home office to floor.

[00:10:55] I lived upstairs and I had about six people doing a e-commerce, a customer support for my eCommerce business, and back then I. I was training my team and I would even try to motivate them too, even though I’m not the best boss, cause I’m always teaching them and they do it by themselves, but you know, they didn’t even want to do it by themselves then.

[00:11:15] I don’t know. Even now, I have great team members helping me with this, editing this podcast and promoting a lot of what we do, but I haven’t had the best.  In China, they all are starting their own businesses, or they’re more on I, I hope I’m not offending you or everybody listening, but they’re more entrepreneurial than I found in the Philippines.

[00:11:37] But I see all these events. You’re doing all these sellers. So in the last 10, 11 years, has that been changing? I mean, there’s more sellers now than then, or, or what’s this evolution? I would like to challenge your  statement. Please. That Filipinos are less entrepreneurial than people from other countries. I, I beg to disagree.

[00:11:58] My, for example, if you go out in any Philippine street to swack any, when you travel around the Philippines, every five meters or 10 meters, there’s a store, a little store selling little things to a limited number of people in the neighborhood, hardware stores, stores and everything. People are very entrepreneurial in the Philippines.

[00:12:19] However, you have to get into the mindset that people are naturally cautious. What’s big here is the micro retail culture. When you buy toothpaste, that’s good for one day. Shampoo good for one day. Cell phone loads, good for one day. It’s the same thing. Um, people are very entrepreneurial, but they would like to follow a leader.

[00:12:41] This is, I guess the one insight they should have from working with Filipinos. Um. A year ago, my own experience, we were teaching Shopify and we were the main voice for a Shopify selling and everyone was doing the same thing. Uh, I was doing it with Nick Perroni and some of the bigger ecom players here in the Philippines, and everyone was talking Shopify.

[00:13:05] When I did a little sabbatical, like a year later, the conversation totally changed. And it shifted to local selling in Lazada. I know everyone wants to get in there for Lazada and Ecom selling. People want to follow a winner and leader, and this is a trait of Filipinos. I think it’s good because when you’re an influencer and you speak loud enough, people will follow you.

[00:13:30] Got your message must be clear and must be moldable for them. Okay. Yeah. Thanks. I’m glad to have this person. That’s why exactly why. I want you on the podcast to share. I mean, uh, get these insights. I think many foreigners like me, I think don’t under understand the market. I mean, it’s not really on my list, but I have an issue even managing my team because they’re so shy.

[00:13:57] At least the people I work with. And you know, I have to really hold myself back to not be too direct, to not be too aggressive, to not be scary, you know, cause it’s, you know, it’s similar. I had a similar experiences in China, but it’s, why is that? I guess it’s kind of a very deep question, not really related to eCommerce, but there’s this very, you know, why are Filipino shy.

[00:14:25] Well, you can to blame it on 300 years of colonization, wherever we are taught to be docile, we don’t go to heaven and that the church was used as a tool to make us conform to the government. But more importantly, Filipinos are traditionally, they keep their opinions to themselves, even if they have to.

[00:14:45] It seems impolite to show it in front of people. It’s not to say that they don’t have strong opinions. Yesterday I went to the wedding of one of my dearest friends, whose name is Adam Kubaya, and Adam Goodby has the one distinction of being mentioned on the Oprah show. Um, Michael one of the biggest prod guys in the U S mentioned, Adam  and the Oprah show and said, Adam Kubaya.

[00:15:11] from the Philippines is the wind beneath my wings. And you only have to look at the work of Adam to see the, China’s does not translate into shyness in business. So he creates graphic designs by taking people who are, who didn’t know graphic designs. He lines them up in line of computers, much like a conveyor belt system.

[00:15:32] And then one makes the outlines, one colors, one conceptualizes, and it comes out with the work of two days. In 30 minutes, he uploads these designs online every two days. And then he, he puts up a timer where it counts down to the time when the, the, the graphics are ready to download and then boom, people who paid $30 to subscribe.

[00:15:55] This site can know, click, click, click and buy, buy, buy. Why this guy makes  $3,000 every two days. Amazing.  Limited only by the speed of his internet connection in a town called Bulacan.  very interesting. Very snow. It’s amazing that. People like Adam are able to do something really, really different.

[00:16:16] I’ve never seen anything like in the Philippines. Now he’s set to go to Australia to bring that, uh, type of business model there. And I said, Australia is not ready for you, man. And if you look at him, he’s so shy. And I think what I’m saying is that Filipinos are naturally talented. Definitely. Then that you just need to get them in a safe place.

[00:16:39] And they would shine. Yeah. Yeah. I noticed, I think listeners would agree. I mean, very creative. I mean, I think it’s from the educational system. So many singers, artists, coming, I guess in the school system, I’ve heard there’s lots of music and, and the creativity. And the best singers in cruise liners are Filipinos.

[00:17:00] Yeah. The Karaoke was invented by a Filipino. Oh, I didn’t know that. Okay. Um. Let’s move back into eCommerce. All this is pretty fascinating. I mean, I think it is related to the seller. So I think if they, they basically, what I think I’m summarizing is if, if they have a leader and a winner and a system, they kind of want like a blueprint, like a step by step system to follow and they can apply their micro micro, micro retail and then then they could, uh, could, could succeed.

[00:17:35] Um. We’re in Baguio. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I went North or South from Manila. I went North, has cold here, but it’s a beautiful city. There’s some mountain. Central air conditioning. Okay. All over the city. Yeah. It’s really a nice, a really relaxed mountain mountain city. Um, so my, my meaning is in, his question is.

[00:17:58] I’m not sure. Are you, would you say there’s different regions of Philippines are different for seller markets? Communities are different? Or is it similar? You know, maybe of course there’s a  Manila, we’re here in Baguio, or you’re doing great things in Cebu, Davao. I mean, is there differences in these regions with the entrepreneur, e-commerce seller communities?

[00:18:20] Not so much, um, differences and in outlook or mindset or anything else. Just differences in internet connection. Baguio is one of the most wired cities in the world is the next wave cities. Uh, and, and we know that for a fact that people come here because of that. And because Baguio is a melting pot of, of, uh, education.

[00:18:41] The biggest universities are here and the, the best universities are here in Baguio. People come here and when they graduate from universities, we put out 20,000 graduates, if I’m not mistaken, every year. And these people stay, they find opportunities and jobs in Baguio. Nice. It’s a melting pot. You can say the same for key cities like Davao, Cebu of course, Manila, Clark is looking very positive right now, uh, with the green city.

[00:19:11] So wherever there’s good internet connection. There’s e-comm life. That is true. I mean, I, uh, you know, I, I, I don’t have patience internet. That’s why one of my biggest frustrations here, I don’t know if we wanna get into too much. I could go on so much about internet. Yeah. Why is there such a challenge to have decent internet here?

[00:19:35] I don’t know why, except that there’s a duopoly of internet providers, only two entities provide internet to the Philippines. It’s all artificial. It’s all political and economic. Of course, it’s sad. It’s really sad. Cause I, I couldn’t imagine how much better the economy could be. Yes. Because internet is life for us.

[00:19:55] You know, it’s eCommerce entrepreneurs, online businesses. Do not forget that. Philippines, Filipinos here in the Philippines, we, uh, are a sellers’ market, meaning that we speak the language, English, same language that our buyers. Uh, speak. Yeah. We have an American culture ingrained in our, our own culture. So we understand more than most other peoples in the world, the American culture and the Western culture, we have the tools to succeed.

[00:20:26] An internet is one of the stumbling blocks for what we want to do. It’s really frustrating. I wish if you could tell me something that I can do. I don’t like to just complain. I would like to try to do something, but it’s very, very frustrating. Know in this lifetime, things will change. You cannot be at the bottom forever.

[00:20:44] Things will change. I hope, I hope. But I mean, like I said, I came here. I was here, I lived here for about a year in 2009 and 10. And unfortunately, internet still pees in issue. Um, let’s, uh, move on. You know, I think so most of our listeners are, are foreigners, Americans and Europeans overseas. Uh, that’s, that’s, that’s kind of our demographic of this podcast.

[00:21:07] And of course they have many VA’s that they work with, but what. What are some other ways? I don’t know if you have, I don’t know, that’s kind of like a brainstorming question, but you know, of course there’s just higher money salary, but is there some other ways that foreigners or overseas international people could work with the local market and collaborate with the e-commerce sellers and entrepreneurs?

[00:21:30] Well, yes. Um, first you have to hire them as VAs and teach them what, you know, we have a very strong, uh, VA culture here without assistance. And, um, over time are the VA’s become more available to the store and then when they do, um, they tend to grow the store and the business for, for you. So, uh, that’s, that’s a plus for coming to the Philippines.

[00:21:56] Definitely, yes. So would there be some opportunities, would there be interest in like giving, letting them become some kind of a partner shareholder in the eCommerce store? Is that something you’ve ever heard of? Like. I don’t know. For me, even I, I’m trying to find ways to, I can incentivize my team not to just collect their salary.

[00:22:14] Yes, yes. So here in Calle Uno, uh, we meet many people from all over the world. They, work here for one day, one week or even a month. I encouraged them and message to them is that Filipinos can do some of your work for you and just as well, and that you hired them and then when you leave, go back to their home country.

[00:22:35] Leave them here and do the work for you, continue to do it, and you create a company here in Baguio or any other place, you find Filipinos working well for your business and over time, that is a very sound strategy for your business. Okay. So yeah, of course. I mean, I think a lot of, lot of foreigners, we want to empower people and incentivize them rather than just collecting their salaries.

[00:22:58] So it’s exciting that there could be some cases to do that. Getting towards the end here. Uh, I know we have some workshops happening and there’s some amazing things happening in Calla Uno here and Wago we already mentioned this one amazing case study with the print on demand artist in Bulacan. Is there some other one or examples you’d like to share about some sellers in the community?

[00:23:22] Things we could learn from? Actually Um, I was, I was not always into e-com. Uh, I was a traditional business owner and then, um. Calle Uno was merely a glorified, um, glorified computer shop for me. And then finally, it evolved into a coworking space. And one of the, one of the pivotal, um, occurrences that happened was that I met someone who was working in the coworking space and he was speaking with, uh, my brother-in-law Paol, who’s working with Facebook at the time in Singapore.

[00:23:55] And I messaged my brother in law and said, Hey, uh, Pao why are you speaking to my coworker, who is he? And he told me, Kuya or older brother, don’t you know, that’s Norlito Baclayen  client is one of the biggest POD, uh, sellers in Teespring. Well at that time we didn’t know what Teespring sellers are, what POD is. So I went down to Norlito, said hey, my name is ACE, how are you?

[00:24:17] And we got to talk. I realized that this guy made like 15 million pesos by selling a tee shirt online, Teespring by accident, by accident. So he’s a college drop out is set to go back to the farm because he’s out of money to stay in the city. One day he decided to create a tee shirt. And that t-shirt, uh, was the horns of a bull, or horns of a deer.

[00:24:42] The antlers and white outline and under it were the words Save A Rack. And they sold some of those tee shirts and made him some money to last him a few weeks. And then in August, during breast cancer awareness month, he for nothing at all, he put in the breast cancer ribbon on the chest of the deer and then made the letter save a rack, made them pink, posted it in tee spring.

[00:25:06] And you know before, the rest is history. You started selling and selling and selling. You sold 25,000 tee shirts, made himself a multimillionaire over a period of six months. When I met him, he didn’t know what it meant. Save a rack with the ribbon, and I told him, I mean Narlito I said, Save a Rack. Rack in the parlance of Americans is that beautiful part of the female anatomy.

[00:25:32] And it’s Save A Rack. You’ve hit the niche of hunters who lost loved ones to breast cancer, and they said, that’s what it meant. So I said, can you teach this to the people who come to the community who work here? Can you do a workshop? So I had the mind map him like, because he doesn’t speak great English. I had to help him make his slides on the day of the event.

[00:25:55] We have 40 people waiting and he wouldn’t come out of the room. And he told me, I don’t want to come out. I’m so nervous. And he was beating his chest. He said, look at my heart. It’s pounding out of my chest. And I said, please, it’s embarrassing for us not to do this. We asked people to come. I said, whatever they paid, I’m going to pay double or triple.

[00:26:15] Please don’t let me go out there. And he was panicking and then my wife spoke to him calmly, let me leave the room. And for whatever she told him. It could be the magic words. Baa Raa Mew from the ship or whatever. He came out and the first thing he said to the people who were waiting to hear him speak, he said, I’m sorry.

[00:26:38] I feel like pooping right now. This is the first time I spoke in public. Then I felt my world was falling down. I was so feeling so ashamed. I didn’t know what happened. People started saying, that’s all right Narlito.  Go ahead Narlito. Guys, let’s give them a little hand. And people started clapping for him and encouraging him, and then he started speaking, talking about what he did, how he designed it.

[00:27:03] He told them his story, Ben of there, he was prancing. I was teaching everything, working with their computers, learning about POD, revealing everything. And then people were so happy, they came away with value and then he never spoke again. Well in my cell phone were a few grainy videos of what he did.

[00:27:21] This is my remembrance of Narlito, my clients first and last workshop. But I realized that when I posted this videos online, other people started coming forward and saying, I want to teach too. I want to share what I know. I succeeded, but I have no outlet to, to teach people. And this is how we built a company called springboard a later on now called value stock with Nick Peroni.

[00:27:45] Okay. So you’ll see you only need to throw a rock in the ocean or in the pond, and it starts rippling out. This is how great things start. Okay. Yes. Really amazing case study. And, uh, yeah, I think this is empowering people, edgy, you know, giving them the knowledge and the confidence. And also, you know, you’ve had some great case studies of people in the community.

[00:28:12] Better also sharing now, which is, which is really the best. So, um, this has been fascinating, Ace. Really. Thank you for sharing. I’m really glad we kept to squeeze this in while I’m here. Um, there are so many things that you do and they’re like me. What are some ways people could find, find you or find with some of these things that you’re doing well.

[00:28:31] I’m on Facebook. I have a page called Ace Estrada, and then also a profile, and they can find me at Ace Estrada with a single E at Cal. You know that pH, that’s Ace Estrada at Calleuno dot pH. Everyone’s welcome to come to our community and there’s a lot of good coffee, sometimes bad, but a lot of

[00:28:52] Conversations are always good here. Most welcome everyone. Thank you, ACE. Thank you. Yeah, it’s great to be here and thanks for sharing. Thank you, Michael. All right, everybody. I still wonder if we should plug the cross border sonnet, but no matter what, we will do this again and it is still written down on my calendar for November 19th and 20th 2020 cross border summit.com.

[00:29:22] We’ve got the different variations of spellings, but I spell border B, O, R, D, E, R, but somehow that a so we got both of those, but cross border summit.com this will be our fifth annual. So far it’s not going to be online one. We have these online meetings for our members and our community from webinars to members only round tables.

[00:29:43] But this is a meant to be an in person yearly conference. One highlights of my year. So. Stay tuned crossbordersummit.com the best isn’t going to globalfromasia.com/subscribe and you’ll be one of the first to hear as well as early bird. And that was good. Thank you. Okay, thank you, ACE.

[00:30:06] Thank you so much. I hope you guys and girls and boys and ladies and. Other people, dogs listening to this. I notice some people that say, listen to this while they’re walking their dog or running with their dog wherever you are. I hope you enjoyed this show. You know, some of you say, I’m not so focused. I try to mix it up.

[00:30:27] You know, sometimes I think this is relevant. We’re talking about the Philippines eCommerce market, startup, entrepreneur communities, and Ace is one of one of those people to talk to you about that. There. My, my trip to Philippines got cut short. Honestly, I was almost going to think about doing a little bit of a series of some other people there, but I’m lining those up to be on a, on Skype or on zoom or whatever, online recording software for the next upcoming podcasts.

[00:30:53] I do hope you enjoyed. And, uh. I think we will. It’s a blah, blah, blah session. I don’t know. I think there’s three, four, or five minutes of this BBC interview segment I wanted to clip in. And, uh, this is a second BBC. If you want to hear the first one, Mike’s blog.com/bbc for the MP3, and we can listen to this.

[00:31:18] Uh, the second one, they actually put some clips from the first one to kind of made us like a. Episode two of me and he pronounces my name wrong. What are you supposed to do? Correct. Im in, live a live radio. I guess I should have, but it’s Michelini. Okay, now Mitchell. Amy, sorry. Everybody screws that one up.

[00:31:38] I should have corrected them on live radio, but by the time the show was online, I think I’ll be out of this quarantine. Yeah. This will be going on April 7th so I’ll be out of quarantine 6:40 PM April 6th Monday I should be out of here. They have at this hotel room. I need to get on her microphone. Maybe you’ll do a load pipe group by factory order and you guys can buy some microphones from with me too, and we can get a better deal together.

[00:32:07] What do you think? That’s division of load pipe. All right. Blabbing too much here as well as the blah, blah, blah. You can just skip this or you can hear my live radio interview on BBC world morning reports, UK edition that was streamed live on April 2nd on my birthday. Crazy world. Take care. Bye bye. Bye bye.

[00:32:27] Or listen to this segment.

[00:32:36] if you were listening to news day in the first week of February, you may recall husbands and wife, Wendy and Michael Michelini. Wendy was stuck in parenting in China with their two children as sister. Her mother who was in the middle of cancer treatment and her father who has heart issues. Michael had gone to Manila for work, and whilst there COVID 19 too called, he has a reminder of what they told us then.

[00:33:00] Oh, it just scared to go outside to go to the pop  area. So stay home every day. I mean, even without this, uh, this virus, it was hard. So this is, of course, added to the stress of the situation. Just more regular calls, try to try to just do video calls. We use, uh, you know, online WeChat. Um, just to try and play with the kids on the, on the, on the, uh, Wechat try to make sure daily check-ins, uh, regular chats, of course, reading the news, uh, all the time.

[00:33:37] Well in the last week, Michael made it back to China and one of the last flights out of Manila, who’s now in quarantine in Shane young and joins us on the line now. It’s also his birthday. Happy birthday. Michael, how are you celebrating? Uh, I’ve, I did an online online calls, like to the last recording, just played, been doing lots of online social activities with friends and close ones, family.

[00:34:06] Wow. Um, so just maybe give me a sense of where you are at the moment and what you’re doing and what it looks like, where you are. Sure. So I’m in the Northeast of China. I’m in a winter jacket from my uncle in law that they were able to deliver here. A . I’m in day 10 out of 45th turn, fifth think is 15 days.

[00:34:26] But, uh, I’m past halfway through now. Uh, just in a normal, I’d say three star hotel in China that’s kind of turned into a mini hospital with no one in the hallways, except, you know, the hazmat suits of people delivering your food and, uh, ensuring you’re staying in your room. Uh, but outside the window is normal day in China, which is really kind of.

[00:34:51] Mind, mind blowing. Yeah. I haven’t left. I haven’t left this room except for a blood test. I took a coronavirus test a two nights ago, but besides that, I haven’t left this room and in a week and a half. Are conditions better than they do in Manila, would you say? I mean, of course. In this day and time. Oh, yes.

[00:35:16] When we had to, a couple of months ago, I was just normal Manila and locked down here. Now it’s locked down in Manila and uh, most mostly normal here outside from my window. Yeah. And is there any indication about how long you’ll be where you are at the moment? How long you’re staying in quarantine? I get out April 6th at 6:40 PM.

[00:35:39] Local time and you come soon enough. Yeah, I guess I can get home for my birthday dinner, the wife and her family are preparing my birthday dinner April 6th after it’s about 20 minutes drive from here. So about 7:00 PM or so, I’ll have my, uh, out of quarantine birthday party. So I’m sure you’re looking forward to that.  You haven’t seen your family in a very long time, right?

[00:36:03] It’s been over a few months. No. Yeah, I mean much longer than anticipated for sure. But it’s closer now you’re closer to seniors. Yeah, I mean, at least now I have a date. I think, you know, a couple months ago I was deciding to come into the enter China or not with the lockdown and, and now it’s clear. I have a date and time to count down towards.

[00:36:26] Yeah. The last time we spoke, or you spoke to a colleague of mine, we found out that your, your wife’s parents, um, were not, well. Um, what, what’s the situation with that? Yeah. The whole reason my wife came back to her hometown, I was here for a while, was her mother has, uh, has pretty advanced cancer and there was treatments happening.

[00:36:48] So she wanted to bring our children, our children and her to be with her mom and dad. Also, her dad has some heart conditions or with, uh, so she really wants spend time with them. And last time she wasn’t even the mother, my mother-in-law, her mom wasn’t even able to go to get treatments anymore. There’s a few per month now.

[00:37:08] It seems better. I, I saw photos of them in the hospital yesterday. Um. Normal, normal treatments back on track. It seems, uh, it seems to be, of course it’s, cancer is a horrible thing, but, uh, it’s back on the normal track of treatment. Yeah. And before I let you go, Michael, I, I wonder what this whole thing has told you.

[00:37:29] Where has it left you mentally. It is as bad as it is. I think it’s makes me, I think many others, you know, have time to reflect on our life and what’s really important. I mean, we’re also, you know, even me, I’m so busy about work and trying to make, you know, of course, provide for myself and my family, but I think there’s much more important things than that.

[00:37:48] And I think many of us, while of course businesses closed and economy and stock market’s down, I think. We realized that a life we have to spend appreciate more time with our loved ones, and that’s the most important thing. Michael  Michelini, thank you very much and best wishes. We wish you the very best and hopefully we’ll speak in better circumstances.

[00:38:08] We’ve been speaking with Michael, which has pretty, thank you very much. Thank you. Have a very happy birthday. Thank you so much. Thank you. In the U S same the federal governments. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website@www.globalfromasia.com that’s www.globalfromasia.com also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[00:38:34] Thanks for tuning in.


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