A must-read for everyone who cares
about the future of the Philippines!



In Learning to Reinvent Ourselves: How to Make the Philippines a Winner in the 21st Century, Romeo O. Encarnacion, a Filipino-American human resources and business development consultant, challenges his fellow Filipinos to revisit their worldview and character from the perspective of globalization. He says that it greatly pains him to see Filipinos in the 21st century still struggling to become outward-looking when many of their Asian neighbors have long gone through that hurdle and have already become developed economies.

Learning to Reinvent OurselvesIn this advocacy cum professional memoir, Encarnacion argues that a nation’s economic development depends not solely on the soundness of government policy but also on the character and worldview of its people. He speaks from the perspective of his 22 years of management experience in a Fortune-500 company as well as his nine-year consulting engagement in postsocialist Eastern Europe that helped propel a small Bulgarian consumer-products maker into one of Europe’s best and fastest growing companies in 2011. “For us Filipinos to be able to step up to the plate and become globally competitive,” Encarnacion says in the book, “we must first accept the reality of a globalized, competition-driven world economy and really take pains to reinvent ourselves.”

In Learning to Reinvent Ourselves, Encarnacion observes that developing or underdeveloped countries tend to have strong parochial instincts, acting as if islands unto themselves. He says that in the Philippines, in particular, the imperative of self-preservation drives its poverty-stricken sector to shun the participation of foreign capital in local business and industry; instead, Filipinos seek refuge in the patronage of an economically powerful elite and in the consolations of their religious faith. In contrast, Encarnacion says, many Eastern European countries have shaken off their socialist roots and are now keenly tapping foreign investments and the obvious benefits that come with them—technology, innovation, and the firm commitment to develop talent, products, and markets. He then offers a roadmap on how the Filipino could more clearly define his future—where the Philippine economy should rightfully be and how it could get there.


Romeo O. Encarnacion is a Filipino-American business consultant who has focused on Eastern Europe over the last nine years. His client in Bulgaria, a highly competitive consumer-products maker, was Romeo Encarnacion photo chosen by the European Business Awards in 2011 as among Europe’s best from the 15,000 companies vetted for the selection. He started his career in 1968 as a human resources trainee in the Philippines. He then joined a Fortune 500 company in 1981, working with its Manila subsidiary for seven years and later moving up to its Asian regional headquarters where he held a global responsibility until his retirement from the company in 2003. Since his Eastern European engagement, he has also done consulting work with some domestic enterprises in the Philippines. In 2009 he started a blog, “Philippine Economy: Reinventing Ourselves,” owing to his desire to share his worldview with his fellow Filipinos. He considers himself very hands-on and professes a strong bias for simplicity and successful execution. He lives in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife Belinda.