Ramon Manzana is an unassuming humble man who has interests in the Banking and Motorcycle industries. He happens to be President of Honda Prestige Traders Inc., Managing Director of Bank of Makati, among other business concerns. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Tanglaw ng Buhay Foundation and an Elder at Christ’s Commission Fellowship.
Butterflyinthespring had this chat with him:
BUTTERFLYINTHESPRING (BITS): If a start-up entrepreneur came to you and asked what advice you could give him before he starts, what would you tell him?
RAMON MANZANA (RM): Make sure that in the conduct of your business, you are doing God’s will—pay the right taxes, display integrity and all those things, that you don’t do things that will displease the Lord.
RM: That’s expected of us as believers to have godly character and not shame His name. We are Christians… we carry the name of Christ. Don’t worry too much about the business. Do your best and believe that God will do great things, in our business and our life. That said, avoid being trapped in one extreme, thinking “bahala na si God” and not doing your work well….or the other extreme thinking that when God blesses you, that it is your own doing, “This is because I work hard.” We can forget how God orchestrates events in our lives. There are many things that we can’t control. As a businessman, be conscious of the power of God and your responsibility to do your best. If God blesses you, give glory to God. If God doesn’t, God must have other good plans for you. Continue to seek Him. Enjoy the ride.
BITS: How about for those in business who don’t know Christ or believe the bible?
RM: Whether in business or not, if you don’t know God, you’re missing a lot. Life is not just about material things or personal achievement. We are spiritual beings not just physical. Just take a look at the universe, it’s amazing. There are lots of evidences to point to God so I would like to encourage businessmen to really seek God. And you can start by knowing Jesus. He said, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He also said “I came that you may have life and have it to the full.”
BITS: At what point in your business life did you come to know the Lord?
RM: Relatively early on. I knew about God but I really started to hunger for God and bible study when I was about thirty-seven. I realize now that my wife was praying for me then. From the Word, I realised there were practices I had which were not right so I started to do the right things.
BITS: Did you see the Lord bless your business after coming to Christ?
RM: Yes, by God’s grace, the business flourished. Opportunities came and there was much growth. But I do not believe that business success will always follow coming to Christ. For me that is part of what happened. But I consider the real blessing was when He started changing me.
I found real joy in my marriage – my relationship with my wife is so good now, better than I could have imagined. God has taught me how to be a better father also. I now have unexplainable joy, peace, and purpose beyond business.
BITS: Were you looking for those opportunities to grow?
RM: Yes, part of doing my best is to look for those opportunities to grow the business. But then again, there are many things I cannot control. I always look for opportunities but the best ones just came along. So truly, I can say that my success is by God’s grace.
Thank You, Lord, for the sharing of Ramon Manzana. Even if You have blessed his business, he has not forgotten You but instead, he is taking care of Your business in his life, in his family, in his business endeavours, and as Elder at a fellowship that honours Christ and Your word. May You continue to expand His borders as he walks as salt and light in the marketplace in Jesus’s name and for His glory amen.