Three Filipino co-authors of the motivational book “Chooseday: Life is a Matter of Choice” bagged Amazon’s bestseller badge under the category of Adult and Continuing Learning after the book’s release last Oct. 3.
Co-authors Armando “Butz” Bartolome, Ayo Gutierrez, and James Osorio Fantone call themselves The BFGs combining the first letter of their surnames, which references the children’s fantasy movie, BFG or “Big, Friendly Giant.” They came together around March this year and started conceptualizing their book at the height of lockdown in the Philippines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Chooseday is a short, joyful collection of nuggets of truth. Each letter of the alphabet represents a power word topic. It is an impactful and fun, simple read. This impressive, eclectic group of authors is uniquely qualified to address these topics. Each author approaches their words with zest and divergent angles keeping the book crisp and insightful.
International Bestselling author Rich Christiansen of Bootstrap Business: A Step-By-Step Business Survival Guide and The Zigzag Principle wrote the Foreword of the book.
Of the authors, he remarked: “Butz Bartolome is the Franchising Guru in the Philippines. He has written several bestselling business books and is involved in many non-profit endeavors. He is deeply passionate and thoughtful. Butz's comments on justice and mindfulness regarding supporting those marginalized or not given a fair shake in life deeply moved me. His writing drips with conviction and passion.”
“Ayo Gutierrez is an old soul, and her love of poetry and deep thought blends flawlessly into her works. She presently manages a humanitarian effort in Self Reliance in the Philippines. She was the Alumni Services Director of the Academy for Creating Enterprise and has helped train hundreds of individuals to start small ventures,” he added.
“James Fantone is a compassionate, charismatic individual who lives a focused and purposeful life. He is the Executive Director of the Academy for Creating Enterprise. His intuitive gift for mentoring and his extensive international and professional background give James a voice of authority and insight. I was delighted to see how James asked reflective questions, wove references to scripture, literary greats, and even children's stories into his amalgamation. This book was such a fun and refreshing section to read,” he said.
Joining the roster of Chooseday reviewers are Jim Ritchie, former Senior Vice President of Franklin Covey and Founder of Richie Group; Stephen Gibson, founder of The Academy for Creating Enterprise; Joenalyn Molina, Manager of M Lhuillier University; Chal Chang Lontoc del Rosario, owner of Jeron Travel; Paco Magsaysay, owner of Carmen's Best Ice Cream; Vince Rodriguez of PLDT Enterprise; Chella Courington , author of Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage and In Their Own Way; and Edentu Oroso, bestselling author of the sci-fi novel Titan
Butz Bartolome is the president of GMB Franchise Developers Inc., a pioneering franchise development company established in 1993. This was co-founded and managed by his wife, Lyndah. The company has assisted numerous entrepreneurs whose brand names are now known in the country.
Some of these brands are Julie’s Bakeshop, (now on its 35th year), Generika Drugstore, Gingersnaps, Fiorgelato Ice Cream, Laybare Waxing Salon, Potato Corner, Lots’ A Pizza, Bayad Center of Meralco, Mang Inasal, Brothers Burger, Ahead Tutorial and Review Center, Freska Ilonggo Seafood and a host of 880 other brands today. This company grew by word of mouth and served different clients in Dubai and Monaco.
The many clients he mentored dubbed him as the Philippines’ Franchise Guru. He is one of the 34 chosen Angelpreneurs (entrepreneurs who are volunteers in mentoring other people nationwide) of Go Negosyo. He is also part of the speakers’ pool of Truly Rich Club of Bo Sanchez.
Bartolome’s latest book Is Franchising For You? won National Book of the Year Award in October 2012, by the National Book Development Book and Manila Critique Circle is a guidebook with numerous steps to help people wanting to invest the right way in a franchise business. Today the book is available in Amazon and iTunes and has been translated into Arabic and French. The book is now used as reference book by various major universities in the country.
Meet the Poet
Carolyn Gutierrez-Abanggan who is also known as Ayo Gutierrez is the author and co-author of several poetry books including the titles, Evocare: A Collection of Tanka, Bards from the Far East: Anthology of Haiku and Kindred Verses, Chasing Zephyrs, Amalgam, Transcendence: An Anthology of Human Thought, In the Crosshairs, Psithurism, Rhapsodies, Scentsibility, and A Promise of Doves. Her poetry has appeared in various international anthologies, ezines, and literary journals. She is also a TV personality and hosted a local travel show in Pampanga.
Ayo’s debut poetry collection entitled Yearnings: A Collected Poetry has achieved the Amazon’s bestselling status. The Foreword of the book was written by the multi-awarded Filipino- American author, editor, poet, and publisher Eileen R. Tabios whom Ayo cherishes as her literary mentor. She is also the co-author of another bestselling motivational book entitled Almost is the Same as Never: Second Edition which she co-wrote with her husband Erlwin. This October, their ten-year-old son, Carlos also clinched the Amazon bestseller status for his debut poetry collection entitled Haiku Adventures.
Ayo recently won a prestigious award directly from the Government of Gujarat and the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi in celebration of India’s 74th Independence Day this August. She was one of 350 recipients from 80 countries.
Ayo Gutierrez is now regarded as the country’s #1 Book Coach for her formidable presence on social media and in her relentless efforts to help Filipino poets become published authors through her online platform called GMGA Publishing.
Meet the Storyteller
James Osorio Fantone is a Filipino trainer, consultant, and business educator. He is currently the Executive Director of The Academy for Creating Enterprise, a non-profit organization that educates entrepreneurs on the basics as well as the complexities of enterprise creation. Over the years, James has trained and mentored thousands of Filipinos on how to start and grow micro-enterprises both in the Philippines and abroad, working closely with sister branches of the organization in Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela to help people become self-reliant. He is also the first Filipino to be personally trained and certified by Michael Gerber himself, the author of the famous book The E-Myth and regarded as the world’s number 1 business guru by Inc. Magazine, in San Diego, California, USA.
James is also the Founder, Chief Trainer, and CEO of NXT Level Training and Consulting Inc., his very own training company. He has consulted and trained executives of some of the top local and international companies in sales, leadership, and management. James’ extensive background includes being the Sales and Training Director of Morinda International before becoming its first Filipino Country Manager in 1999. He was also the World Executive’s Digest’s Advertising Sales Manager and Superbrand’s first Sales Director, James has been passionately engaged in the exciting world of training and sales for more than two decades.
He is also a renowned international speaker, speaking on global stages, such as Qatar, Hong Kong, and various states in the USA, including Hawai’i, where he had the opportunity to address business students in Brigham Young University-Hawai’i’s Willes Center for International Entrepreneurship- the only Filipino invited to address their Conference of Champions during the 2009 Empower Your Dreams Competition.
Writing the Sequel
“When Ayo Gutierrez shared this book's concept, I got excited. For me, the idea of choosing captures the essence, adventures, and power of life. I hope you will enjoy reading this book, but more importantly, I hope that you will find through our words and ideas the needed inspiration to make choices that would lead to a better, happier, and more abundant life,” James said.
Just a week after their international success, The BFG is now working on their next book entitled Chooseday for Entrepreneurs. Their hope is that more Filipinos authors will conquer the international stage. Meanwhile their current book is now available for purchase in e-book and paperback at Amazon.