A few things about me

My name is Willie Sy. I’m a father, software developer, and a business owner.

I am a father of 3, 2 girls and a boy and a proud husband of Lyn Sy. We live in Talisay City, Negros Occidental since 2013. Before this, we lived in Miami, Florida for 13 years.

I graduated in 1999 with a course of Management Information Systems. After a year, I went to the US to try my luck in working there. Although I already had a comfortable life in the Philippines, the main reason I went there is to get more experience in my field and at the same time to find a business that I could bring home.  I did not have that much work experience during this time except for doing programs for my family’s business or in school and a summer internship in a bank. My tool during this time was Access 95 which I learned not from school but from reading a book.

In high school, I was already fond of doing business programs. During my 3rd and 4th year in high school, we were taught dbase and pascal. As a challenge to myself, I remember doing a rental program during this time to help my dad print rental invoices instead of him typing on a typewriter.

Even at a young age, I was already amazed by computers and programming in particular. My dad wanted me to be an accountant and a lawyer while my mom wanted me to be a pharmacist since we had a drugstore during that time. Those courses are nice but did not appeal much to me more than computers.

Going through my life up to now, I noticed that whenever I encounter some kind of a challenge (I like to use this word instead of “problem” as it somehow gives me a push forward) I will always go back to learning and reading all I can about a subject. Then apply it.

When I started working as a junior software developer in a Telecom Company in the US, I did not have much skills and experience compared to my colleagues. What I have was the determination to learn. This was probably what the owner and the interviewer saw in me. Given this challenge, I had to keep myself up to speed with all the things that I need to do and learn to do my job. It was not easy. To prove myself I can do what it takes, I spent nights and weekends learning Visual C# (a programming language). Then I took a step even further by getting the 5 technical exams and became one of the first to be a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer back in November 2002.

My Business Venture

In 2007, I and a work colleague and our wives opened our online wireless prepaid website. Although we have programming background, we don’t know how to set up domains or set up servers. After all, these are tasks of network engineers and not software developers. We don’t know how to do Google ads nor use Quickbooks. We have to learn all of these and apply them. This is the beauty of creating a business on your own; you get to learn the different parts of a business.

Our business became so successful that in 2011, we were #212 in the Inc 500 list of fastest growing company with $16.9M annual revenue. My partner worked full time in our business in 2009 while I followed him the year after. This business became my ticket in going back home in 2013. There was really no need for me to be physically present in the US given that the business is online.

As you can see from my timeline, there were really breakthrough years and events in my life. During these breakthrough years, I learned a lot of new things for myself and my business. However, those learning did not stop there, I applied them.

Why did I create this blog?

Well, there are 2 reasons. The main reason is because I want to give back to the Philippines and become an inspiration to Filipinos abroad. I want to share my challenges in life and knowledge in business. To prove that it is possible for Filipinos to go back to the Philippines and have a good life together with their families and friends even before retirement age. The second reason is for me to be accountable on what I say and write. This would be a good way to document the next chapter of my journey.