Social Work

No BS Review of The Rise of the Pinoy by Mike Grogan

mike grogan

If you’re in the Millennial Who Needs Inspiration profile, you might find this book helpful.

Each book strikes a different chord for each reader. I’m here to make a disclaimer that your opinion may vary with mine. As such, it would be fair to discuss my expectations of The Rise of the Pinoy by Mike Grogan.

The Kinds of Millennials Today

Most millennials today are “lost”. Talented as we are, most of us wanted to choose the best possible way to make use of their smarts while having fun. This subtle perfectionism leads to loose experimentation phases. No wonder most of us travel extensively and try a variety of hobbies. It’s to answer that question: “What am I supposed to do?!” If they’re lucky, these millennials will soon find that much-awaited eureka moment.

And then, there are the lucky millennials who seem to know what they were supposed to do from birth. They may be influenced by their parents’ profession, a recurring childhood dream, or a particular skill they excel in. This leads to a path more focused. But since life is unpredictable, they may soon realize their dream won’t make them happy. Or encounter a defeating failure. So they venture forth to find a new dream. Who knows!

The Kind of Millennial I Am

Admittedly, I started out as the first kind of millennial who excelled in random things but with no predictable trajectory. Fortunately in one of these encounters, I learned about “social entrepreneurship”. Years later, I turned into the second kind of millennial and tweaked my vision. Instead of building a business from the ground up, I wanted to learn how great companies work and help NGOs function the same way.

In short: This book was not for me anymore.

If you’re in the Millennial Who Needs Inspiration profile, you might find this book helpful. Here are things you need to know about “The Rise of the Pinoy: 7 Powerful Lessons of Success from 21 World-Class Filipinos” by Mike Grogan:


It’s primarily a self-help workbook

The title might fool you into thinking it’s a historical narrative of the emancipation of Filipinos. But The Rise of the Pinoy is more of a personal workbook to find the “What now?” of life.

There are seven chapters that speaks of finding inspiration, overcoming challenges, and sharing words of affirmation. Mike also shares some of his personal experiences. At the end of each chapter are activity pages for people to reflect on their own experiences. The book caps off with a 40-day challenge.

The Rise of the Pinoy is primarily for millennials who wanted inspiration. Naturally, it’s not the book that turned my life 180 degrees. Nor did it present new ideas that I don’t intuitively know. Most topics are general in nature, and a bit too comforting to my taste. In order to make its full impact, readers are encouraged to unearth a part of themselves and put their reflections on paper.


It features stories of Filipino entrepreneurs and freelancers

The Rise of the Pinoy puts the spotlight on Filipinos who have the initiative to do something out of the usual. Weaved into the workbook are testimonies from social entrepreneurs, freelancers, and inspirational speakers. You’ve probably heard of some big names featured in the book — Tony Meloto, Francis Kong, Vince Golangco, even Kuya Benj of Karinderia ni Mang UrotThey narrate various chapters of their lives that followed the theme of finding inspiration, overcoming challenges, and sharing words of affirmation.

I love that in this book, Filipinos have taken the spotlight of “success”. Lots of our success role models are too unrelatable. In our culture, success role models are the celebrities. But the Filipinos featured at The Rise of the Pinoy have started with more or less the same resources. They showed their human side that have felt drained, disillusioned, and doubtful at some point — like us.

I have to note though that the term “world-class” Filipinos is a bit unnecessary. Truth is, some people featured here may not become rockstars at the international level. But maybe we only need to be “Filipino-class” and it would be perfect.


Kudos to Mike Grogan

Finally, what surprised me more about Rise of the Pinoy is the author himself. Mike Grogan fervently expressed his faith in Filipinos. He saw something in the Philippines more than the beautiful beaches. He saw potential. So let me end this blog with words of gratitude. Thank you Mike for your efforts to uplift the Filipino spirit.



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  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 5:04 AM

    I have encountered this book before but I can’t recall how or from whom do I have heard about it. Anyhow, for me, I think this is a good self-help book for those in their early 20’s. Would prefer to read success stories from other inspiring entrepreneurs that are quietly making their way towards the top.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Rise of Pinoy, hmmm, sounds interesting 🙂 kudos to him for this upcoming book, definitely will be a big one I’m sure!

  • Reply
    Louise ღ (@louisechelle)
    May 26, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    I haven’t heard of his book but it seems interesting. I’m very happy to know that there’s Mike Grogan who believes in us. I hope we realize what potential he sees in us so we can all together help for the betterment of our country and as Filipinos.

    ♡ Louise | Tales & Escapades

  • Reply
    Justine Galang
    May 26, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Nice! This book is very interesting. I’m planning to buy this book since my friend recommended it. You have a great review. This helped me out.

  • Reply
    Ginoel Orejo
    May 26, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    I’m in that crazy, clueless, fresh-out-of-college state. I’d really love to get my hands on this book, for the sake of my sanity (or what’s left of it).

    – Gino of

  • Reply
    Iskolar Studio
    May 25, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    I’m from Generation Y, knowing your generation is actually a great thing to do. I’m looking forward to read about those success and make some reviews as well.

  • Reply
    Aika Lopez
    May 25, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    I am conviced that this is a nice and inspirational book. I’ll check this and I am happy to stumble upon these kinds of blog post. Thank you!

    Aika |

  • Reply
    May 25, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    I was also given the chance to review the book. Indeed, I find it really helpful much more for those who are still finding their way to the right path. Isn’t it just amazing how a foreign person gets interested with the Philippines and its people?!

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      May 27, 2016 at 1:29 AM

      True! A far cry from people who only see our country for its beaches or even traffic.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    It’s my first time to learn about this book and I believe the author Mike Grogan have keenly observed the Pinoy millenials. truly motivational and inspirational book. By the way, how much is it and where to buy?

  • Reply
    The Art of Being a Mom
    May 24, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Great topic and inspiration for Filipinos, I’m hoping to read this book soon!

  • Reply
    Nilyn EC Matugas
    May 24, 2016 at 5:45 PM

    whoah, wait! Is that Vince from Blogapalooza/When in Manila? Such a familiar place. hehe. I hope this can inspire more and more Filipino folks. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jing Giorgious
    May 24, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    I’m not into books but I think this will be an exception. Very interesting and inspiring. I always ask this to myself as well: “what’s next for me”?

  • Reply
    Marie Frances
    May 24, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    I’ve recently taken a liking to self-help books, and I’m glad to have read this since I’m the first kind of millennial. It seems like a challenging and (no doubt interesting) read. Can’t wait to grab a copy of this.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    I was privileged to read your post. and I left a comment. so great to meet you. I’m “following” you. I hope you have a great weekend.

  • Reply
    Lady Anne Louise Barrun
    May 24, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    I’ve never heard about this book. I’m sure I’m gonna learn a lot of things about this. Thanks for giving your honest review.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2016 at 2:04 AM

    The author doesn’t seem to be Filipino so I’m curious how decided to write something about us hehe.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 11:43 PM

    This booking seems very interesting and informative, good job, happy and proud pinoy. Hope this book will really be known and can help aspiring Filipinos

  • Reply
    May 23, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    Other nation appreciates what Filipino can do compare to our own. Compare to showbiz, this is a good and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing this. Kudos!

  • Reply
    John Peña
    May 23, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    True that, I even ask myself “What am I supposed to do?!” and I’m pretty sure many others do too. Pretty interesting book to read, I’ll search for that book when I’ll go out :))

  • Reply
    Arrianne Guzman
    May 23, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Wow! It’s so inspiring to hear somebody wrote something like the “Rise of Pinoy” from someone who is not a Filipino. It’s great to hear that it features lives of different Filipino entrepreneurs. I love learning from other people’s lives.

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      May 27, 2016 at 1:34 AM

      Same here! I was a serial reader of Entrep mag. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 21, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    It is interesting to me that though the author is not Filipino, he wrote his book to inspire Filipinos. I haven’t read a lot of self-help books. But to me the ones that are the most successful are the ones that give a concrete plan. So I like the idea that he has activity pages for the readers.

  • Reply
    May 21, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    I have never heard of this book but from the way you talk about it I am interested. I love being inspired by people who are rising above and becoming successful in life. You can always find some inspiration in their stories that can help you in your life which I love!

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 10:43 PM

    I’d love to get my hands on this book. Seriously, I have been hearing good things. Plus some of the people featured are people I would like to emulate.

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      May 20, 2016 at 11:17 PM

      Go ahead! Let me know what you think about it 🙂

  • Reply
    Tesle Telan
    May 20, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    This is such an inspiring post about success and attaining goals. i have just graduated from college and I must say this post is really helpful for people like me. 🙂 You were really honest and that’s something that i admire.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    I received a copy of the manuscript to supposedly give a short review that will form part of the book, but I opted to just give my thoughts to Mike.

    Yep, this is a self help book, where success principles are given life thru the personal experiences of the author, and the people he interviewed.

    The principles are not new, but what made this book different are the exercises after each chapter, and life examples are localized. Could have been better if more personalities from other disciplines are included in the book.

    But this book is something every Filipino can learn from.

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    It’s hard for me to say something about this, since I really have not heard about it. It looks like you’re really serious about this topic and that your review is indeed not bs story. It’s always good to read books about successes. Great advice you’re giving us. xo xo Sabine

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