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Book Review: The Rise of the Pinoy

I failed the 2015 Philippine Bar Examinations… for the second time. Although I received a great number of encouraging messages which were supposed to make me feel better, a lot of questions still ran through my mind. Why did I fail even when I put my best foot forward? Why did my friends pass and I did not? Am I really that much of a failure? How can I fail this exam twice? Will I still go through that kind of ordeal again? I was devastated. I felt like my beating heart was ripped out of my chest and thrown to the wolves.

My friends, professors, and family members were all very supportive of me but they have no idea how badly I was hurt, and how painful this event was for me to bear. However, their words of encouragement helped me to pick myself up. I decided I will take the bar exam for the third time.

When I made the decision, I expected myself to be on the move already, to choose a review school, set my reading schedule for six months, and book whatever there is that needs to be booked in a wink of an eye. I guess I expected too much of myself because despite how much people believed in me, I could not find my strength to do any of these things. Well, not until I read Mike Grogan’s The Rise of the Pinoy.

Heaven-sent advance copy

The Rise of the Pinoy is a self-help book written by Mike Grogan. It aims to help every Filipino realize that he or she is capable and worthy of becoming world class. The book is yet to be launched this coming Independence Day, June 12, 2016, at Fully Booked but I was chosen to be one of its Advance Release Reviewers (ARRs). Hence, I got an advance copy.

When Mike sent the copy, I was apprehensive and ecstatic at the same time. I was afraid to hold the book since I know I will be holding more books when I review for the bar exams. Nevertheless, I was overjoyed and giddy to have a free copy and blog about it. Little did I know it will be worth more than just ‘a book to review’. After reading the book from cover-to-cover, I told myself that this project is heaven-sent. Read on to know why.

The Rise of the Pinoy review

Direct and straightforward

When I scanned through the pages, I thought “Oh, men. Agreeing to review this book might be a bad decision”. When I began reading intently, I could not stop. The book was written in a very direct manner. It is as if the author was there and just conversing with you over a cup of coffee. It is very engaging and interesting. The author even used two persons’ experiences to show readers how to participate in the 5-Minute Challenge at the end of every chapter.

The book is composed of 7 chapters namely:

  1. Find Your Inspiration
  2. Your Unique Assignment
  3. Discover Your Motivation
  4. Your Greatest Enemy
  5. Embrace Your Pain
  6. Your Daily Victory
  7. You Were Born For Greatness

Of these seven, the 5th chapter is my favourite. When I reached Chapter 5, it really pierced through my heart. Failing the bar examinations, my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I could not even face myself but the book was right. The biggest fight we will ever face in our lives is the one against ourselves. There will always be a voice inside us who would tell us to stop going for what we want. It will also convince us that we are not good enough. This book helped me conquer, if not totally silence, that negative side of me. It helped me embrace the pain of failing and transform it into something wonderful.

Challenging and stimulating

The book contains stories, struggles, and successes of 21 world class Filipinos such as Tony Meloto, Noey Lopez, Ginger Arboleda, and Krie Reyes Lopez to name a few. At the end of every chapter, there is a 5-Minute Challenge. These challenges aim to synthesize the chapters, and bring the message closer to its readers. They are not mere writing activities. When you read the book, do not forget to participate in the challenges. Each question will make you uncomfortable but each will help you know yourself more.

Even after I finished the book, it still helps me build the habit of a world class Filipino. There is a 40-day challenge at the end of the book. This challenge intends to help readers create a habit of success. It is very simple as it involves only 2 questions which you need to answer before you start your day and before you end it. Repetition is the key to build a habit. To make the most out of your reading experience of The Rise of the Pinoy, I encourage you to take time in participating in the challenges.

Favourite quotes

When I read books, I am always on the lookout for quotations. The Rise of the Pinoy is no exception. I must say, I am overwhelmed with lots of quotes. Let me entice you to read this book with some of my favourite quotations from each chapter.

Chapter 1

Success in life is a journey. The road ahead is long, unpredictable and full of barriers for you to overcome.

Chapter 2

Never follow your dreams. That is so dangerous. Instead, test your dreams.

Chapter 3

True motivation always comes from within.

Chapter 4

Failure wins because we feed it. – Boris Joaquin, CEO, Salt and Light Ventures

Chapter 5

Adversity exists not to break you, not to crush you, not to defeat you. The purpose of adversity is to make you stronger, to make you wiser, to make you more courageous.

Chapter 6

Small daily victories do matter.

Chapter 7

Never, ever let someone else’s opinion of you define who you are.

About Mike Grogan

Mike Grogan is an Irish motivational speaker, leadership coach, inspirational author, and youth empowerment advocate. He is one of those persons who ditched the corporate life to do what they love the most. He has travelled to over 30 countries yet decided to make Philippines his home. He is committed to serving the Filipino people. You can learn more about him at

The Rise of the Pinoy is a book that speaks. It speaks directly to its readers. It is very straight to the point and pierces right through one’s comfort zone. It is a must-read for those who are struggling in love, career, or any aspect in life. The exercises will surely help you lift yourself up from the ashes. After reading this book, you will feel like a phoenix, stronger, and better than your last version of you.

Grab your copies this coming Independence Day, and realize your capability and worth of becoming world class.


Do you have any questions about the book? Comment below or drop me an email at smiley jpg






31 thoughts on “Book Review: The Rise of the Pinoy

  1. Hi, I was reading and saw one quote that stopped me cold. Never follow your dreams… My instinct was to react, however, I have not read the book so it is best to reserve judgement until I have. I will be looking for this book.

    As for you. You know what you need to do. Just do it! I wish you all the best!

    1. Hi, Robert! My jaw dropped when I read that line but it showed me a different perspective on things. Thank you for dropping by 🙂

  2. Wishing you all the best! Of all the quotes, I reread the “Never follow your dreams. That is so dangerous. Instead, test your dreams.” Our elders and usually even our mentors would tell us to follow our dreams. The book says otherwise. I would want to have a copy of this book and read it myself.

  3. I always say to follow your heart and your dreams. Here it says to test them. I would love to read that chapter. What is there to test? If you aim for your dreams, you will reach them right? That’s how I stand in life. Of course you need to work hard for it!

    1. I would love to spill the beans about that quote but I want you to discover the answers yourself and gain, or at least understand, its perspective. 😊

  4. Ill promise to buy this book. Anyway, I feel sad that you didn’t pass the exam but looking at the bright side not anyone can graduate from a law school. So you are still one step ahead from a log of people. We failed not because we are weak or we are not smart. Im a believer that something is always there for me. Sometimes people need to fail to prepare them for something bigger. Be strong. There always another try 🙂 love the quotes from chapter 7. ❤️

    1. I agree. There must be something bigger coming my way. Thank you for your well wishes, Cai. I really appreciate it. 😊

    1. Hi, Aya! For me, books are means by which the universe communicates 😜 random belief. Thank you for your well wishes, Aya.

  5. This book is very interesting. I myself love to read inspiring books and reading your review makes me want to have a copy of this as well. Looking forward for the release date.

  6. That’s interesting that he’s from another country but has made the Philippines his home. I’m not too much into self help books but they seem to be a worthy read. The take on this book seems particularly interesting.

  7. I too have done a book review in the past.It is difficult to review books on motivation for the simple reason that one has to be in that frame of mental toughness while writing the book.You cannot hide behind a false wall of bravado.

    1. I agree. putting myself into the book, or should I say putting the context of the book into my experiences, is really a tough call.

  8. I am sorry to hear the pain you are going through. Don’t worry, there are reasons why things weren’t been given to us. If it’s the right time, it will eventually be given to you. Maybe, God is setting up the exact date for your victory. So, just chill. As for the book, glad that you were able to get the chance to review such book that you thought wouldn’t be related to what you are going through. I hope that somehow, it eases the pain inside. I guess that book is really helpful most especially for those individuals who are going through some problems may it be about career, money, life, or love, I bet this would be a little help indeed!

    1. Thank you for your well wishes, Zwitsy. The Rise of the Pinoy is indeed heaven-sent. 🙂

  9. Test your dreams does sound intriguing! Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing your insights on this book. Judging from the title, I thought it was a Pinoy who wrote it.

    1. Hi, Mommy! I hope you can get to read it too. Thank you for your well wishes and for dropping by 🙂

  10. Mirriam .. I almost cried when I read your review.. even though we have never met, I am so proud of you. You have shown so much courage to share you personal experience with adversity. You may never know how, but the courage you have to be vulnerable and share your heart in this blog, will help so many people. Thank you for being a champion for the broken hearted. Your a gift to the world … Great things are in your future. Forever in your gratitude. – Mike

    1. I may have kept myself going but it is your book that helped me embrace the pain. Congratulations for publishing such a powerful piece, Mike 😀

  11. I find Mike Grogan’s story very interesting. How fascinating that he is from Ireland and decided to make his home far away. And now he writes books to help people in his adopted home. To me the quote about testing your dreams just means that sometimes real world experience will change your dreams. That’s been my experience too! My dreams when I was in high school are not the same as they were today.

  12. I also received an advance copy of this book, but I have not opened it yet. So many things on my plate lately. I will find time to read it but I hope it’s not a book that can only make it’s reader feel good.

    1. please find time to read, Sonnie. I don’t think the book just makes its readers feel good. It even helped me discover the true motivations behind my fight to struggle. 🙂

  13. For me, your fave quote on chapter 1 os the best. This self help book will be of great inspiration to people who are feeling down. I’ll check this too for there are times in our lives i feel down because of failing.

  14. The Rise of the Pinoy seems like a really great self help book. I will certainly buy this once its out. I heard Mr. Anton Diaz’s story is also there who I look up to.

    Anyway, with regards to your bar examinations, I totally agree with you that the biggest fight we will ever face in our lives is the one against ourselves. Having B.S. Legal Management as one of my courses, I remember my professor telling us that unless we have an undivided attention for studying law, we won’t pass the bar exam. The challenge there is to have everything in our long term memory. Hope you won’t take this the wrong way or something. I think it helps if you’ll assess your priorities blogging or focusing on law school for the mean time. Or maybe you can focus on blogging about law instead so it helps you to have a higher recall of the laws.

    I actually wanted to pursue law too, but knowing that I can’t leave Lloyd and I won’t be able to focus, I ended up not pursuing it. I’m still happy though since I was able to utilize my legal management major for the PRC real estate exams and now, I get to blog with him. I guess we all find what makes us happy.

    All the best to your bar examinations. Will pray for your success. – Me-An Clemente

    1. Hi, Me-An! Yes, thanks for the input. Blogging keeps me sane. I’m also using wordpress’ scheduling feature so the blog can post by itself right on schedule without the hassle on my part. I do not want to blog about law. I find it quite unethical to write about a field one is not a recognized expert of.

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