Financially Empowered Community through the First AngatPH-PUSOD TLCC Collaboration By Jennifer Letran

The journey going to Batangas was long but it was all worth it.

This sums up the unforgettable experience we had for our mission in PUSOD-TLCC located at Sitio Lipute, Brgy. Kinalaglagan, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas.

It was really a surreal event. This is different from our previous community engagements. Different not just because the place was far. But because you can feel the warmth of the audience. As if there was an initial connection between us.

When we arrived there at around 1PM, Brother Warren welcomed us with a smile in his face. The weather was great and since Christmas was fast approaching, you could feel the fresh cool air around the area.

The venue is also great and conducive for learning. It is overlooking the beach where you could see the waves of the water, the clouds, and the sun. This place makes you miss Mother Nature.

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Some attendees of the talk walking their way towards the venue.

Around 1:30PM, Registration had started.

                Brother Warren and we, the volunteers of Angat PH, started gathering the people and arranging the things needed for the Financial Awareness Seminar. We even had some difficulty at first using the projector since it could not initially project our PowerPoint presentation. But I guess there was a divincidence (divine incidence) that happened afterwards as everything just went well.

                The audience comprised mostly of female participants. Nonetheless, there were also men. Some were students, others are small business owners in the community, and the rest were community locals that stay in the place.

                Special mention to Lola (first row to the left). She was one of the most active participants. She has a small business in the community. She even told us if she can leave early because she might lose potential income from her store! Now that is an investor’s mind!

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The Participants of PUSOD-TLCC together with Angat PH Volunteers

The program started at 2PM through the opening prayer led by Jennifer Letran.

After the prayer, Kelly Rodriguez hosted the program and started introducing what Angat PH was all about. She started it with the vision statement of Angat PH, which is to envision Filipinos to become financially independent, to be entrepreneurs and to be smart investors in the Philippine capital market. She also discussed the Mission Statement and other worthwhile activities that ANGAT PH has been doing.

Afterwards, Wennie Illenberger, a first-time volunteer, introduced herself and made a testimony about how she decided to be a volunteer of Angat.

Growing up, Wennie, talked about her difficulty in asking money from her parents. She thought that her mother was very stingy but later on realized that her mother had been maintaining a BIG savings account that she had been safeguarding for their future.  Along the way, she became interested with finance books and motivational books until she met her husband, Alfred. Alfred was coincidentally a schoolmate of Burn Gutierrez (founder of Angat PH). And that’s how she was introduced to Angat PH.

From this testimony, the first topic came afterwards, the Spiritual Side of Money.

The speaker, Kelly Rodriguez, has emphasized that having a lot of money is not bad. In fact, having a lot of money gives us the power to BLESS more people. And because it is God who provides us with all our needs, it is but right to also give 10% of our income to Him. As what Kelly has said, when you give back to the Lord, your blessings will be doubled and you will never run out of resources.

In her discussion in the Parable of the Talents, she also explained that God wants us to use our strength, our skills and talents to our highest potential. God is pleased when He sees that everyone is giving their BEST in all that they do, which includes handling money properly.

After Kelly, the second speaker, Ernest Hinojosa, had a talk about The Power of Mindset. This was one of the most important part of the talk.

Ernest emphasized that if you think you are great, then you are really great. If you think you’re a born loser, you are indeed one! Your perception of yourself is what your reality will be. He even emphasized that everything is just in the mind – that we SEE what we WANT to SEE. It is what we say about ourselves that really matters.

The third Speaker, Wennie, came afterwards and discussed about the importance of setting a Budget Plan.

She emphasized the three important elements of making a budget plan.  These three elements are the prioritization of goals, allocation of resources and monitoring of cash flow. Wennie has shared her personal experience that she’s the one doing her budget at home and because of this, she knows where her money is going.

She gave the importance of having SMART goals, which means putting an amount in your goal and a deadline on when you’ll need to finish that goal. She also shared a dream board that one could make to keep them motivated to save, to live below their means and to stick to their budget. She also discussed the importance of creating a budget JAR for everything that you need including your savings and your expenses that could further be categorized to goals depending on their term.

After Wennie, the last speaker, Jennifer Letran, talked about savings and investment. She started by presenting statistics on the savings rate of Filipinos. She noted that more than knowing how it is to save, it is the discipline and commitment to save that is MORE important. It is the habit of saving and choosing to save now that will make a difference if we will succeed in savings or not. She also said that if we cannot learn how to manage a small amount of money what more if we would be given a larger amount.

After talking about savings, Jennifer discussed that it is not just enough to keep your money; she furthered that your money should also learn to work for you. She explained the importance of Investment and discussed the different types of investment that one could venture to.

However, she emphasized that what is important is that investment should always have a goal. Because investment without a goal is just like buying a house without someone to live there or rent there. She also reminded the audience to be wary of quick-rich schemes and scams that are happening.

                At the end of the talk, we asked 2 volunteers to share what they have learned and here’s what they had to say:

                “Now I understand na dapat pag may goal ka, isipin mo kung for short term ba o medium term o long term. Naintindihan ko rin ngayon na pag di ka pala mapagkakatiwalaan humawak ng maliit na pera, paano pa pag sa malaking pera?”

                 “Dati hindi ko iniisip mag-ipon… hindi ko iniisip ang gastos ko pero ngayon nalaman ko na importante pala na sinusulat mo kung san napupunta ang gastos mo at importante din pala talaga na may ipon ka.”

                Indeed this was a great experience for us. We thank PUSOD-TLCC for their generosity. We also want to thank the audience for being attentive throughout the afternoon.

                We also want to thank Alfred Illenberger, spouse of Wennie, in joining us here, sharing his story as an OFW and being in charge of all the beautiful pictures.

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Special Buko given by PUSOD-TLCC after our talk

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