By: Divine Cabaddu
The program started a quarter past 9am. Two high school students of Malinta Natl HS acted as hosts of the event. After the natl anthem and a prayer, Mr. Cesar Villareal, school principal, gave his opening remarks. He cited his appreciation to Angat Pilipinas for spearheading a financial literacy campaign, and for making their school a recipient of such advocacy. He urged the students to start saving as young as they are. “Start small by budgeting your allowances,” he stated.
The first speaker of the seminar was Ms. Rochelle Buncab who discussed the power of mindset. She particularly cited the importance of keeping a positive disposition amidst the challenges of life. According to her, how we react to every situation is largely determined by our attitude and mindset. Ms. Roch ended her talk by showing a short motivational video. Ms. Mae Abejuela spoke of the importance of budgeting and the simple, easy procedures how to do it effectively. Several students were asked as to how they budget their allowances, and how they allocate them to food, transportation, project, and other school fees. Students who participated receive freebies. Ms Mae referred to the 70-20-10 principle in which, out of the allowances they receive, 20% ideally should go to savings, 10% to tithes and the remaining 70% for expenses. At 10:30am, snacks were served. While having their snacks, Mr.Walther Madriaga facilitated an ice-breaker activity.
The third speaker, Ms. Divine Cabaddu, begun by showing two short videos promoting the habit of saving money in the bank. “Ipon-ipon din kayo pag may time,” she said. According to her, a vast majority of Filipinos have little or no savings, and that a limited number of pinoys are investing in the stock market. “It’s time to change our mentality from being spenders to savers to investors,” she said. “We were brought up believing that incurring debt is a firsthand solution to every money problem, and that acquiring material things like new gadgets would ultimately make us feel good but shallow inside. The sad reality is that the many people are poor because of the lack of discipline and wrong mindset which can be counteracted by increasing our financial intelligence and developing the habit of discipline.” Ms. Divine encouraged the students to become entrepreneurs and investors someday. “Now you know, the secrets of the rich is that they know the power of compounding interests, they accumulate more assets than liabilities, they earn passive income, and they invest in the stock market,” she summed up.
The fourth and last speaker, Ms. Janey Dela Cruztalked about money by quoting some important verses from the bible. She asked the students, “Is money good or bad?” The questioned stirred reaction from the students. Some said it is bad, others believe otherwise. “Money is not evil. The bible says, it’s the love for money that is evil.” Ms. Janey reminded the students that all things come from God and that we are mere stewards of God’s resources. She reiterated the importance of giving tithes to the church as a way of giving back to God our blessings.
Christian, a high school student, shared how grateful he is to God, for despite the many challenges in his life, particularly financial, he and his family is still blessed for making both ends meet. Christian is just but one of the class presidents who attended the seminar. The event ended past lunch time. Mr. Bong Compay, a Values Education teacher expressed his appreciation to all the attendees and to Angat PH volunteers. He proposed that a similar financial education seminar focusing on investment and debt management be held for his co-teachers in the near future.