Last Saturday, June 6, I was invited to give a talk regarding financial literacy at the St. James the Apostle Parish in Santiago City, Isabela. Yes, that is right Isabela.
A friend who is also a financial literacy advocate has been bugging me to help him out in educating his kababayans back in Isabela about how to handle their finances. The first invite was months back and I was very busy thus I ended up doing a video(click 4 Saving Principles to view the video). The second time he invited I finally said yes and found myself waiting for my bus ride to Isabela. I never expected that it would be hard to catch a ride to Santiago City. After work got myself ready to go to the bus station in Kamias. It was Friday and the traffic made things worst. The last time I inquired with the bus company, I was told that all trips on that day are fully booked and that I am hoping that by chance somebody won’t show up. I got there at around 8:30pm after about 2 hours i the traffic. And as I was told there was a long line for chance passengers. I waited and due to the long line the bus company finally open a bus ride bound to Tuguegarao(which will pass Santiago City), all passengers are chance passengers and there are some more in the line maybe for two more buses.
It was a gruelling 8-hour ride. One of the passengers told me that if worst comes worst, we might even have an 12-14 hour trip if road works or accidents occur in the highway leading to Santiago City. We left Kamias around 10:15 and arrive Santiago City around 6:00 am Saturday.
It was early so I grab a tricycle and went to the St.James the Apostle Parish in Santiago City. While waiting for Jerry(the friend who bugged me to come here all the way from Makati) I went into this beautiful church.
Jerry was already in Isabela and he initially gave the talk to a forum organized by the LGU of Roxas in Isabela. According to him, attendees which are mostly government employees were so eager to know what is stock investing and how they could they start. Lots of them has zero knowledge of these possible means or vehicles to grow their money. The worst is not all have their very own bank account and have no savings plan to start with.
The seminar where I gave a talk was for the Parish of St. James the Apostle. It was scheduled in the afternoon of June 6. The topic I covered was more about the savings mindset since I really was out of time to create a specific topic to cover (I planned to make a video presentation of the talk I gave since I felt that I missed lots of points when I gave the talk due to the time constrains). Fr. Patrick, the parish priest of St. James the Apostle, push this seminar and was originally geared towards the “yuppies” of Santiago City. Also, Our Lady of Manaog came in to visit the Parish and we were expecting a low turnout. Fortunately, we have about 30 participants, most in the late 40s and retirees. A few do clearly understand the points me and Jerry are trying to impart. As Jerry was telling the participants that we should always be an influencer to help others make that change in their finances. A small change can do big things if done right.
We covered mostly about savings, spending habits, money mindset, introduction to investments, real estates, and the stock market as whole. Lots of attendees also raised questions about scams and the possibility of falling into it. With that, we iterated the things that act as signal through Colayco’s video interview by Mel Tiangco. If the investment guarantees a specific high return in a short period of time it is a scam. Also, as Colayco’s video imparted, the difference between the rich and the poor in the Philippine is that the poor lack the knowledge of how to handle their money.
Lots of them are interested to learn more. They inquired about how to open a stock brokerage account and thus I am calling on all online stock brokers to check this area. Online stockbrokers would be the best for them since they are from far-flung places in the mountains. A few have a bank account as well, thus it would be wise for banks to educate people of investment vehicles that can give back decent returns but still safe. We tried to answer all their questions regarding opening their stock investment account online. We are convinced that online stock brokerage firms are the best institution to go here and talk about their platform how it works and how to maintain and grow their money safely. That is why I am calling on all stock brokerage firms out there who read this post, please extend your free services to far-flung provinces where there are potential investors.
After the seminar we attended the anticipated mass at 6:00pm and we are fortunate that OUr Lady of Managua was in the church. After a sumptuous dinner in the parish hall we thanked our sponsors and parish helpers lead by Fr. Patrick. We then started our another long journey back to Manila. From around 8:00pm I finally got back here in Makati about 6:00 am Sunday.