Sunday, July 22, 2007


I started schooling at the age of four. I studied in a rural area where kids are sent to a public school. Kids usually have a cooked dried ground corn and grilled dried fish for lunch packed in a slightly heated banana leaf. They only have bananas, sweet potatoes, or corn (either boiled or grilled), coconut and tamarind candies or guavas for snacks. It is not a practice of parents in the past to give money to their kids for their daily allowance. And among these kids who experienced those very simple life was myself. I usually received money only during Christmas, when my father deceived us kids in the family to hang a sock in the balcony so that if Santa Claus would pass by we will be blessed with gifts like money and toys. I also received money from my grandmother everytime she has sold a livestock. Lastly I always received money from a generous god parent as a birthday gift. You might think I am receiving big amounts like five, ten or twenty pesos but you are exactly wrong. I usually receive an average of two pesos and the highest was two fifty. Nevertheless every time I have these coins in my hands I get a very big smile. I am so happy; I get the highest amount in coin that is two pesos. I also remember performing an intermission number in a poetry contest of which I was rewarded with five pesos but that happens only once. I had a very low self-esteem and could not stand to perform in front of a lot of people again. That’s how I get to save money in the past. I see no stores nearby to spend my money so I had it placed in a bamboo “piggy bank” and hide it in the ceiling. That was really fun because my siblings do the same.

My grandmother really taught me how to be frugal. She always reminded me to increase my savings by keeping the amount of money given to me. She has taught me negotiating techniques to get a discounted stuff. Since then if I get to a retail store I always used negotiating techniques if I have to so I get a discount. Saving then has been a practice in my entire life however I cannot claim that I am in abundance of money right now. I still live in a rugged house where we get crazy during rainy days, our house roofs is as old as our age maybe. Rain drops get inside our house. I still sleep in an old bed and in a room without a ceiling.

You might question my credibility of creating this site and giving it a title Financial Management. I am nobody and I am nothing. Despite the many advices and readings I have learned about financial security I am still in the process of moving forward to that certain level where I can retire early. I am now 26 years old. I do not have much achievements, I do not have properties attached to myself so I could claim I am rich but I am gradually following the pattern of success. It is not easy to reach the top. Family members sometimes scratch our back; they are usually the cause of your downfall. Sometimes they don’t encourage success nor believe that you can make it happen. They create liabilities that prompt you to take responsibilities. Sometimes friends, colleagues, and relatives are detrimental to your growth. Some friends force you to spend for a dinner at an expensive restaurant, watch movies or even buy unnecessary stuff, some colleagues (specifically married) thought that singles have a lot of money and they abused you by constantly borrowing money from you. And some relatives do the same. These things slowly pull you down. However, you still have a choice wether to allow them to kick you off. By this time you are now aware of the many hindrances that block your way to success. Persevere....... be patient......... remember change does not happen overnight........later on you will realize how far you have become........ so move gradually...........learn alot of things......gain will someday salute your ownself. Think like a millionaire does. Think big.


A credit card is a piece of plastic card that can either help the user budget his finances or cause him a chain of troubles. This involves a credit system where the issuer lends the user a certain amount transpired in his account and the user pays his balance at the end of the month or billing period.
This balance is charged of no interest if paid off dutifully at the end of the month. Otherwise, the charge rate rises each month the user fails to meet his obligation.

Advantages of having a credit card

A credit card is beneficial if it is properly used.
  1. This provides the user the privilege to shop anytime he wishes even without cash on hand given that the balance is paid in full and on time.
  2. It is more convenient than carrying cash in your pocket, which is susceptible to being lost, or be in accidents.
  3. It will also help you in establishing a good name in terms of credit.
  4. The credit card system is a convenient way of purchasing and paying for services or goods both in the typical stores and online stores because of its easy access features.
  5. It provides incentives that you can enjoy. These incentives come in reward points and are redeemable.
  6. You do not need to write a check, you can pay later.
  7. You can avail of the discounts right when they are offered, unlike when you have to pay cash, you wait until your compensation arrives.

Disadvantages of having a credit card

Credit cards can be very costly if you do not watch what you spend. A rule that you should follow is if you don't need it don't use it.

  1. You pay a high cost to borrow money which is your finance charges and interest rates
  2. You debt load is increased and so is your debt to income ratio
  3. You decrease the amount that you should be saving in the bank cause you are paying interest and financial charges.
  4. Have less money each month for household expenses
  5. You can easily overspend and create real bad financial difficulties.
If you buy items using you credit cards you will have to pay the lend era finance charge for the use of their money. The finance charge is the total amount you will pay which includes interest rate costs and other cost such as services charges and possible other charges.

But amidst all these, a credit card can be a good asset to your business and personal lifestyle. Those stated above are just warnings to guide you to the wise use of your credit card.

So before deciding on the credit card that you plan to apply, make sure to weigh the importance of the benefits that the company offers. And when you have been issued of the card, be a responsible card holder. Keep in mind that though you are not yet spending your cash, sooner at the end of the month, you will. So be intelligent in purchasing your items. Stick to your budget when you market your goods.

And notably, make sure that you pay your accounts on time to avoid late payment charges.

A responsible and disciplined handling of the credit card is required in order to avoid failure of payment and misuse of your monetary fund. Remember that this should be an asset that you must maximize the use. Don't turn it to a liability that will dump you to a deep crisis.

Mario Churchill - [online] How to use the credit card wisely?. Retrieved : July 22, 2007 from, July 22, 2007

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a credit card?. Retrieved: July 22, 2007 from

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Colonel Sandlers discovered a great chicken recipe that made him a successful entrepreneur after his retirement at the age of 65. This is an inspiring and fascinating story that encourage us to be great no matter where we are in life"

Humble Beginnings

Harland Sanders was born September 9, 1890 near Henryville, Indiana. His father died when he was just 6 years old, leaving him the man of the house with a mother and two younger siblings; a brother and a sister. He picked up the art of cooking very quickly and mastered many dishes by the age of 7. During his early years, Harland worked different odd jobs such as farm-hand, streetcar conductor, soldier, fireman, self-taught lawyer, insurance salesman, and steamboat operator.

Mastering Chicken

At the age of 40, he was cooking for travelers out of his service station. His cooking fame spread and soon there were huge lines for his food. Sanders then moved across the street to a motel/restaurant to service the high demand. During this time, Sanders had also been tinkering with his special herbs and spices to make the perfect fried chicken.

The Secret Ingredient

During his search to make the perfect chicken, he was approached by a pressure cooker salesman who convinced Sanders to invest in this product to quicken his cooking process. He ended up investing in 12 pressure cookers. Somewhere around this time, Sanders also ended up reaching his trademark 11 herbs and spices.

Some say that his 11th secret herb/spice was nothing more than regular sea salt. Whatever it was, it worked and sold a lot of chicken. In 1935, Sanders was made into an honorary Colonel by the governor of Kentucky for his cooking skills.

Forced Retirment

Fast forward to 1950. The Colonel is 60 years old and has to shut down his restaurant business because a new highway was being built where his restaurant was located. Colonel Sanders decided to retire and lived off of $105 in the form of social security checks. Not wanting to accept this as his fate, he decided to franchise his chicken at the age of 65.

The Comeback - Relentless Perseverance

He started traveling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken on the spot for restaurant owners. If the owner liked the chicken, they would enter into a handshake agreement to sell the Colonel's chicken. Legend has it that Colonel Sanders heard 1009 "no's" before he heard his first "yes".

Ok, let me repeat that.

He was turned down one-thousand and nine times before his chicken was accepted once!

The deal was that for each piece of chicken the restaurant sold, Sanders would receive a nickel. The restaurant would receive packets of Colonel's secret herbs and spices in order to avoid them knowing the recipe. By 1964, Colonel Sanders had 600 franchises selling his trademark chicken. At this time, he sold his company for $2 million dollars but remained as a spokesperson. In 1976, the Colonel was ranked as the world's second most recognizable celebrity.

The Legacy

Fast forward to today. KFC is one of the largest fast food franchises in the world. Over the years, the company has been owned by RJ Reynolds (now Reynolds American; NYSE: RAI), Pepsico (NYSE: PEP), and is currently under Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM). Yum Brands family also includes Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers, and A&W Restaurants. This brand is the largest restaurant operator in the world in terms of units.

It's amazing how the man started at the age of 65, when most retire, and built a global empire out of fried chicken.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Commencement Address by John L. Gokongwei Jr. to the Atenean Graduates, March 27, 2004)

I wish I were one of you today, instead of a 77-year-old man, giving a
speech you will probably forget when you wake up from your hangover

You may be surprised I feel this way. Many of you are feeling fearful
and apprehensive about your future.

You are thinking that, perhaps, your Ateneo diploma will not mean a
whole lot in the future in a country with too many problems. And you are
probably right.

You are thinking that our country is slipping-no, sliding. Again, you
may be right.

Twenty years ago, we were at par with countries like Thailand,
Malaysia, and Singapore. Today, we are left way behind.

You know the facts.

Twenty years ago, the per capita income of the Filipino was 1,000 US
dollars. Today, it's 1,100 dollars. That's a growth of only ten percent
in twenty years. Meanwhile, Thailand's per capita income today is
double ours; Malaysia, triple ours; and Singapore, almost twenty times

With globalization coming, you know it is even more urgent to wake up.
Trade barriers are falling, which means we will have to compete harder.

In the new world, entrepreneurs will be forced to invest their money
where it is most efficient. And that is not necessarily in the
Philippines. Even for Filipino entrepreneurs, that can be the case.

For example, a Filipino brand like Maxx candy can be manufactured in
Bangkok-where labor, taxes, power and financing are cheaper and more
efficient-and then exported to other ASEAN countries.

This will be a common scenario-if things do not change. Pretty soon,
we will become a nation that buys everything and produces practically
nothing. We will be like the prodigal son who took his father's money and
spent it all. The difference is that we do not have a generous father
to run back to.

But despite this, I am still very excited about the future. I will tell
you why later.

You have been taught at the Ateneo to be "a person for others." Of
course, that is noble: To serve your countrymen.

Question is: How?

And my answer is: Be an entrepreneur!

You may think I am just a foolish man talking mundane stuff when the
question before him is almost philosophical. But I am being very
thoughtful here, and if I may presume this about myself, being patriotic as

Entrepreneurship is the answer.

We need young people who will find the idea, grab the opportunity, take
risk, and set aside comfort to set up businesses that will provide

But why? What are jobs?

Jobs are what allow people to feel useful and build their self-esteem.
Jobs make people productive members of the community. Jobs make people
feel they are worthy citizens. And jobs make a country worthy players
in the world market.

In that order of things, it is the entrepreneurs who have the power to
harness the creativity and talents of others to achieve a common good.
This should leave the world a better place than it was.

Let me make it clear: Job creation is a priority for any nation to move

For example, it is the young entrepreneurs of Malaysia, Thailand, and
Singapore who created the dynamic businesses that have propelled their
countries to the top. Young people like yourselves.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, progress is slow. Very little is new.
Hardly anything is fresh. With a few exceptions, the biggest companies
before the war-like PLDT, Ayala, and San Miguel-are still the biggest
companies today.

All right, being from the Ateneo, many of you probably have offers from
these corporations already. You may even have offers from JG Summit.

I say: Great! Take these offers, work as hard as you can, learn
everything these companies can teach-and then leave!

If you dream of creating something great, do not let a 9-to-5 job-even
a high-paying one-lull you into a complacent, comfortable life. Let
that high-paying job propel you toward entrepreneurship instead.

When I speak of the hardship ahead, I do not mean to be skeptical but
realistic. Even you Ateneans, who are famous for your eloquence, you
cannot talk your way out of this one. There is nothing to do but to deal
with it.

I learned this lesson when, as a 13-year-old, I lost my dad. Before
that, I was like many of you: a privileged kid. I went to Cebu's best
school; lived in a big house; and got free entrance to the Vision, the
largest movie house in Cebu, which my father owned.

Then my dad died, and I lost all these. My family had become poor-poor
enough to split my family. My mother and five siblings moved to China
where the cost of living was lower. I was placed under the care of my
Grand Uncle Manuel Gotianuy, who put me through school. But just two
years later, the war broke out, and even my Uncle Manuel could no longer
see me through. I was out in the streets-literally.

Looking back, this time was one of the best times of my life. We lost
everything, true, but so did everybody! War was the great equalizer. In
that setting, anyone who was willing to size up the situation, use his
wits, and work hard, could make it!

It was every man for himself, and I had to find a way to support myself
and my family. I decided to be a market vendor.


Because it was something that I, a 15-year-old boy in short pants,
could do.

I started by selling simple products in the palengke half an hour by
bike from the city. I had a bicycle. I would wake up at five in the
morning, load thread, soap and candles into my bike, and rush to the

I would rent a stall for one peso a day, lay out my goods on a table as
big as this podium, and begin selling. I did that the whole day.

I sold about twenty pesos of goods every day. Today, twenty pesos will
only allow you to send twenty text messages to your crush, but 63 years
ago, it was enough to support my family. And it left me enough to plow
back into my small, but growing, business.

I was the youngest vendor in the palengke, but that didn't faze me. In
fact, I rather saw it as an opportunity. Remember, that was 63 years
and 100 pounds ago, so I could move faster, stay under the sun more, and
keep selling longer than everyone else.

Then, when I had enough money and more confidence, I decided to travel
to Manila from Cebu to sell all kinds of goods like rubber tires.

Instead of my bike, I now traveled on a batel-a boat so small that on
windless days, we would just float there. On bad days, the trip could
take two weeks!

During one trip, our batel sank! We would have all perished in the sea
were it not for my inventory of tires. The viajeros were happy because
my tires saved their lives, and I was happy because the viajeros, by
hanging on to them, saved my tires. On these long and lonely trips I had
to entertain myself with books, like Gone With The Wind.

After the war, I had saved up 50,000 pesos. That was when you could buy
a chicken for 20 centavos and a car for 2,000 pesos. I was 19 years

Now I had enough money to bring my family home from China. Once they
were all here, they helped me expand our trading business to include
imports. Remember that the war had left the Philippines with very few
goods. So we imported whatever was needed and imported them from
everywhere-including used clothes and textile remnants from the United States.
We were probably the first ukay-ukay dealers here.

Then, when I had gained more experience and built my reputation, I
borrowed money from the bank and got into manufacturing. I saw that coffee
was abundant, and Nescafe of Nestle was too expensive for a country
still rebuilding from the war, so my company created Blend 45.

That was our first branded hit. And from there, we had enough profits
to launch Jack and Jill.

From one market stall, we are now in nine core businesses-including
retail, real estate, publishing, petrochemicals, textiles, banking, food
manufacturing, Cebu Pacific Air and Sun Cellular.

When we had shown success in the smaller businesses, we were able to
raise money in the capital markets-through IPOs and bond offerings-- and
then get into more complex, capital-intensive enterprises. We did it
slow, but sure.

Success doesn't happen overnight. It's the small successes achieved day
by day that build a company. So, don't be impatient or focused on
immediate financial rewards. I only started flying business class when I
got too fat to fit in the economy seats.

And I even wore a used overcoat while courting my wife-it came from my
ukay-ukay business. Thank God Elizabeth didn't mind the mothball smell
of my overcoat or maybe she wouldn't have married me.

Save what you earn and plow it back.

And never forget your families! Your parents denied themselves many
things to send you here. They could have traveled around the world a
couple of times with the money they set aside for your education, and your
social life, and your comforts.

Remember them-and thank them.

When you have families of your own, you must be home with them for at
least one meal everyday.

I did that while I was building my company. Now, with all my six
children married, I ask that we spend every Sunday lunch together, when
everything under the sun is discussed.

As it is with business, so it is with family. There are no short cuts
for building either one.

Remember, no short cuts.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, your patron saint, and founder of this
450-year old organization I admire, described an ideal Jesuit as one who
"lives with one foot raised." I believe that means someone who is always
ready to respond to opportunities.

Saint Ignatius knew that, to build a successful organization, he needed
to recruit and educate men who were not afraid of change but were in
fact excited by it.

In fact, the Jesuits were one of the earliest practitioners of
. As early as the 16th century, upon reaching a foreign country,
they compiled dictionaries in local languages like Tamil and Vietnamese
so that they could spread their message in the local language. In a few
centuries, they have been able to spread their mission in many
countries through education.

The Jesuits have another quote. "Make the whole world your house"
which means that the ideal Jesuit must be at home everywhere. By adapting
to change, but at the same time staying true to their beliefs, the
Society of Jesus has become the long-lasting and successful organization it
is today and has made the world their house.

So, let live with one foot raised in facing the next big opportunity:
globalization. Globalization can be your greatest enemy. It will be
your downfall if you are too afraid and too weak to fight it out. But it
can also be your biggest ally.

With the Asian Free Trade agreement and tariffs near zero, your market
has grown from 80 million Filipinos to half a billion Southeast Asians.

Imagine what that means to you as an entrepreneur if you are able to
find a need and fill it. And imagine, too, what that will do for the
economy of our country!

Yes, our government may not be perfect, and our economic environment
not ideal, but true entrepreneurs will find opportunities anywhere.

Look at the young Filipino entrepreneurs who made it. When I say
young-and I'm 77, remember-I am talking about those in their 50s and below.
Tony Tan of Jollibee, Ben Chan of Bench, Rolando Hortaleza of Splash,
and Wilson Lim of Abensons.

They're the guys who weren't content with the 9-to-5 job, who were
willing to delay their gratification and comfort, and who created something
new, something fresh. Something Filipinos are now very proud of.

They all started small but now sell their hamburgers, T-shirts and
cosmetics in Asia, America, and the Middle East. In doing so, these young
Filipino entrepreneurs created jobs while doing something they were
passionate about.

Globalization is an opportunity of a lifetime-for you. And that is why
I want to be out there with you instead of here behind this
podium-perhaps too old and too slow to seize the opportunities you can.

Let me leave you with one last thought.

Trade barriers have fallen. The only barriers left are the barriers you
have in your mind.

So, Ateneans, Class of 2004, heed the call of entrepreneurship.

With a little bit of will and a little bit of imagination, you can turn
this crisis into your patriotic moment-and truly become a person for

"Live with one foot raised and make the world your house."

To this great University, my sincerest thanks for this singular honor
conferred on me today.

To the graduates, congratulations and Godspeed.

"Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam".

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

How to be financially secure?

The literacy rate in the Philippines is listed at 92.6% by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This rate is one of the highest in Southeast Asia, higher than that of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore. But why Filipinos did not economically prosper when they have high literacy rate? If you ask someone why? They usually point three major points: martial law, massive graft and corruption of the government leaders and long term poverty. While these three do really contribute to financial instability of the Filipino people the root causes still lies in the following; inadequate mental maturity, wrong use of one’s own earnings, self-inflicted debts and gambling. Poverty can be minimize by changing our mindset and by avoiding our own created financial hardships. How? A former professor of mine Fr. Michael Gimarino shared to us in one of his lecture the “Seven Practical Strategies to Solve Poverty”. This is where education enters and as described by Fr. Gimarino, this is the mindset that leads to financial security and independence:

  1. Live within your means. Do not spend more than what you earn. Be frugal. Lucio Tan a well known businessman in the Philippines still uses his old cell phone while most of his friends keep up with the latest model. When he was asked why? He simply answered “it serves the purpose”. Do not keep up with the Jone’s Family, do not keep up with what your neighbors have. In short do not envy what others have. If you want to buy something save first
  2. Save for future needs. . Save like the ants. Your saving does not depend on your income but on self-discipline. Make a list of what you would buy and buy only those that are necessary. Do not buy those that are not in your list. Save money in stable insurance and investment companies. If you own a land then plant trees or make use of it. Hard work, perseverance and diligence are the key to successful future.
  3. Avoid Penalties. . Avoid penalties. You are usually penalized if you do not pay on time. Be cautious in using ATM cards make withdrawals at ATM counters that do not make deductions. Avoid using credit cards for unnecessary purchases. Lastly, avoid making loans.

  1. Increase your assets and decrease your liabilities
  2. Spend your money wisely
  3. Produce some of your food. Cook your own meal. Do not eat often outside. Plant your own vegetables, corn or rice if you own a land.
  4. Don’t waste your resources. Save water, save food, save electricity. Be frugal in almost everything except for love.

I am not looking for a foreign power for us to challenge. But we have a real and insidious enemy that we must vanquish, and this enemy is worse than the intransigence of any foreign power. We are our own enemy. And we must have the courage, the will, to change ourselves. F. Sionil Jose

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Financial literacy simply means that you are educated in terms of money.

Most of us are encourage by our parents to study hard, obtain high grades, and obtain high educational attainment so that we can have the best job offer and the highest paying job in a good company that offers good benefits. Middle class and poor class follow this pattern but the rich don't. Culturally we are shaped to follow one path and that is to finish our education and work for money. That is what a successful future means to us. However, Robert Kyosaki author of Rich Dad Poor Dad called this a "trap in a rat race". We are never educated to learn how to let money work for us. We are so comfortable with paycheck to paycheck. We do not entertain the possibility of becoming the employer, the investor, the earner of passive income. So heres the basic lessons that Rober Kyosaki learned and wanted the poor and the middle class to learn:

1. The rich don't work for money. "The poor and middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them," he would say to me. The rich buy or create assets that work for them so they don't have to.
2. Why teach financial literacy? You need to understand the difference between an asset and a liability. An asset puts money in your pocket and a liability takes money from your pocket. The rich understand the difference and buy assets, not liabilities.
3. Mind your own business. Many people confuse their profession with their business. To become financially secure people need to mind their own business. Your business revolves around your asset column, as opposed to your income column. The rich focus on their asset columns while the poor and middle class focus on their income columns.
4. The history of taxes and the power of corporations. The Tax Code of the United States provides many vehicles for people to save on their taxes. Most of these vehicles are available to anyone but it is the rich who usually look for them and use them because they have learned to "mind their own business." For example an individual can utilize the tax advantages and protection provided by a corporation to get rich much faster than someone who is an employee or a small-business sole proprietor.
5. The rich invent money. Great opportunities are not seen with your eyes. They are seen with your mind. Most people never get wealthy simply because they are not trained financially to recognize opportunities right in front of them. The rich have learned to recognize opportunities as well as how to create them.
6. Work to learn--don't work for money. To become successful you must learn how to manage cash flow, systems and people. Being in the Marines taught me leadership and working in sales for Xerox taught me how to sell and how to accept rejection. All of these skills were important for my success. Look for jobs that can help you develop the skills of managing cash flow, systems and people rather than just pay you well.