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May 01, 2013

"I choked and cried a bit in our FQ Workshop!" (a drama-rama moment)

Photos of workshop participants, COL Financial Chairman Edward Lee, Fausto Family, Financial Literacy Advocates Efren Cruz, Salve Duplito & daughter

Last Saturday was the first run of our FQ: A WORKSHOP ON FAMILY FINANCE. It was held in an events place not known to many but is beside one of Ayala’s newest commercial developments in Quezon City. As we expected, some got lost but we’re happy that almost everyone came on time because we really intended to start on the dot. (I grew up with a mother saying, “Let’s not penalize those who come on time!” She always says that as she makes the sign of the cross to start saying grace during family lunch or dinner gatherings!)


In the summer of 2012 I did a workshop on Raising Money Smart Kids arranged by the Registered Financial Planners of the Philippines (RFP). I was the main speaker but I asked the boys to share their experiences. However, the “big boy” (a.k.a. The Honey) was not really a part of the workshop. He was there for support – as cheerleader, photographer and videographer.


This time The Honey would take an important part in the workshop as the head of the family. This time it was the complete family and we did everything from start to finish. We decided to target the whole family because we all believe that FQ is everyone’s business and is most effective if taken up together as a family. We knew it was quite a daunting task to be talking to an audience with a wide range in age, interests and attention span. It would have been easier if we were just talking to a single family or clan. But this would not be cost efficient. In fact, we are very thankful to our sponsors, COL Financial and BDO because without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to offer the workshop at that price, a level at which the family will not think twice to bring all the members. Again, we went back to our objective – i.e. to engage the whole family and start the conversation about FQ.


Why should we involve the whole family? Let me try to explain. We love watching good movies together as a family. We talk about it after watching, we compare our insights, and sometimes we find out that we missed some important points in the movie, and it’s a good thing that the other family members got them. Indeed, five heads are better than one! When it becomes a shared experience, it becomes a richer experience. To a certain extent, we wanted to achieve something like this. Perhaps even more, because we’re not just talking about entertainment but starting a journey. We wanted to start a family’s conscious journey to financial freedom and happiness together.


So the challenge was to come up with a “show” that can cater to all the family members. Weeks before D Day we held family meetings to discuss the workshop. Part of our Holy Week was spent doing marathon brain storming and structuring of the workshop. One public holiday (a time when the boys could do their marathon sleep until lunchtime) was spent waking up very early to appear in a morning show to promote the workshop. My sons are now in a stage wherein they all have their own activities, lots of them, that it’s a challenge to have a big chunk of available time common to all of us. One workshop dry run started late and ended late at night, leaving everyone exhausted. It was a good thing that all them are “in the boat.” I think Marvin and I were able to explain to them that there is value in sharing what you know with others. We reminded them that even if all these preparations would only affect one family’s life, then it would be worth it.



How many participants did we want to have? Let me share with you something about goal achievement that I learned up from Raymond Aaron (North America’s No.1 Success Coach and New York Times bestselling author who’s coming to Manila for the Success Summit on May 10, 2013 which I will be a part of). In setting your goal do not use the binary way – e.g. “I will have 80 participants for the workshop.” This is because stating it this way gives you a 50% chance of success but also gives you the same chance of failure. It’s like you either make it or you don’t. He suggests his MTO system. M is Minimum (easy, based on past performance), T is Target (slightly beyond your comfort zone), and O is Outrageous (It’s great but you’re almost sure you can’t do it.)


So here’s my MTO: Minimum is 50, Target is 80 and Outrageous is 150. So when we had 100 participants, we were very happy!


The workshop started on a sunny hot afternoon and we’re thankful that the heavy downpour, complete with thunder and lightning, happened while we were already in the middle of the workshop. As we Filipinos always say, “That’s blessing.”


I was the first speaker. When it came to the part when I narrated why I gave up my investment banking career to devote my focused and undivided attention to my growing up kids, I choked! When I recalled Enrique’s look in his eyes when he was a baby, I couldn’t help but get emotional. I was in a hurry to get back to the flow of my presentation so I forced myself to talk again. But the harder I tried, the more I couldn’t. There was a painful lump in my throat as I held back the tears welling from my eyes. Then a tentative laughter came out to help erase the drama-rama moment and get back to “regular programming.” But still, I couldn’t. Then Enrique was on my side with a glass of water. Hooh! That was hard for me. Fortunately, I managed to get by and finish my part.


When my sons delivered their presentations, from oldest son, to middle son, to youngest son, Marvin and I were very pleased. I glanced at him and he had that look of a proud father. We both marveled at how confident they all were in delivering their messages while having fun! You might say we’re just saying this because we’re their parents. But the feedback forms confirmed our observations. They got excellent ratings – almost 100% rated them above average! The entire workshop was also rated above average with participants even expressing their gratitude.


I wish we had more time to mingle with all the participants. It’s always a wonderful experience for me to talk to different families as I always learn a thing or two.


After packing up we decided to have an early carbo-loading dinner at the nearby Ayala Technohub. All of us needed to sleep early for the 10 kilometer run with Nat Geo scheduled at 4am the following day. Marvin just made it more exciting by announcing that he would give a prize to the one who finishes first! As we discussed what just transpired over dinner, text messages of congratulations and generously positive feedback were coming in.


When we got home, I was exhausted and I asked Marvin, “How come I can’t seem to get over the emotions about the look in baby Enrique’s eyes?” Then I hugged him and then I began to sob, then cry, real big tears.


The thing is I don’t even remember having cried when I made the decision to stop working back in the 90s! Yes it was a big decision but there was no drama moment at all, no crying both before and after.


Then I realized why. I’m crying now, many years after, because I see them all grown up happy, confident and enthusiastic about life. I’m probably crying tears of joy for that decision I made back in the 90s.


I wish to thank all the participants who came last Saturday. You were all so game with the exercises and other activities. Thank you to our sponsors and everyone who, in one way or another, helped in the success of FQ!


Here’s wishing all Filipino families financial happiness!


P.S. I wish to share a blog written by a college student who wrote about her experience last Saturday at FQ. Financial Intelligence - by Madlen Almendral



1. SUCCESS SUMMIT will be held on May 10, 2013 9am – 5pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza, Makati City. To register and inquire contact or; or call 622 7934, (0917) 8511115, (0917) 8007266. 

2. FQ: A WORKSHOP ON FAMILY FINANCE goes to Balesin on May 15, 2013 and Cebu on May 18, 2013.


(Rose Fres Fausto is the author of the book Raising Pinoy Boys. Click this link to download free book sample To read her other articles go to archive. Send your questions via email to or text to 0917-5395770.)

This article is also published in


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