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Apr 08, 2015

A Debutante's Wish


During the time when both social media and traditional media were dishing out updates on the debut bash of Julia Barretto, I received a heartwarming email from a reader. Here it is.

Good day po, Ms. Rose. Ako po si Wheng, second year college student sa isang university dito sa Cagayan de Oro. Ngayon pong darating na Mayo eh, mag de-debut na po ako. Medyo malapit na po ang araw na yun kaya naisipan ko ang mga bagay na dapat kong isaalang-alang, lalo na't ang pagiging 18 ay nagbibigay sa aming mga kabataan ng bagong mga responsibilidad. Nais ko po sanang matuto tungkol sa saving and investing. Isang araw kasi, may nabasa po akong isang article niyo tungkol sa pag-i-invest. Nagka-interes po ako kaya't binasa ko ito lahat. Gusto ko po sanang magsimulang mag invest habang maaga pa. Gusto ko po kasing maging successful balang araw. Kaso, wala po akong malapitan upang makahingi ng payo tungkol sa pera. Kaya, kung bubutihin niyo po, gusto kong matuto kung ano po yung dapat kong gawin na pangunahing mga steps tungkol sa pag-i-invest. Sana po ay matulungan niyo po ako sa aking nais. Maraming salamat. Kaawaan kayo ng Diyos. – Wheng via email 

Right after reading her letter, I felt the urge to bring this May debutante to our May 9 event! I said to myself, “I wish I were Oprah so I can fly her in and bring her to our Family FQ Workshop and really grant her 18th birthday wish to learn about saving and investing.

I’m no Oprah nor Kris Aquino but I guess, if there’s a will there’s a way! The first thing I did was to ask for her real name and other information like school, address, etc. to establish the legitimacy of her story. I’m lucky to have tapped the help of The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI), a Facebook group of Filipinos around the world helping each other improve their collective FQ. It now has almost 50,000 members headed by an ex-OFW Floi Wycoco. Specifically, we employed the help of its CDO members who also have their subgroup on Facebook called Cagayan de Oro Investors and Traders headed by Dexter Balbanida.

Dexter himself looked for our May Debutante and had a meeting with her. Soon after, I received a Facebook message from Dexter about their meeting, complete with Selfies! He said, “Ma’am okay po sya, talagang gusto nyang matuto tungkol sa saving and investing. Tama po yong mga sinabi nya sa email.”

Thanks to social media, I was able to tap the services of Dexter residing in CDO at zero cost. These guys are just doing what they’re doing because they sincerely want to help improve the Filipino FQ. When Dexter said, “Tama po ang mga sinabi nya sa email,” he was referring to the continuation of Wheng’s story contained in her second email to me. Here it is:

Nag-aaral po ako sa Liceo de Cagayan University (mag ti-third na sana ako ngayong susunod na pasukan, kaso hindi ko natapos ang first sem ng 2nd year ko dahil nagkaroon kami ng financial issues. Na-diagnose kasi ang Mama ko ng cervical cancer last year. Anim po kaming magkakapatid. Yung Papa ko po, freelancer lang, wala siyang regular na trabaho. Kinuha siyang campaign manager ng magma-mayor dito sa amin, tapos may radio show siya sa isang radio station every Sunday. Pero sa ngayon, wala talaga siyang stable na trabaho mga ilang taon na rin. 61 na siya, senior citizen na, tsaka medyo nahihirapan na rin siyang makahanap ng paraan para makabalik ako sa pag-aaral.

BS Medical Laboratory Science (Medical Technology) po ang kinukuha kong kurso. Pangarap ko po kasing mag-trabaho sa isang laboratory nung bata pa ako. Gusto ko po talagang maging MedTech at kung pagpapalain, sana maka-pursue din ako ng Medicine. 

Sa ngayon po, gusto ko talagang pag-aralan ang tamang paraaan ng pagha-handle ng pera. Kasi nakita ko sa parents ko yung mga maaaring mangyari kung hindi marunong ang isang tao kung papano maghandle ng pera. Naranasan na rin naming mabaon sa utang, kaya sana po, matulungan ninyo akong matuto, kasi gusto ko talagang maging mabuti yung kinabukasan ko. 

Maraming Salamat po.

Next step: I wrote an email to Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific if his company would be willing to fly in Wheng together with a companion. In a few minutes I was delighted to receive his yes.

Fortunately, during Dexter’s interview, he gathered that Wheng has a sister who works here and lives in Taguig. And our May 9 event will be held in SM Aura Taguig, perfect!

Then I asked my good friend and kumare Tess Cotoco of Sweetness by Tess for a birthday cake and she gladly said yes! You see,

I always want to give a cake to someone on his/her birthday, especially if buying a cake is not the number one concern of the celebrator. Let me tell you the story why. I had a co-worker in a project years ago who used to live in the province with his family of farmers. It was his birthday so we just mindlessly bought a cake for him to make our Happy Birthday singing more complete. After he blew the candles on his cake, his tears started rolling down his eyes. When we asked why, he said, “Alam nyo first time lang akong magkaroon ng sariling birthday cake. Maraming salamat.” After that incident, I always bought a birthday cake complete with candles for our workers at home and each time, there’s a smile and appreciation and some sense of enjoying the birthday limelight that I think anyone turning a year old truly deserves.

So on May 9, 2015, I look forward to seeing the glow in Wheng’s eyes not only after she blows her cake candles but also when she learns the laws of money. 


Avail of our Easter gift when you register on or before APRIL 17, 2015 in the FAMILY FQ WORKSHOP BY THE FAUSTOS. It will be a fun bonding and learning event! Click this link: I want the FREE GIFT!

Attribution: Images from, prosperity4kids,com, Lance public profile photo, Dexter Balbanida, Sweetness by Tess put together by the author to help deliver the message of the article.

This article is alos published in and


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