Sunday, April 12, 2015


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“There is no substitute for victory – Gen. Douglas MacArthur

April 9 was “Araw ng Kagitingan” or “Day of Valor” as we celebrate and honor our veterans and remember the fallen of World War II and other battles and conflicts in our history who gave the ultimate sacrifice for this country and for the people.  Looking back, my late grandmother would tell us stories of how our late grandfather’s escape with a few of his comrades during the infamous Bataan Death March.

They were able to escape and hide through the help of the townsfolk they knew during the transfer of the bulk of prisoners of war in the historic San Fernando Train Station in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga to be shipped to Camp O’ Donnell in Capas, Tarlac through railway by their Japanese captors. He was a young army officer of the Philippine Commonwealth Army then. Although he died four decades ago, I still recount what my grandmother and some of the old folks we know who lived during the Japanese occupation years as a very harsh period in our Philippine history.

 In today’s financial perspective, many ordinary folks are becoming aware of financial planning but are struggling with it and do not know where to start. In fact, people are managing their finances and have lost hope of due to their financial troubles and surrender. I seen folks who almost lost and went bankrupt and are currently facing legal problems from their creditors but for those who are courageous to deal with their debtor and dream of achieving total financial freedom they must have the iron will in doing the financial planning process:

1. Increase one’s financial literacy – for people who want to learn about personal finance must read first books about the topic and attend enriching seminars that tackle on personal finance which is very essential for anyone who wants to succeed in this battle.

2. Lay out one’s battle plans – anyone going through this must have clear objectives in order to succeed in strategizing his or her plan for this mission. Some examples of these are budgeting plan, debt restructuring plan, passive investment plan, retirement plan, and college education plan for kids just to name a few.

3.  Making decisive actions – It takes few slow steps to get into these.  Going slow at first for beginners is alright in establishing a foothold in personal finance for example one must have the primary objectives of having a 3 months contingency fund, a debt restructuring payment scheme plan for 12 months such plan.

4. Review one’s weaknesses – Take a look of your daily personal expenses from transportation, food and snacks. Do you really need to drink out a few cups of high end coffee or eat out on a pricey restaurant or buying junk food which are cheap but really not good for anyone’s body just to cite some example. Habits should be changed.

5. Take an advice from personal finance expert – Consult a registered financial planner who can help in one’s personal finance wherein members of the Association of the Registered Financial Planners of the Philippines (ARFPP) are professionals and have the expertise to give you solid advice and input customized to your needs and specifications.  

The battle is not yet over for those who have given up hope in this war against debt. It is half won if one’s hardwired habits and mindset must be rebooted. Waving the white flag and surrendering is not an option for anyone to achieve financial freedom and success.

Keep fighting and resist.


Mr. Benedict Baluyut, is a certified real estate professional (PRC Real Estate Broker) a regular member of Registered Financial Planner - Philippines. He writes from time to time with Registered Financial Planner Column at Business Mirror and MoneySense, a Personal Finance Magazine in the Philippines. Catch him on Facebook page Pinoymoneyvantage | Follow me on Twitter | Add on Google+ or visit his official blog at

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