Category Archives: Guest Post

Poverty is not a hindrance in entrepreneurship.

Written by Adrian Pascual

For a developing country like the Philippines starting a business can be a big challenge. That is of course is an understatement. The need for capital to start a business is not the most important thing to have though. There are far more important things to possess than a stack of cash. Here are the top 7 most important things one must have before one enters into entrepreneurship.



 Be a dreamer.

“Dare to dream the impossible. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their

dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


One sure way to fail in life is to fail to see the big picture. Only through dreaming and dreaming big will you be able to have a clearer vision of the market and for you to plan for your company’s future.



Be a doer

Have the Nike attitude of just doing it. Don’t just dream. Hustle!

Only through acting on your dream will you know the true outcome of your idea. Test your assumptions and discover new things about your idea and about yourself. This is vital in your entrepreneurial journey. You grow not by the successes you will have but by the mistakes you commit.


Be passionate

Be committed on your goal. Have a laser like focus on your goal. To achieve it do the following:


Plan – thoughtfully your business and it will most likely succeed. This will help you know what needs to be done and what goals and milestones to achieve.


Execute – the idea and execute it fast. As the saying goes; not a single idea has never been thought of by another person. The measure of success is not on how good the idea is but on how it was executed.


Adjust – or pivot as many time as needed.


Kill it – good or leave it. Don’t just try. Give it your all.


You will commit many mistakes and you will go through many ups and downs as you progress in your pursuit of success. These are important moments in your journey as important as the milestones you will achieve. Be relentless in your actions and be in the PEAK of your game. Always.


Be a people person

Network, network, network.

The lifeblood of any business are the customers. But before you get to that point when you are selling your products or services you need to connect first with people. Be it for future business partnerships, marketing, sales or mentoring the need to connect with different people is vital on your growth as an entrepreneur and of your business.








Be disciplined. 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Many entrepreneurs have the best business ideas but failed miserably because they can’t execute their plans or they can’t handle themselves in the middle of the journey. Mental toughness is key in entrepreneurship. The need to act on things must be tempered with a disciplined mind. You will encounter many problems, setbacks, opportunities and situations where you would need to choose which best action to take. Like choosing between: Saving vs. Spending or Expanding vs. Waiting. The ability to see things with a long term perspective in mind is something that one must develop over time.

Be hungry for knowledge.

Learning never stops.

Read as many books as you can. Watch documentaries. Enroll in short courses. Attend all seminars and conferences you can. Google as much as you can. Get a mentor to guide you.

Smiling human child hand listening deaf ear gossip

Smiling human child hand listening deaf ear gossip



Be a good listener

It is not about you. It is ALWAYS about your customers.

Build products that your customers need and will use or don’t build at all. Innovate based on the needs of your customers. Interview the right people and build your Minimum Viable Products through the gathered insights. This way you can save a lot from the process or not spend at all.


There are many ways to start a business without even having to shell out a capital. You can start a Consultancy Services company, Make something (like arts and crafts), Be Fashion & Beauty stylist, Babysitting services, Cleaning services or Sell old stuffs. Be creative in finding ways to start a business without having to spend much.

Sure, we need money to fuel the business. Heck to start it. But starting a business without the proper mindset and preparation is as bad as being broke. Poverty is not a hindrance but a challenge one has to overcome. A clear goal with the proper mindset and motivation are the vital tools one needs to succeed.




Adrian F. Pascual is the Director and Founder of AP Media Communications, a business development consultancy company aimed at helping MSMEs’ grow and reach their full potentials. A man who wears different hats, he uses his extensive years of experience in the fields of Financial planning and management, Customer Service and Fraud Prevention, Client Relations and Retention and Sales and Marketing to help build and expand different companies. His advocacy is to build an ecosystem of socially responsible startups in the Philippines that will address the different issues in the society using modern technology for maximum impact. He also does professional copy writing for some of the top international news,business and lifestyle online publications.


Filed under Behavioral Finance, Guest Post

VIVA PILIPINAS: Salubungin ang bagong dekada ng pag-asa

This blog post belongs to one of my long time friend. It is not about personal finance but a great reminder to all of us.

 In a country where it’s known for corrupt government officials, ranked as fifth with worst traffic in the world, typhoon and flood prone region; and the list could go on. These are just some of the not so good things that Philippines are known for.  I even heard a friend mentioned that she would want to retire to another country because she can’t take living in a ‘third world country’ anymore. This country has no hope, she added.  Is there really no hope for the Philippines?
Of course, I disagreed with my friend when she said that this country is hopeless. But I can’t blame her for thinking that way. With all the negative news feeding her mind every day, it’ll be impossible to not be affected. Nowadays, it’s really difficult and even close to impossible to remain positive in a negative environment.   I’m just so glad that I was born in this country, where people are also known to be resilient. Is being resilient good enough to say that there is still hope for this nation?
I certainly believe that there is hope for the Philippines. Here are some of the reasons to support my claim and what made me so certain that the best is yet to come for our nation.
Firstly, Filipinos are intelligent, gifted, and warm people. We are adored people in the world. We are the most wanted when it comes to nursing care industry in other countries. Not only that, Pinoys are known for great talents; whichever field it may be. We are also one of the most hardworking & most flexible people in the world. Wherever we are in the world, we blend with them. If every Filipinos will only know that and start to think that we are smart enough instead of pity partying, we might be the most progressive country in South East Asia.

Secondly, Philippines is continuously experiencing economic growth. I read in one news article that we are the 2ndfastest growing economy next to China. Isn’t that good enough reason to stay in our country? I also heard from news that Philippines is progressing as a tourist-friendly economy, which made me so happy, because I’m a traveler myself. I’ve been to other nations but this country is just so rich with more beautiful natural resources and scenic spots.

Lastly, and the most important for me, this is a Christian nation.
“Pinagpala ang bayan na ang Diyos ay ang Panginoon. (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord- Psalm 33:12)” – a verse printed on our peso bills.

Being the only known Christian nation in the world is already a great source of hope, and with laws that are governed by the supreme authority which is the Lord Jesus Christ. That has made realized that I’m really blessed that I am born in this nation. Personally, I believe in the One who is higher and above all things, who is sovereign and who is in control. His will is always good, perfect and pleasing. That’s why I believe that greater things are yet to come for the Philippines.

But, we, the Filipinos are entrusted to fulfill that promise. Our actions and words play a big role in fulfilling the dream or best state for our nation. It’s time to stop ridiculing our government. Instead of cursing, start blessing our politicians. If you haven’t prayed for the leaders of our country, you can do that now. It is your choice, are you going to be part of those group of people who are ‘negatrons’ about this country? Or are you going to be part of the change for improvement of our dear nation? So, who are you going to be?
Vannilyn Alegre was a former senior corporate hiring specialist of one of the largest bank in the world today.
She’s currently working as an Executive Vice President of their family business.

                Photo Credits to the following

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Filed under Guest Post, Inspirational, Time Inspiration

Retirement Planning: Simple, deep and fundamental guide towards peace of mind

This is a guest post by Grace

Do you know that 8 out of 10 retirees will be dependent on their children for financial support? This statement was released from the Philippine National Statistics Office in 2003.
We are already in 2015, and yet I still see a lot of families who have their parents living with their children. It is happening and I am not even surprised because it has been in the culture of many Filipinos. I have been a Financial Advisor for almost 5 years now and witnessed many single young professionals stayed single for a long time without saving a penny because they spend quickly on gadgets; travel a lot, big purchases or constantly providing for their family (Mom, Dad and nephews). I have nothing against the latter but I still believe that making them financially secure through total dependency on you makes you a greedy person rather than a generous person. Why? Because you are holding them of their talents to earn a living by providing for themselves, In short, passing the legacy to them, so that even when you are not around they know what to do.
There are only 3 easy steps that I want to share to young people who do not yet know how to save for their future:
Step 1:
 The moment that we start working, we can already set aside 10% of our salary. What is the 10% for?  The 10% goes directly to God’s hand. How do we give to God? The head of the church is Jesus Christ and we are the parts of the body, the church should allow you to practice this willingly. We are in God-believing country and yes, it is a command in the book of Deuteronomy 14:22. The Bible talks about tithe which means a tenth of your first crop. 2 Corinthians 9:7 gives us an insight of the attitude of our hearts when we give to God. And how do we do this? We start a relationship with him through believing in Him. What is 10%, when what we all have is His. The gospel truly changes our values inside out which are truly critical in managing our finances.
Step 2:
This may vary on your needs and salary: at least 20% goes to savings and investments. Let’s say you have a P15,000 salary. What you can do is send 10% of 15,000 to your retirement fund and another 10% in your savings account. In this way you will have the discipline of making your money work for you and another for emergency funds.
Step 3:
What about the 70%? Our favorite part of our work is when we finally enjoy the fruits of our labor. This is the part where we spend for our basic needs and take a vacation. This is when we work around with the 10,500 or 70% of the 15,000. We budget around with this because we still need to be disciplined when it comes to our expenses.

In summary, this is the classic example of putting your money in order:
Salary = Tithe + Savings & Investments & Protection + Expenses
How we see our future is how we save for it.  Are we among those 8% of the retirees who will be asking their children for money because of sickness and old age that we cannot work anymore? I know some parents who felt ashamed already because they knew that their children wanted to provide for their own family. Or are we among those 2% who are financially secured?
A grandmother who planned her retirement 40 years ago, have been living an abundant retirement now. Because the time she spent with her family is when they visited her in her house while having a sumptuous meals together or even travelling abroad. She’s now 80 years old and never did I see her ask for financial support except when playing with her grandchildren.

We too can experience this kind of retirement in the future if we start now while we are still healthy and earning a living. Let us increase the 2% of the retired population and make more people aware of their discipline. The way we can do this is to start with ourselves and pass it on.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6
Grace Panugayan is a Registered Financial Planner and working with one of the leading Insurance Company in the Philippines, Pru Life UK for 5 years.

Photo Credits to the following

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Filed under Finance Is Not A Rocket Science, Finance Tips, Guest Post, Peace of Mind, Retirement

A Single Yuppie’s Guide to Saving

Payday is not until next week but your wallet is now empty. You scratch your head and ask, “Where did all my money go?” This scenario is not uncommon for the working class specially the Pinoy young professionals. The truth is, most of us single yuppies live from paycheck to paycheck. We are the generation that demands “work-life balance” that is why we like to work hard and party harder. We live like kings on a payday weekend and end up virtually broke on the next weekend. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit of your hard work. Let’s all live and enjoy. Carpe diem! However, if you are one of those people who seriously want to solve the problem of running short on cash a few days before payday, don’t you think it’s time to ask how  you spend your money? The first step toward financial stability is reflecting on your finances. 
Take some time to sit down and list all your expenses for the month. You can do this on your day off or even on your coffee break. Now, what you will need is to create several lists of expenses on a piece of paper or you may use an Excel spreadsheet. Identify the average amount of your pay slips for the past 3 months. You may be earning a total of twenty four thousand a month from your call center job – make a mental note of this figure or jot it down.
The first thing you need to identify is the total amount of your monthly bills. This is really easy and anyone can do this. Heck, some people may already be doing this! Your monthly bills may include, rent, mobile phone, internet service provider, credit cards, cable TV, and other stuff like electricity and water bill. You may include your average spending on groceries under this list.
The second list of expenses you need to create is the cost of your fare allowance from your home getting to your workplace. Do you take the MRT or you prefer taking a cab? You should include your lunch money on this list as well. These will all be part of your “daily operational expenses” and you will need to multiply this into the number of working days in a month. Keep in mind that on average, there are a total of 22 working days in a month. 
The third list would be your “lifestyle expense”. Do you usually drop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee before heading to your office? Do you buy snacks at the office vending machine? How about your weekend activities? How often do you go to the movies? How much do you spend when you go to clubs and how often you visit a spa massage? Anything that is on this list are all variables but, pretty much flexible because you can live without them or you can replace one activity with a cheaper alternative. 
 Now, you were able to identify your total monthly expenses, how much was left? If what was left turned to negative balance, then make adjustments in your “lifestyle expenses”. If there’s more money left, congratulations! 

How much money do you really need to save? 
The responsible thing to do is to keep 10% of your income in a long term savings account or investment. If you are earning 24k monthly, you must keep 2,400 pesos in your “life savings”. This 10% is non-negotiable and part of your income which you could invest, while doing so that money will get a compounding interest in 10 to 15 years for VUL, growth stock mutual funds or the stock market. Most of the commercial banks offer investment banking options which could help you attains your financial goals.
Start a short term savings account or open another savings account. Your short term savings must be versatile. This pot of money will pay for that new gadget you really want to purchase or use it as your travel funds if you take trips every 4 months or so. If you are considering a home renovation project or simply need cash for a “rainy day” use your short term savings account as your emergency fund, never withdraw from your “life savings”. Truth is, you’ll never know when you will finally decide to settle down and start having your own family, and your expenses will definitely change and will multiply. When that time comes, you will be grateful for yourself   having the discipline in keeping that “life savings” untouched. 
At the end of the day, the value of determination will be the only thing you need in order to build a savings account. Nelson Mandela once said “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” You have to start somewhere and the sooner you start your savings account, the better. Don’t be careless with your money but don’t be a scrooge either. Live and enjoy your youth but make sure to create a balance.

Photo sources

Mahj graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Economics at Dela Salle University Dasmariñas Cavite. Currently, she’s a freelancer and studying graphic design.
She was also a former fraud specialist of a Trillion Dollar bank .

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Filed under Budget, Guest Post, Money Problems, Personal Finance, Yuppies

Why I support Mission trips

Image by Coachella Valley

God had an only Son and He made Him a missionary- David Livingstone
Our nation has a background of colorful history; we were conquered by Spain for more than 300 years. We also submitted ourselves to Americans for 30 years. The Japanese made us their puppet for 3 years. I don’t know about you but I can sense that there’s massive discipleship between us and those countries going through that time. Indeed, they were the best missionary sending team of their days.  But without money, support and prayers from the people who believe their exploration they can’t reach the Pearl of the Orient (Philippines). 
Money can’t be trusted but it is the ultimate servant. Although a powerful resource its power is limited to this temporal world. It cannot get you into heaven or conquer death. Money is temporary. We cannot take it so we must use it for the glory of God while we have it. He gives us riches because of His goodness. What better way to take care of it is to share and use it for His glory. As a manager of God’s given wealth there are many ways to share it and but one of my favorite is supporting someone who plans to go on a mission to spread God’s goodness to the unreached people of the world. The question is why we should give and support?
Image by fpcbonham
1. This is an elite investment – When you invest your money here on Earth there are a lot of risks involve due to economic cycle that we have. There’s no guarantee that your money will grow exponentially but if you invest to mission trips I can call it as an eternal investment. Remember that there’s no recession in heaven. It is not a sin to have things that money can’t buy as long as you don’t lose the things that it can’t buy (eternal life) The support you will extend  to spread God’s word is an investment to someone. This mission trip can do something for someone eternal salvation.
How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them about it?- Atheist Penn Jillette
Image by FellowshipPro
2. Opportunity cost is low – Your payment to your Insurance, HMO, brand new vehicles, credit card debt and mortgages is way higher compare to giving financial support all time. Living on Earth is an opportunity to serve through the wealth God faithfully giving you. Mission work is a way of serving others through the money you can share.  The opportunities that we have are like buses. There’s always the next bus that we can jump to ride. We just need to be ready when the bus is in front of us. Supporting someone constantly also shows how God can do things miraculously with our finances.  

Imagine that you are in heaven now in front of the most high,
God is auditing what did you do with your money while you were in Earth?
I hope your answer will be interesting. #WinLongTerm
Image by Ywammadison

3. Sharing develop the muscles of obedience – We need to rediscover what the church in Corinth did, the joy of participating in the international mission of the church. To understand 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, we should realize that the church in Macedonia had taken their love offering for their brethren in Jerusalem. As a member of the church of today you can be part of that missions like the Macedonian of old as you give support on someone’s mission trip today. When you experience God’s love in your life you can’t help not to share it. When you watched an awesome movie you try to spread the word to others thru word of mouth or you post it to your FB page because you think it is totally worth it.   When you share your money for the purpose of missions’ trip you get to experience the same effect whenever you exercise, your body excretes (happy hormones) spiritual endorphins.
“If giving is a sickness let us make it an all time pandemic”- David Isaiah Angway
Image by FellowshipConway
4. It makes me happier – Giving our support for a mission trip is a gift. God make our participation possible through His grace. Since grace is a gift, we have a generosity that is from God, we must rediscover the wonderful gift of supporting one’s mission trip. According to the Journal of consumer psychology volume 21 issue 2. April 2011 Dunn, Aknin, Norton, when you spend money to help others achieve their dream you are happier compare to spending it for yourself. 
Participants felt significantly happier when they reflected on a time they had spent money on others, and this effect emerged consistently across these vastly different cultural contexts—even though the specific ways in which participants spent their money varied dramatically between cultures.4 The emotional rewards of prosocial spending are also detectable at the neural level. Participants in an MRI were given the opportunity to donate money to a local food bank. Choosing to give money away—or even being forced to do so—led to activation in brain areas typically associated with receiving rewards (Harbaugh, Mayr, & Burghart, 2007).
Image by Harvester christian
5. It is a privilege – God’s work and message being spread internationally will be a privilege to expand the gospel as you participate through mission support. After I supported friends from different churches who went to Nepal, Macau, Cambodia, Vietnam, Campus missionary work in Alabang and the Fort I can sense that I am also with them while they are fulfilling the great commission. Once they came back from the mission field I can sense a great joy and pride for what we have accomplished thru partnering with them. Nothing beats the moment seeing them grow and serve successfully. 
The great commission is not a suggestion or an option. It is faith, love commitment
Image by Pinterest
When you support mission trips there’s nothing to lose. Through mission support our sincerity in giving will be tested. Our character as a Christian is tested also by selflessness. Ask not what your country can do for you. But ask what you can do for your country” John F. Kennedy quoted. As a Christian the question we are asking is not what the body of Christ can do for us. But what can we do for the body. It is a sacrificial generous giving for a brethren’s mission trip.
As a faithful steward of God’s wealth, we can transform this wealth into Ministry that brings everlasting glory to Him; it is an opportunity to serve Him this way.
Image by Pinterest
 Jen is a guest blogger and a follower of Christ. 

David Isaiah Angway is a Financial Evangelist


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Filed under Guest Post, Mission Trips Personal Finance Christianity