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Friday, July 16, 2010

How Piolo can tell if 'it's time'

People might think that somebody with the stature of actor and dreamboat Piolo Pascual is not at all worried about the future, given his lucrative showbiz career.

After all, he is one of the country’s most sought- after actors and commercial endorsers today and probably one of the highest-paid artist of his generation.

But unknown to many, Piolo has been thinking about his future and that of his family, way, way back since he started, saving for his rainy days and managing his finances all these years, since he started in the mid-‘90s.

Piolo is the first to admit that a showbiz career is fleeting and unstable. An actor might accrue millions from talent fees now but it doesn’t mean that he will earn it the next year or the year after. Piolo said financial dry spells will surelycome so it’s better to be prepared.

We’ve heard sob stories of successful entertainers who were rich one moment but turned pauper the next because they’ve lived beyond their means and well, mismanaged their finances.

Just watch Wish Ko Lang and see examples of former stars who turned riches to rags because they’ve squandered all their earnings from showbiz.

Since day one of his career, Piolo knew the value of saving and investing and that’s why, he wants to impart this kind of advocacy not only to his colleagues in the showbiz industry but to every Filipino.

“It’s very important to save, invest and manage your finances. It’s really about protecting your family, your dreams. Contrary to what some people believe, nothing is stable in showbiz, it’s even harder in this industry because it doesn’t last forever and you’re not young forever. You have to know what is important to you and starting early is the way to go,” Piolo told writers at the launching of the new Sun Life TV commercial recently.

Because he started early in saving and managing his finances, he is proud to say that he is already financially-stable and has just finished paying for the insurance of his 12-year-old son Iñigo.

“You have to know what is important to you and starting early is the way to go. In fact, the life insurance I got for my son has already matured. Now his future is secure and I’m so happy to know that he could do anything he wants. So it really pays to put your money on the best financial baskets around,” Piolo said.

And when it comes to financial planning, he trusts only Sun Life Financial.

Sun Life is an international leader in protection and wealth management with key operations in Canada, US, UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, India,Philippines, China and the Bermuda.

In the Philippines, Sun Life Financial is in the business of life insurance, mutual funds, pension and education plans for the past 115 years.

Piolo said he believes in Sun Life’s credibility and efficiency to help a person map out and manage his finances.

“What made me decide to be an endorser for Sun Life? I believe in the product, it’s one of the top insurance firms locally and internationally. I trust Sun Life because it has been securing the future of Filipinos for so many years now and it has fulfilled its commitment to its clients throughout this time.

"Even during the global financial crisis, they proved that they are very stable. They continue in keep their promises to their policy holders,” Piolo said.

Last year, Sun Life launched the first financial literacy advocacy of its kind called “It’s Time!” designed to improve the financial literacy and preparedness of Filipinos.

When Piolo heard about this note-worthy advocacy, he didn’t waste time to sign up as an advocate and when the commercial was offered to him, he readily said yes.

“I agree that the ‘It’s Time’ advocacy is such a noble initiative, one that can help millions of Filipinos to fulfill and protect their dreams. This makes me proud to be part of the Sun Life family. Inspiring Filipinos to take charge of their finances in order to protect their dreams is my advocacy,” Piolo enthused.

He said the concept of the Sun Life TV commercial greatly appealed to him.

In the commercial, Piolo is seen running in Binondo’s alleys which gives the message that “life offers no guarantees, which is why it’s best to be prepared, for the sake of your family.”

The TV commercial was shot near an old Binondo building that used to house Sun Life’s operations.

“It shows how a harmless night can turn into a life-changing moment and features Piolo, the triathlete in tip top shape, depicting a metaphor in life where anything can happen to us even at the top of our game and the best you can do is to be prepared,” said Riza Mantaring, president and CEO of Sun Life Financial Philippines.

The commercial was a throwback to classic Manila, with the iconic Jones bridge at the background under an overcast evening sky.

“For Sun Lifers, the TV commercial honors an important chapter of the company’s history in the Philippines,” Mantaring said.

The Singson building in Binondo was home to Sun Life Financial’s operation from 1951-1981. The building was a mute witness to post-World War II rehabilitation and martial law in the country's history.

“Binondo is where everything started and today, Sun Life continues to honor its commitment of Filipinos after more than century of service, our latest TV commercial not only delivers a relevant message for all of us. It also pays honor to our company’s glorious past and our on-going commitment to Filipinos,” added Mantaring.

Piolo couldn’t feel more grateful to be a part of a commercial that he strongly advocates.

“The cause of financial literacy is very similar to my values in life. I may be at the top of my game now, but did you know it pays to be practical and I am a firm believer in saving for a rainy day.”

“It’s high time that we save and not leave anything to chance. It is never too early to aspire for great things and never too early to protect your dreams. We all need to take charge of our financial future, not only for yourself but also for your loved ones,” Piolo said.

“The message of the TVC is beautiful and profound. We all have to realize that life offers no guarantees so we must always be prepared and protect our dreams from uncertainly,” Piolo explained.

Gregory Martin, chief strategic marketing officer of Sun Life stressed it is never too late to manage our finances and start saving.

“Out of 100 Filipinos, 90 percent have little or no savings. Out of 100 Filipinos who get sick, 95 percent sacrifice their savings. Out of 100 Filipino children, only 10 percent graduate from College because they don’t have the funds. Out of 100 Filipinos aged 65, 45 percent are dependent on relatives,” Martin cited.

By these statistics alone, one could already recognize the need to save and manage one’s finances, he said.

“You might think insurance is boring but as an organization, we try not just to sell insurance but really, we want to empower Filipinos to take charge of their future,” Martin said.

Meanwhile, Piolo said that even though he is already financially secured, he still continues to “invest and save on things that matter in the future.”

“ I keep on saving up, so I can continue to be confident about my and my family’s future. It’s time to create the life we always want to live, No place like the present to start. Again, it’s time,” Piolo said.

He recounted that it was his mother who taught him to value money and save for a rainy day.

“My mother showed me the best attitude towards money, which is humility. She also taught me to use money to do good things. My faith also gave me a great foothold on my finances. Much has been given to me and it is only right that I give something in return. To whom much is given, much is also expected,” he said.

Piolo also said that even if he can afford it, he is not wont to spend on things he doesn’t need.

“I am very practical with the things I buy. I never spend beyond my means. After a long and tiring day, I splurge on food. But that’s it. My happiness does not rely on the things that I have. We never know the lemons that life may throw our way,” Piolo said.

And if anything, Piolo wants to put his money on noble things, like charities or humanitarian activities, not material things.

He also said he wants to retire early in showbiz.

“Even before I entered the entertainment industry, I see myself retiring at a young age. It may be a change of career, or doing other things that I have always wanted to pursue. For instance, I want my own business someday. It is so exciting to think about the future if you’re protected and secured,” he said.

“ In five years, I see myself being married. I want to see my kids grow up and I want to be beside my wife through thick and thin. We are not going to be young forever, so I am saving and investing for that chapter in my life. I want to protect their dreams, so I have to be ready for anything.

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