Filipinos are known to be family oriented and we are known worldwide as a race of people who puts family first over many other things. In fact, we love our family so much that we continue to show our affection towards them even if they have already moved on from this life.
Being predominantly a Catholic nation, the Philippines is one of the country that continues to observe All Souls Day (November 1) in a manner that can’t be experienced in other parts of the world, even other predominantly catholic nations. In fact, the practice of remembering and honoring the departed during November 1 goes beyond religious affiliations in this nation. This practice makes us unique and a testament to how we value family.
As I write this, I remember my late parents. I lost my mother over 30 years ago and I lost my father 2 years ago. They may not be with me physically but they have left a lasting imprint in my life. I learned so much from my dear parents not only because of the love they have showed me and my siblings but by the many life lessons I picked up from them.
Many of the lessons I learned from them did not come in the way of a lecture but rather from observing them. In parenting I learned that lessons are better caught that taught, such as the case of my parents. While there is so much to write about, I will just share their life lessons on finance and work.
My father was a true blue entrepreneur and is one of the most hard working and disciplined persons I have known. Growing up, I used to detest my father’s rigid and strict ways as he puts a lot of value on discipline. As I got older, I began to understand the value of discipline – especially the discipline I saw in my father when it comes to work.
My father is such a hard worker that he did not actually retire until he passed away at the age of 85. He always believed that work is a good thing and being productive is a lifestyle. If there is one thing that I can say I got from my father, it is the discipline and value of hard work. My father will not shy away from difficulties and he has always been steadfast in when it comes to work. He would always remind all his children to be hard working.
Because of his hard work, he was able to give his children a better life. My father was also a planner, he taught me that if we want to experience good things, we must plan for it as well. But more than the wealth he left for us, his greatest legacy to me is being a role model in many things, being a hard worker and a provider.
My mother had a very unique and lasting imprint on my life even if I lost her when I was only 20 years old. Aside from being a caring and loving mother to all of us, my mother was a financial expert in my eyes. My father was great with business and generating revenues but my mother was the finance person behind my father’s success. At a very young age, I would see my mother handle the finances of our business and manage the household… both with uncanny expertise.
Even at a young age, my mother will talk to me and tell me it is important to know where money goes, how it is spent and why budgets are important. Growing up, my mother will remind me that I have to be good at handling money and I should learn how to save money. Even at young age, she will talk to me to explain that while they want to give us a good life, we should always understand priorities with money. She will tell me that having 7 kids is difficult because of the costs it involves but if we learn how to manage money well, we can afford to have the necessary things in life like education.
I learned how to prioritize our expenses from my mother, prioritizing needs first over wants. I would say that my first exposure to personal finance was because of my mother, who was my first personal finance teacher.
I learned how to make money from my father, I learned how to handle money from my mother. As the nation remembers our departed, let us remember the lessons we learned from them. Remembering the lessons we learned from our departed, and putting them into practice is the best way to honor them.