Five years ago my first book Raising Pinoy Boys was launched. It was a like a coming out party for me attended by people who helped mark the start of my second wind.
The book was a product of my midlife assessment and my search for my “intersection.”
I shared my journey of how I came about to writing in this speech.
I mustered all my midlife guts in order to Just Do It! I put it out there and decided not to worry too much about the outcome. I felt I was giving a gift.
The beauty of giving this gift is that it comes back to you. I have received a lot of heart-warming messages from my readers sharing how the book affected them. I call these gifts food for the soul. And the beauty of online books and articles is that you reach more people than you ever expected. My writings led to talks and project collaborations with like-minded individuals and institutions.
I wish to share an experience, which demonstrates how writing is a gift that’s sent back and forth and spread all over. I received the first Sinag Award on Financial Literacy Digital Journalism given by Sun Life of Canada Philippines in December 2014. On its second run, I was asked by the institution to give a talk to a group of bloggers about the experience. Lace Llanora, a mom blogger in the crowd, was inspired by it and decided to become active once again.
Allow me to share her piece with you:
Mommy Lace Inspired by FQ Mom to bag Sinag Award
By Lace Llanora, MommyLace.com
I received an unexpected email invitation to Sun Life Financial’s DigiCon. It was unexpected because it was past the height of my blogging days especially after a one-year hiatus. The Digicon was attended by fellow bloggers, most of them were new faces to me, which supported how long I’ve not been in the circuit.
Quietly I sat down at the farthest table and more than the sumptuous fare, I was satisfied with the wealth of information shared by Mylene Lopa, the Chief Marketing Officer, on the Filipino’s financial fitness score. The bottom line is, most Filipinos are not financially prepared; thus, cannot fully enjoy a life free from financial worries. The President, Riena Pama, then shared with us possible solutions to help Filipinos achieve financial freedom.
I believe many Filipino moms like me have heard about mutual funds but are discouraged to approach financial advisors and/or financial firms because of many misconceptions. One of which is that investing is reserved for the rich. Truly, financial terms like ROI, equity, government securities, and money market can sound intimidating to those who are just planning their journey to financial freedom. I remembered how I experienced the same yearning for financial knowledge especially after giving birth, how I collected the courage to invite a financial advisor into our house knowing I have very little to invest, and coming out relieved, educated, and confident enough to share my experience to fellow moms through my personal blog.
During the same Sun Life DigiCon, Rose Fres Fausto, who is more popularly known as the FQ Mom, shared her own journey from being a successful investment banker to a fulltime homemaker faithfully raising her three sons, and bagging the first SINAG Award.
Participants including myself highly appreciated how Rose talked about the simple fundamentals of saving and growing money. These were tips as simple as not being swayed into buying the latest trend or fashion, being a good role model of stewardship to our children, and introducing the concept of investing to our children as early as possible.
FQ Mom believes that raising our children well is the greatest contribution parents can give to the country and the best service they can offer to God. To help more Filipino parents achieve this, Rose encouraged every person in the room to share and write about their financial stories. They do not have to talk about technical or fundamental analysis but stories that inspire, motivate, and teach the right attitude about money. Indeed, it takes an entire village (and in our era, the entire blogosphere) to raise a financially literate child.
At that moment, I already started thinking of what money experiences I could share on my blog. Money is very personal. It can reveal your dreams, the people you love, your insecurities, and fears. One of the blog posts I wrote took me three weeks to finish. Although I was strongly encouraged by FQ Mom, my ego would pop in and whisper how unlike me, FQ Mom had a degree in economics, is a columnist in a major newspaper, and is a successful bestselling author.
From time to time, I would put my virtual pen down but as I already followed FQ Mom on Instagram from Day 1 – I would be encouraged by her humble photos showing her quiet, continuous effort in spreading financial literacy without ever boasting of her achievements and credentials.
I wrote for ordinary mothers like myself who want to break free from financial concerns: How much do I need to give birth in a good hospital? Can we pay next year’s tuition fee? Can we afford proper health insurance? How much do I need to start investing? And so on.
Fast forward to December and like a dream, my writings brought me up on stage with FQ Mom herself, Rose Fres Fausto, Sun Life CEO Riza Mantaring, and Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa.
I am still in disbelief how an ordinary blogger like me is holding this year’s Sinag Award. It is just right to give the glory back to God who has worked in mysterious ways, including through FQ Mom, and offer this award to all Filipino mothers out there who continue to dream a life of financial freedom.
Thank you FQ Mom for being a heavenly instrument in achieving my dream to help spread financial literacy and rediscover my God-given gift of writing.
I will speak at the First Quarter Macroeconomic Briefing of Eagle Watch to share my insights on the presidentiables. It will be on February 2 at the Ateneo Rockwell Campus from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For reservations, please contact 4265661 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rose Fres Fausto is the author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom Rose Fres Fausto. She is the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook and You Tube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom.
Videos from RaisingPinoyBoys You tube channel. Images from FQMom.com and Sun Life Financial, freepik.com, innovativecareerstraegies.com
This article is also published in PhilStar.com and RaisingPinoyBoys.com.