Last Saturday our family had Robi Domingo as our lunch guest at home. I have known Robi because he was a college batchmate of my son Martin. His girlfriend is also a long-time friend of Martin. And now, my youngest Anton works with him as a Myx VJ. We have long wanted to have this conversation about FQ and we finally did just that last weekend. (Watch for our FQwentuhan on Friday).
Talking to Robi was a fun tita and millennial tête-à-tête.
How he started
Robi started his showbiz career when he entered PBB (Pinoy Big Brother) while he was still in high school at the Ateneo de Manila. Surprisingly, it was his mom who encouraged him to join as he really didn’t want to at first. However, once he got in, he gave it his all because enjoys challenges. He succeeded and bagged the second place in the reality tv contest. Twelve years down the road, you may say that he’s the top winner as he became the most popular in his batch.
His popularity and success didn’t come without a price, “Tita, I missed my high school graduation kasi nasa loob na po ako ng Bahay ni Kuya.” Bahay ni Kuya is the PBB house where they were holed up for a couple of months.
When he came out the house, he had already gained huge popularity complete with a fans club called ROBIlievers. He got into acting and then joined the Myx VJ Search and won together with three others. During our lunch, we all enjoyed his animated narration of how he felt he was not good at hosting at the start, and would do a lot of retakes, using up precious film (yup, it wasn’t digital yet). Then he got the hung of it and started to be confident with the job.
Now here comes the surprising part to us. He narrated, “At the end of the 6-month contract, there was an announcement that some would be eliminated. As one VJ would get eliminated, I would feel my chances going up.” When there were just two or three of them left, Robi was called to the office of the boss. He continued his story, “On my way to the office of the bosses, I met the other remaining VJ and she was crying. I consoled her, ‘Ok lang yan.’ before I went inside the room.”
Robi narrated what happened inside the room with the bosses, “I was all smiles and confident and then I heard them say, “Robi, ok ka naman, you have helped increase our ratings because of your popularity. We will be having a show reformat. You can take a rest first. So akala ko pahinga lang, tinanong ko, ‘Kelan po ako babalik?’ Tapos biglang sinabi, ‘Robi, we’re letting you go.’”
We all asked, “Did you cry?” He answered, “No, I wailed! And guess what? Yong isang VJ na umiiyak that I consoled, tears of joy pala yon, because they kept her!” We all laughed at that part together with him because he can now make light of this story.
What happened next are great lessons for all of us who face failure at the start. His good relationship with the people at ABS-CBN together with his persistence paid off, “They would refer me to some hosting jobs and I’d take them, sometimes with little or no pay.” And that’s where he continued to hone his hosting skills.
Dark College Days
He once said in a show that his college days were dark. I wondered why because all my three sons who went to the same school really loved their college life.
Here’s the reason. Robi took up Health Science, a semi-honors class that’s a preparatory course to medicine. Both parents are doctors. Father, Roberto Domingo, is a laparoscopic surgeon and mother, Mary Ann Eusebio Domingo, is a pediatrician.
Having been exposed to the medical profession, he also aspired to be a doctor. However, at this time, he was already having all these hosting and acting jobs so he was juggling school and work. He would go to class early in the morning and finish up at around 3pm, rush to ABS-CBN and stay up until 2am, only to wake up after a few hours for his early morning class. And this was his daily routine. No more time for orgs, for socializing with school friends.
What I admire about Robi is that he finished college on time, in 2012! It was at that time when he had to decide whether he would pursue medicine or devote full time to his hosting. He chose the latter, “I realized that I could go back to med school, but if I paused on the hosting in 2012, baka wala na akong mabalikan, siempre in this career, they find new faces all the time.”
Earning capacity of doctor vs “showbiz”
It’s interesting to imagine how different his cashflow would have been if he chose to be a doctor. Here are the steps he should have taken had he followed the medical path:
- Earn his Bachelor’s Degree – check, and he completed it in 4 years
- Complete Medical School – 4 years of expensive tuition and lab fees
- Complete Residency – program usually lasts from 3 – 8 years
- Obtain Licensure – maybe another year
- Earn Certification in Specialty Area – maybe another year
If you look at the above, it would really take a long time before he could start earning. On top of that, there’s also the huge amount of money his parents would have spent on his education. Had he become a doctor, he would probably just start earning now at age 30.
Compare that to what happened to him. He started earning while still in school. Today he is among the top hosts in the country with a good number of shows and awards for his craft. This has increased his value in terms of endorsements, and he has a good number of well-paying brands in his portfolio right now. Nonetheless, Robi is aware that he cannot count on this fortune to continue indefinitely. He is aware of the importance of the adage, “Make hay while the sun is up.” in his chosen industry. And that is precisely what he’s doing. He has also entered into small businesses with friends, contributing to the marketing side while his partners run the businesses.
On the other hand, had he become a doctor, the increase in his earnings would be more predictable. Doctors can also opt to practice way beyond the retirement age of the regular employee, and definitely way beyond the normal retirement or end of one’s showbiz popularity.
Because of all the above, he is aware that he should be conscious about putting his finances in order, “At my age, it’s time to be really serious about money matters, about FQ and I’m so looking forward to learning more from you!”
1. Join our FQwentuhan with Robi Domingo as he shares more about his personal experiences about money, life, his childhood money memory, dreams, and more in his usual funny Robi D. style.
2. I have received several queries on my next public talks. Here’s one that you can attend and you will not just learn from me and my family but also from other speakers. Come to the Money and Family Summit on April 4-5, 2020 at SMX Aura. Register here: www.finlitsummit.ph
3. Mom and Son Podcast – Year 2 Episode 4 (MOM LISTENS TO SON’S MUSIC: MAC MILLER – CIRCLES)
As we mourn the loss of one of the most influential people our generation has seen, Kobe Bryant, we also remember a great artist who left us way earlier than we hoped for, Mac Miller. In this new segment of the Mom and Son Podcast: Mom Listens to Son’s Music, we do a brief review on Mac Miller’s recent posthumous album, Circles. Anton made me mom listen to the songs Good News, Blue World and Hand Me Downs from his album and we discuss my opinions on these songs. There are different lessons to be learned from this simple activity. #MomAndSonPodcast #MacMiller #Circles
Note: I don’t listen to hip hop or rap music whatsoever!
Originally uploaded on Anton Fausto’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Je7ss0-j8E&feature=youtu.be
4. If you want to include better Financial Health for 2020 and the new decade, take the FQ Test now. Click link. http://rebrand.ly/FQTest
5. Have a healthy relationship with money, start by reading FQ: The nth Intelligence and sharing the lessons with your loved ones.
Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and 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. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The Nth Intelligence.
Photos from Robi Domingo’s Instagram account, modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.