Six years ago, Ortigas and other cities around Metro Manila were devastated by typhoon Ondoy. Burn Gutierrez’s family was one of the many people who lost thousands if not millions worth of assets and properties due to strong winds and flooding.
In what was otherwise a disaster was born the beginnings of one of the largest financial literacy movements in the Philippines.
Burn, a few friends, and some interested victims of typhoon Ondoy started an online community back in 2009 through Yahoo! Groups, which they named “Angat Bayan.” The original purpose of the group was to help individuals prepare for financial risk due to unforeseen occurrences such as natural disasters.
Burn came a long way after all these events in his life.
Tune in to this Blab and podcast episode to learn more about the following:
- Burn’s body of work, which ranges from his advocacy on financial literacy, to writing books, composing songs, and singing.
- How Burn’s financial struggles as a musician and typhoon victim, not to mention having a child, propelled him to start his advocacy on financial literacy.
- How Burn’s personal experience as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and the conditions of other OFWs abroad lead to him channeling his advocacy for financial literacy to include mostly OFWs.
- How a small group of 25 people grew into a strong coalition of 50,000 OFWs around the world.
- Why Burn chose to start an online business rather than a traditional brick and mortar startup.
- How Burn experienced repeated rejections while approaching government agencies to work out his advocacy.
Key takeaways and tips for OFWs
- Maintain a mindset that their current work abroad is not forever.
- Start saving for their future less than a year from the beginning of your work overseas.
- Strive to save at least 10% of your monthly income.
- You can still express your love for your relatives by giving them “pasalubong,” but this should be given a limit.
- Always remember your main purpose for working abroad: saving money for what’s important to you and your immediate family and coming back home to be with your loved ones.
- OFWs and their families should always communicate and help each other to achieve financial well being at all times.
“It’s not about how much you earn but how much you save.”
In this Blab and podcast episode we were also joined by Christopher Angeles who asked awesome questions at the latter part of the recording.
Listen now to the podcast or watch the live video recording at https://blab.im/FreelanceBlend.
Links and Resources
- Burn’s Rock to Riches website
- Angat Pilipinas Financial Literacy Coalition.
- The Freelance Blend Blab channel
- Christopher Angeles’ website