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Alhamdullilah! Our Successful Financial Coaching Sessions in Dubai

After co-organizing the Singapore and Israel personal finance coaching sessions with our OFW UsapangPiso forum and Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy volunteer members, I was given a chance again by Randell Tiongson to pull together another group of OFW’s based in the United Arab Emirates last March 1 and 2 for a couple of personalized finance coaching sessions. This is actually part of the financial coaching tour of Randell Tiongson which includes not only Dubai, UAE but also Oman and Qatar.

I would like to thank Randell Tiongson for continuously believing in our overseas Filipinos. Educational events like these ignite the desire of Filipinos to make themselves better by doing the proper ways to change their lifestyles and their attitude towards money.


The UAE (Dubai) two-day mini-event given by Randell Tiongson to the group was more challenging for me as compared with the Singapore and Israel talks that we conducted. First, I was not in Dubai. I am several miles away from where the events took place.

In Singapore, my good friends, couple Siegfred and Leonor Ras offered their very own home to conduct the personal finance talks. While in Israel, my former classmate and friend Charma de Villa had their own compound as the venue for the learning sessions.

Both were successful events and many of the attendees have sent messages of gratitude to Randell Tiongson and OFW UsapangPiso for the opportunity they were given to learn about money, relationships, among other great things that they haven’t heard before from a point of view and expertise of a registered financial planner.


We are also thankful for the ever passionate and patriotic Normie Pascua for organizing the two-day event in Dubai by herself even taking time off and using her own resources to reserve the two venues for the event.

It is interesting to note that the March 1 session was composed of individuals who are already investing in various financial instruments. The March 2 session, on the other hand, was filled with OFW’s who are very interested about investing and improving the way they handle their finances.

The OFW UsapangPiso Dubai Event Attendee List (by Normie Pascua)

Volunteer Organizer’s Testimonial

Normie Pascua, the OFW UsapangPiso’s elected Dubai chapter leader, shared with us her insights, reflections and what she learned after attending the personal finance coaching sessions with Randell. Here’s what she has to say:

“CULTURE is the worst enemy to achieve financial freedom. The problem with us Filipinos ay yung nakasanayan natin akala natin tama. Like when we say to our children “mag aral kayung mabuti para pag natapos kayo at tumanda kami masuportahan nyo kami”…WRONG!! this is definitely wrong. Hindi responsibilidad ng mga anak natin ang suportahan tayong mga magulang. Pero responsibilidad nating mga magulang ang paghandaan ang panahon, yan ay ang PRESENT at ang FUTURE. Sa PRESENT yan yung araw araw nating pangangailangan, which is kailangan may savings tayo para kung dumating man ang panahon na matapos ang contract nating mga Filipino meron kang savings para sa araw araw mong buhay. Yung FUTURE yan yung para sa retirement mo, hindi tama na ang mga anak mo ang hihingan mo ng pera pagdating ng retirement mo. You must save and invest for your retirement.

How can we achieve these? Here are the tips:

  • Make MORE money, SAVE more money. It’s very simple, we are blessed to have monthly salary, from this salary we have to allocate our expenses and our savings. Sa savings daw, at least 3 months of our salary. To achieve this, follow the BABY STEPS style. Yung unti unti ang pag iipon,pwedeng gawin mong monthly na AED500 itatabi mo hanggang ma-achieve mo ang target mo na gustong ma-achieve, like what we said, 3 months of your salary. Ang importante dito may naitatabi ka monthly sa sahod mo.
  • BE DEBT FREE. Magbayad ng utang at huwag ng umutang. May good debt at may bad debt. Good debt like yung umutang ka para sa mga kailangan mo sa araw araw mong buhay. Bad debt ay yung mga bagay na hindi mo kailangan pero gusto mo lang kasi uso, like latest mobile, latest laptop, latest na lahat, lagi nakiki-uso ka lang. The most important thing is to be WISE in making a loan or credit. Study the interest rate at pag isipan mabuti kung tama ang umutang ka o baka naman pwede mong pag-ipunan na lang at mabibili mo pa sya ng CASH later on, wala pang interest na babayaran.
  • GET A LIFE INSURANCE. This is important especially for us parents, to provide security for the people we will leave. Hindi ako masyadong pabor dito kasi sa dami ng insurance companies na nagsara or hindi nagbibigay ng claims kaya nakakadala. But still the decision is in our hands, sabi nga ni Randell go for the reliable companies. He named a few, Sunlife, PhilAM, etc.
  • INVEST. Once you achieved your savings and you are debt free, then it’s time for you to INVEST. You invest to make your money grow. There are different kinds of investments, aside from SDA in the bank, meron pang iba’t ibang forms ang investment, wherein you get higher interest. This is what we must remember in investing, SMALL INVESTMENT with BIGGER RETURNS is a SCAM!! Study and understand well the investment where you are putting your money, do your calculations. But do remember that in every investment there is RISK. Our country is in a good shape of investment now, NOW is the best time to invest.

I am glad that I got involved in this event. Of course I really appreciate the trust given to me by the OFW UsapangPiso group in allowing me to organize these sessions.”

I hope that more OFW’s will be like Normie Pascua who use the pain of giving to achieve financial independence. Just like the Ras couple, Charma de Villa, Dang Boquiren, and other OFI’s (overseas Filipino investors), Normie and the Dubai group members are great living testimonies that being away from home is not an excuse to serve fellow Filipinos especially in spreading the good news of financial literacy.

We hope to witness more OFW’s becoming wealthy OFI’s (Overseas Filipino Investors*) giving more glory to God and country. Being an OFI is a new brand of hero.

Alhamdullilah, OFW UsapangPiso Dubai for the excellent service.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” – Colossians 3:23

To know more on how you can be part of the OFW UsapangPiso experience and advocacy, subscribe to BurnGutierrez.Com for FREE.

P.S. 1. The Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy and OFW UsapangPiso Forum will be conducting its first ever PAID webinar in 2013 entitled Multiplying Wealth – A Comprehensive Webinar on Investing on March 22, 2013 (both Fridays) at 9pm (Philippine time). The webinar will feature my fellow blogger and personal finance advocate Fitz Villafuerte and he will discuss about investment preparation requirements for beginners, analysis for spotting good investments, types of investments that will make you a millionaire, investment portfolio creation and management, and an easy and simple strategy that will help you retire rich. And by the way, the webinar is also open to non-OFW’s. Register here now! 

P.S. 2. Four years ago, I joined the TrulyRichClub. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Founded by Bo Sanchez, its purpose is to “help good people become rich”. Because of the guidance I get from the Club, I’m now investing in the Stock Market (and mutual funds, bonds, UITF’s) each month! It’s amazing how I’m personally growing in my finances. I’m inviting you to join the Club too. If you’re interested, then join the TrulyRichClub NOW! And email me at if you have any questions.

1) Photo credits: Normie Pascua
2) *OFI (Overseas Filipino Investors), coined by our OFW UsapangPiso Singapore volunteer Hansen Sy

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