Financial literacy is a vital aspect of general education that is sorely lacking in the younger crowd’s holistic learning. It is a subject barely touched in the formal scholastic curriculum and is something not thoroughly discussed in every household. There are those who are familiar with the concept of saving and investing but not everyone is putting it into practice. This is something that should gradually change as our economy shifts into a more industrialized one.
Tanghalang Pilipino and VISA Philippines combined efforts in making financial literacy closer to the younger audiences and adults through the new web series “Lukot-Lukot, Bilog-Bilog...Pa More!”. It is a sketch comedy series by Palanca Award-winning playwright Eljay Castro Deldoc that is directed by independent filmmaker Avic Ilagan. The cast is portrayed by Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company.
The story follows Gwyneth as she lives her life as a young adult navigating online fame and the boon and bane of modern living. Her character was designed to be relatable to the audience. Her interests, lexicon, and values are attuned to the common Filipino young adult.
The first episode chronicles her all-too-familiar obsession with online shopping. In the 20-minute episode, Gwyneth found herself purchasing items she doesn’t even need because of the pretty price tag and discount promos. A Katmon tree, all of a sudden, appears and taught her a valuable lesson about savings and self-discipline.
“Ano ba’ng mali sa online shopping?” (What’s wrong with online shopping?), Gwyneth asked.
“Walang mali sa online shopping, Gwyneth. Ang mali ay ‘yung ‘di ka muna nagse-save bago ka mag-spend.” (Nothing’s wrong with online shopping, Gwyneth. What’s wrong is that you’re not saving before spending.), answers the Katmon tree.
Gwyneth didn’t take too long to be convinced. At the end of the episode, she sold all the stuff she recently purchased, learning a thing or two about saving and keeping priorities straight.
Salve Duplito, financial adviser and media personality, joined the conversation at the end. She drove home the point with a sharp lesson. “Ang solusyon talaga sa mga add-to-cart ay tanggapin natin na ang human brain, hindi siya designed para pigilan tayong gumastos kasi ang pag-babudget, masakit. Eh ang masakit, iniiwasan, ‘di ba? So gagawa tayo ng sistem na bago tayo gumastos, nakapag-ipon na muna tayo. Automate your savings.” (The solution for these “add-to-cart” is that we should accept that the human brain is that is not designed to stop us from spending because budgeting is excruciating. So we tend to shy away from it. The solution is that we should make a system where we save before we spend. Automate your savings.)
This series is a fun interpretation of timeless values in personal finance and higher values of prudence, foresight, and self-reliance.