Coco Martin is not shy about his humble beginnings. He hopes to inspire others to strive harder, and make wiser financial decisions to protect and grow their money for a more secured future.
He was recently chosen as the brand ambassador of BDO Network Bank, the rural bank subsidiary of BDO Unibank, Inc. Martin, who is Rodel Nacianceno in real life, said he didn’t grow up with a lot of financial resources but learned about the value of money at a very young age. He thanks his Lola Matilde who raised him.
“Nine years old pa lang ako sumasama na ako sa lola ko sa Pandacan at Paco, Manila. Nagtitinda-tinda na kami ng kung anu-ano, pasalubong ng mga nanalo sa sabungan sa La Loma, tulad ng chocolates, daster, alahas. Maliit pa lang ako, minulat na ako ng lola ko na hindi ka dapat nakaasa sa trabaho mo lang, kailangan mayroon kang mga maliliit na pinagkakakitaan,” Coco shared. (At age 9, I was already accompanying my grandmother in Pandacan and Paco, Manila, where we will sell a bunch of stuff, from chocolates, to dresses, to jewelries. My grandmother taught me that I should not only rely on just one source of income. I should have several.)
Taking this lesson to heart, the 38-year-old actor sidelined as a tricycle driver even as he was already in showbiz. This was among his first investments, along with a passenger jeepney, which he said put food on their table and paid for their utility bills on months that he doesn’t have a project.
“Naniniwala po kasi ako na sa lahat ng bagay dapat nagtatanim ka, dahan-dahan. Tulad po ng nagsisimula pa lang ako sa showbiz, sinabi ko sa sarili ko na hindi pwedeng ako lang yung trabaho ng trabaho kasi mapapagod din ako. Kumbaga sa makina, pwedeng mag overheat, kailangan mayroon kang katulong. Yung kita ko sa pagpapasada ng tricycle at jeep, yun yung sumasalo sa pambayad namin sa kuryente at tubig, kumbaga hindi ko na yun iniisip at yung kita ko sa showbiz naiipon ko,” Coco shared. (I believe that slowly but surely, you need to build on your future. From the very start, I already knew that I cannot rely solely my showbiz career alone. Our bodies are like machines, they will overheat when overworked. I need to have another source of income and the money I get from the tricycle and jeepney I bought paid for our electricity and water bills. I was able to save more of the income I get from showbiz because of that.)
Now with more than enough to secure his and his family’s future (Coco gave each of his siblings their own house and seed money to start their own businesses!), Coco is ensuring that the money he earns as an actor and an entrepreneur is safe and protected.
“Kailangan natin ng may po-protekta sa mga investment natin at sa naipon nating pera. Dapat alam mong panatag ka. Sa totoo lang, ako, nag-research ako kasi syempre buhay ko yung tinaya ko dito, dugo at pawis ko. Hindi ko hahayaang yung pinaghirapan ko, isang araw mawala na lang lahat kaya nilagay ko talaga sya sa bangko na mapagkakatiwalaan ko, mapo-protektahan ako, at masasandalan ko. Gusto ko rin ituro sa mga kababayan natin ang kahalagahan ng pag-ingat sa perang pinaghirapan. Importante na matibay ang bangkong kapartner natin. Kaya ako tiwala sa BDO Network Bank,” said one of the country’s most popular actors. (We need a bank that will protect our savings, our investments. Honestly, the last thing I want to happen is to lose everything I worked hard for, so I chose a bank that I can trust and depend on, a bank that will protect my money. That’s why I chose BDO Network Bank. I also want to teach our countrymen to do the same – save and protect their money by choosing the right bank.)
Coco said instead of keeping their savings at home or putting it in a get rich quick schemes (where they stand to lose more, if not their entire savings), Filipinos should put their money in a bank.
“Ang mga Pilipino kasi may pagka-mahiyain. Siguro may time na nai-intimidate sila kapag nakikita nila na masyadong maganda ang building, kapag aircon, kapag sarado, lalong-lalo na yung mga magsasaka o mangingisda na naka tsinelas lang. Naiisip nila na baka mabahuan o madumihan sa kanila. Na-iintimidate sila pumasok kasi yung mga empleyado naka-uniporme. O baka minsan iniisip ng ibang tao na: “Naku, baka Ingles dyan, baka hindi ko maintindihan, tsaka maraming kailangan i-fill up.” (Filipinos are generally shy. Many of our farmers and fisherfolks do not want to open bank accounts because the get intimidated by the place, by the tellers who speak in English, or the many forms that need to be filled-up.)
“Gusto ko rin silang iiwas sa mga taong mananamantala sa kakulangan nila sa kaalaman. Naiinis ako kapag nababalitaan ko ung mga nabubudol-budol na mga teachers, lalo na ung mga retired teachers na madalas nakukuha ang kanilang pension. Nakakaawa kse pinaghirapan nila ng buong buhay nila yun. Kaya nga ang payo ko ay dun sila sa sigurado, matibay at talagang tutulungan sila,” he added. (I don’t want to see people who are being taken advantaged because of their lack of information. I don’t like hearing stories about teachers who fall victims to scammers, losing their entire pension to these people. That’s why I always advice people to go to someone who is trustworthy, established, and who really cares for them.) These attributes, he said, are what he saw in BDO Network Bank.
Coco added he is very much like his character in Ang Probinsyano, as he also wants to protect people against thieves and scammers. Knowing how hard it is to earn money and secure one’s future, Filipinos, he said should be more vigilant when it comes to protecting their money.