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Celebrating the Life of “The Voice” – Spreading our Wings

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This is a continuation of special series of blog posts capturing the experiences and activities of the Sapaula-Carballo family handling the unexpected death of a beloved family member, sparking an unplanned international, trans-Pacific family reunion.  This is what we at Money Smart Radio call, “Building the Family Bank”.  We will enlighten the celebration of the life of my late uncle, a pillar of the media in print, radio and TV broadcast journalism – Cris “The Voice of Davao City” Sapaula.

It seems that I have been working my team here, a little too hard.  They jokingly comment about having no sleep this week! I am so proud of them, however, they are really doing a great job making my life easier.  Jong Tulibas, our videographer/editor and Reikko Navarro,  web designer/developer has shown me throughout our stay here the typical, hard-working, non-stop-attention-to-detail work ethic that is the staple of the Filipino working class.  Special thanks to my team leader here, Jefferson Faudan, who helped put my schedule together in less than days!!

We begin this morning with a radio interview with DJ George Booke on Davao City’s MIX FM 105.9.  It was 80s Friday and of course, I had to special request the Michael Jackson music throughout my interview!  We talked about how to stretch the budget, make money last longer and value the relationships you have in your life.  They were so kind to offer me a great cup of coffee, didn’t realize I was missing my morning cup of joe, thanks guys!

Sharing financial tips on air w/DJ George Booke of Davao's MIX 105.9

Sharing financial tips on air w/DJ George Booke of Davao's MIX 105.9

We ran across a childhood friend of my Kuya Mike, Giovanni “Bong” Aportadera Jr., who was just leaving the station after his show.  He states, “If it wasn’t for Cris Sapaula, I wouldn’t be in broadcast journalism today.  He inspired me to do great things!  And THAT is for the record!” I am so glad that our family name continues to ring forward and I find it my responsibility to continue to bring encouragement and value to the community, as my uncle had done.

Next stop, at the request of the unit manager [his name here] is to speak at Davao City’s office representing Pru Life of UK.  I excited to offer a training session to the life insurance agents and financial consultants there.  As I had a chance to sit down with their branch manager, Nina Borromeo, I gained valuable insight to how financial services is provided and delivered to citizens of the Philippines.  Here is a shocking fact she had shared with me, about the education and mindset they face by their market in providing this very important financial service:

As a developing nation, only 24 million Filipinos can afford to pay the premium to have life insurance

Of this 24 million, 14% or 336,000 Filipinos believe in the value of life insurance

Being that September in the US is Life Insurance Awareness Month, I helped share some ideas about the mindset of a financial services provider.  In this case, moreso a crusader!!

This very attentive group of financial consultants really paid great attention, took notes and were excited to know that they were on the leading edge of bringing financial transformation, one “bahay” (Filipino word for home) at a time!  It all starts with them and their own belief system, an internal programming of unwavering certainty to bring greater financial literacy and education to this nation.

Receiving gift from life insurance agents and financial consultants of Pru Life after a quick training session. Maraming salamat! (Thank you!)

Receiving gift from life insurance agents and financial consultants of Pru Life after a quick training session. Maraming salamat! (Thank you!)

I am so excited for them as I always love a ground floor opportunity.

At the end of the training, I was presented with a gift from the office and treated to a Mongolian Beef buffet next door. Let the mastermind begin!!  Until the next time I visit again, we all promised to keep in contact via Facebook and through this blog.

but it didn’t stop there as I was asked to do a photo shoot with several photographers.  I wasn’t so sure what to expect with this but I had fun with it, sharing both my serious and fun sides of my life.

Next, my sister and I wanted to hit the beach but opted to visit Outland Adventures to ride their zip line!  You ALWAYS learn about people when it is time to do physical activities together.  We took on a 15 minute hike, which included pulling ourselves across a small river and climbing up a steep ridge to reach the starting point,  My sister Jocelyn, videographer Jong Tulibas and photographer, Kiev Basaca took the challenge…it worth losing our breath!

Assuming a Superman position on the harness, we felt what it was like to be an eagle swooping in air.  What a fantastic view and unbelievable ride!  We HAD to do it at least TWICE!

Flying like Superman @ Outland Adventure's Zip Line!

Flying like Superman @ Outland Adventure's Zip Line!

Jefferson had us visit Bloom Spa Services, off Torres.  They gave my mother, who later joined us, a one-hour traditional Filipino relaxation massage and facial.  I was laughing with the masseuse that they had Filipino-size tables because my feet were hanging off the edge.  Nevertheless, I had a great experience and would definitely go back there again, next time I am in town.  If you happen to be in Davao City, make sure you stop by Bloom Spa Services!!

Our stomachs were growling at this point so we headed up to Jack’s Ridge to rendezvous with the rest of our family.  We had a delicious dinner of fried chicken, fish soup and kare-kare (my personal favorite).  Of course this was all accompanied with an amazing view of Davao City from atop a mountain where it was inhabited by people known as “Atas”, meaning people that lived high above.  We were serenaded by four musicians playing well-known traditional Filipino songs that my parents and aunts sang along with.  Good times!


Enjoying our last family dinner atop Jack's Ridge!

Sadly, this is the final evening we all have together.  My sister and I head back to the United States tomorrow.  What an amazing experience we have all had so far.  This truly is a remarkable city and so much I have yet to see.

I’m soaking in heat, the culture and planning for the next time I head back here!

Touch base again with us tomorrow as I’m sure we’ll have some last minute surprises…that’s how Filipinos roll!

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