A mother overcomes struggles with the help of insurance
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos are known to keep their heads up during the hardest of times, even when it means losing a loved one and stepping up.
Charlene Sison lost her husband to liver cancer in October 2011. Life has not been without some difficulties during the past few years, but she emerged from the ordeal with her cheerful disposition intact.
Still, it was different when she was reeling from the loss. “Nadismaya ako, nawalan na ako ng gana sa mundo. Bakit kailangan siyang mawala, kasi napakabait na tao yung husband ko,” she said. (I was dismayed, I lost the will to live. Why did he have to die? He was a good man.)
The struggle wasn’t just emotional. Although they both had full-time jobs, her husband, who worked for the government, was the breadwinner.
Charlene used to work for her family business, where she earned P25,000 monthly. She knew that this, together with the abuloy she received from family and friends, wouldn’t be enough to support her three kids, who were all studying at the time.
Government assistance didn’t amount to much, either. It took a while for GSIS to send her funeral benefits worth P20,000.
It was a lengthy, difficult process. She spent around P5,000 procuring documents from NSO alone. “Ang daming papeles na kinailangan. Para akong encyclopedia,” she quipped. (They required a lot of paperwork. I must’ve looked like an encyclopedia.)
It took two years before she got the money. With funeral costs amounting to P100,000, attorney fees, and other expenses, Charlene didn't know how she was going to keep her kids in school.
The cash supported her family until she had a better-paying job. She placed the rest of the benefit in a time deposit for her children.She had procured an insurance plan for her husband from Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation thru their direct marketing arm, Paramount Direct. After he passed away, she got a payout worth P500,000 a week after she submitted the complete documents. Thanks to Paramount, she was able to manage.
The insurance and her new job at a construction firm made life easier, but there were times when income from projects and commissions didn’t come steady.
She put their family home in Caloocan under mortgage just so her kids could graduate. Two of them did so in 2015, and her youngest is now in junior high.
It’s not obvious when you hear her joke around, but as she said, “Mukha lang simple, pero maraming pinagdaanan.” (It looks simple, but we’ve been through a lot.)
She added she would’ve given up if it weren’t for her children who gave her strength.
As soon as she paid off her debts, she procured another insurance from Paramount Direct for herself, the Golden Life Advantage Plan. “Hindi ko yun kinuha para pag nalugwak ako. Security rin, para pagdating ng araw di ka naman parang pulubi sa anak mo. Meron kang something for yourself.” (I didn’t get an insurance in case of death, it’s for security as well. When the day comes, you won’t beg money from your kids. You have something for yourself.)
She added that now she knows she won’t be leaving additional expenses behind for her children to worry about, she’s not afraid to die.
Her husband's insurance was originally intended as a retirement fund. But it ended up being used for his death.
The best thing is to be financially prepared, so you're ready no matter what happens. This is why she encourages her friends and relatives to get insurance plans whenever she sees them wasting money on lavish lifestyles.
Her kids are the opposite. Two of them are now working, and according to Charlene, they’re thrifty – thanks to how she and her husband taught them to focus not on material things, but on education.
She wants them to start investing as well. “Nag-iipon sila. Sinabi ko, mag-invest ka rin. Maganda kasi bata ka pa may insurance e. Gusto ko nga talaga kung way back pa ako kumuha ng insurance e.” (They’re saving up. I told them to invest as well. It’s better to start young. I wish I’d gotten insurance for myself way back.) – Rappler.com