There is a need for national athletes to be able to manage their finances properly.
Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medallist, said this after receiving 90 percent of the total pledges amounting to P56.5 million given her by the government and the private sector for her feat in the Tokyo Games.
The 30-year-old Diaz admitted that she had not been saving a lot from her allowances and incentives in the past from the medals that she won from her competitions before the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But her outlook has started to change with the cash prizes and the pledges that she has been getting, which included house and lots, lifetime free flights and free food.
Most of her bonuses were freely shared with family members until she came to realize that she needed to take good care of her finances properly.
“Nu’ng nananalo na ako, may mga incentives ako. Iyung iba, binigay ko sa nanay ko, sa tatay at sa mga kapatid ko. Shine-share ko sa kanila. Hanggang wala na ko maisipan para sa sarili ko. Sa haba ng panahon na pagiging atleta ko, 19 years, tumutulong ako sa pamilya ko. Pero after 2016, sinabi ko na kailangang magbigay ako para sa sarili ko,” said Diaz.
She discussed her journey as a national athlete and how she manages her finances now on Wednesday in a webcon after BDO Unibank formally welcomed her into its family of brand ambassadors.
Her new role with BDO comes three months after Diaz ended the country’s 97-year quest for Olympic gold.
Diaz, who hails from Zamboanga City, has joined forces with BDO to champion financial education, not only for her fellow athletes, but also for the unserved and underserved markets, including overseas Filipinos.
While currently studying business management at the College of St. Benilde, Diaz said her eyes and mind have been opened to her need to learn how to manage her finances properly.
The cash incentives that were already given her includes the ₱10 million from the government through Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, and another ₱10 million as pledged by San Miguel Corporation President and CEO Ramon Ang.
As a brand ambassador, Diaz sees value of handling these incentives responsibly, which BDO has been espousing through its financial education advocacy.
“Importanteng magbukas ng account sa bangko, kahit maliit lang ipon mo sa simula. Para lang ‘yan nu’ng nagsimula akong magbuhat ng weights. Start small, kumbaga. Tapos, ‘pag successful ka na, ‘pag lumaki na ipon mo, puwede mo siyang ipang-invest sa ibang bagay na gusto mo o para sa pangarap na gusto mong matupad, para talagang sulit ang mga pinaghirapan natin,” said Diaz.
Diaz is now getting ready for marriage after she and coach-boyfriend Julius Naranjo announced their engagement last Saturday, October 16.
She will soon focus her energies on the coming World Weightlifting Championships in December. Before that, she and Naranjo will head for Malaysia for training.
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