Ambassador Charles Jose (left) presents a certificate of appreciation to Filipino entrepreneur Hernando Vitas (right) after the latter’s talk on financial literacy.

2 August 2017—The Filipino community members in Malaysia had a full day of learning on July 30, as the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur held seminars on financial literacy and cultural appreciation that day.

“We hope that these lectures will provide further knowledge to you as OFWs who are working for a better life for yourselves and your families, as well as heighten your pride as a Filipino by appreciating our rich cultural background and history,” Ambassador Charles Jose said in his remarks. 

Around 100 Filipino community members from Federation of Filipino Association in Malaysia (FFAM) member-organizations and other guests were present in both seminars.

In the morning, entrepreneur and “puka shells” king Hernando Vitas shared his life experience as a young man struggling to make ends meet and how he was able to turn around his life through hard work, determination and going for what he wants.

He also advised those present to make it a point to save money and not send all their hard-earned salary back home, practice budgeting and get all the information needed before investing or putting up a business. The Filipino entrepreneur also said, “it is not the money you earn, but the money you save and invest wisely that will make you rich.”

Mr. Vitas is the author of the book, “Be Your Own Boss!:  The Puka King Story”, and has made his wealth from exporting puka shells jewelry around the world.  He later parlayed the success into real estate and other businesses.

The afternoon was devoted to appreciating Filipino culture as Katutubo Exchange Philippines (KX) gave a seminar-workshop on Philippine indigenous cultures.

KX founder Dr. Edwin Antonio and Professor Elnora Dudang provided information on the various Philippine indigenous groups around the country, as well as a workshop on how to write baybayin (Filipino ancient writing) and how to wear indigenous outfits.

FFAM member-organization Bibak also performed a traditional Igorot courtship dance as part of the seminar-workshop.

Katutubo Exchange Philippines founder Dr. Edwin Antonio demonstrates how to write baybayin during the seminar workshop on Philippine indigenous cultures.

The KX is a volunteer organization of youth and cultural workers that promotes traditional arts and indigenous cultures.  The group has gone around the Philippines and the world spreading knowledge and appreciation of the country’s indigenous groups among the youth and children.  END

Ambassador Jose (sixth from left) joins the speakers and members of the Filipino community after the lecture on Philippine indigenous cultures.