Hijos Tours launches Hijos School Fair; revisits San Pablo City’s history for financial literacy

CARD MRI Hijos Tours has launched yet again another virtual offering that aims to educate students on history and financial literacy. The Hijos School Fair kicked off on May 1, 2021 with 30 participants from CARD-MRI Development Institute, Inc. (CMDI).

Organized to invite Senior High School and College students for a virtual field trip of San Pablo City, Laguna, the Hijos School Fair is a gateway for fun, creative, and educational sneak peeks of the town’s history, combined with topics on financial literacy, financial management, budgeting, and savings.

Among the activities held during the School Fair include an impromptu speaking contest and coin bank making which added to the excitement of the students.

The Hijos School Fair looks through the lens of the past and studies how history can help the students evaluate their current condition in terms of their financial situation.

A peek on San Pablo City’s history

“When we searched through the narrative of San Pablo City, there were parts of history from which we can draw inspiration on financial literacy,” reflects Hijos Tours President and Chairperson Marilyn Manila on revisiting history.

Manila continues, “During the prehispanic times, our forefathers were already knowledgeable in locating their settlements as well as supervising and cultivating the resources that were readily available from their surroundings.”

The President and Chairperson pursues the subject even further by giving an example of how the people of Laguna chose their settlements usually near bodies of water where they can source food like fish, shellfish, and other marine products. “It is also possible that they used boats to source their food and sell their goods to their community,” says Manila.

From here, Hijos Tours links the history of San Pablo City to how the students can set up their own small businesses using the products that they can source from their environment.

Manila also introduced some of the challenges of financial management that the students can reflect upon. “When the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines and introduced fiesta to the Filipinos to evangelize and draw more believers, it developed a great desire for Filipinos to dress and host the feasts extravagantly even to the point of borrowing money from their neighbors.”

The Filipinos were also introduced to the concept of bigay-kaya during baptisms, courtships, and marriages where they give what they can and more to flaunt their status. This often resulted in debt.

Further, the Hispanic times also shed a light to that time in history when towns in Laguna were attacked by jobless and poverty-stricken raiders. The challenge to the Lagunenses can be interpreted as any unanticipated event like natural calamities and even the pandemic that can cause great devastation to communities. This confronts the preparedness of the students when unexpected events threaten their security.

Lastly, Manila also highlighted the importance of adapting to the changing times to help improve one’s way of living.

“The American times ushered in the manufacturing of copra, coconut oil, and wine in Laguna. Laguna became at the forefront during this time. From here, we saw how vital it is to adapt to new technologies and systems that will give us a better chance at life,” Manila shares.

The “History of San Pablo” which was published by CARD MRI Publishing House, Inc. became the main reference to the Hijos School Fair. The book tells the story of San Pablo City and the role of CARD MRI in changing the society for the better. It is available through the Publishing House’s Facebook Shop for only PhP500.

Savings and Budgeting

According to a 2019 survey conducted by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), 71% of adult Filipinos or a total of 51.2 million remain unbanked. This means only 29% of Filipinos are saving their money through bank deposits. Eight percent of the 51.2 million Filipino adults declare that their distance to a financial institution remains to be the reason for not having an account.

CARD sees the Hijos School Fair as an opportunity to impart the importance of saving especially during the pandemic. It is also a great way to introduce its financial institutions’ affordable and reliable savings products and services that can be availed by the students to start their savings journey.

Further, the students were also taught about budgeting and allocating their funds during the virtual field trip. CARD Bank Tagum Account Manager Lali Quinal was invited to talk about savings, while CARD Hong Kong Liaison Officer Jireh Dihuna shared his expertise on budgeting.

On revisiting the past

“Learning history is not just merely about learning dates, people, and heroes, although it may comprise that as well. I really can’t forget what CARD MRI Founder and Chair Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip once said. To better understand yourself, your family, and the society you’re in, you have to understand your past,” Manila adds.

The Hijos School Fair and the discussions on financial management can guide the students on how to revisit the past to have a better understanding of how they can improve their present.

According to Manila, “Hijos Tours aims to develop a generation with a love for history and who treats their past with high regard. This, in turn, can be a weapon they may wield for their current situation. We hope that more youth start saving and investing with the help of the Hijos School Fair.”

The Hijos School Fair will be a regular offering of Hijos Tours every month starting July. It is also open for schools, colleges, and universities who want to introduce their students to topics on financial management, budgeting, and savings while revisiting history. Interested schools may book and schedule a session at their convenient date with Hijos Tours via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HijosToursOfficial.