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Sun Life Davao

Messy Wins WAHM Diaries

A Much Enjoyed Mom’s Day Out, Thanks to Sun Life!

My Saturday morning was hectic. I was due to attend an event — Sun Life’s Mom’s Day Out — right after lunch so all the chores I needed to do needed to be done in the morning. And you know what a school-mom’s Saturday looks like! Laundry, catching up on cleaning, preparing for the weekend… actually scratch that, preparing for the new week ahead! I was so busy Saturday morning that I strained my back.

This mommy got pampered!

Even though my day was full, I knew I wouldn’t miss this event simply because this is an event by a company I truly believe in. Last year, I got myself a VUL (I wrote about my Sun Life VUL recently), and when Job goes home, he’s planning to get one, too. Despite the hectic schedule and the strained back, I think Sun Life’s Mom’s Day Out couldn’t have been scheduled at a better date. I love how I was able to just kick my heels, relax, and de-stress during that day!

Didn’t get the chance to have my OOTD picture taken, but I wore a navy blue cardi (from the dept store), a printed navy blue H&M dress (from my friend, Tine), and Toms shoes

Yuri, with his lolo and lola, dropped me off. No kids allowed! Hehe. He had a fun date with the grandparents

The event was held at Park Inn. I arrived at the venue earlier than the others because it is quite near my home, so I was able to observe. Here are some pictures!

We were treated to a dry massage care of the lovely massage therapists of Elysia. It was just exactly what my sore back needed! We ooh-ed and aah-ed to every knead and I personally felt the stress and pressure of the past week evaporate.

With my newfound friend, Angel!

And just when we thought the pampering sesh was done, it was time to eat! The spread prepared for us was not only pretty but also mouth-watering. I love how dainty — and healthy — the dishes were. I couldn’t pick a favorite because everything tasted good!

My plate!

The Balanced Motherhood

When cocktail time was over, we went back to our seats to prepare for the meat of the event: the talk. First speaker was psychologist, Family Life specialist, and author Michele Alignay

Listening to her speak was a delight! She talked about balanced motherhood and how we, as mothers, should value ourselves and put self-care on top of our priority lists. Because there is nothing to give if we are not full in the first place!

Michele Alignay

The concept may sound foreign, especially if you were raised thinking that mothers are to be completely selfless and self-denying. But here’s a statement that resounded strongly to me:

Self-care is my responsibility and my kid/s will thank me someday for taking care of myself. – Michele Alignay

And isn’t that true? Here are more of my takeaways from Michele’s talk that must be shared:

If you feel like your life needs more balance (or, to be more correct, harmony), you need to re-balance, which entails these three things: perception + emotion + action.

PERCEPTION

  1. Affirm your goodness
  2. Release control of things beyond you
  3. Saying “no” is okay
  4. Feeling happy and satisfied is normal
  5. Relinquish some tasks that stress you

EMOTIONS

  1. During emotional highs: pause
  2. Ditch the guilt
  3. Choose to love more (or love from a distance)
  4. Be silly with the kids
  5. Make your marriage matter

ACTIONS

  1. Choose to rest or sleep (over cleaning up)
  2. Give yourself an extra 10-minute shower
  3. Put a little color in your face
  4. Find a spot to reflect
  5. Find a daily physical activity

The goal of self-care is to live a balanced life. And a well-balanced mom has more to give! – Michele Alignay

Preparing the way for our kids’ education

To be honest, I thought that having the VUL was enough. It is one of the best financial decisions I have made; however, I admit that I haven’t really given enough thought to Yuri’s education. Job actually talks about Yuri’s college education from time to time, but I thought it was too early to plan.

Mylene Almonte

Well, our second speaker, Sun Life Mindanao’s cluster head Mylene Almonte, proved my presumptions wrong. If there’s a perfect time to start preparing for our son’s (or children’s, who knows?) college education, it is right now. She explained to us the rising cost of college tuition fees and even gave sample projections for the next 10, 15, 20 years. By the time Yuri goes to college, the costs of education are very likely to be astronomical! So dilly-dallying is not an option.

It’s a good thing Sun Life offers an efficient but “friendly” plan, a My Future Fundto help us parents prepare for the future. Here’s what to do:

  1. Set the goal (target date)
  2. Choose the MFF that matures closest to the goal
  3. Pair MFF with a variable life insurance program that suits the budget

It’s efficient because it promises the benefits of good returns beating the inflation rate and professional management. Perfect for mothers like me who don’t have all the time in the world to study the stock market and manage their own portfolios. And it’s friendly because the fund is liquid and you get to decide your target date. I will update you once we get this policy!

Sun Life love!


I truly learned a lot from that afternoon! I gained (pun unintended) friends, insights, and time for myself. I came out of the event refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose as a parent, as a partner, and as a woman! Thank you so much, Sun Life Financial!

PS: I’m sure you’ve seen Sun Shorts videos on Facebook! If you’re a mom like me, you absolutely need to watch this video to tug on your heartstrings.

General Information Money Matters

Adulting 101: My Sunlife Variable Universal Life Insurance (VUL)

Sun Life VUL

There’s just something so “adulty” about the word insurance, don’t you agree?

A VUL is a variable universal life insurance. According to Investopedia, a VUL is a form of cash-value life insurance that offers both a death benefit and an investment feature.

This post is actually 6 months late because I got my very first life insurance policy way back in December last year. I had a draft started, but I never got around to actually writing it. But I remembered it a couple of days ago because my payment was already due lol. Also, a couple of my previous officemates were asking about the VUL. Why did I get Sun Life’s VUL? This is not a sponsored post; I just want to tell you about it.

I never planned to get an insurance policy. Job and I, we decided to start investing in a mutual fund, so that’s what I looked for. After doing some research and comparison, I decided to go pay the local Sun Life office a visit.

Sun Life Davao

(Trivia: During the Expo Mom bazaar in Abreeza last year, one of the booths I visited was Sun Life’s. I got in touch with an agent and even left my details and contact number with her. But she never got back to me, so I just went ahead, visited the main office, and got another agent.)

I met my financial adviser, Paul Chavez, there. I inquired about mutual funds since it was my original purpose, but upon interviewing and assessing me, Paul suggested I get a VUL instead. There were three main reasons that convinced me:

  • First, I have a son who is dependent on me, and he will surely benefit from his parents’ life insurance.
  • Second, we have nothing else (yet) in our portfolio. Because this was our first investment, it’s more prudent to prioritise protection over plain growing of money.
  • Third, it’s not like the money won’t be growing. The projected returns is quite high and we’re getting protection, so yes they’re right – it is like getting the best of both worlds.

Aside from that, there are more benefits outlined here including the VUL’s liquidity (you can withdraw your money if you need it, and it’s called “withdrawal,” not a “loan) and the flexibility of premiums (I treat my VUL as a bank and put in more money if I have extra). Because you can just Google the benefits of getting a VUL, and since I already described a few, I won’t be focusing on that anymore. Let’s talk about my personal experience and impressions.

Why I’m Happy With My Sun Life VUL

1. Because Sun Life is the biggest insurance company in the country and even outside, I feel safe that I am investing my money with the right company. You can do your own research about it and see for yourself the past performance of Sun Life.

2. I have a great agent and I’m very satisfied with the service. Paul is very diligent in reminding me about my due dates, and if I cannot go to the office myself to pay, he adjusts and personally visits me to get my payment. Unfortunately, not all agents are built the same, so please be wise in choosing the right person.

3. There are no penalties for late payments. While I always pay my bills on time, there are circumstances beyond our control (just like what happened to BPI recently).

4. The payment scheme is very flexible. When I first got my policy, I was paying monthly. However, it has gotten more taxing since my schedule is tight, so they changed my mode of payment to quarterly. Just like that!

Sun MaxiLink Prime

5. It’s surprisingly affordable. One of the reasons why I delayed getting an insurance is the cost. Upon inquiring, I was pleasantly surprised to know that it’s not only affordable, it’s also flexible. I have the Sun MaxiLink Prime, and to give you an idea of how much my monthly payment is, let’s just say it’s even cheaper than our Davao City electric bill.

6. Unlike mutual funds and other investment vehicles, a VUL withdrawal is not taxable.

7. Unlike regular insurances, a VUL doesn’t need to fulfil a single, specific need e.g. education. With a VUL, you can decide how you want to use your money, whether you want to use it to fund your child’s college education or build your retirement fund.

I can think of other benefits, but I’m sure a Sun Life financial advisor will be able to better explain it to you. If you think you can benefit from a VUL, try consulting with an advisor. It’s free anyway. In my experience, they didn’t try to upsell me; they looked at my monthly income and my expenses and came up with something that will not be too burdensome for me. All I can say is if you want to protect your loved ones, you need to look into this.

If you’re from Davao and want to consult a Sun Life financial advisor (not all agents are made the same — there are inactive/lazy/unknowledgeable ones who just want to make a sale), send me a message or leave a comment and I’ll give you my advisor’s number.