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My father’s son

Hector Locsin Hofileña was born and spent his childhood in Silay. After finishing high school, he took his college studies in Manila, eventually becoming a lawyer. He raised his family here, but never forsook his roots. He made time to return often and brought us along. However, my brothers and I only consider ourselves “half-Silaynons” because we were not fully immersed into Ilonggo culture.

I retired from corporate work two years ago, but continue to consult independently. The other desire that strongly motivates me now is to deepen my Negrense heritage. Not only do I want to assimilate more into Negros society, I also want to contribute to it. Perhaps, I can do so by following my father’s example of total devotion to his craft. He continues to actively serve the legal profession even as he turns 91 this year. Similarly, I’d like to use my career learnings to reach out, create awareness, generate understanding and articulate calls to action in the fields of risk management and financial preparedness. I welcome this wonderful opportunity from the Visayan DAILY STAR to be a guest columnist. I will do my best to write about topics that will be enlightening to its readers.

The life insurance industry may not be the most prominent part of the financial services sector, but it is undeniably essential to our economic security. We all want the best for ourselves and our families, but let us also remember that uncertainties in life can disrupt our plans. This is why the CEO of a huge banking institution constantly tells his people they need two personal operating plans.

Plan A is in play when everything is going right, but a Plan B has to come in when something goes wrong. Every responsible person understands the value of contingency planning. That said, insurance is the only “Plan B” among all financial instruments.

As the title of Bob Dylan’s songs declares, “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. Boyhood memories of unhurried and carefree Negrense vacations may not reflect its reality today. The land that has brought so much prosperity and abundance during the time of our fathers and forefathers is no longer the same as before. The inheritors of the present and future must now use non-traditional strategies for wealth protection, accumulation and distribution in preserving their accustomed way of life. My father continues to keep his covenant with the land, but he has also found other avenues to sustain us. His fidelity blended with openness to other options enabled him to straddle past as well as present circumstances. A good lesson worth applying.

We are facing a “new normal”, but shouldn’t it be a BETTER new normal? Covid-19 compels us to reflect and envision a more hopeful future. Surely, we will overcome this scourge, but will we also change for the better? I intend to navigate you through this when it comes to the financial planning arena. In so doing, I will feel worthy of being my father’s son.*

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Jess Hofileña is a retired senior executive with a 42-year corporate career in the life insurance industry at Philamlife Insurance Company and the Insular Life Assurance Co., Ltd. He continues his risk management advocacy as an Independent Board Adviser of BDO Life, Insurance Planning lecturer for the Registered Financial Planners (RFP) Association of the Philippines, and honorary adviser of the Professional Insurance and Financial Advisors Association of the Philippines (PIFAAP)

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