Frugal Honey

Investing & Retirement

Thoughts of a First Time Showbuyer

UP Law Block C 2006 with the Red Team

One of my law school blockmates, together with his fraternity, bought a showdate for Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical’s first run last year. There were 5 shows for the first run and all 5 shows were sold out.

About a dozen of my blockmates saw the first run and they were so moved by the production that when rumors of a second run came up, they eagerly signed up to buy a showdate and sold the idea to the rest of us. I joined in a heartbeat because Eraserheads plus a first run that sold out? A show that will literally sell itself? Where do I sign up?! It seemed like an effortless way to get at least a 20% return on our investment.

Or so we thought.

Let me just jump to the end of the story and say that we did not lose any money in the endeavor but we didn’t make 20% either. We made way, way below 20%, as in lower single digit level (cough2.5%cough). Also, getting to break-even took a tremendous effort on our part, but despite all of that, I would do it all over again.

I always thought that I could never sell anything, because I just don’t have the personality and chutzpah to move products or ideas. However, the sight of hundreds of unsold seats and the thought of losing our Tokyo budget forced me to hustle like I’ve never hustled before. Pakapalan na ng mukha, in short.

But if I were to do it again, I would definitely think twice about buying a show from Resorts World because it did not effectively market the show leading up to the opening. In fact, I don’t think it even marketed the show outside of the posters INSIDE Resorts World. I found this really surprising because isn’t Resorts World famous/notorious for its radio ads? I mean that female voice whispering “Resorts World Manila” was all over the airwaves a few years back. It also has billboards all around the airport area, but I did not see a single billboard for Ang Huling El Bimbo. Yup, I’m still very disappointed about it.

In fairness though, the cast members had some radio and TV appearances a week or two before the first show opened and Full House Theater Company really made a valiant effort to market the show through social media, but this was clearly not enough or was a little too late, thus the first weekend did not break-even.

When it became clear that the show wasn’t going to sell itself, as we all thought it would, and Resorts World wasn’t going to help out, we had to do the selling ourselves, thus the roller coaster of emotions for the past few months. From the high of selling 10 tickets in a single day to getting seen-zoned dozens of times, I went through it all.

It really helped that my friends and I were together in this experience because I had someone to share my ups and downs with. This show became so much more than a mere investment that when our showdate closed to a standing ovation, I was probably as euphoric as the cast members. I had my heart wrenched out by the production and I couldn’t stop humming Eheads songs for the next few days, but the overriding feeling was one of relief that it was finally over and I could go back to my humdrum life.

Now that my emotions have mellowed down and I can think things through rationally, my takeaways as a first-time showbuyer are as follows:

  1. Choose a show that you love or a concept that intrigues you, thus, it will be easier for you to sell it.
  2. Include the scope and timeline of marketing efforts by all parties in your contract.
  3. Unless the show is actually sold out by the time it opens, don’t believe any claim that it will sell itself. Heck, even Phantom of the Opera and Lion King did not sell out all of their shows.
  4. Hustle and sell like you’ve never done before.
  5. Choose to work with people who will also hustle as hard as you.

Ultimately, it’s just money and the piddling returns have not turned me off from going into a similar venture in the future because the experience obtained from this venture was well-worth the effort. However, it’s highly unlikely that I will dip my toes into showbusiness in the near future because I still have to recuperate from the last show. Mahirap pala talaga magbenta.

If you haven’t watched Ang Huling El Bimbo the Musical yet, I highly encourage that you do because despite the very sad ending (you have been warned!), the nostalgia factor alone is worth your time and money and the performances are just jaw-dropping. They’ve added another showdate so it will now run until April 12. Tickets are available at Ticketworld.

I’m Giving Away 5 Tickets to the PIFA Mutual Funds Week Talk!

Philippine Investment Funds Association, the association of mutual fund companies in the country, is holding a half-day conference on November 24 (Saturday) at SM Aura:

Dubbed “RISING WITH THE CURRENT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGH INVESTING”, the conference aims to offer a diversified view of where your investment journey may go. Learn the pros and cons Digital versus Traditional Entrepreneurship as well as Investing in Mutual Funds versus Property and Real Estate.

Check out the program agenda after the jump.


How to Get Your Money Back From Manila Bankers Life Insurance

The complaints keep on coming because Manila Bankers Life Insurance keeps on scamming.

Its modus operandi goes like this:

  1. Call or text people using private numbers procured from some entity that has access to or collects personal data. Another way is to approach people at the mall (it’s best if the person looks young or timid);
  2. Catch victim’s attention with promises of freebies and discounts;
  3. Use praise, scare tactics or both to get the victim’s guard down before proceeding into your practiced, company-approved spiel, repeatedly emphasizing the investment or protection aspect of the product;
  4. Ask to see victim’s credit card or debit card, promise that it will only be used for verification purposes. Do everything possible to get victim to hand over the credit or debit card;
  5. Swipe the card and charge the highest amount possible without letting the victim know;
  6. Return card and pretend nothing was charged or debited;
  7. Get victim to sign insurance policy with authorization for credit or debit made. Do everything in your power to make sure that victim is unaware of what he/she is signing;
  8. If victim realizes that a charge was made, pretend that you had no control over what happened and there’s nothing that can be done about it;
  9. Escort victim out the door. Feel your soul get closer to the eternal fires of Hell, but what the heck, you made a sale, so yay to you!


Getting Ready to Retire

First things first, I am no way ready to retire, nor do I want to, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about retirement and am not preparing for it.

The details are still quite fuzzy when it comes to my ideal retirement, but I do know that when I am retired, I will no longer have to wake up to an alarm clock (except if I have to catch an early morning flight) and will not have to endure reckless drivers and mind-numbing traffic just to get to work.

Retirement planning may seem daunting but you’d be surprised that some of the things you are doing now, or should be doing, are actually paving the way for a picture perfect retirement. Here are the three things that I’m currently doing so that future me can be a happy retiree:


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