​Sometime last week, I got the chance to attend a #LiveBrighter Forum catered to millennials like me. So I said to myself, why not? Extra knowledge plus a serving of dinner on the side? Sold! Something not everyone knows about me is that I can be a total nerd or geek in my own way, and I’d like to believe this is a good thing.

C’mon… it’s a great thing! Where are all my geeky gals and guys at?! Holla! Haha I absolutely enjoy attending talks, and listening to forums when I was in high school and college. Whenever there’s a seminar where any student can just sign-up and attend back in Ateneo, I’d always find a way to catch it more often than not. To be honest, I miss attending classes and just absorbing all the new ideas I can get, especially from my favorite courses like philosophy, and communication.
​So when I got the opportunity to listen into this so called #LiveBrighter session hosted by Sun Life Financial, I was all in and wanted to feed my curiosity. So much so that I was seated right at the front row. Haha Off to a good start I suppose! There were two speakers that day who shared their two cents on Sun Life’s newest campaign to help equip millennials for a financially prepared generation. Basically, these ladies have been on the road to achieving their respective #LifeGoals together with Sun Life.

First was Arriane Serafico, of and Her story was pretty relatable and I enjoyed how she shared her journey transitioning from college to the work force. Upon graduating, she applied to work for an NGO job where she admittedly confessed how although it fed her heart well, her tummy had to unfortunately compensate.

Then one fine magical day, her ultimate Bucket List goal came knocking at her door, or rather via email. It was an opportunity to study in her dream course in her dream school, Stanford University! Woah there! And you guessed it right, even she didn’t see it coming. One major problem was that she simply couldn’t afford it. Her savings were a bust, and the opportunity was about to be up in a few months. For a passionate lady like her, why waste away the chance of a lifetime just because of financial incapacity? Sadly many are facing this unfortunate reality in their daily lives. BUT NO! Why allow it? This is not the way to live life. This is not empowering.

This was a huge wake-up call for her and she started really “adulting” and facing the music. She then made use of her other talents and skill sets, and even random abilities where she rigorously tried making a humble living out of. This ended up making her land a fair share of trial and error jobs such as being a hip hop dance teacher, hosting events, conducting workshops, and even selling notebooks. She then realized that this wasn’t enough. It lacked stability and just wasn’t sustainable. She needed a solid plan, and emphasized establishing two important things: pursuing Sustainable Passions, and having Long Term Goals. She listed down her financial goals, and made an excel spread sheet to track down her expenses to make sure she had enough to keep her more than well and alive, and of course for the Stanford fund.

​Many say pursuing your passions can’t possibly be practical. But on the contrary, it can be for as long as you’re smart about it. Finally Arriane found the intersection of passion, profit, and living the life she loves by conducting more talks and seminars about women empowerment, creating e-courses on her sites, and by being smarter about her money with the help of services from Sun Life Financial.

The second speaker of the day was actually her advisor, Agnes Dizon-Cuaso. She was a former model who also found herself wanting more stability in her life. Now after having undergone trainings as a Sun Life Advisor, Agnes is happily married and recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She’s pursuing a stable yet flexible career where she has enough time to focus on her personal life especially with her new family. Her presentation was refreshingly straight to the point yet enlightening.

Admittedly she shared that financial stability and security was a huge factor she considered when her then fiancé popped the big question… Adding that she wouldn’t have said yes if she weren’t financially stable for such a huge commitment. She also expressed how her heart felt fulfilled and enriched with her occupation. Not only is she able to provide well for herself and her family, but she also gets to help other individuals by guiding and empowering them financially.

In a nutshell, I realized how we all have goals, and aspirations fueled by our passions. And since passion is indeed paramount, we will always want to make it work. So now is the time to make sure our resources such as time and money won’t go to waste. We can be smart about our passions and make them sustainable by knowing how to fulfill and fund our #LifeGoals realistically and in turn, live ideally. This #LiveBrighter talk was really an eye opener for me, and reminded me to take that necessary reality check. We are the new workforce generation, and being millennials we can prove that we are more than slashers. We CAN balance our wants, needs, put our priorities in place, and aim to #livebrighter.

For more info on Sun Life’s Live Brighter campaign, visit their official site here!

#JCootds featuring:
Top by DetailsPH, cardigan by SM Woman, harlem pants by Folded and Hung, heels by Tutum, bag by Tory Burch 
Shine bright, live bright, and keep on keeping on with those life goals!Until the next!