When faced with challenging circumstances or seemingly impossible choices, there are only two categorical responses: fight or flight. Almost every person in the world has experienced being at such a decisive moment. For Estela Belen, it was when her husband of 25 years suddenly died. She was 44 years old then, and was suddenly faced with the responsibility of maintaining a household and raising 13 children… by herself. Difficult as things may seem, she chose to fight.
All throughout her married life, Estela has always been a housewife. While she managed most of their domestic affairs, she had no job experience whatsoever, and was relying on her husband for their household’s financial resources. When her husband suddenly passed away, she knew she had to provide the financial support that was now lacking. She needed a source of income, especially since 11 of her kids were still going to school then.
In her search for employment, a good friend led her to become a financial advisor for Philam Life, the largest insurance company in the Philippines. She went through the motions and found that her natural management aptitude, with running her 13-plus-one household, was helpful to the job.
It was, of course, a rough start because she had no background on the insurance industry, but she trudged on and learned what she could as quickly as possible. She also had to make the transition from being a housewife to a career woman, which was no small feat. She struggled to balance her new working life with her family life, but she persevered -- selling insurance policies and providing very good service to her clients for her clients. Eventually, through hard work and pure grit, Estella was able to work her way up to become a bona fide top earner, an achiever in her industry.
Fast forward to the present -- twenty one years after taking on the job, Estella was awarded with one of the company’s highest and most elusive honors: Top Associate of the Year. This accolade is given to the financial advisor with the highest premiums in one year
Her exceptional work ethic and her positive outlook contributed a lot to her success. Through her earnings and performance bonuses, she was able to financially support her children, all of whom are grown up and some of whom chose to work with her at Philam Life. Thanks to the schedule flexibility of being a financial advisor, she did not have to take too much time away from her family.
Estella is proud of how far she has come in the company, but remains humble, choosing instead to focus on the good that her work brings to her clients. “More than anything, it feels fulfilling,” Estella said. “I get to help my clients with their financial planning, to give them peace of mind and security about their financial future, at the same time, I also get to help my family. It’s a happy, win-win situation for all,” she concluded.
Estella has proven to be the personification of perseverance, tenacity, and determination and she is eager to continue her work with Philam Life for years to come.
(Kneeling center) Francis C. Belen (9),
(Kneeling L-R) Dan Louie O. Salapa(son in-law to #6), Rick Jared C. Belen (8), Charles C. Belen (10), James Y. Sunico (Personal Secretary).
(L-R) Ma. Katrina Belen-Licudine, Enrico Belen, Jr., Ria belen-Trillo,Richard Belen,Eric Belen,Rachel Belen-Salapa,Kris Belen,Rick Jared Belen,Francis Belen,Charles Belen,Kristal Belen,Ma. Estela Belen-Valdez,and Maura Luz Belen.