Visa’s financial literacy program, launched in 2017, has educated over 36,000 students and teachers in 30 cities in the Philippines.
Teaming up with Tanghalang Pilipino and Teach for the Philippines, Visa launched the Tagalog skit, Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog three years ago, with support from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The interactive play focused on Gwyneth, a young student faced with several money management decisions throughout the story. With the help of her best friend, grandfather, and national heroes who came to life from the money she held, Gwyneth had to make informed financial decisions.
The play’s third and current run completed several showcases in Malabon and Bulacan last year. Lukot-Lukot, Bilog-Bilog had over 30 performances around Metro Manila and nearby municipalities, including Rizal, Bulacan, Malabon, and Navotas.
In addition, a digital version of the play, and a teacher’s manual with interactive activities were distributed nationwide through Teach for the Philippines’s network. The not-for-profit organization that focused on educating Filipino students and teachers collaborated with Visa to bring the play to other 64 schools in 21 cities, including Laguna, Tarlac, Negros Occidental, Aklan, Surigao, and Zamboanga. More importantly, Teach for the Philippines taught the teachers how to infuse money management knowledge through lessons conducted in schools.
“Proper money management habits should be formed when children are young to better prepare them for their responsibilities in the future,” said Dan Wolbert, Visa’s country manager for the Philippines and Guam. “For two decades, our global financial literacy programs have educated millions, empowering children and adults in over 30 countries.”
“We saw the importance here in the Philippines to create a scalable and sustainable program that could impact local Filipinos in our country. Since the launch of our program, we are extremely pleased that crucial knowledge and skills on money management have been shared with students and teachers in the country. We will continue our partnerships with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Teach for the Philippines, and Tanghalang Pilipino to expand our efforts and promote the importance of financial literacy to more Filipinos,” added Wolbert.
“Kids who watch the musical thoroughly enjoy the production. They laugh along with the lead character Gwyneth when she gets excited about a new purchase. They gasp when Apolinario Mabini comes to life to give Gwyneth spending advice, and they join her grandfather Sally in the search for his saved money, even pointing and shouting at the stage,” said Carmela Manuel, company manager of Tanghalang Pilipino.
Beyond that, Manuel shared that they were pleasantly surprised about the show’s impact on students and aimed for it to be more interactive going forward. She said, “We encourage kids to share their learnings and ask questions after each show. Many of them do this, and everyone including the audience, performers, and showrunners are excited to be part of this program.”
Patricia Feria-Lim, Teach for the Philippines' Chief strategy officer, said that their organization's goal is to provide access to inclusive, relevant, and excellent education. She said, "By making financial literacy both entertaining and interactive, the lessons become more relevant to students and they are able to learn better. We are happy to bring this approach to more kids across the country."