‘Madiskarte’: Bank Pays Tribute To Filipinos’ Resourcefulness To Survive Tough Times

By Vince Nonato, OneNews

In its effort to reach out to the country’s many “unbanked and underserved” Filipinos,  the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation’s “financial inclusion super app” Diskartech unveiled a music video to show real-life stories of “madiskarteng Pilipino” who have adjusted to these trying times and “overcome life’s challenges.”

Diskarte is used by Filipinos to describe a person’s resourcefulness or ingenuity not just at work but in dealing with life in general.

A roughly three-minute music video on Diskartech’s Facebook page featured a song about fighting together to reach each one’s dreams no matter what obstacles come up. The song goes: “Hindi sumusuko, hindi papatalo, ganyan tayo, madiskarteng Pilipino (We do not surrender, we do not succumb to defeat, that is who we are, resourceful Filipinos).”

Tuloy-tuloy ang pagbibigay pugay sa ating mga kakabayang Pilipino na patuloy na dumidiskarte at lumalaban gaano man kahirap ang ating pinagdaraanan (We continue to pay tribute to our fellow Filipinos who remain resourceful and who are fighting despite the hardships we are going through),” RCBC said as it launched the music video on Dec. 2.

The music video featured 49-year-old Ronald Singalawa gluing egg trays to the walls of a small corner of his house, so it could be used as a makeshift soundproof room by his son John Rovy, a call center agent.

John Rovy, 23, went viral on TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing application, when he shared pictures of his makeshift “home office” last October.

Ronald, a resident of San Miguel, Bulacan, is not working at the moment, but he used to drive a tricycle.

Another parent, 31-year old Christine Taborda of Bacoor City, Cavite, was included in the video as she decided to be a “hands-on mom” after the coronavirus pandemic forced her to work from home as a finance manager and part-time professor since March.

The music video also featured individuals who were forced to change their careers because of the pandemic.

Ria Erika Larios, a 34-year old resident of Biñan City, Laguna, was laid off from her seven-year job in a cruise ship company as the global tourism industry ground to a halt due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by governments worldwide.

Although she has dabbled in online selling since November last year, the loss of her job meant she has to go full time. The music video showed her making use of videos to demonstrate her products, such as face masks.

Maurice Maureen Avila, 26, of Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, also lost her job as a flight attendant because of the pandemic’s effect on the travel industry. She is now an owner of a liquified petroleum gas business after being a flight attendant for three years. She was able to start her business in September before she was retrenched in October.

For RCBC, the people featured in its music video “give faces to the Filipino’s indomitable spirit who do not easily give up and bravely deal with problems.”

Christine Estabillo, who not only got laid off but also lost her mother to the coronavirus disease 2019, wrote the song as a tribute to “Filipinos who bravely face their everyday struggles.”

“Filipinos are tough people. Crises can bring them down, but they’ll come right back up…After all those challenges, we have no choice but to survive and continue living,” Estabillo said in a statement released by RCBC.

“I guess this is true for every Filipino, whatever happens, we have to fight to survive. That’s where being ‘madiskarte’ comes in. We are survivors,” she added.

In releasing the music video, RCBC said it sought to send a message that Filipinos are very much “able to take charge of their finances and reach their life goals” despite difficulties.

It promoted the DiskarTech app as a “bridge towards the virtual economy” by allowing users to quickly create basic deposit accounts through one-time registration via an electronic know-your-customer digital process without the need for documents. Photos of government identification cards and video selfies would have to be submitted to make sure that the user is real.

Users not need to deposit an initial amount right away or keep a minimum maintaining balance. Amounts deposited through the app will earn a 3.25-percent interest, and the app also includes goal reminders to encourage saving.

The app provides not only real-time withdrawal and deposit services, but also fund transfers, electronic mobile phone load, payment of bills and government fees, and receiving assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Features also include insurance and telemedicine, or remote, non-emergency checkups and consultations, medicine prescription services, and referrals.

Users may likewise earn the NegosyanTech referral incentive of P30 for each new verified user they invite and bring in to the service. The app seeks to introduce microinsurance and entrepreneurship skill build up soon.

Eugene Acevedo, RCBC president and chief executive officer, said the corporation wanted the song to serve as an “inspiration for the Filipinos.”

“This is for them. We want them to own it. We would like them to realize through the song the greatness of the Filipino. We are a strong people and no calamities or crisis would ever let us down,” Acevedo said.

Lito Villanueva, RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer, said Filipinos have been resourceful with their earnings even when faced by calamity after calamity.

“One day we’re down and soon after we’re up and about and have recovered. We would like to capture and immortalize these very special qualities in a song thus we thought of commissioning somebody to put all these together,” Villanueva said.

“We also wanted to show that RCBC is a dependable partner of the Filipinos in nation building and their own personal growth,” he added.

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