Members of the Filipino-Chinese community, also known as Chinoys, have always been stereotyped as "kuripot" or stingy.
As the winners of Mr. and Ms. Chinatown 2019—titleholders Jonah Chantong and Nina Tay Lee; 1st runners-up Jeremiah Tomas and Philene Yeung; and 2nd runners-up Stephen Lim and Lorraine Cho—put it, Chinoys are thrifty and not stingy.
Jeremiah, who is currently taking up a bachelor's degree in Economics at University of the Philippines Diliman, talks about practicing the concept of delayed gratification in order to be financially secure.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last September 11, Wednesday, the 21-year-old aspiring entrepreneur says, "More of ano yun, the concept of delayed gratification, yung hindi mo agad bibilhin yung bagay na tingin mo hindi mo kailangan.
"Kasi parang sometimes, spur of the moment, e. Like, for example, may 9.9 sale, so parang lahat ng tao gusto bumili agad. What they don't think of is kung kailangan ba nila yung bagay na yun.
"Being Filipino-Chinese, hindi naman sa pagiging kuripot, but more on thinking ahead lang na kung kailangan ba natin itong mga bagay na ito."
Philene also observes that some Filipinos buy luxury items beyond their financial capacity in order flaunt their status on social media.
The 21-year-old Financial Management graduate advises Filipinos to manage their finances based on priority.
She says, "Maging sensitive sila when it comes to handling their money kasi parang ang nakikita ko sa millennials nowadays, parang mas important yung social status.
"Yung parang image mo, parang trying to be rich din, parang pinapantayan mo yung mga tao."
Philene believes that it's more important to build real relationships with good people than to establish a fake social class and status.
The beauty queen tells PEP.ph, "They don't have to be like that naman kasi they have to stay true to themselves.
"Don't sacrifice your financial aspects just because gusto mo makuha yung social status na ine-aim mo."
She adds, "No matter how poor or how rich you are, yung mga tao na true sa iyo, sila pa rin naman yung magsi-stay beside you.
"Hindi mo kailangan makipagpantayan with other people."
When it comes to money-saving tips, Philene believes it's all about financial awareness, which starts in your very own home.
She relates, "I started saving as young as elementary, guided by my mom. So parang, pinapa-handle niya sa akin yung finances ko.
"Parang, 'This is your money, kapag naubos mo iyan, it's your problem.' Parang dun pa lang, naging aware na ako agad na parang hindi mo siya dapat ubusin or kailangan pag-isipan ko muna before I buy it.
"Dun pa lang nag-start na ako mag-save kaya up until now, gusto ko siya i-spread to... inspire young students talaga to be financially aware as young as possible."