If there's one piece of advice Dianne Medina would want to tell couples in serious relationships, it is to get the elephant out of the room.
Essentially it means talk money.
And lucky for Dianne and her husband Rodjun Cruz, they had the best financial adviser during the early stage of their relationship.
Dianne recalled to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) the objection of her late mother, Maria Josefa Medina, when she discovered they were secretly buying a condominium unit as an investment.
This was in 2009, three years after Dianne and Rodjun officially became a couple in 2006 at the age of 19.
She related, "Medyo ambitious kami ni Rodjun. Nung bago pa lang kami, matatawa ka. Bumibili kami ng condo together pero hindi kami live-in kasi bawal, e.
"Very strict yung parents ko, e, so may kanya-kanya kaming bahay. Gusto lang namin ng investment. Mahilig kasi akong ganyan, e, yung ipon, investment.
"Nahuli ng mom ko kasi yung condo, nagpadala ng letter sa house, e, naka-down na kami ni Rodjun."
Dianne and Rodjun were then advised by her mom to put their money on a joint savings account rather than on a property.
Dianne explained, "Sabi ni mommy, 'Anak, ayoko kasi ganyan-ganyan... Siyempre, hindi ka pa sure and all.
"Mahirap iyan, property iyan, kapag pinaghatian and all, yung mga buy-out buy-out pa,' ganyan.
"Yun yung sinasabi ko sa inyo, maganda yung may advice ng parents talaga, na open ka sa mom mo, at least guided ka. So dun pa lang, naagapan agad.
"Sabi sa akin, ang advice ni mommy, 'Kung talagang gusto niyo ni Rodjun, hindi kita mapigilan kasi kung tatanungin mo ako, ayoko pa sana ng mga joint account because it's too early,' sabi niya.
"'Kung gusto mo, mag-ipon na lang kayo sa bank na naghuhulog kayo kasi, at least, if the time comes na hindi talaga kayo, puwede niyo lang talagang i-half or i-split into two.
"'Unlike property na mahihirapan kayo, na you would go over the process, mga taxes and all, documents, ito mas madali.' So sinunod ko lang naman yung payo ni mommy."
The wisdom of her mom's advice has accrued benefits over time, and they are grateful.
Their savings really helped with their wedding and their dream house expenses.
Dianne said, "Yung wedding at yung house, hindi kami nahirapan sa funds."
Dianne shared this story during her "Anong Chika Today?" session with PEP.ph on Calamansi app last Monday, March 29, 2021.
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BUILDING A FAMILY
Meanwhile, a piece of advice Dianne would like to share with couples getting married is to put everything on the table, from the details of their wedding to building a home and planning a family.
Dianne said she and Rodjun took their time to plan their wedding to make sure that they were both financially stable and fully prepared for the next stages of their relationship.
Dianne and Rodjun waited two years to get married after they got engaged in October 2017.
Dianne told PEP.ph, "'Di ba ang daming nagtatanong, 2017 na-engage 'tapos 2019 kinasal.
"Matagal kasi nga sabi ko, 'Lord, kung ikakasal ako, I want to be stable, gusto ko may house na kami ni Rodjun.'
"Kasi once magkaanak, siyempre, you would prioritize si Joaquin, di ba? Yung anak namin. Di ba mawawala ka na dun sa dream mo na magkaroon ka ng sariling house.
"So I made sure na matapos muna lahat ng mga dapat tapusin before, you know, jumping into another stage sa buhay namin or another chapter in our lives.
"Hindi naman biro magpakasal, hindi rin biro magbuo ng pamilya. Akala natin lahat, 'Uy, kinasal,' ganyan.
"Hindi naman lahat bed of roses so you have to really be prepared and you really have to plan everything."
Dianne and Rodjun tied the knot at the Manila Cathedral on December 21, 2019. They have a baby boy named Joaquin.