OPM, part 2

May 26, 2005 at 10:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

other people’s money.

my aunt and her husband has entrusted me with the safekeep of their ‘retirement fund’. it’s not a lot initially, but they expect to invest more and more money into it so that by the time they retire and settle back in the country they will have a buffer fund from whcih they can withdraw, buy a house and maybe even start their own business.

now i know that’s a huge responsibility, with the money all in my name, and the truth is, it is flattering to think that they trust me enough to let me handle the account.

just a funny thing happened recently however. my aunt’s stepson is celebrating his birthday today, and she made arrangements with my mom to have about a few thousand pesos be made available for my cousin. (my aunt’s husband, her second, has two sons from a previous marriage. both kids grew up one house away from the old sta. maria house in tondo where i grew up, so i knew them from way back.)

in any case, my mom and i agreed to facilitate the transfer of funds, and since allan, the one who’s birthday is coming up today does not have his own account, it would have to be a physical transfer.

my mom, 68 and thin and all that, texted allan and told him to meet her up last tuesday at mcdonald’s tandang sora, so it wouldn’t be difficult for her. i agreed to such an arrangement since i did not want her to go all the way to tondo, with the summer heat still insisting at this late part of may. allan texted back, saying he didn’t know the place. hogwash! when my aunt and uncle gatch went here for a vacation last january they stayed in tandang sora with both him and his brother. of course he knew where mcdonald’s was!

yesterday, i arranged with my mom to do the delivery myself. i texted allan telling him to meet me up instead at burger king in welcome rotonda. i was thinking it would be best since it was halfway between manila and quezon city. (and the truth is, i simply will NOT be bothered to go to tondo myself). he didn’t reply all day, although i kept texting him up to around 6 pm. by 8 pm i gave up because i had to go to frank’s wake and i wanted to condole with risa.

when i got home at around 1 am last night i told mom i hadn’t been able to make the transfer since allan did not reply to my messages.

this morning mom sent him another message and he didn’t reply again. exasperated, my mom texted him and his brother alvin that if she does not get any reply from either one of them, she will simply go to tondo and give the money to their lola. something which both my mom and i knew they didn’t want.

a reply came.

it just occurred to me how lazy my cousin is. he can’t be bothered to make an effort to go to us instead, and despite our repeated requests to meet up either my mom or me somewhere, he kept ignoring our messages. i was pissed, really, because i am talking here of a guy a year older than me, but whose built is about twice my size. malakas pa sa kabayo ang damuho, at ang gusto pa niya eh ang nanay kong senior citizen ang pupunta sa kaniya para magdala ng pera.

the lazy sonofagun himself confirmed my suspicion as much when he said he’d just meet up with my mom at my aunt beth’s house tomorrow.

now i don’t know if this is just plain laziness on his part or what, but i have a nagging suspicion that the issue may be more than that. upon learning that i was managing their parents’ fund, allan apparently asked my uncle gatch why he gave me the money instead of putting it in his name.

my uncle, whom i met only briefly last january apparently said in disgust, that he trusted me more than he trusted his own son.

which gets me all worried because there is money involved in this comment. and despite this little incident i like my cousins, and i treat them like blood. and the fact is, my uncle gatch hasn’t been with his sons for more than ten years. he is making up for lost time, but when it comes to money, he wants allan specifically to get a job so he can provide for his kids. alvin, on the other hand, is paraplegic and of course is confined to the house. allan, needless to say, has a lot of burden on his hands.

i guess the difference between me and allan in the way we handle our responsibilities wasn’t lost on my uncle. it’s flattering to be recognized for my efforts, but i don’t want to come in between a father and his sons.

from the very beginning i had expressed my hesitation to handle their money but barring any other recourse, i took it on in deference to my aunt and uncle, and all the nice shoes they keep sending me over the years (all of my nice shoes came from them!). hehe. that’s facetious, i know. the truth is, i feel i owe it to them to keep the money safe and secure. any disbursements only come with their consent and their prior instructions.

maybe i can find a way to transfer the money to an account under my uncle’s name, but i have no idea how to do that. but in the long term, i do hope that my cousin can get his act together. i would be more than glad to turn it over to him. i have enough trouble managing my own money, and i would certainly welcome any opportunity to help other people manage their own instead of passing it on to me.


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