February 22, 2017

One gift, a million blessings

Eddie and Raquel Bigay carry their first born Ernie.

It was the 90s and Eddie and Raquel Bigay had worked for the life they wanted. The pair successfully built a business in Paranaque after years of selling fish, and they lived with their kids Ernie, May Ann and Lady Lyn.

That is until tragedy struck. Eddie died unexpectedly from a second operation to remove his cirrhosis. But even with his passing, the family man was still able to provide comfort to his grieving family. He left them the gift of starting over, courtesy of a reliable partner, Insular Life." 

Blessed with the gift of life and lucrative business, Raquel confidently shares her story with Insular life. 

A million reasons to hold

“I think he really thought his decision through. Maybe it scared him that we would be alone to fend for ourselves. How will I send the kids to school? How will I look after them? What will I do with hospital bills?” Raquel shared.

She recalls seeing financial advisor Marietta “Ayie” Lantican in their shop and how they talked about death and plans. Raquel knew their finances well, and so she called the financial advisor when the hour came for Eddie.

But nothing would have prepared her for his last gift—one million pesos from Eddie’s Insular Life insurance policy. It was more than enough to pay for the hospital bills and the funeral service, and she didn’t have to give up the life they have built together. 

Widowed at 33, Raquel took charge of the family and the business. “We felt that things were difficult for mama, but for us kids, life continued as it was. I thought mama will transfer me and my sister to a public school or maybe dismiss our tutor back then, but nothing changed. Our quality of life remained,” recalled Ernie.

Death was not going to end what Raquel and Eddie built. Instead, it gave Raquel a chance to explore other opportunities and apply her knack for business. With the insurance proceeds as back -up funds, Raquel with the help of her mother, siblings and her young children dared to continue the fish dealership /retailing. Through the years, she slowly but successfully expanded to other lines of businesses.

Now all grown up, Ernie works with Raquel in growing their businesses, Mary Ann works with China Bank ( IT group) and the youngest, Lady is a software developer with Orbium.

A strong “no” to catastrophe

Ayie only laughs when she recalled how Eddie and Raquel rejected her proposal outright. She told Eddie in jest, “I check the fish you offer me for quality and I buy them if it meets my standard. The two of you haven’t even seen my goods and you refused me outright.”

Eddie’s laughter signaled the start of their friendship and professional bond. For two years, she would help Eddie prepare for whatever life gives him. And good thing he was prepared, for he left his family’s Magandang Buhay intact. 

“I tell people, you can’t control everything. Even simple things like growing old everyday is out of their hands. Life doesn’t see them as a vendor, business owner, or chairman of the board,” said Ayie. This is why Insular Life helps them realize their unspoken dreams, including the ones they hold for their family and even grandchildren.

It has been almost 25 years since Eddie left and 27 years since he took Ayie’s advice. These two women have returned his gift in manifold ways. All family members now have their own policies and are enjoying their Magandang Buhay. Despite receiving the returns from her investments, Raquel still intends to work on her next project: augment her pension earnings, become independent for all her days, and secure an even better Magandang Bukas.

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