Useful Lessons From Teleseryes: Juan Dela Cruz

My previous teleserye post was rather successful so I thought it might be a good idea to do another one. This time, to sort of up the ante, we'll look at a series that doesn't have a business setting: Juan Dela Cruz.  

The story thus far: Kael is a famous cop (and secretly an aswang/vampire). Rosario really likes him (after getting rejected by Juan, but that's beside the point - specially since that reveals just how long I've been "aware" of this series). Kael rejects Rosario, or at the very least is semi-antagonistic to her.

For some reason he ends up falling in love with her. It's too late, she's already in love again with Juan. And since this is a Filipino story, Juan naturally gets beaten up by a bunch of goons he doesn't know.

Juan ends up in the hospital, with a shattered leg that of course requires a huge amount of money to fix via operation. And since he is the hero, of course he doesn't have money. To add to the "thrill", Belen, the resident mother figure, forbids him from being a hero.

Disregarding (or accepting) the fact that he will recover and save the day, what can we learn from this story that actually has something to do with personal finance?

Don't ignore opportunity; and should you not need it, definitely don't burn the bridge.
Had Kael not antagonized Rosario, he would have stood a better chance against Juan. Sure, he wasn't in love then, but there was no point in burning that bridge.

(Of course, that same advice doesn't apply to relationships. So he might actually have done the right thing relationship-wise.)

The unlikely can happen; that's what insurance is for.
Juan battles a room full of supernatural enemies (aswangs in the billiard hall) alone and comes out unscathed. But he ends up getting beaten up by run-of-the-mill goons. Now, to fix his shattered leg, he'll need a big sum of money.

The unthinkable, and specially the unlikely, can happen. That's what insurance is for. Don't let a freak accident wipe you out.

Have a risk mitigation plan and a contingency plan.
Juan got into trouble pretty much because he was alone. He didn't have a way to call for help, and no one had a way of helping him out. The simple process of checking in or calling would have mitigated any risks by alerting friends when he was unable to contact them.

And in our high-tech world, even a relatively simple and ordinary cellphone could be tracked via GPS. A few years ago, I remember hearing that you could find out someone's location from it without overly complicated or technical steps.

But I mentioned those not to say what he didn't do or could have done (the script writers probably already knew those things, anyway). I just wanted to quickly highlight how to go about thinking of mitigation and contingency plans.

And also, no matter how easy or simple something is, it's worth having those plans. Probably the only exception is when they're more expensive or more trouble than the worst case scenario is worth.

As you've probably heard: Hope for the best, but always prepare for the worst.

Don't take unnecessary risks
But the most useful thing to learn here is to not take the risk unless it's warranted. Juan had at least two guys who could've had his back. He went at it alone because he could.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in particular, this means don't take quit your job for that side business until it's profitable enough. Even Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook on the side.

For ordinary folks, this means don't bypass building your emergency fund just because you have a credit card and a high-paying job.

But risk is inevitable; we need to take some risks (if it's worth it)
Lastly, after Juan got beat up, Belen was strongly against letting him go back to "patrolling" and even to letting him have the mystical (magical?) metal cross. Which, of course, doesn't make sense.

The point here is that in life, we'll have to take risks to do something worthwhile. In investing, it's the same. There's no point in being too conservative in your investments, unless you've got something else planned or in the works. It doesn't mean "gambling" your money on stocks, but you can't just lock it up in a time deposit either.

If you liked this article, please subscribe to my feed, like me on Facebook, join me on Google+, or follow me on Twitter @thePFApprentice. It's free and you'll be updated when a new article comes out.

This article is one of three companion pieces:

Useful Lessons From Teleseryes: 

photo credit:


  1. I'm loving this series! It keeps me updated with the current telenovelas:p

    So this is what my dad was referring to when we heard about the kidnapped boy who was discovered with some internal organs missing.

    1. Sigh so my niche is now mixing finance with telenovelas :P hehe

      Poor boy. I've heard of similar events at least a couple of years ago. Hopefully it's not going to keep escalating.

  2. Great work here. I'm also watching it after TV Patrol. And yes, we can really apply its lessons to our everyday activities, like in business and investing.