Today, we start this weekly column. Why “East to West”? We like the symbolisms of the phrase. East to West is a vast expanse. We hope to cover a variety of topics. It could also mean that one never gets there. Anywhere you stand, there is always an east and a west. Just like our everyday lives. There is always something to go to, to aim for. Just like contending opinions, there are pros and cons. In EastWest Bank, the current thought is to combine the friendly and soft touch of the east and the efficiency and straightforward ways of the west. If we find the sweet spot between the east and the west, we would have found the Holy Grail in customer service. And just simply, we find “East to West” nice.
We plan to make a commentary on a variety of topics. But because we are in banking, you could expect that this will be more about finance and money matters, with a sprinkling of other commentaries. And it is in the Lifestyle section because we hope to make it light. It will not be hard-core finance. Besides, bankers, like all business types, don’t want to dabble much into political and social commentaries. It’s not good for business.
So what is a banker doing writing a weekly column in the Lifestyle section? The answer comes straight from a beauty pageant Q&A book. We hope to help demystify banking, finance, and investments and help more Filipinos become better equipped in money matters. We do not intend to discuss investments and money matters like an MBA professor would. Not too many will read it. We recognize though that we also cannot handle it in the way we chat over drinks. We will try to come somewhere in between.
Writing is something we always wanted to do. We had always admired writers. And we know it will not be easy. We’re not sure it is any easier than running a bank. But it is a worthy undertaking. As they say, anything that is worth doing is never easy. In the same way that we learned a lot from the efforts of writers, we hope to share in return some of the things we learned.
This is a column for the ordinary Filipinos. We believe we have the bona fides to understand ordinary people. We came from the same ranks – certified working class background. Our parents were in high school when the world war erupted. They never completed high school. Through hard work, savings discipline, and wise investments, they were able to send all their nine children to college. Their story is not uncommon. We see it in many of our customers in the bank. We don’t need a PHD to understand the basics of securing our financial future. Though of course, we need to exert some efforts.
We believe money matters are of a universal concern. We hope that you will find this column helpful and engaging as we try to make the basics of banking, finance, and investments more understandable. We hope to hear from you too. So there, until next Wednesday.