Redirection to a Better Future

Regine Marie Talucod“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,  plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

I started my story with this wonderful word from God because this is where my journey to CMA started.

Honestly, I’m not familiar with this certification before because I was too focused in my journey to have the CPA License. Yes, just like some of you my dear, I was kicked out of the BS Accountancy program in our beloved university. Believe me, I did everything to pursue Accountancy but OUR GOD really moves in mysterious ways that’s why I am here. I am here to where I truly belong. One thing I have realized? Being a management accounting student/graduate doesn’t make you less than those who still pursue Accountancy. Yes, I know how sad and painful it is to fail. I know how hard it is to tell your parents that you failed to finish what you have started but the verse that I have mentioned in the opening stanza reminds me that what I have been through was not a failure but a redirection to a better future. I know it’s hard to take another risk when you already doubted your capabilities. I have thought a million times before I decided to take this path to redeem myself from the failure that I have experienced 3 years ago.

May 2, 2015. “This is it!” That was the first thing that came into my mind when the review for the Part 2 exam started. I was too scared to take this part because it includes the topics I hate the most during my undergraduate course. Focusing on the review was difficult especially when you’re at home wherein you’re surrounded with distractions (TV, internet, gadgets).  I must say that during the review, I also learned to discipline myself. I attended all the sessions, all the advance classes and special classes to make sure that I could face the exam bravely at the end of June.

A week before the Part 2 exam, my family went to a road trip. We went to Liliw, Laguna and there, I found a church where I bought a rosary. I asked the priest to bless the rosary and what he told me gave me goosebumps: “Papasa ka. Maniwala ka lang. HE will guide you.”

During the exam, I was really nervous. I was literally trembling for a few minutes after I clicked the start button. I also had problem with the keyboard that consumed my precious time for the essay part. Yes. I was really thankful that I reached the essay part but I know that I did not perform well during the Part 2 exam.

Waiting for the result was really a torture for me. I cannot focus on the review for the Part 1 exam until the results were out. Luckily, I did it! I was half way there!

Part 1 has a longer and wider coverage than Part 2. It includes plenty of theories that’s why, I tried to revise my strategy in preparing for this part. I tried to read everything first, without solving. Few weeks before the exam, I started to doubt my ability to take the exam as scheduled. I am not sure whether the time I spent studying this part is really enough to pass the exam or Am I just nervous that’s why felt this way. I cannot assess myself that’s why I asked help and advice from friends and CMA mentors. Revising my strategy was inefficient but I did my best to get back on track. I stopped reading and started solving problems. I maximized the use of all the resources around me. Though travelling from Cavite to Makati was very tiring, I decided to go to the review center every day to read, or to have an assessment, or just take down notes. I didn’t mind if I was alone; all I knew was that I wanted to do this. I fervently want to have that three letter title after my name. Not just for me, but also for all the people who supported me and believed in me all throughout. I was too determined during that time and my parents were very supportive.

With God’s grace, I am now, Regine Marie L. Talucod, CMA.

To all the people who became part of this journey, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Thank you for encouraging me when I doubted myself. Thank you for supporting me emotionally, financially, and physically. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the guidance.

My journey to CMA was not easy but it’s worth it. I guess all we need is enough courage to take another risk after each failure for us to be able to redeem ourselves and move forward. Hanging on from the past will not make us better individuals. Pains and failures should serve as a lesson for us and a stepping stone to our future successes. Remember that all those successful people nowadays, once failed along the way.

Dum Spiro, Spero!

Alden ChuidianI’ve planned to take the CMA examination out of frustration at first, which eventually turned out to be a fruit of a molded perspective as time goes by. Let’s go back to where it started.

Timer starts in 3, 2, 1…

I was a graduate of University of Perpetual Help – Molino Campus, a business high school. One of the subjects offered was bookkeeping. As days go by, I am starting to enjoy the thrill of the subject and made me think that I should take a course that is related to this, and that made me choose Accountancy. Because of proximity and specialty, I’ve decided to enroll in De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. Unfortunately, after taking up Partnership and Corporation subject, I came short in reaching the quota grade and later on shifted to Management Accounting course. It was never part of the plan. I told myself “I’ll just finish this, then I’ll be back in conquering the CPA path.” I’ve underestimated my new program, for I was blinded by the fact that this was never what I’ve wanted in life in the first place. Later on, I can see that this shift from where I was, to where am I at the moment, was in fact a blessing. I became the Class President, Vice President of JPAMA, and representative for different seminars and meetings. Those positions that I’ve held led me to meet Sir Angel Secerio, the President of the IMA Philippines Chapter and founder of Insights Financial Review Services. He discussed what CMA is all about, and the opportunities that await us after graduation. That dinner meeting filled my stomach with good food, as well as my entirety with motivation to pursue the CMA credential.

During the review, we were told to use an alias. I was a having a hard time choosing one, for I want something that could assure me no one would know it was mine. Until I thought of my sister, Ma. Ivy Zamora. She was the one who supports my education ever since, because our mother had retired at an early age. Php 65,000 fee is a no joke and that made me realize to think of something related to my sister, a thing that would let me be reminded of her so that I would really take this examination seriously. I chose POISON IVY, a batman film character.

Sleepless nights, anxiety, lost motivation, fear… these were the things that I did NOT experience. Yes, you read it right, I didn’t. Despite the fact that this exam was described as a giant, I was not afraid at all because of Philippians 4:6, which serves as one of my life verses. My co-candidates were way ahead of me in terms of finishing the review materials. Many of them even threw questions to each other that I do not have an idea with, but still I’ve remained calm. Some of them decided to rent a dorm, stop playing games they used to play, miss some hangouts and reunions with family and friends but in my case, I didn’t. The reason why is not that I boast, that I can do everything better than anybody, but because I want to conquer this exam being myself. I am not a person who would stay late at night just to study these materials. I am a gamer. I love having moments with my friends and relatives. I highly respect the diligence and effort of my co-candidates for their willingness to sacrifice a portion of their lives just to accomplish this mission. But at the end of the day, why would I compare myself with others when I am the one who would sit in front of the computer and answer those deadly questions? They can do it their way; I can do it my way as well.

Part I. Checked! I’ve considered this success as a gift to all the doubters who kept on thinking that there’s a problem in me. I don’t want to curse them, but I want to thank them for this. Without them, I wouldn’t be this motivated and determined to ace this exam. This is also a gift to my instructors, both DLSU-D and Insights, for their utmost support all throughout my journey.

Part II. Checked! This one’s for my parents and friends who never stopped pushing me not just to, but through my limits. This is also offered to a 7-year old neighbor who died during the time of my review (wherever you are, this one’s for you bro, I know you’re happy with Him now).

“Dum spiro, spero” is a Latin term meaning “While I breathe, I hope.” As we all know, problems in life did not come to stay, they have come to pass. I may have failed before, but I’ve continued to stay strong and believe in His plans. There are multiple choices as to how we’ll make our lives the way we wanted it to be. Study again, work, rest, etc. As in my case, I’ve decided to take the CMA examination. Upon coming up with a decision, we need to fill in the blanks with the tools needed; effort, perseverance, positive mindset, confidence, and most especially, prayers. Along with these things, there is a need for an identification of who we really are. We don’t need to copy others; we just need to be ourselves. Let us establish the blueprint of our future; who we are, what we have to do, and what we wanted to be. Think of your life as an essay to be submitted to other people. Would they give you a perfect score? Would they be inspired? As long as the ink’s dropping, keep writing.

Life is a big book of knowledge and inspiration meant to be read by other people. Many failures and disappointments may come along the way, but they are powerless against a determined heart. As long as you’re breathing, keep fighting! I may have not been able to pursue the CPA journey, but I got something else to cherish and be proud of… the CMA title. This all happened because of Him. Without God, we are nothing.

And now, to whoever reads this, figure out for yourself if you really wanted to take this challenge. If yes, all you need to do is be still, have faith in Him, and believe in yourself.




CMA Passer, 2015

Don’t Just Dream It, “Work” It!

Pic - Maricollin Ramirez - InsightsMy CMA journey was not what I exactly planned but in the end, it was all worth it.

It was just a year ago when I first went to Insights Financial Review Center and inquired about their CMA program. I learned from my college classmates that the new management accounting graduates of DLSU-D were then taking their CMA review course in the said review center. I felt jealous at them, and for me they were lucky because they were almost close to their dream of becoming a CMA. Then I reflected on myself if I am happy with my present state. I told myself that I really want to be a CMA. But in order to do that, I must take the first step, an action to make that dream possible. Dreams don’t work unless you do!

When I went to Insights Financial Review Center, I got excited and anxious at the same time. I was excited thinking that I was getting a step closer to my dream. I told myself that “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” I also felt anxious because of the “what ifs” in my mind. What if I can’t do it? What if I fail again? What if being a CMA wasn’t for me? These were the questions that bothered me. I thought back then I couldn’t afford another failure in life again.

Back in college, I started as an Accountancy student in DLSU-D. At first, I thought that this will be the path that will lead me to my dream, ‘to become a CPA’. It was my childhood dream since my relatives were mostly CPAs. I studied my subjects well. Became a dean’s lister in our college. All things were good until I failed for the first time. It was very hard for me to accept that I can no longer continue in the Accountancy program. I felt failure, and all my dreams were shattered to pieces. I will not be a CPA anymore. But this didn’t stop me to reach for my dreams. I planned to transfer to other university just to continue my dream but it didn’t happen. Instead of transferring school, I decided to shift my course to Management Accounting because this course was also similar to Accountancy but without auditing subjects. I was thinking that time that maybe God has other plans for me, so I pursued this course. After graduating, I was happy that finally I already got a degree but, to be honest, I was not satisfied with what I achieved. I felt that there was something missing, I don’t have any “title” to be proud of. I knew that there is a certification exam for this course that is globally recognized but I was not aware that it was already offered in our country. I thought it was only offered in the US. I promised to myself that I will get that certification soon.

I tried to work in companies and apply for a position in accounting but I ended up having a position in marketing. I know that I can work in an accounting and finance related jobs but I was not given a chance. Maybe for them, I wasn’t good enough. Maybe those companies preferred CPAs. That time, I was working in an insurance company, as a marketing officer. I know that my present career was quite far from all the training I received in college.

I still vividly remember the day that made me decide to take the CMA examination. It was just a normal day of going to office in Makati. I rode a bus, and then suddenly I saw this advertisement of Insights Financial Review Center about the CMA Certification. I quickly took a picture of it in my phone and I showed it to my parents when I got home. I took that as a sign that tells me to grab this once in a lifetime opportunity. I asked my parents for their blessing and to help me financially. I am so blessed to have a supportive parents like them.

When I started reviewing for the CMA exams, I can say that it was not a piece of cake. It was full of sleepless nights, anxiety, doubts, sacrifices and fears. I began to question my capabilities. But when you overcome these things, I think these were the ingredients to the sweet and glorious victory. Nothing worth having comes that easy.

Collin1For those future CMA aspirants, I have this quote that I hold onto when I took my CMA journey, “She believe she could, so she did!” Just believe and do… a simple statement that can seem impossible at times but when acted upon is unstoppable. The power of believing in yourself and the willpower to achieve your dream is stronger than any force of nature yet for so many it is very difficult to do. But I encourage you to take hold of this truth and dare to believe in yourself! Amazing things will happen when you do. It may take a little time, but soon enough you will begin to see the results of your believing and doing! And don’t ever forget to PRAY. And when you feel like quitting, think about why you started. Good luck and God bless!

I would like to thank all the people who believed and supported me: my family, friends, and loved ones. I also want to thank my Insights family, the persons who are behind to this success. Thank you also to my DLSU-D professors and to Insights reviewers for sharing their knowledge with us.

If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the HARD that makes it GREAT.


About the Author: Maricollin H. Ramirez, CMA, is a BSBA major in Management Accounting graduate at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas last May 2013.