MANILA - Veteran actress and Batangas 6th District Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto once had to pay off millions of pesos in debt.
Speaking on DZMM, Santos said there was a time that a big chunk, or even all, of her pay went to paying off her debts.
"Dumating sa point na nagtatrabaho ako, gumawa ako ng walong pelikula sa Regal [Films Inc.], walong pelikula sa Viva [Entertainment Inc.], wala na akong tinatanggap na bayad kasi diretso na 'yun pambayad sa bangko," she said.
(It came to the point that even if I made eight movies each for Regal Films Inc. and Viva Entertainment Inc., I earned nothing because all my money went to pay the bank.)
According to Santos, she did not monitor her finances, so she was not aware that her debt to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and banks had grown to a total of about P8 million.
"Masyado akong nagtiwala sa mga tao. I thought all the while, everything was okay, until isang araw, nagising ako na 'yung mga bahay na binili ko, may mga utang, nailit ng bangko," she said.
(I trusted people too much. I thought all the while, everything was okay, until one day I woke up and all my properties were foreclosed.)
When this happened, she was forced to learn how to handle her finances properly.
The veteran actress said she often tells young actors and actresses to be careful with their finances to avoid suffering like she did.
It is easy to be "spoiled" in show business, she said, because celebrities earn big paychecks, especially if their projects are very successful.
"Kaya 'yan ang ipinapayo ko sa mga kabataan ngayon...I-handle nila [ang pera nila] nang mabuti. Kasi ako noon, wala akong aka-accounting," Santos said.
(That's what I tell the young actors...They should handle their money properly. I knew nothing of accounting back then.)
Young actors and actresses should also be careful with the people they deal with, and make sure to monitor their finances even if they have accountants or financial advisers.
"Kaya nga sabi ko, mag-iingat. Make sure na tinitingnan niyo ang inyong mga finances, may nag-hahandle ng tama, at kahit may nag-hahandle, dapat chine-check mo," Santos said.
(I tell them to be careful. They should look at their finances, and get people to help them handle them properly. Even if someone manages their money for them, they should check.)