Christian Bautista on spending & investing prudentlyBy Randell Tiongson on August 13th, 2011
from the July-August 2011 issue of Moneysense
Internationally renowned balladeer Christian Bautista virtually stumbled into his current career because he was merely exploring his artistic calling. Unknown to many, Christian graduated from the prestigious University of the Philippines with a degree in Landscape Architecture.
Artistry has always been a passion for Christian but he didn’t think that he will end up with a very successful singing career and now also an acting career. His love for singing was limited to schools and church. Since he wanted to explore his musical artistry, he put his landscape architecture on hold. His father agreed to Christian’s decision but he gave his son a window of two years. If Christian will not progress in his musical career, he will focus on building a career in landscape architecture. The rest, as they say, is history.
To sustain himself during those times without being a burden to his parents, Christian endured odd jobs such as being a promo boy, doing VTRs, and being an extra in some commercials. “I survived those trying times because kuripot ako (I’m thrifty),” Christian recalls.
Christian eventually enrolled at Trumpets for further training on musical theater. Since he was an obvious standout, it was only a matter of time before he was discovered by his current talent manager, Carlo Orosa. Christian auditioned and was selected as a finalist for ABS-CBN’s Star in a Million (which produced other great artists like Erik Santos and Sheryn Regis) where he earned the moniker “Josh Groban of the Philippines.” But the budding balladeer only ended up at fourth place.
Persistence pays off
However, Christian’s unremarkable ranking at Star in a Million did not discourage the young singer to pursue his passion and his dream. Today, Christian Bautista is a multi-platinum recording artist not just in the Philippines but even in other countries particularly Indonesia where he is considered a superstar.
From modest beginnings, Christian Bautista is one of the country’s most notable names in the entertainment industry and continues to be more and more popular. He will soon be seen in an Indonesian-produced movie A Special Symphony where he landed the starring role and is slated for an Asian release.
Christian is currently in Singapore for the taping of a trailblazing Asian TV musical series entitled The Kitchen Musical where he co-stars with Karylle and other Asian stars. Truly, Christian has achieved super stardom that has breached other lands. “Although I will away for a few months, I am very thankful for the break I’ve been given,” Christian shares. “I hope Filipinos will not forget me that soon since I’ll be back shortly,” he adds.
A modest lifestyle
With the meteoric rise to fame of Christian, his income has soared in proportion to his success. From earning a few bucks from odd jobs, he is now being handsomely remunerated in accordance to his talent and popularity. “I don’t earn chump change anymore,” Christian muses.
While he can now afford to live a very ostentatious lifestyle, his upbringing and prudent behavior has kept him grounded and he has refused to follow the flamboyant lifestyles of the entertainment industry. Christian shares that during his earlier years of his meteoric rise in popularity (and income), “I drove an old Subic converted van.” While he could have afforded an expensive luxury SUV then, the humble and prudent superstar felt there was no need to spend good money on expensive vehicles. “I’d rather save the money for something more important,” Christian retorts.
In fact, he held on to his old van for about three years until his manager implored upon him to get a newer vehicle, citing safety and convenience issues. Episodes of the beat up old van breaking down were a cue for Christian Bautista to get a new vehicle. One would expect that the superstar balladeer would fork out a couple of millions to buy a luxury European sedan right? Not Christian. He went and bought a modest all-purpose vehicle that was not pricey and was very practical. When asked as to why he did not opt for a flashier model, Christian responds, “Why waste good money on something that loses value fast?” Certainly, the balladeer’s sense of practical thinking was not dulled by his status.
Today, Christian admits that he now keeps two vehicles because he felt the need to keep them for convenience purposes. So does he now own an expensive German sedan and a luxury SUV? No. He now purchased a pre-owned Japanese sedan and a van. With all his wealth, he still opts to remain practical and invest in money elsewhere, like real estate.
Christian’s first investment was his home. Did he buy a penthouse unit in Fort Bonifacio or Makati? Again, not Christian. He patiently looked around for a property of great value and kept being prudent. Even if he can afford it, he did not want to spend too much money on his home. “I also don’t want to pay expensive monthly dues,” he adds. He eventually bought a nice but modest home in San Juan. “It’s small yet spacious enough for me and has everything I need,” says the balladeer.
Christian shares that he understands that his money needs to grow, otherwise inflation will just eat up his hard-earned money. He has invested in some commercial buildings in Cavite that earns him adequate passive income. His criteria before investing in any venture is that it should be of very good value, has potential for steady income, is physically accessible to him or members of his immediate family (for management purposes), and should not drain him financially.
Christian prefers repossessed properties because he believes that the capital appreciation of such will be better over the years. He also does not believe in buying anything on credit so all his investments have been purchased with cash.
He further shares that the secret to him having been able to invest the way he does and remain debt free is prudence. Christian has decided not to indulge in excesses. He wants comfort in life but his definition of comfort is very different from those in his industry. He is very practical and prudent. He maintains a modest lifestyle and understands value. One would think that Christian is a trained financial expert and entrepreneur rather than an internationally renowned singer-actor whenever you talk about money issues with him.
In the unlikely future when Christian Bautista will stop singing and acting, the balladeer will definitely not go hungry. When asked as to what he can advise other people with regards to money management, his reply: “Keep it simple.”
Practical, prudent, simple with finances yet grandiose in talent – that’s Christian Bautista.