Minutes after arriving at my apartment all the way from Bacolod City, I’ve decided to go to SM City Iloilo to do a quick shopping.  I wanted to relax after a very tiring trip…and thought that shopping would do me a favor.  But I was wrong…

The taxi dropped me at the entrance near the Food Cout Area.  I wanted to go to Mendrez then to Itti but before I could reach my destinations, I guy by the name of ANDREW caught up with me and showed me this paper that appears like a raffle coupon.  I initially said NO to the guy — err gay — telling him that I’m in a hurry.  But he insisted saying that it will just be quick…that he has gifts for me…that everything is for FREE.

After showing me this paper/raffle coupon, Andrew quickly explained important stuff form the back portion of the paper/raffle coupon.  To sum things up he enticed me with a chance to win US$10,000 and/or a chance to win a Honda City car tax free.  Enticing isn’t it?  But no, I wasn’t enticed at all!  But he said it will be very quick…that this 45-minute discussion is just by the number.

Andrew took me to a portion — some sort of their office — at SM City.  Wow! Lots of people in there.  There’s this front desk with people waiting outside.  At the left side of the room, a private area, are like coffee tables wherein some guys in tie and women in green are talking to people in civilian (must be SM goers).

According to Andrew, the info I entered into their sort of raffle coupon thingy will be entered into their computer.  That wat I won’t need another discussion if ever I go to other SM malls.  OK.  I’m safe because the info I entered weren’t that complete anyway.  After minutes of waiting, my name was called…actually I didn’t get up first because the name that was called was JACOVI! Huh! Obviously, that wasn’t me.  Andrew asked the woman in green if the last name was VALENZUELA and she said YES.

The woman in green escorted me inside this room filled with coffee tables used by men and women discussing.  I knew something will happen.  But I didn’t mind because it’s easy to say NO…plus the fact that it’s clearly stipulated at the front of their raffle coupon that THIS PROMOTION DOES NOT REQUIRE SALES while at the back one of the statements states that THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BUY ANYTHING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROMOTION.

The woman in green talked about IPON — savings in English — after asking me about personal information such as my parents, my siblings, down to my dreams.  Those information were entered into this certain FORM.  To cut the story short, this woman in green then asked me WHAT IF ANG OFFER NILA GUSTO KO, BENEFICIAL, and KAYA KO will I say YES?  I said NO…Why? I don’t like it first and foremost.  Savings or IPON can be an advantage or can be a disadvantage.  Thirdly, I don’t have extra budget for it.

Here’s something that almost forced me to said YES.  After several convincing that I still said NO, there’s this one woman — probably in higher position than this woman in green — who approached our table and said she will go straight to the point by asking me why I said I don’t like it and why I said I have something better.  Frankly I told her, that I’m already into an Insurance company that does not just protects me via an Insurance but also puts my money into some sort of investment.  I told the woman the name of the Insurance Company and she mentioned that her best friend is the manager of this Company.  Isip ko lang, “SO?”

In addition to this straightforward discussion, the woman asked me if I have any idea about IPON and I frankly told her OF COURSE.  She asked how and where did I learn those ideas and I told her from school.  I could have told her that I have lots of FINANCE-related books at home…not to mention personal experiences.

Without me noticing it, the woman in black left our table after telling me that she was from UP-Diliman….hehehe actually Miss I’m also from UP…UP Visayas nga lang.

Here comes the most annoying part.  This woman in green told me from her lousy story of asking me if I believe in Fate only to tell me that her name was FAITH.  Ha??? Did I make a mistake out of the spelling?  This Faith was repeatedly saying the same IPON IPON IPON IPON IPON…and I kept on telling her that I already have lots of ipon. But here are some things that imply a lot of things:

1. I told FAITH my money are divided into personal expenses, for dreams, and for EMERGENCY.  Guess what she told me: Ma’am can we get a very small portion of your fund for EMERGENCY to be made as ipon with us?

Ha??????????? Say that again please!  I actually repeated her words to me and then she changed it by saying it wasn’t what she meant.

2. Assuming that this FAITH need to make some sales out of me, I told her that she can just tell her supervisors that I have no money.  Guess what she told me: Ma’am di po ba may credit card naman kayo?

Whoa!!!! You mean to say I’ll swipe my credit card just to pay you…just to give to that IPON thingy? My goodness! Are these people really trained about what IPON means?

To my dismay I even explained to FAITH that according to what I’ve learned from people in the bank, from CPAs, and finance coaches, that credit cards are wisely used when used only for emergency.  FAITH answered Ma’am IPON naman to e.  Greeeeeeeeeat!!!! There’s no use talking to this person.

3. I had to end the conversation.  So I told FAITH that I’m in a hurry because I have an appointment at 9pm.  Nothing…She kept on talking about IPON.  I begged for her to let me go…She kept on talking about IPON.  To the point that I made her undertand that my point was just a matter of prioritizing:

Shall I stay with them wherein I need to pay or shall I leave and proceed to my appointment wherein I’ll be earning some money?

But wow FAITH didn’t understand…she kept on talking about OPIN.

At one time, FAITH approached a woman who was in her white uniform — she must have took off her black or navy blue blazer — and from their secret conversation I understood that the woman in white wanted FAITH to convince me further.  So when FAITH went back to our table I frankly told her that no matter what she say I will never say YES.

To those who are curious about the amount they’re asking, this is what FAITH told me.

Initial deposit: 48,000 pesos (went down to PhP6,650.00)

Monthly payment: 1,000+ pesos

So is that what THIS PROMOTION DOES NOT REQUIRE SALES or THERE IS NO OBLIGATION TO BUY ANYTHING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROMOTION mean?

I was already begging FAITH to bring me to a person who can just let me go but she wasn’t listening. The never of her to ask me if I’m already angry…I WAS ANGRY TO THE MAX! To the point that I already told her that if you will not let me go, I will call the Police. Naku you know what wala lang sa kanya…my goodness!

My escape? When FAITH left our table, I toold long and fast strides towards the door passing through their reception area all the way outside bringing myself to the comfort room near the Food Court Area.

I was feeling hot.  My face was all-red.  My heart was pounding heart.  I just said Hubby is coming over to pick me up so I need not worry.  I was trembling.  My God they didn’t want me out.  What are they?

Now, I’m confused whether I should report this to DTI or not…especially after finding out that their raffle coupon has no DTI permit number.  Should I post a blotter or not?  Will it do me a favor if I report?  Will I still live a peaceful life?  Pleas help me…