Who We Are
We are Financial Literacy Champions and Advocates.

We are a passionate team of educators and mentors on a mission to help you increase your financial knowledge, build confidence and begin your financial journey to achieve your goals.

We exist to bring about self-awareness, growth, and long-term transformation so you can actualise your truest, highest and fullest expression of your gifts and live joyful, meaningful, fulfilling, and conscious lives.

What We Do
SELFMatters provides wider access to social and financial capability and behavioural literacy that traditional education did not provide.

Our courses are designed to transform the way you think, feel and act about money and wealth.

We combine psychology and research in personal finance.

We work with organisations across sectors, schools, and women’s groups.

What We Believe


If we made a mistake or fail however big might it be, just begin, and begin again.

Our mistakes, struggle, and failure are our compelling message … our launchpad to become great and extraordinary.

We may know this truth but sometimes our limiting beliefs [too old, what people will say, etc.] get in the way so we strive to be more conscious and commit to lifelong learning.

No one is too late or too early to begin. To begin again is an option.

Sometimes, we need to be reminded that the permission to begin is in our hands and no one has a vote in the matter.


In the vastness of creation, human beings have only one life to live.

The physiological limit is a reality we all face so we aspire to make the most of our time to share our gifts, embrace who we are, continue overcoming and live in truth.

We begin even before we are ready.  We learn along the way. 

Our awareness that we are better today than yesterday and that we are getting better each day is a huge relief that we can never achieve perfection no matter how much we try.


Thank goodness! We can resist perfection!

Let’s celebrate who we are with joy, gratitude, and grace!

Our awareness of our humanity and our vulnerability help us become less personal about mistakes and failings but rather allows us to rethink and reimagine failure.  We are able to see the bigger picture, be more open to possibilities of growth, and continue engaging with our lives!  


We are "born and gifted at such a time as this."

This is a biblical and enduring truth that reminds us to use our power to participate, contribute, and make an impact. We own our voices, and become heard and visible.

According to Abraham Maslow, the psychologist who developed the hierarchy of needs.

“If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life.  You will be evading your capacities, your own possibilities.”

We have a human need to self-actualise.  Although the way to becoming who we are can be full of challenges, we can continue persevering and overcoming them.


Happiness is beyond material things. In fact, the happiness that we, humans seek can be found in experiences, overcoming challenges, and relationships, spending our time in service, communion with our faith, and experiencing autonomy to pursue our gifts and passions in life.

We strive to free ourselves from the consumerist, social media influence and expectations from other people by pursuing greater self-mastery, living intentionally and authentically, finding expression of our truest, highest and fullest selves and spending our life force on intrinsic goals.


Positive emotions are agents for transformation.

We believe we can renew, recreate and heal the community around us with a greater understanding of the people around us. There are more similarities than differences among us.


We are lifelong learners. There is so much to learn about ourselves, other people, and the world around us including our work.

Our evolution is in our hands. We get mastery of ourselves and our mission so we can show up our best to the world, act bigger than ourselves, and elevate the people around us.


Gratitude allows us to see beyond ourselves that we are interconnected and interdependent.

The good things come from the generosity and goodness of people and the grace of the Creator.

Even the bad ones have silver linings in them.

Being grateful almost immediately unlocks joy, awe, and wonder.



Carmela V. Zabala

Carmela V Zabala is both a student and a multi-passionate educator, truth-seeker, and advocate of inclusion, diversity, equity, and wider access to lifelong learning and education.  

She left her successful corporate work in the Philippines, Madrid and development work in the UK to start mastering herself. Her previous corporate work and academic studies brought her all the advancement and promotion but she felt unfulfilled and inadequate in dealing with real-world challenges. She felt she needed to expand her culture, deepen her self-awareness, grow her mindset, wisdom and confidence, be challenged, be unsettled, explore her beliefs and convictions to scrutiny so she can lead herself and others effectively, share her gifts generously and serve her community meaningfully. 

She travelled, volunteered, went back to school and took personal development extensively to get to know herself deeply, live consciously and started documenting her journey which gave birth to SELFMatters which today hosts and runs private and public events and courses at SELFMatters Academy and  SELFMatters for Business for women, young people transitioning into the world of work and organizations across sectors.  

As a result of her work at SELFMatters, Carmela and her team were able to help thousands of people make decisions and choices that support their future, discover their gifts and elevate their lives through their transformational programme.

She loves to draw, creates artwork and finds the intersection of her multi- interests and passions and her previous work background in banking, investment consulting, development work, spirituality and travels into the courses and modules she and her team develop. And as a lifelong volunteer in the Philippines and abroad, she mentored youths, worked for a social housing organisation on the financial inclusion programme and leads projects from fundraising to rolling out BLOOM, a social and emotional literacy course.

She dedicates her life to influencing culture, transforming lives, sharing her thinking and creating the most impact on women, young people and organizations to begin again, seek greatness and live fulfilling, joyful and meaningful lives.

She lives out her gifts in service to God and others.

Our Partners

We work with organizations across sectors.

Let’s work together in promoting transformative education and personal growth as a path to rebuilding our community to become more compassionate, generous, conscious and mindful.

We have partnerships with the following organizations:

SELFMATTERS in the Community

SELFMATTERS in the Community

SELFMatters is passionate about creating access to personal transformation and financial capability programmes for disadvantaged communities, leaders in community organizations, non-profits and teachers in public schools.

Based on research, only one-third of the world's population is financially literate.

In the Philippines, both men and women have low financial literacy levels. BSP reports that the savings rate is low, and there's a high rate of using borrowed funds to pay for sickness, calamities, and even basic needs. This is worrisome even more with the impact of the Russian and Ukraine Wars.  Filipinos struggle with food and fuel inflation, and the high cost of medicine, which contributed to the growing vulnerability. 

But this is just one side of the problem.

The Philippines struggle with retirement income insecurity for generations.  The entire family is involved in the lifetime care of their parents who may have retired with very little retirement savings and have to rely upon shaky and measly social security. It is not just social support but also providing extensive financial support throughout their lifetime while also taking care of their own families.

There's also the issue of the gender wealth equity gap and financial literacy gap between men and women.  Based on studies, women are less financially literate and accumulate only 74% of the wealth men create which has serious implications in later life because women live longer than men and therefore spend more time in widowhood.

Given the uncertainty and complexity of the economy, pension systems, public health, and financial markets, longevity can be considered a risk.

Only with joined-up multi-stakeholder action can we tackle the generational financial vulnerability and achieve financial security for everyone.

It is the right of every citizen to feel financially secure.  

Let's work together.


in the Community

Interested in influencing culture and transforming the world with us?

Our mission is to create wider access to personal growth and financial capability so that everyone can fulfil their highest potential and become impact givers and contributors to their communities and the world around us. 

If this is a place that excites and inspires you to make a difference day after day, contact us.

What Participants 

Have Said

SELFMatters has mastery of the subject matter.

I am encouraged by the inclusive and non-judgmental approach to learning! I was able to get so much wealth of information beyond what is expected. "

Cristina O.

SELFMatters made me realize the importance of preparing for the future.  Thank you Carmela and SELFMATTERS! Patrick Triestan Olea,  Transaction Process Analyst

SELMatters helped me on how to leverage my time and income so I can build a solid financial future.

ALLEN LEMUEL G. LEMENCE,  Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines Los Baños

Our school is blessed to partner with Ms  Zabala & the SELFMATTERS TEAM. This helped us navigate through the difficulties of the pandemic and brought significant transformation and unwavering inspiration to the lives of our learners & personnel as we faced and adapt to the New Normal in Education and of our respective lives.

MONETTE PACAIGUE VEGA, Principal, Buting Senior High School

"I started to ask important questions in my life…”

Melinda Q.

Very insightful and has good actual experience about the topic.  I extremely like it! I would recommend it. 


“…Ms Zabala needs to speak more in our company. We need someone like her who is not your typical speaker… It nudged me to take a look at what matters in my life…”

Marina C.

Real-life inspired and has done research about our company. SHARLENE C.

Some of the organizations 
we’ve worked with