Come and have breakfast

There’s a breakfast meeting among businessmen and professionals in the Ortigas Center area where they talk not only about their businesses and profession but also about God’s “businesses” in their lives. I’m refering to the breakfast meeting of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) held at Racks in El Pueblo Complex, ADB Avenue corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila every Saturday from 8:00 to 9:30 am.

They have been inviting fellow businessmen and professionals for breakfast (for two years now in the venue) and a lot have been “refreshed” and enlightened by the sharing of the group members. Many business owners, some CEOs of companies and other professionals have been attending so if you have the chance to go to this breakfast, you wouldn’t want to miss what they are getting aside from the good food in Racks. The first breakfast is free courtesy of your sponsor, but even without a sponsor you can walk in and introduce yourself  as a businessman or professional.

So if you are in Pasig and is looking for more meaning in your life, I am inviting you to the men’s breakfast. For couples, you may come for the joint breakfast every  last Saturday of the month. There are also similar breakfasts in more than 100 venues all over the Philippines. Even if you’re not from Pasig you can go to one, in fact there’s one in Club Filipino Greenhills every Thursday from 7:30  to 9:00 am. The Greenhills group have been doing this for more than 25 years now.

Anyone who is interested may call me at 0918 923 4955 or 782 6034 . We can meet up at Rack’s Pasig on a Saturday morning, or at Club Filipino if you want to come on a Thursday.

My friends, I hope to see you one of these days. Come and have breakfast with us!

What’s the Viridian?

Viridian is defined as a durable bluish-green pigment coming from the Latin word “viridis”, meaning green. In the english language, it is the more elegant name for the word green. In popular culture, it is used to describe the green design movement.

In the Philippines, it is the name of the newest project to be launched by Ortigas and Company, the developer who built Greenhills. The Viridian at Greenhills is handled by the following lead brokers group: GH Heritage Group, the Prime & Green, and the Castle Group.

The Castle Group is organized with some prominent Pasig Realtors as accredited brokers.  To join, you may contact Toto Acosta or give your email address in the comments section of this post.

For investors, avail of the investment price now as it’s expected to go up once the project is formally launched!

Click here for more details: Viridian at Greenhills.

Click here to see the presentation

PRB CRESAR has started

The Pasig REALTORS Board (PRB) Comprehensive Real Estate Seminar and Review (CRESAR) has started with 170 participants attending. The venue is at One Cafe & Events Place, 6th Floor One Corporate Center, Dona Julia Vargas Avenue Corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. The CRESAR will be held on the following dates: January 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, February 2, and 4, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Here are more photos taken during the seminar last January 21, 2011:

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To those attending the seminar, may you achieve your dream of becoming licensed brokers. You have the advantage of being taught by Atty. Ariel Martinez, one of the most sought after speaker of today.

Prepare well and good luck!

You’re the Boss

Inspired by the words of PNoy (Philippine President Noynoy Aquino) ‘Kayo ang boss ko’, the 2011 Board of Trustees of the Pasig REALTORS Board (PRB) is raring to serve the members for this year. Their strategy for 2011 would be spelled out in the coming General Membership Meeting (GMM) on Jan 27, 2011.

The following is the new set of PRB officers for 2011:

Atty. Abet Sales – President

Ching Lucero – Vice President

Mau Garin-Garcia – Secretary

Maleen Lamar – Assistant Secretary

Marilyn Recio-Ramos – Treasurer

Ramky Yupangco – Assistant Treasurer

Jenny Acosta – Trustee

Stan Liberato – Trustee

Olive Ong – Trustee

Nick Pongos – Trustee

Not elected but automatically part of the board of trustees as Ex-Officio member is Manny Florendo, our Immediate Past President (IPP).

Here’s the video of their swearing in during the PAREB’s Chirstmas Party last year (video courtesy of  REALTOR Raffy Salaveria, thanks Raffy):

What is special for Pasig REALTORS Board this year is the celebration of its 20th Anniversary. We’re kicking off 2011 with the launching of our blogsite that will coordinate our efforts in celebrating PRB’s 20th year.

To all PRB members, be there on January 27. The first GMM is the most important membership meeting of the year.

See you Pasig REALTORS!

Friendships as Big as Texas

There was an opportunity to visit two friends in Austin, Texas last November 9 and 10 after the National Association of REALTORS Convention in New Orleans (see my previous blogpost for the New Orleans story).

From that visit, I’ve learned a few things:

Colorado River at the Background

1. Friendship trancends time and space; you become friends because you decide to become friends – Mauro is a friend from 1st grade who I haven’t seen for a long time. Over the years we’ve only heard about each other through other friends. Lately though, we had contacted one another through our batch’s egroup. It was from that communication that the plan to meet was hatched.

2. You don’t need to be friends for a long time to become friends for life – From the egroup, I learned about Rigel, who joined the batch when they were in High School. The visit in Texas was the first time we’ve met. However we found out that we have a lot in common: swimming, biking, ham radio, computers, table tennis, keeping fit, our faith, family, and our friends.

The beautiful skyline of downtown Austin, Texas

The Texas Capitol Building

3. Time is valuable for friendship to blossom – We only had a short time but we spend a good deal of it in meaningful activities. We have deep conversation over pancakes and salad at IHOP. We had pictorials at the Texas Capitol building and elsewhere. Mauro recorded an interview and taught me how to make videos (he gave me a flip videocam). Rigel explained to me how to blog. How wonderful and amazing.

Indeed, there is nothing bigger than the friendship I have with Mauro and Rigel. After that visit, I have seen the truth to the saying: “everything is big in Texas”.

To my dear friends, thank you.

Happy New Year!

New Year in the Philippines is celebrated with fireworks in the streets. Although regulated, almost everyone still had access to firecrackers making the celebration of welcoming the new year dangerously exciting. This video shows the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 from the balcony of my house.

Happy New Year everyone!

May you have a blessed and prosperous 2011.

The Ghosts in New Orleans

The Philippine Association of REALTORS Board (PAREB) members who attended the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) convention in New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center from November 5 to 8, 2010 experienced a lot of adventures. The group was headed by PAREB 2010 President Manny Bocaling and was joined by ten other REALTORS namely: Melinda Lit, Nympha Bocaling, Hubert Claveria, Paz Bentulan, Daniel dela Cruz, Mae Ponce de Leon, Abet Cuevas, Cherry Chrisostomo, Anton Bocaling, and myself, Nick Pongos.

Among my most memorable were:

Click to see video

1. Dining at Antoine’s Restaurant – this was suggested by Paz Bentulan, whose American husband Scott listed the must-visit places in New Orleans. Antoine’s is one of its oldest (1840) and most famous restaurant. I enjoyed tremendously the company, the charm, the history, and the splendid French-Creole cuisine.

2. Staying at an old haunted hostel – since I booked late, the only available accomodation near the convention site was a former children’s orphanage built in 1861, the St. Vincent’s Guesthouse. On my second night,  Hubert Claveria joined me and occupied the extra double bed. The next day, he claims somebody joined us too. Scary.

In front of St. Vincent Guest House

Eating hotdogs along Bourbon St.

3. Going to Bourbon Street at night – you have not been to New Orleans if you have not experienced the revelry in the famous French Quarter. This is the place where the annual Mardigras celebration is held and the street is regularly blocked off on weekend nights. There is a rule that bottles or glasses are prohibited on the street (you have to use open plastic cups). With all the drinking, there is usually a lot of things that happens into the night. You may have to invite any of us in facebook if you want to see more of our photos.

The Earth, Wind , and Fire

4. Listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire  – one of my favourite bands. The delegates enjoyed watching them live in concert on the last night of the convention. It was fun seeing many local and international REALTORS sing and dance together.

On our last day, we went to see District 9, the place severely affected from the floods spawned by hurricane Katrina. After seeing the damaged and abandoned houses, I conclude that there were indeed ghosts in New Orleans (there are a lot of ghost tours available).

I don’t know if you would ever believe me, but it is highly recommended that you join in the next NAR annual convention in Anaheim to experience a different kind of adventure.

Have a fun-filled new year!

Merry Christmas!

Click the greeting card to watch REALTORS sing

This is the Christmas Greeting Card sent by the Pasig REALTORS to their clients, friends, and loved-ones. The card is very interesting because of the holiday video attached to it. The three videos were made by REALTORS who won the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) 2010 Holiday Video Contest. Click here to see the winners.

The Secret to Long Life

PAREB President Manny Bocaling giving plaque of appreciation to REALTOR Castañeda

I was fortunate to hear PAREB history as narrated by Realtor Ernesto G. Castañeda during the PAREB Induction and Awarding Ceremonies last December 9, 2010. The event was held at the Manila Hotel as part of the Christmas Party celebrations of the Philippine Association of REALTORS® Boards, Inc. (PAREB). PAREB is the leading brokers association in the Philippines with more than 4,000 members. Mr. Castañeda is 96 years old and was the PAREB National President from 1968 to 1969.

When he walked to the stage to induct the new set of national officers for 2011, most of us couldn’t believe that at his age he is as strong as any of the younger Realtors. He spoke clearly and has good eyesight as he was able to read the Oath of Office without glasses. His memory was still sharp; in fact he remembers well the story that led to the creation of PAREB 50 years ago.

According to him, PAREB was created from a group of Manila-based real estate brokers with two American journalists. They planned to have the group accredited with the REALTORS® association in the United States. A special mention was made of ethics as a character of the new organization and its goal to set a high ethical standard in the real estate profession.

Members of the Pasig REALTORS Board at the 2010 PAREB Christmas Party

As a practicing licensed broker (DTI Lic. No. 19164), I liked Mr. Castañeda giving importance to ethics because I believe ethical practice is one of the distinctive mark of a REALTOR®. My analogy to this is, if there are “high end” and  “low end” products, a “special” or “regular” food; in real estate brokerage there is a REALTOR® who is distinct from an unlicensed practitioner.

I must confess I was awed by Mr. Castañeda. For me he exemplifies the highly ethical and principled Realtor. It was his loving concern for the well being of others that made him share the secret on the ingredient of his long life.

And do you now know what that secret is? Just listen to Realtor Raffy Salaveria’s video below.

I won’t tell you myself. After all it is a secret.

Mama Mia, Here I Go Again

The Pasig REALTORS Board (PRB) celebrated its Christmas party last December 6, 2010 at the Valle Verde 1 Clubhouse. One thing that I like with this group is the high level of volunteerism and service orientation of its members. I have been in a number of organizations and have been in the service industry for more than 20 years yet I have to see a group as helpful and as selfless as the members of the PRB.

A good example of this service ethics is Diana delos Reyes: when the Philippine Association of REALTORS Board (PAREB) called for a broadway-oriented presentation for the National Convention, she stepped forward to initiate it. Another member, Toto Acosta, with his experience and resources then took over and developed the idea. Other members who are gifted with talent then completed the group. The volunteers were Dang Lorica, Mau Garin, Ket Santos, Leng Reyes, Manny Florendo, and George Bernares. Hence Mama Mia was presented both at the national convention and the board’s Christmas party this year.

With this presentation, PRB has really something to be proud of. The quality of membership of the board is superb. For me, these examples of service are some of the things that encourage more members to join the organization. This important attribute undoubtly make these Realtors  the number one choice of their clients for their real estate transactions (Diana owns her own realty company, the Metro Asia Estates, Inc. with office at the Mega Plaza, Ortigas Center, Pasig). Sadly she’s leaving us for another board.

One of the main reason why I’m writing this piece is her leaving us. When she’s helping, she encourages a lot of people to do their best. Last May she headed the PRB Team for the PAREB mini-olympics which was held as part of PAREB’s 50th year celebrations. In spite of being a small board, we won third overall.  The Christmas party attendance wouldn’t be much more than last year without her monitoring the confirmed number through her Sun Blackberry. She is also helping in the ongoing Continuing Professional Education program of the board.

I think with her 12 years in the PRB, her contribution would be sorely missed.

Here’s wishing you the best Diana!