Honor Thy Father: A salute to the fathers (and sons) of Philippine property

Co-AuthorAyie Licsi

The Philippine property sector has grown by leaps and bounds since its beginnings after World War II. Today, Property Report PH pays tribute to  some of the individuals who have helped develop the country’s real estate sector.

Villar Group

The Villar Group ‘s Vista Land & Lifescapes is led by chairman Manuel B. Villar Jr., the rags-to-riches tycoon and his son Manuel Paolo Villar. Touted as the largest homebuilder, Vista Land is indeed among the pioneers of real estate in the country with its horizontal and vertical homes. There’s one for every market in Vista’s expansive and still growing portfolio.

Ayala Land Inc.

Tycoon Fernando Zobel de Ayala, son of Jaime Zobel de Ayala, led the growth of Ayala Land as its chairman. Ayala Land was organized in 1988 when Ayala Corp. decided to spin off its real estate division into an independent subsidiary to enhance management focus on its real estate business. Under Fernando’s leadership, the property giant has built high-end village lots and condominiums, office units, as well as economic and socialized housing units.

SM Prime Holdings Inc.

The late retail tycoon  Henry Sy Sr. has long been recognized as the founding father of retailing in the country. He founded the SM Group, opening his first ShoeMart store in 1958 and later on led the SM Group’s diversification into five lines of businesses – shopping malls, retail, financial services, real estate development and tourism oriented entities such as but not limited to hotels and convention centers.

His son Henry “BigBoy” Sy Jr. is now at the helm of SM Prime, the property development arm of the SM Group, which has ventured into both vertical and horizontal developments.  SM Prime’s SM Development Corp is known for giving customers access to “attainable luxury.”

Federal Land Inc.

Tycoon Alfred Ty, son of the late banking and automotive tycoon George Ty, chairs Federal Land Inc. which has become known in the market as a developer of prime residential and commercial developments– from high-rise condominiums to suburban communities to commercial centers.

Federal Land has become one of the fastest growing, most experienced and most trusted companies in its field. Congruently, it has risen as the fountainhead of the magnificent 47-storey blade-like structure that unequivocally reshaped the Makati skyline, one of its flagship projects, the GT Tower.

Rockwell Land

Nestor J. Padilla, director, president & CEO of Rockwell Land has been at the helm of Rockwell since 1995, leading the company in offering to the market not just quality homes in elegantly curated and smart communities but also an aspirational lifestyle.

Today, Rockwell Land caters to the high-end and upper-mid markets in Metro Manila. It likewise offers property management of all residential units under the Rockwell and Primaries brands.

DMCI Holdings

Isidro A. Consunji is the son of the late David “DM” Consunji, revered as the grandfather of Philippine construction. Isidro or Sid is chairman & CEO of DMCI Holdings, the diversified engineering and construction conglomerate, which his father founded. In 25 years, the company has grown and made strategic investments in industries critical to national development.

Cathay Land

Jeffrey Ng, the son of the late steel tycoon John Ng, continued his father’s legacy in Cathay Land, Cathay Metal and the Astoria Hotel Group. His father donated 10 hectares of land to Chang Kai Shek College which was developed into Chang Kai Shek in South Forbes, Jeffrey’s “baby” and Cathay Land’s premier township of boutique communities located at the Metro Silang-Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay business and residential hub.

Century Properties Group

Jose Marco Antonio is in charge of the Century Properties Group, the business that his father Jose Eduardo Antonio built.  Marco wants to continue CPG’s business expansion from being highly concentrated in in-city vertical developments to balance their asset portfolio and diversify their revenue streams. He also wants to make the company conscious of its environment.


Tycoon Andrew Tan founded Megaworld in 1989 and pioneered the live-work-play-learn model in real estate development through the company’s integrated township communities, fueling the growth of the BPO industry.

Robinsons Land Corp

The Gokongwei Group’s listed property giant is headed by Frederick Go, the nephew of the Gokongwei empire’s founder, the late tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. In 1992, Go entered RLC, a budding company with only five property assets. With vision to lead the company forward, he began his entrepreneurial journey with the construction of Robinsons Place Bacolod and redevelopment of Robinsons Place Manila. He patiently built RLC piece by piece. Today, it is one of the country’s leading real estate companies with 52 malls, 21 office developments, 76 residential buildings, 38 housing subdivisions, 20 hotels, and 19 mixed-use developments.

In 2008, he created the first branch of the affordable Go Hotels chain. In keeping abreast with the demands of the digital age, Go led the company into the flexible workspace arena with workable, a plug-and-play type of private workspace.

Torre Lorenzo Development Corp.

Tomas P. Lorenzo comes from the entrepreneurial and prominent Lorenzo clan of Mindanao.

He is the president and CEO of TLDC, the pioneer in providing premium university residences in the Philippines and developing master-planned townships in emerging urban centers outside Metro Manila.

Filinvest Land Inc.

Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) operates as a real estate subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) founded by the late Andrew L. Gotianun Sr.

FLI, now led by Andrew’s son and daughter Jonathan and Josephine, as chairman and president, respectively, is among the pioneers of real estate in the country, operating for over 50 years  now.  FLI develops and sells residential properties, primarily housing units, and subdivision lots, focusing on residential and commercial services.