Editor’s Note : We are reprinting here a story published by the Manila Times with permission from its writer Dexter See.
BESAO, Mountain Province—An Igorot lawyer, who sold houses on the side as source of additional income, made exceptional growth in his real estate career he decided to pursue a dream that has change the probinsyano lifestyle in the northern Philippines.
Alexander Bangsoy, a former sidewalk vendor who earned his college diploma through sheer hard work, shifted gears and now spend more time finding ways to make it possible for the working class to live in condominiums, subdivisions and condo-visions, a combination of condominium and subdivision.
“The sideline became bigger and it took sometime for me to decide whether or not to give up lawyering,” Bangsoy said.
From an ordinary real estate salesmen, Bangsoy has become one of the biggest property developers in the Cordillera Region. He has built five condominiums and has started building six more condominiums and subdivisions.
His company, Goshen Land Capital, has expanded to other provinces in the region such as Tuguegarao, Cagayan;San Fabian, Pangasinan, where it is building a beach condominium, and a housing project near the Clark Field Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
To provide affordable but top quality homes to average Filipinos, Bangsoy said he eased up the down payments, allowing buyers to pay it by installment for up to a year, while other companies can offer only up to six months.
He said some people get into hard times or even lose their jobs so his company policy on default is “no outright forfeiture until we have talked to the buyer and learn the true nature of the problem.”
“We offer a total package of service. It means we will help our buyers in any way we can, including helping with requirements of housing agencies such as Pag-ibig, if he cannot do it himself,” Bangsoy said.
Bangsoy said buyers, who will not occupy their units and planned to rent it out, will find his company willing to help manage the rental, which range from P15,000 to P30,000 a month.
“The probinsiyano deserves better in terms of affordable housing and self-sustaining investments, especially our hardworking overseas workers, who must have something for the future of their children,” Bangsoy said.
Igorots are not surprised at Bangsoy’s eagerness to help people who aspire to have their own homes because he came from a dirt poor family that migrated to Quezon City, where they were thrown out of their rented house in a squatters colony.
His parents were househelpers and his father tried to support his studies at the Ateneo College of Law by working as janitor at Trinity College before going abroad to work as a cook in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
He practiced law in Baguio City and got his break in real estate “junkyard deals” in which he offered to sell foreclosed properties or convert it into subdivisions to get higher returns.
His advice to people aspiring to succeed: “Regardless of the circumstances you are in — mahirap ka, probinsiyano ka, matanda ka, iniwan ka ng asawa, through vision hard work, perseverance, and, by the grace of God, kaya umasenso.”
Bangsoy said he wants to bring to the provinces housing amenities such as student condominiums and condo-visions with lots of open space as recreation areas, including swimming pools, mini-park and jogging paths.
“Its 30 percent for building and 70 percent open space. Our intention is to enhance overall protection and preservation of the environment in the area,” Bangsoy said.
He said his latest project is putting up condominium-type buildings in the business district of Baguio to give ordinary businessmen an opportunity to own the place where they do business.
“We are excited about the commercial spaces, which will be owned by our professionals and businessmen in the future. We are doing our best to complete the project in due time,” he said.
To hone his business skills Bangsoy finished a Masters of Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management, Sales Management at Kellog University in the US, and Harvard Business School under its Owners, Presidents, Managers Program.
Bangsoy offers free entrepreneurial training to interested businessmen in Baguio in a bid “to increase economic activities in the countryside. “I believe that one of the sectors that could uplift the country from poverty is the small and medium enterprises,” he said.***Dexter See/ Manila Times