TeamBuilding-A A +A
Saturday, September 29, 2012
THIS pair behind Apple One Properties Inc.—an emerging homegrown player in real estate mixed-use and residential developments based in Cebu City—has come a long way since 1993.
Ray and Venus Manigsaca started out venturing into the business of construction back in the early 90s. But before that, they were just like any other youngsters fresh out of college. They had regular day jobs, living their lives as normal, average employees. Rey was heading operations for the consumer products division of a certain multinational company.
Venus, on the other hand, practiced her career as a civil engineer. But eventually, both decided that leaving their jobs and trying their luck in business was the better move for the future. Thus their construction company—called Venray back then—was born.
“We’re risk takers,” Ray, president and owner of the corporation simply explained. The man shared how both he and his wife started from scratch back in the day. “Even as early as we when were still students, we both had an objective of doing business,” he revealed. Ray continued as describing their individual livelihood back then before getting married was very “hard.” This was a challenging phase in their lives that eventually pushed both persons to be better in the future.
After tying the knot in 1993, it was a step-by-step process for the business, as the couple handled one project to another. Venus would take care of all the technical and on-site concerns of their constructions, while Ray would see to it that the marketing and branding aspects are well covered.
But just about when they were learning the tricks of the trade, the entire world witnessed what was then labeled the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. This economic haymaker had businesses, particularly those into construction as well, hanging on the ropes for dear life. The crisis was felt until 1998, as the Philippines growth moved to a stalemate. “There were a lot of projects that were not getting paid—ours included,” corporation owner and chief engineer Venus shared. “Those were really tough times. Nakahinumdum ko nagduwa-duwa na lang mi sa mall ato,” Ray added referring to the times when the couple would spend their few loose change on arcade computer games in a city mall when they had nothing else to do. “But we never stopped. We persevered; we had no choice,” Ray said.
Indeed after a few more years of braving the waves of the crisis, the company soon enough was in a good business stance again, primed to make greater decisions. The corporation in time grew, becoming part or majority owners of a number of establishments like AppleTree Suites near Fuente Osmeña, Strawberry Residences at Mabolo, Cebu City, Boardwalk City Residences in Subangdaku, Mandaue City, AppleTree Resort and Hotel in Opol, Misamis Oriental, Diamond Suites and Residences along Escario St., Cebu City, and a new concept project presenting condominiums in Banawa, Cebu City, to be launched later this year. But their biggest effort to date is the AppleOne Tower at the Cebu Business Park. The corporation acquired a 1,786 sqm. strategically situated lot and launched the 16-floor mixed-use development December 2010.
“The dream for AppleOne Tower started in 2007,” Ray shared. “At that time I noticed the potential for condominium businesses in the city.” By the looks of it, dreaming and planning are some of the things the Manigsacas are pretty good at.
Shared dreams, teamwork, passion—these are but a few elements the couple admit having in their relationship. Contrary to mental images of how overtly-uptight corporate bigwigs are, this couple knows how it is to relax. Both make sure to be home by around dinner time and still keep an early bedtime schedule. If their schedule permits, they also have coffee time together every afternoon at their favorite coffee shop at a city mall.
Blessed with two children as well, it seems that time for one another is the secret blueprint for better days ahead for the Manigsacas—whether in business or in health.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2012.