Realtor Ramon F. Cuervo Jr.- Outstanding Filipino Pioneer in Real Estate

Today, January 7, 2014, the Cuervo family, his friends, relatives and fellow realtors fondly remember  Realtor Ramon F. Cuervo Jr. We are celebrating his 87th birthday. My father, known to be a exemplary gentleman married a beautiful “meztiza” Monserat Calero. That Love brought fruits of 13 children, a happy large family and each of my siblings I could dare say have special unique characters and personalities. Each one having achieve specific way of life and now having extended to practically all the continents of the world. 

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My happy memories of my father Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Jr. was that he was always be understanding, brilliant in many ways but down to earth. He was known among his real estate colleagues by his talent in creative thinking and introducing innovations in real estate.

Left: My great grandfather Dr. Rudecindo Cuervo, faculty of medicine with his wife my great grandmother, Doña Mercedes “Concha” Cuervo, Concert pianist,  Pianist teacher of National Artist, Lucrecia Roces Kasilag  1918-august 16,2008, and Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Sr. and his wife, my grandmother, Maria Marina Dela Grana - Cuervo Right: My grandfather Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Sr.

Left: My great grandfather Dr. Rudecindo Cuervo, professor and faculty of medicine UST with his wife my great grandmother, Doña Mercedes “Concha” Cuervo, Concert pianist, Music teacher of National Artist, Lucrecia Roces Kasilag 1918-august 16,2008, and Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Sr. and his wife, my grandmother, Maria Marina De La Grana – Cuervo
Right: My grandfather Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Sr.

Ramon F. Cuervo Jr. was the first male child born in the new Hospital de Santiago in Makati. He was also the only boy with two other siblings, Conchita and Soledad Cuervo de Guttierez. Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo Sr. was an adventurer, who discovered the coal mines in Mindoro, he was also in lumber business and a hunter, he would hunt crocodiles manage to export the hind to Europe. Born in Hospicio de San Jose, because his father was the medical director of the isolation hospital of the Hospicio. His father Dr. Rudecindo Cuervo while his mother came from Prabia and Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, Marina De La Grana. My father grew up in Ermita, Manila before the second world war. He studied in San Juan de Letran from elementary to college, where he graduated high school valedictorian, and as a working student earned a degree in commerce from Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Muralla, Intramuros in 1947, Pappy got a job as an accountant for Everett Steamship Corporation after the World War II.

At left, pappy looks at Fico during his Appraiser graduation in 1982. At right, my parents together with Tita Conchita and friends.

At left, Pappy looks at Fico with affection and pride while receiving his Appraisal Graduation Certificate from Mr. Gabby Ambrocio and Mr. Orpiano in 1982. At right, my parents together with my Tita Conchita Cuervo and realtor friends.

Pappy, as what we fondly called him, was a multi-awarded and internationally recognized for his professionalism, integrity, prestige, moral and ethical standards. He was also a respected real estate appraiser not only in the Philippines but also did valuations in the States, ASEAN countries, Japan, Taiwan, and parts of Europe. That won him  to gain the first Filipino International Appraiser, as well as his vast network in real estate brokerage and consultancy services.

My father was a very loving father surprisingly even with a very tight schedule he will be home at supper and make sure that the family was always together for the evening meal and a times we would join him for the family prayer or Holy Rosary. Having 13 children was his motivation to work hard, smart, and was a very good provider with generosity for I could see, he would give up his personal interest and instead spend time playing with the children.securedownload

He first worked as an accountant for Everett Steamship Company after graduation. Pappy met my mother Montserrat Calero when they were introduced by Sgt. Harry Stonehill, an American soldier in 1947, who build up his wealth selling scrap and introduce the “jeepney “as a means of transport, he also controlled tobacco trade and reclaimed where now Cultral Center of the Philippines stand. They both shared an interest in music and dancing the boogie woogie.

My mother, Monseratt, is a Filipino-Spanish mestiza, her Filipino roots and her grandmother was an orphan taken cared by the Spanish Governor of Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Juana Rojas-Garcia. who eventually moved to the carmalite convent as a helper and took care of a “sari-sari” store by the convent that is where she met a Spanish soldier who refuse to go back to Spain after falling in love with Juana. He was known as “Paco” Zurrunero, they had 3 girls, Menchu, Carmen, my grandmother Mercedez.

From upper, Realtor Tony Calero, MBR Co-Founder Federic Pipo Calero 1938, Conchita Calero-Conde, Monseratt Calero-Cuerov, Realtor and Architect Josemari Calero

From upper, Realtor Tony Calero, MBR Co-Founder Federic Pipo Calero 1938, Conchita Calero-Conde, Monseratt Calero-Cuerov, Realtor and Architect Josemari Calero

In 1949 he worked for his father-in-law realtor Federico “Pipo” Calero Jr. who founded a real estate company called F. Calero Realty, where he learned the rudiments of real estate. Cuervo Jr. and Montserrat had 13 children: Ma. Concepcion (Chitina), Maria Teresa (Marite), Ramon Antonio III, Federico Jose (Fico), Fernando Rafael, Francisco (Paching), Maria Marina Mercedes (Mariita), Luis, Javier, Maria del Carmen (Maricar), Maria Antonia (Maitoni), Montserrat (Montse Jr.) and Jose Maria Ramon (Josemari).

Sometime in 1947, the Ortigas developed what was called Sta. Lucia Estates. Tony Calero (my uncle) – son of Pipo was the one who “baptized” Sta. Lucia to what is popularly known as Little Baguio.

Realtor Ramon F. Cuervo Jr. had a humble beginning being a sales man for F. Calero Realty, the exclusive realtors for the Ortigas Group known then as Ortigas-Madrigal Eycia Developers of the Mandaluyong estates, Plainview Subdivision, Pasig River Industrial Park, Addition Hills, Sta. Lucia Estates, and now the popular Little Baguio, San Juan where he eventually built his first home at #604 General De Jesus St. in 1950

Ortigas and Company fieldtripe with real este agents and exclusive realtors F. Calero Realty. Launching what is now known as Little Baguio, San Juan

Ortigas and Company fieldtripe with real este agents and exclusive realtors F. Calero Realty. Launching what is now known as Little Baguio, San Juan

My father became a successful salesman by focusing on a specific clientele. The elderly women most of which were rich widows – my father would say that since by nature he was shy and soft spoken – he found that these buyers were attracted to his youthful face and smooth approach in selling.

Blessing and inauguration of Little Baguio, San Juan attended by Don Francisco Ortigas Jr., Federico Calero, Tony Calero, Ramon F. Cuervo Jr., and other personalities from Ortigas & Co. and F.Calero Realty

Blessing and inauguration of Little Baguio, San Juan attended by Don Francisco Ortigas Jr., Federico Calero, Tony Calero, Ramon F. Cuervo Jr., and other personalities from Ortigas & Co. and F.Calero Realty

By 1960 my father then became very successful. In 1964 he ventured on his own. His partners then were : Gabby Ambrosio; Atty. Engracia; Engineer Ben Binuya. This way a corporation was formed as Perpetual Investments Inc. They ventured into real estate development and sales.

In 1967 my father incorporated RF Cuervo Inc. This time he acquired his knowledge and further education in real estate and appraisal.

Travelling extensively all over the USA and Europe, he introduced International real estate selling by promoting developments of Florida USA under General Development Corp. These are successful vacation homes known as Port Charlotte and Port Malabar, Florida, USA.

Why was Ramon F. Cuervo, Jr. a visionary, trend setter, pioneer, and a pillar in the Philippine Real Estate industry?

He was a founding father of the Asean Valuers and Appraisers (Philippines). He was also the one responsible in having the Philippines recognized in the prestigious international organization based in Europe known as Federacion International of Real Estate Associations (FIABCI). He was also known to be the first in global marketing and forming international alliances and partnerships.

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He was one of the founders of the Philippine Real Estate Board, the father of condominium concept in the Philippines and packaged the first condominium project, and started the first Time Share project.

Dr. Rudecindo Cuervo - medical director Hospicio de San Jose and faculty of medicine University of Santo Tomas

Dr. Rudecindo Cuervo – medical director Hospicio de San Jose and faculty of medicine University of Santo Tomas

His parents, my lolo and lola were Ramon Fernandez-Cuervo y Raya and Marina De la Grana, both from Asturias, Spain. My grandfather was born in Oviedo and his mother was born in Pravia, Asturias. His grandfather, my great grandfather, Dr. Rudecindo Fernandez-Cuervo, was a famous doctor in the University of Santo Tomas before the Philippine revolution. He was also the first lay director of the Hospicio de San Jose. He was such a Spanish loyalist that he even sold his wedding ring to continue ministering to the wounded Spanish soldiers. He used as his pen name “Pravia” to escape detection by American colonialists and from the Iglesia Indepediente de Filipinas. Dr. Rudecindo Fernandez-Cuervo was given a commendation by the King of Spain for his humanitarian work in serving children with Tuberculosis knowing that eventually would also acquired the desease because it was very contageous with no medication available.

In 1967, he established RF Cuervo, Inc. (RFCI) and was involved in subdivision development, sales, leasing and brokerage, corporate services, property appraisals, real estate consulting and building management. His first office was located in the Natividad Building along Escolta corner Tomas Pinpin Street, Manila. Cuervo Jr. was a true pioneer in Philippine real estate, being the first to introduce the concept of condominium concept, time sharing ownership, real estate investment trust and the idea of Columbariums but did not pursue it

It was during his visit to California, USA and Madrid, Spain that he learned the condominium concept of real estate holding and he applied it in the country by, with the help of his friends in Congress, drafting the condominium law otherwise known as RA 4726 which was approved in June 1968. He also applied the time-sharing concept of vacation villas in Baguio.

In 1980, he was convinced by his son, Ramon III, as co-founder, Oliver Morales to establish Cuervo Appraisers, Inc. (CAI). With the rapid growth of the Philippine economy in the 1980s, Cuervo established Cuervo Far East, Inc. (CFEI)[1] to expand its real estate activities in the foreign market by its initial association with Richard Ellis. CFEI took the business away from RFCI which was shrunk down into a holding company of the Cuervo family.

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In 1968 Cuervo Jr. became acquainted with the work of Saint Josemaria Escriva. Later he joined Opus Dei as one of the first supernumeraries in the Philippines. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the site on which stands the Makiling Conference Center in Barrio Tulo, Calamba, Laguna.

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Ramon Cuervo, Jr. and Montserrat Calero.

My father became a successful salesman by focusing on a specific clientele. The elderly women most of which were rich widows – my father would say that since by nature he was shy and soft spoken – he found that these buyers were attracted to his youthful face and smooth approach in selling.

In 1967 my father incorporated RF Cuervo Inc. This time he acquired his knowledge and further education in real estate and appraisal. The company was involved in subdivision development, sales, leasing and brokerage agency, corporate services, property appraisals, real estate consulting and building management.

Being a practical and man of vision, my father always made plans for a strategic fallback position should real estate fall bad. He used to tell us at the dining table the food we have is thanks to the farm that he was managing in Calamba, Laguna. The farm had a piggery and poultry.

Aside from agriculture, my father ventured into the fishery business.  I recall my grandfather Ramon and him building a ship in Navotas called the “Stella Maris”. It was a 20 ft long fishing vessel but with 2 cabins. It was equipped with top of the line communications system and was radar capable. It was also powered by 2 marine engines.

Parallel to his development in subdivisions such as Laguna Hills; Villa Arca in QC; Lakeview subdivision in Calamba and Immaculada Concepcion in Laguna, my father together with Emmanuel Pelaez, Kaimo, and the Baretto family developed a tourism oriented subdivision resort known as Villa Pansol in Los Banos.

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My parents, Maria Antonia Cuervo-Mendieta and yours truly.

In 1980, due to the large demand for property appraisals, Pappy and I invited some investors to help us establish Cuervo Appraisers, Inc. (CAI). CAI has since become the premier and most respected Appraisal Company in the Philippines. It has also been the leading appraisal company in the Philippines in terms of Clientele, Gross Revenues and Market Share since its inception on July 11, 1980. The company is the choice of banks and other financial organizations, local and foreign investors, government, and private institutions for valuation requirements.

Due to political stability and dramatic economic growth in the Philippines in 1993, there was a substantial increase in real estate business opportunities. RFCI and CAI spearheaded the creation of an integrated property services company – Cuervo Far East, Inc (CFEI) to expand services to foreign markets.

CFEI was associated with Richard Ellis from 1996 to 1998. The association was dissolved when CB Commercial decided to buy Richard Ellis Worldwide in 1998.

There is no doubt that Pappy possessed a brilliant mind and had a vision being skillful in creative concepts and innovations get possessed pragmatically and practical, down to earth solutions to real estate related problems, sales or appraisal.

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My father and mother during their 50th wedding anniversary. My parents raised our big family very well.

No doubt a loving husband, an exemplary father, a pious gentleman made my father a strong pillar built on the foundations of human values and a strong faith.

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This entry was posted in Appraisal, Brokerage, Consultancy, Personal, Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Realtor Ramon F. Cuervo Jr.- Outstanding Filipino Pioneer in Real Estate

  1. fernando cuervo says:

    Pravia is with a “V” and not with a “B” Thanks.

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