Husband and wife Ray Go Manigsaca and Venus Hermosilla Manigsaca are changing the Cebu landscape one property at a time. The unassuming and humble pair are the President & CEO, and Chairman respectively of AppleOne Properties. Inc. If the pair aren’t readily known to more pedestrian developers, they are undoubtedly known by the big names in the world of real estate. They’re the couple with the Midas touch, and wherever they build, real estate giants are sure to build as well.
AppleOne Properties, Inc. is the parent company of several property development ventures in Cebu. The couple at the helm of the corporation know the market with the prescience of experts and titans. It’s almost as if they know what the market is thinking before the market knows that it’s thinking it. The couple started off building boutique hotels around Cebu and then moved on to braver ventures.
A case in point is the AppleOne Properties Headquarters in the lush, nineteen-storey development known as the AppleOne Equicom Tower—only the first mixed-use condo development in the Cebu Business Park. It is home not just to the company’s headquarters but also to Blue Elephant, a restaurant that provides stunning and sweeping views of the Cebu skyline, which the casual observer can enjoy while swilling a beer or feasting on Asian fusion dishes from India, Thailand and the local market.
The couple is currently developing three different properties that supply residential and office spaces to titans on the go, and their growing families. For starter honchos, there’s AppleOne Banawa Heights—a property inspired by the Victorian townhouses dotting San Francisco’s hilly and foggy landscape. It’s the first gated condominium complex in Cebu, as well as the first in the Visayas to utilize keyless access to prime residences within the compound. It also boasts multiple swimming pools which should come in handy now that the summer months are upon us and the kids need cool diversions during the empty, school-less months ahead. For the aesthetes among us, the multicolored homes bring us back to our hasty retreats to the city by the bay—where one can as soon hear the clamor from Haight Street as smell the adobo simmering from his neighbor’s house.
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But perhaps the pièce de résistance is the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort and Residences which provide stunning sea views not just for the casual summer traveler, but for those looking to extend their own private tropical paradises indefinitely. There is the hotel for businessmen and tourists, and the residences for those looking for more permanent designations. Both provide unobstructed views of the ocean and the services for which older resorts are known. Apart from the lush sway of coconut trees and the lulling cadence of the nearby ocean, those looking to set up permanent residence also get to enjoy fully-furnished fitness centers and their own pool. They are also treated to hotel amenities such as in-residence housekeeping, laundry services, dining options, grocery shopping and delivery services as well as personal assistant and courier services. Imagine hotel living in your own home—the feeling that all those amenities that are a once-a-year treats for the lucky few can actually be enjoyed all year. One can choose from one-, two-, or three-bedroom configurations from a massive twenty-two storey main tower, and more modest four-storey private courtyard villas. To add to the list of hotel amenities, one can also enjoy signature spas and decadent steam rooms.
While the Sheraton is the most opulent option from AppleOne properties, what’s perhaps the most all-encompassing one is the dark horse on the block, and the most promising rookie. The corporation has just broken ground with Mahi by AppleOne Properties, Inc. Strategically located in MEPZ 1 along M.L. Quezon Avenue—yes, just two kilometers from the Mactan Cebu International Airport and five kilometers away from the Cebu’s beaches—Mahi promises to be just the kind of mixed-use property that caters to both business and recreational needs. It will stand on an area of 7,500 square meters and will have allocations for the IT industry, common use utility and facilities, as well as hotel and retail spaces. Facilities will include a five-storey structure with IT capabilities, two floors of office spaces, three floors of commercial and retail spaces, and a rooftop bar and restaurant. A convenient walkway and transportation hub will be, well, just a short walk away. The center will also develop a hotel with all of twelve floors and a serviceable one hundred and eighty rooms. AppleProperties Inc. has just signed into contract with Mariott International, the world’s largest hotel operator, for the use of hotel franchise Fairfield Inn & Suites. Fairfield is Mariott’s second-largest brand, and is known as a trusted business hotel the world over.
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But even as these impressive structures continue rising in the Cebu skyline, as well as its quieter and more natural surroundings, Ray and Venus Manigsaca go about their work quietly and humbly. Their personal ethos stands in stark contrast with the massive residences and spaces they are building. Corporate Communications Manager, Angela B. Emphasis, attests to the couple’s low-key profile despite the giant leaps they are making in the region. “Ma’am Venus doesn’t really ask for the usual things on her birthday,” Emphasis says. She’ll maybe ask for a bulldozer or a tractor—essential things for her business projects. In past years, Mrs. Manigsaca has been known to lug sacks of cement to her project sites like the best of them—despite being a woman of mighty means. Mr. Manigsaca has a nose for knowing exactly what the market needs, especially now that Cebu is steadily progressing as one of the country’s leading tourist and business destinations.
AppleOne Properties, Inc., is also a concerted family enterprise with their son, Ray Patrick Manigsaca acting as AVP of Business Development, and their daughter, Samantha Manigsaca in full immersion, as she learns the ropes of hands-on hotel management.
AppleOne Properties Inc., seems to be a thriving leader of real estate in Cebu, and developers big and small would do well to watch and learn.