“Because the best man for the job is a woman”

In a historically male-dominated industry like real estate, women continue to rise up and prove themselves capable. It is through example, encouragement and pioneering work that powerful women in real estate have brought about exact change and paved the way for younger generations to pursue their own passions in this industry as well.

From retail, mass housing, architecture to construction and interior design, here are some of the women who have shaped the Philippine real estate landscape.

Rosemarie Bosch-Ong

Rosemarie Bosch-Ong

Rosemarie Bosch-Ong

Rosemarie Bosch-Ong builds a better future for local retail. As president of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Ong has led the group and its more than 400 member businesses through the pandemic, one of the toughest times faced by businesses in recent history. Over the past two years, the PRA, under his strong leadership, has rolled out programs and webinars to provide timely relief to local retailers reeling from the crisis. She also actively sought government support to help protect retailers.

Besides her outstanding work at PRA, Ong’s own success story easily inspires young women to pursue their dreams. Starting in 1984 as a purchasing manager at Wilcon Depot, she worked her way up the corporate ladder, leading and inspiring in a male-dominated industry. Today, she is best known for her outstanding contributions to Wilcon Depot as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, for playing a key role in growing a company that has more than 4,000 employees. , as well as for his prowess and courage.

Emma Imperial

Emma Imperial

Emma Imperial

Emma Imperial is the lady behind the first solar-powered low-cost housing community in the Philippines.

Thanks to Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC), Imperial has made solar power more affordable and accessible, enabling many Filipinos to benefit from clean, sustainable energy in their communities. Additionally, the houses are also built using pre-engineered technology offering a material lifespan of 100 years. These houses are also said to be earthquake and fire resistant.

Thanks to these solar-powered communities, IHC became the first company to obtain EDGE certifications from IFC in the Philippines for its housing projects in Batangas. Today, IHC has built over 20,000 homes and received the ACES Award for Responsible SMEs in Asia.

Aida Cruz Del Rosario

The University of Santo Tomas produced the first Filipino architect, Aida Cruz-del Rosario

The University of Santo Tomas produced the first Filipino architect, Aida Cruz-del Rosario

One of the first licensed female architects in the Philippines and Asia, Aida Cruz-Del Rosario set a precedent for future generations when she entered the College of Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas. In 1974, she became the first female college graduate and even placed 7th in the licensing exam.

At a time when women were hardly seen in the field of architecture, Cruz-Del Rosario pursued what she really wanted and broke down barriers. In partnership with her engineer husband Jose del Rosario, she has designed and built several projects across the country. Some of his notable works include the first campus of the University of Baguio and several houses in the City of Pines.

Dolly Perez

Dolly Perez

Dolly Perez

Known as the “mother of landscape architecture,” Dolly Perez flourished as the nation’s first female landscape architect at a time when her field was considered glorified gardening.

She studied architecture at the University of Santo Tomas but chose landscaping as her design medium. After earning a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, she established Dolly Q. Perez and Associates in 1966. It later became Total Designs Atelier Inc., cementing its place in a still relatively young field. in the Philippines at the time.

His works include Rizal Park, Libingan ng mga Bayani, Dambana ng Kagitingan in Bataan and over 200 residential gardens. She has educated younger generations of students in landscaping through her teachings and apprenticeships at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Today, landscape architecture is already a recognized profession in the country thanks to pioneers in the field like Perez.

Alice Edward

Alice Edward

Alice Edward

Alice Eduardo, President and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp., has been dubbed a “woman of steel” for a reason. It was through her courage that she was able to start the construction company, now a multi-billion dollar business, from scratch as a woman who started with no engineering background whatsoever.

Traditionally a male-driven industry, construction and engineering have always been close to Eduardo’s heart. At university, she wanted to pursue engineering studies but was not allowed by her parents who wanted her to go into law or medicine. Instead, she went into business administration and got that degree from the University of Santo Tomas. While helping out in the family business, a chance encounter with a client led her into the construction business.

Through hard work and strong relationships, she and her team quickly managed local and international clients, including SM Mall of Asia and other SM malls. Its portfolio also included contract work for infrastructure projects such as bridges from Ilocos to Pangasinan, NLEx and SCTEx, and natural gas power plants.

John De Castro

John De Castro

John De Castro

As the first-ever female president of the Urban Land Institute Philippines, one of the oldest and largest networks of interdisciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world, Jean Jacquelyn De Castro is changing the structures in the fields of engineering and construction.

Graduating magna cum laude in her undergraduate program and finishing fifth in law school, the University of the Philippines alumnus is an experienced litigator in her early professional years, with extensive experience in court arbitration. construction and commercial litigation. This piqued her interest in real estate, which eventually led her to follow in her father’s footsteps at ESCA Inc., an engineering company founded by his family.

Today, the CEO of ESCA Inc. has been breaking down barriers since the beginning of her career, as she leads the company’s operations, business development and administration.

Edith Oliveros

Edith Oliveros

Edith Oliveros

One of the pioneers of interior design in the Philippines, Edith Oliveros, affectionately referred to as “The Doyen” by her students, was known for her contemporary design with a flair for tropical elements and Filipino style.

She graduated from the Philippine Women’s University with a degree in Home Economics, but due to her passion for design, she eventually pursued a Master of Science in Interior Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Upon her return to the Philippines, she began hiring young female apprentices and eventually helped establish the Philippine School of Interior Design.

Among his most recognized works are the interiors of the Admiral Hotel and the restoration of the Metropolitan Theater Manila. She has also co-authored several books, including “Design in the Home” (1993) and “Interior Design in the Philippines” (2013).

Sources: Inquirer Archives, CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art Digital Edition, Blueprint.ph, aliceeduardo.com, pinoybuilders.ph, lamudi.com.ph, Metro Style, CEO Magazine, ESCA Inc., Asia Property Awards, Business Mirror, Imperial Homes Incorporation, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Philippine News Agency

Read more

Don’t miss the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

Michael J. Chiaramonte