It is Father’s Day! I could not count the ways how to thank dad for all that he was. He was very consistent with his vision for the long term. For years, we can describe dad’s unfailing love for us, firm stance to familial issues and his regard for legacies as few of his adorable attributes. He was always concerned for the future. His foresight was outstanding. He was practical, politically involved, and real property oriented.
Most of us have two comfort places in the Philippines: the city and the province. The northernmost part of Cebu, Bantayan Island was where my dad grew up. Off Sta. Fe, Guintarcan Island, is their actual hometown. My grandfather, who was a US World War veteran, was able to acquire a sparse of properties in Sta. Fe and a few hectares more in Guintarcan. In short, they are few of the families who have managed to acquire prime agricultural lots, a small private beach and well-appointed residential lots in their area.
Growing up, dad would tell us stories about how strict his parents were toward him and his siblings and that they had to do few farming as their lots were fertile and are perfect for crops season by season. Years later, they found their way out to the city for their college education and then established residency. A San Miguel Corporation and Pepsi Corporation employee, dad learned his way to be a businessman. Though an engineer, he enjoyed business for the longest time. We were involved in fresh fish brokerage where truckloads of fresh fishes in large-sized boxes were sold to market daily. A handful of our relatives are into the same. The business is very much of quintessential regional trade where fresh fishes are caught from Palawan, and from parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
My “lolo” was very respectable, he commands like a chief. His words were final and he had great foresight as well. He had already distributed to his kids their inheritance by virtue of fair share, equitable disposition, and family prestige. He had already assigned both the most prime properties and the farms to its rightful inheritors. While my dad had few hectares share from his family’s inheritance, he went out of his own to buy a separate piece of property that he dreamed perfectly for us, “it’s-the-skies-meet-the-seas” kind of feel that we, his family could enjoy it, in addition to all of his shares. This came special, as it is separate from what their family possessed.
“Part of my memories of dad are their morning routine coffee sessions with mom, when they would talk for hours every day before sunrise; they enjoyed hearty talks, including hopes that we frequented Guintarcan.”
This comes a rarity as a cliffside residential property is almost never available nowadays yet my dad was able to persuade the owners. Dad had lived in San Diego, California with my “lolo” for some time when I was in high school and had then owned close to a hectare cliffside beach property.
Part of my memories of dad are their morning routine coffee sessions with mom, when they would talk for hours every day before sunrise; they enjoyed hearty talks, including hopes that we frequented Guintarcan. I liked the fact that mom and dad savored the quality at each other’s company with their morning coffee dialogues. The kids do not frequent the province as we were not so used to going there regularly, except for major occasions but we appreciate the serenity, the fresh air and all the glorious ambiance. The waters are very inviting and the sands are just as pristine. The “fiestas” are particularly important occasions and people are very warm. There is nothing like life in the province away from everything. It is simply relaxing, recharging and the overall friendliness of people are exceptional.
The late Gina Lopez had visited Guintarcan and found the island as the last frontier in the Philippines. She has had a couple of immersions to these places encouraging the locals into promoting eco-tourism.
“Properties are instruments to quality life. Inheritance are legacies for generations of treasure. But it is also a vehicle for change, to drive progress and can be a holder of the future.”
I had learned that vast lands in the Philippines are on tax declarations. Declaration of Real Property ( Tax Declaration ) is a property record, which is a traditional assessment document maintained by the provincial, city or municipal assessors, showing, among others, the market and assessed values of the property as the basis for the collection of real property tax. There are also classifications of lots that when it is purchased as agricultural, it is way cheaper. You can purchase them and have them changed ownership. Other uses of the Declaration of Real Property is as follows : The zonal value of the property is based on the barangay where the property is located; keeps track of prior ownership of the property and is useful for “tracebacks” (when research is being done on history of a property ); Assessment for the value of the improvement is also used by the Bureau of Internal Revenue when figuring out the zonal value of the property; The Declaration of Real Property and Transfer Certificate of Title are two important documents that show proof of ownership.
As per Assessor’s office, the Declaration of Real Property should be regularly updated so proper taxes are paid to the local government’s office. Be diligent in paying annual tax dues. You must visit your nearest municipality and then on the register of deeds, validate the property and pay taxes on. In rural farm land where land is mostly untitled, and recognized as such by the concerned government offices, the record of taxes paid is the strongest claim proof to the land and that is why people go by the tax declaration because by getting the government to take taxes from you for the land, you get them to associate you with the ownership and is only a side option in untitled regions. In lieu of title, Tax Declaration is sufficient until titled.
“A father’s love can be expressed in his transfer of properties. His beneficence to the future.”
On another note, I learned from two sister-friends circa 2005 that they had their massive inheritance properties by their parents of high commercial value and decided to sell them and converted into business. Proceeds from the sale allowed them to establish coffee shops in parts of Japan. They have turned these into a gold mine, to start new businesses and became successful.
Properties are instruments to quality life. Inheritance are legacies for generations of treasure. But it is also a vehicle for change, to drive progress and can be a holder of the future.
As for my dad, specific to the beach property, it’s for us families, to give adage to home, to relive the life of his youth, to bear witness to the traditions of the past, a cultural bridge, to experience the best times of life with the shores, sun kissed skies and the wonders of nature. With the spellbinding changes of the times, dad wanted us to live life without regret, to strengthen ties with his family and his roots. For my other friends, they had it as a trajectory to major life changes, a business instrument for futuristic endeavors.
A father’s love can be expressed in his transfer of properties. His beneficence to the future. I know from both my parents, our “lolos” had something for us for the taking and they are genuinely appreciated. A shoutout goes to fathers who think, similarly, that it is responsible and fitting to give life to their dreams and legacies, simply put, a pride of place.
(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus to Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)