What’s an Italian Architect Doing in the Philippines?

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The first time I visited the Philippines in June of 2007, I liked it right away and I believe the Philippines liked me back.

Before coming here I became good friends with a bunch of Filipinos whom I met in the United States in 2005. They were the ones who invited me to visit the country as they knew that I was looking to explore real estate investment for green buildings and they thought that the Philippines would be a great location for this project.

So around 2008, I was flying here from Italy four to five times in a year and was staying for about two weeks each time to look for opportunities. I couldn’t find someone who believed in my idea and I was really close to giving up when I met Atty. Jojo Leviste who eventually became my partner in setting up Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC).

At that time, he was just coming back from Australia and we discovered that we shared the same passion for sustainable development. We immediately recognized the opportunity to create a company to transform our advocacy in business and bring into the Philippines a relatively new kind of development in the field of real estate.

IDC was born in 2009 and our beginnings were definitely exciting and extremely difficult at the same time. We were just two guys with good ideas and a lot of passion, perseverance and commitment. Through sheer hard work and enthusiasm, not to mention plenty of help from others, we were able to start our first project – the Building A of Primavera Residences in Cagayan de Oro. 

Getting there was challenging because, primarily, the idea of developing a green building that was accessible in terms of price –and located in Mindanao at that — was, to many people, simply crazy around 11 years ago. But eventually, things started to fall in place and we started to grow the company. We were right to trust our instinct. 

You could say that IDC did not start with high financial capital, net worth or land, but simply with a lot of good ideas. Six years later, we were able to list the company in PSE and we continue to work hard to bring in fresh and unconventional ideas into our projects and partnerships. 

This is my story and this is the story of Italpinas. I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts and ideas with the readers of FrontpagePH.com in the coming weeks.

I hope that you can find the time to follow this column every Wednesday if you are interested in real estate development, architecture, Italian culture, and the life and work of an Italian expat living in the Philippines.


About Architect Romolo V. Nati

Romolo Valentino Benedetto Nati known as Romolo Nati or RVN, is a multi-awarded Italian architect and businessman with interest in sustainable development (energy and real estate). He is the current Executive Chairman and CEO of Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC), an Italian-Filipino real estate development firm that specializes in the design and development of sustainable buildings. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Philippine renewable energy company Constellation Energy Corporation (CEC) that focuses in acquiring, financing and developing small to medium-scale renewable energy projects across the Philippines. Follow Architect Nati on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn. 


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