CONRADO “CONRAD” BIASON BAUTISTA
’71 B.S. IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRAION
1991-1992 President, UPAA-SD
EMILIANA “EMI” TORRADO BAUTISTA
’76 B.S. IN COMMUNICATION NUTRITION
A CONJUGAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY
U.P. and the Bautista Family
After graduating from U.P. Prep in 1965, my father, Conrado G. Bautista, Sr. (B.S.E.E. & B.S.M.E.), ordered me, “You have to go to U.P. and at the College of Engineering, otherwise I will not support your college education.” I could understand where my dad was coming from, he simply wanted to continue the family tradition that he and all his three elder brothers started by getting a U.P. education, one of whom was ambitious and successful enough to found the University of Baguio from practically scratch.
I am the eldest of 10 siblings and seven of us heeded our father’s demand to study in U.P. The three younger ones graduated from schools of their own choosing as my father no longer cared and was already happy that majority of us followed his dream.
I did not exactly fulfill what my father wanted because in my senior year I switched to business ad. I saw my dad’s expectant jubilation turn into resigned acceptance that his junior did not become an engineer but this major decision in my life, a directional change in my future career, will make my father proud. Of some consolation to him was that three of his children became engineers, all UP graduates.
Formative and College Years
I was born on Manila October 9, 1948 and my father named me his junior hoping that in the future, I succeed him in his professional engineering private practice. My mother, Celedonia F. Biason, was a homemaker, and until now I can’t imagine and marvel at how she managed to raise such a big family. I remember my father telling us that the best legacy he and my mother could give us is our education more than anything else. We picked up from our parents the value of hard work, honesty and integrity, and above all the love and service of God. These are the same qualities we passed on to our children.
Graduating from U.P. Prep high school in 1965, I got automatic acceptance to UP, and hoping to get a mechanical engineering degree. I followed my father’s advice, inspite of the fact that the social sciences, not math and science, were my strength and favorite subjects. On my 4th year, I told my mother that I was shifting to the college of Business Administration, and pleaded that she do not tell my father.
I was afraid of how my father will take it, but I have the inner confidence that I was doing the right choice. This is my first major decision in life, and I would like to justify to my father that while it hurt him that I did not pursue his dreams, I would make good in my field of choice.
I got my degree in 1971 and was consistently on the college dean’s list. I had a good start having selected by IBM Phils. among the 10 graduates that can apply with preference, having been chosen to participate in IBMs very selective summer training program. With computers still in the infant stage at that time, I elected to pursue a marketing research job with the pioneering petrochem plant Mabuhay Vinyl, thru the invitation of an alumni Beta Epsilon frat. brod. It was during about this time (1972) that I enrolled at the UP MBA evening program in Diliman. I was able to complete all the academic subjects but was not able to finish my masters thesis because of career demands.
My Career in the Philippines
I then got my feet wet in finance and financial marketing after joining investment bank Filcapital where from credit analyst, moved up to be a Senior Projects Manager in charge of real estate financing deals, mining, and the growing banana industry in Mindanao. It was here where I started my exposure to real estate and real estate financing for multi-unit residential housing. It was here where I learned about stocks (pricing and underwriting), municipal bonds, and other investment banking packages.
My next career stop was joining a venture capital company- Venture Development and Management Corporation owned by the Villafuerte, Virata, Zamora group and the Chinese textile conglomerate Utex and Solid Mills. The company took equity positions on new ventures, secure financing, and take a management and board participation. I was assigned as Treasurer, and Executive committee member in a garment export joint venture company between Australian entreprenuers and our company. Concurrently, I was project manager for the newly built Hyatt Apartelle in Baguio City.
In 1979, one of our partners in the company, Florencio Orendain, was invited by the then Human Settlements Department, under the leadership of then First Lady Imelda Marcos, to set up a mutual fund which would be the primary source of home financing for the department shelter program. Mr. Orendain invited me to join his core group, and form what is now the PAG-IBIG Mutual Fund, and the National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp (NHMFC ). It was here where I got my complete experience in real estate financing from site development, insurance guarantee, projects and take-out financing, and the secondary market system.
I headed the Mortgage Banking Group of the NHMFC, charged with generating funds for the Pag-Ibig Program. My other major responsibility was to sell to the financial sector the housing finance system, organize and mobilize the financial institutions to participate in the housing finance program of the government, rising in position from Vice-President to Senior Vice President.
I was newly married then to my loving wife of 30 years, and she was not too happy with my frequent trips, and happy nightlife, which goes with the job. Coupled with these reasons, being in a position of granting financing to builder/developers, exposes you to so many attempts to your integrity and honesty. In 1983, I decided to resign my position with NHMFC, and joined a small Savings and Loan Bank, Solid Savings based in Greenhills, as President.
My Family Life: the Torrado-Bautista Match-up
The best thing that ever happened in my life was getting married to a U.P. alumna who is sweet, smart, charming, a loving wife, and a U.P. cum laude graduate at that. Molded by the Belgian sisters of St. Theresa’s, QC, from kinder to high school, she finished 3rd in her high school class. She is the former Emiliana Torrado.
After graduation, she worked two years with the Green Revolution Project of Imelda Marcos that required her to travel all over Luzon teaching the forsaken communities self-help in food-raising and backyard farming to help alleviate chronic malnutrition among the masses.
We tied the knot on January 22, 1978. I was then 29 years old, and had fun-filled, pleasures of a bachelor’s life. I was so busy working, and having fun that it was far from my mind to get into a permanent relationship. This perspective changed, when my cousin, her best friend, introduced Emi to me. I found her very charming, pretty, well-mannered and educated, and with a load of wit and humor. It was not a normal courtship since at the start, I disclosed to her my intentions. I told her that I’m not looking for a girlfriend but a WIFE.
That started my new life as a family man and this marriage is now 30 years and still going strong. We are blessed with love and four awesome gems: Jay now almost 30 years old, Jereille our angel is 27, Jeremiah is 21, and the only girl Jemianne Grace who is 19. Jay is a product of UC Irvine, and is now taking up Nursing. Jereille, is our smiling angel born with cerebral palsy but the life of love of the family. Jeremiah will be senior at UCI taking up Computer Science major in Informatics, and minor in Digital Arts and Management. Jemianne is a freshman at Stanford University, and the valedictorian of Eastlake High Class 2007. She is aspiring to take up medicine.
We wanted Jereille to have a better life given his physical challenges. He is non-verbal and barely walks, unable to care for himself, but has a normal mind. Because of his condition, and for Emi to have a productive undertaking while taking care of Jereille, we decided to establish a Montessori School for Nursery and Kindergarten. Emi was able to start the school from scratch, and was able to operate it as Administrator and teacher. When we opened in 1983, we had more than a hundred pupils, and four teachers.
We had to sell the school when we decided to move to the U.S. It was our belief that Jereille not only will have better chances of getting better medical care here, and treated as special person. I regret that our motherland is not only lacking in facilities and organized activities for the handicapped, but do not have enough respect and dignity for the physically challenged persons.
Life in the U.S.A.
We immigrated to the U.S. in December, 1984 with Jay (6), and Jereille (4), and with God’s providence with Tita, our cousin. Tita is a great help for all of us in the family. I was then 36 years old.
After visiting the major theme parks and San Francisco, an uncle convinced us to stay in San Diego instead of New Jersey or LA, where all our relatives are residing. I was able to get a job as a loan officer in a mortgage bank, where I had the privilege and experience of working in the same field before. Emi got her real estate license, and together, we complemented our team.
It was a big adjustment for me since I was used to working with secretaries, had a driver, several maids, and high profile positions. Now, I was begging for business from realtors who many times abuse the patience and understanding of loan officers. It was a hard start for us since we barely knew anybody in San Diego. Emi, and Jay with Tita and me passing out real estate flyers door-to-door, attending orientation/seminars to network, etc., to get clients and get known in the local communities.
Having gotten enough experience, after four years we decided to put up a real estate office named ERA Dynamic Realty with two other partners and at one time had as many as 30 full and part-time agents. We sold our shares in the company, after a year and a half, and established our own Realty Edge, Inc. in August, 1989, with office at Plaza Blvd., National City. The office produced several agents who were able to put up their own shop after getting sufficient training from our leadership. The office was the 1st awardee by the Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce as the best real estate office in 1991. I was able to serve for two years as the one and only (so far) male president of the UPAASD and Emi served for three terms as treasurer in the nineties. After witnessing three economic cycles, we felt it was time to take it easy, and live life to the full. We closed the office in November, 2007 after 18 blessed years.
Emi and I are now in our comfort zone, where we consider ourselves semi-retired, and finding happiness together without the rigors, stress, busy schedules which were our lifestyles of the past.
We now find joy in knowing more and serving our Lord Jesus Christ in various ministries in the Catholic Church. We take traveling as our serious part-time endeavor. More than these, we got peace and contentment being husband/wife, and father/mother to our children. Jereille is now our focus of attention, making sure he is living life God wants for him. The sweetness of a simple living is enjoyed minute-to-minute. We have our health pills to take consistently, and our physical health our concern.