He could have opted for the easier route and retired while at the peak of his career.
Having turned 65 in January this year, Rockwell Land president Nestor J. Padilla was more than ready to hand over the reins. After all, the man behind the most iconic, most sought addresses in the metro has a 25-year, rock solid record of creating highly exclusive, ultra premium communities to his name—from the flagship Rockwell Center in Makati to more upscale communities across Luzon and Visayas. He has helped create that distinct mark of excellence that crafted the famed Rockwell lifestyle today.
But the pandemic happened.
“As you know, I turned 65 in January so I should really just fade away already. But the pandemic, obviously, is something you can’t just walk away from. We had no choice but to get everybody together and face this most difficult challenge ever,” Padilla said in a recent interview with the Inquirer.
And it so happened that this year, amid this unprecedented global crisis, Rockwell Land is also celebrating its 25th year of creating upscale world-class communities.
Despite the difficulties, Padilla did not allow his team to wallow on the challenges. Instead, he focused on the possible opportunities that lie ahead, constantly challenging his people to find better ways to do things amid a situation wherein almost every industry bore the brunt of the COVID-19. He likewise urged them to turn this crisis into an opportunity for learning and self-improvement, which in turn could further steer and help the brand to be better prepared for future challenges.
“We’ve got to find unusual optimism from all of these problems. Just don’t force me to celebrate Christmas this year. But you know, I’d like to give my colleagues in Rockwell the excitement of what lies ahead, because that’s what’s more important. I think you will naturally be thankful and hopeful if you are finding ways to see the opportunities that lie ahead—and there are opportunities that lie ahead,” Padilla explained.
“As they say, it’s a K (shaped) recovery. There are those who will recover faster and there are those who will not recover as fast. I would like to think that we will be among those who will recover faster and the key is the people. I always tell my people to try and be optimistic because there’s already plenty to be depressed on. I tell them not to focus on what’s in front of them but rather on what’s ahead—and there’s plenty ahead, just don’t get sick or be careless. So that’s what we are doing. We are putting everybody to that optimism that there are opportunities ahead and we have to dream bigger,” he further shared.
It’s unsurprising to see such enthusiasm and optimism from Padilla, who managed to steer the Rockwell brand from its first development, the Rockwell Center in Makati City to become a highly respected name in premium property development, catering to a discerning market.
Today, Rockwell Land continues to expand its presence in key areas and enjoy the confidence of the affluent market and its investors. From Makati, Rockwell brings its signature lifestyle to more areas including The Arton in Quezon City; 8 Benitez Suites, which offers the convenience of condo living with the coziness of a townhome; 32 Sanson, its first mid-rise garden community in Cebu City; Aruga Resort and Residences-Mactan, its first residential-resort in Mactan; and the Nara Residences in Bacolod.
After carving a distinct mark in condominium developments, Rockwell Land is all set to make a mark in another segment. This time, Rockwell Land is creating developments that could offer more spaces to move about and grow, and a beyond ordinary lifestyle in an open setting. Through the Rockwell Horizontals brand, the company seeks to further solidify its commitment to carve greater spaces offering that famed Rockwell lifestyle.
This premium developer has started to cement its foothold in the horizontal segment with Rockwell South at Carmelray, which offers vast grounds for relaxation in Laguna. This 63 hectare estate is home to generous lot cuts ideal for the laidback lifestyle. There’s Terreno South, a community in Lipa City, Batangas, where future residents can enjoy generous spaces and proximity to nature.
“Whatever it is that we were dreaming before COVID-19, now is the time to dream even bigger. It’s not just horizontals, verticals, inner-city development—there’s just so many. Things are changing and there will be opportunities there. Though there’s plenty to worry about today, you just have to find ways to deal with the current issues. And also you have to never forget to see what’s ahead and really, to dream big. I always challenge the team to dream big and to continue fighting and seeing opportunities. You have to dream,” Padilla stressed.
Indeed, all is set for this company, which has already gone through various economic cycles, political upheavals and other challenges. With Padilla at the helm, continuously challenging his people and encouraging them to always dream big, Rockwell Land is surely on its way to a healthy and fruitful recovery.
“We expect and hope 2021 to be better than 2020. We plan to launch some of our verticals that we put on hold this year. We also hope to launch our projects in Angeles, Pampanga and in Bacolod,” Padilla concluded.