WHEN MARINO ROXAS retired as executive from the Development Bank of the Philippines, the economy was in turmoil. It is understandable because that year Ninoy Aquino was killed, and soon bank interests soared. Money placed in the money market earned as much as 42% a month.
WISE ADVICE – A well-meaning friend advised Roxas to place P1 million of his retirement money in the money market. Which he did. His placement earned him in one year more than what he paid for a 6-hectare coconut farm in Alaminos, Laguna. The place had coffee, lanzones and a few others.
HE KNEW WHAT HE WANTED – From the very start Roxas knew what he wanted. He wanted a farm where he could grow fruit trees that will not only give him income but also fresh fruits, a healthy environment, and ample exercise for his own good health.
TEN YEARS LATER – When we visited him in 1994, his farm had become truly a paradise of 600 fruiting rambutan, 700 lanzones trees, a hundred jackfruit, 10 fruiting durian and many more young ones of the Thai and Indonesian varieties, a few mangosteen trees, longan and latundan bananas.
MANY VISITED – When we wrote about him before we joined the Manila Bulletin in 1997, a lot of people visited his farm that included professionals, businessmen and others dreaming of their own paradise of a farm. Then several years later, we featured developments in his farm in the Bulletin publications, so many more went to visit him. That included Loren Legarda who had at that time a small farm of her own in Lipa City.
HE REJECTED BIG OFFERS – One of the visitors that Roxas remembers is a businessman who offered to buy his farm for P25 million. He just shrugged off the offer, however. Not even when a few more years later, a former Metro Manila went to see him and offered to buy his farm at P1,000 per square meter. Could you figure out how many millions of pesos is that? That’s no less than P60 million!
HE COULD BE TARGET – “What will I do with the cash? That could even endanger my life. I could be the target of kidnapers!” That’s what he said matter-of-factly.