The theme was festive Filipiniana and that was exactly how the party on 14 November turned out, as the RII Builders Group of Companies family celebrated the 72nd birthday of its chairman Reghis Romero II.
Romero — also the president of FIABCI Philippines (the national arm of the International Real Estate Federation), and special presidential envoy to Japan for business and investments promotions — has lived a fruitful life marked by significant accomplishments that have changed the real estate industry and transformed the lives of the underprivileged.
In the 1990s, Romero led the conversion of the massive garbage dump Smokey Mountain into a modern harbor.
But the better story to the life-changing project is that Romero made sure the community in the dumpsite would also feel positive change. Today, through his philanthropy, the community’s residents enjoy a clean environment, with a church for their spiritual needs.
At the party for Romero held at his company’s headquarters in Quezon City, eldest son and architect Nathaniel Romero talked of the best lesson he learned from his father. Speaking in Filipino, he said, “The most important thing in life is love. It’s more relevant, more enduring. As the saying goes, it’s better to give than to receive because God will always reward you for something better. Do not forget to be grateful to God. That is the best advice that struck our hearts as his children. We are proud of our love for family, love for others, and most of all, love for God. So, to my ama, my father, thank you very much.”
Although it was a big gathering amongst Romero’s family members, friends, and business partners, the sense of warmth and camaraderie was palpable. Everyone gamely dressed according to the theme — which reflected Romero’s love of country and service to Filipinos, crystallized by his being a Grand Knight of Rizal.
A program co-hosted by spoken word artist and comedian Makata added cheer to the evening that was filled with games, OPM song numbers that are favorites of the birthday celebrator, dance performances by various departments of the RII Builders team, and a grand fireworks display. And, of course, a sumptuous spread of native street food and classic Filipino fiesta favorites like lechon, pancit, lumpia, and more.
The program was also marked by heartfelt tributes to the chairman for all his good deeds that have not been forgotten by those whose lives he has touched.
In his speech, Romero kept it humorous with nuggets of wisdom in between. Reminiscing his early years as a struggling professional, the affable business leader and diplomat talked about determination, discipline and commitment as keys to where RII Builders is right now.
“What is it for us now? To keep on trying because our situation, our mission now is to reboot, to refresh. We came from a Covid crisis, we are rebooting so we go back to what we are. Then probably we can go on. We can now remove our masks.
“We have a lot of support groups (within the company), there is my eldest son, architect Nathaniel Romero, for instance, who will help you achieve your highest hopes, in every way we can. Enjoy life, God bless us. God will continue to bless us. Maraming salamat sa inyong pagdalo.”
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