Reflections of a Real Estate Investor: Ondoy's aftermath

Last Updated on by Jay Castillo | Filed under: - 41 Comments

I have been compiling a list of reflections from the point of view of a real estate investor that I want to share here in Foreclosure Philippines but after Typhoon Ondoy’s wrath, a lot of them have changed. Mike, a fellow real estate investor, said it best when we met the other day and mentioned to me that “You must have a million things on your mind Jay…”. Mike was right. There are just so many things running through my head right now.


Although it’s true that a lot has changed after Ondoy’s deluge, there are also things that cannot be changed even by such a calamity and I want to share these thoughts first. Don’t worry, I won’t be babbling about a million things, I’ll just include coherent thoughts and reflections.

Whatever happens, always count your blessings

During the past days, I sometimes find myself with a blank stare and teary eyed during moments of feeling overwhelmed with all the challenges I face in the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy. I have yet to fully assess the damage to our house in Provident Village, but I’m quite sure that just about everything inside it got ruined or destroyed.

Our kitchen or what's left of itOur kitchen… or what’s left of it.
Our house and our stuff. Notice the make-shift tent on the roof?Our house and our stuff. Notice the make-shift tent on the roof?
This used to be my son's toylandThis used to be my son’s toyland
One of our wall clocks that all stopped a little past 2:30am. This one is hangs on the wall 8 feet from the floor.One of our wall clocks that all stopped a little past 2:30pm. This one hangs on the wall 8 feet from the floor. Anyone left inside the house at that time would have surely drowned.

No need to feel sorry for me as I have found a way to get through these moments. All I have to do is just look at my son if I am with him or I just have to think about him and I am able to snap out of it. My 4 year old son along with Emily, his nanny, were spared by the rampaging floods brought about by Typoon Ondoy, thanks to the courage and quick thinking of Emily. They were both staying at our 1-story house on that fateful day while my wife and I had to attend to some matters which we normally don’t do on Saturdays.  Maybe I’ll write about this sometime when I’m ready to do so.

My wife and I feel that we are still very blessed and luckier than most who not only lost property but also loved ones. When we first entered our house and saw just about everything ruined and destroyed by the muddy flood waters, we didn’t feel such a big loss. What’s more important is all of us are alive and well. It also helped that we lead simple lives and we are not really in the habit of buying doodads. When I say that my ultimate goal in becoming financially free is to have the freedom to do what I want, when I want to, and with who I want, It’s quite obvious that I am referring to my family and loved ones as the “…who I want”. The bottom line is we know what is truly important in life which is why we still feel blessed in spite of all that has happened. What ever happens, I shall always remember to count my blessings.

My advocacy remains the same

My advocacy still remains the same and it is to help as many people as I can to learn about financial literacy and achieve financial freedom. I believe that financial literacy is a prerequisite to financial freedom and that financial freedom can really be achieved through real estate investing, with focus on bank acquired assets and foreclosed real estate. As a real estate investor, my mission is to be financially free with the ultimate purpose of helping people and my community. I advocate financial literacy with the goal of making a difference in the lives of people around me by sharing what I have learned in my journey to financial freedom. I want to help as many people as I can to achieve the same in the process. I am more focused on acquiring investment properties that generate passive income and when I surpass my passive income goal before the end of 2009, I shall retire from being an employee and go full time with my advocacy.

Some of you may be asking, “Sounds good Jay but how can you do it now when you have this major challenge that will cost you lots of money?” Actually, that’s a question I often find myself asking these past few days but the answer still remains the same. Real estate investing is still one of the best ways for ordinary people to gain financial freedom.  If you knew what I know, you’ll know what I mean. It’s hard to explain but I shall be doing my best to do so. I guess I may not have been doing a good job explaining the very basics which is why I also have plans to focus on sharing stuff that would be more beneficial to newbie real estate investors.

Let me put it this way, If I was to do it all over again, what information would have helped me conquer my fear of the unknown when it comes to real estate investing and start with my first deal? That’s the information I want to share.

Coming up next…

I try to share what I’ve learned and become aware of as a licensed real estate broker, homeowner, and real estate investor in Provident Village, Marikina City, Philippines. Read on to Part 2 of this series – Lessons learned by a real estate broker, homeowner, and investor from Provident Village



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Jay Castillo

A lot of people encounter problems and challenges when buying real estate like foreclosed properties. I encountered a lot of challenges myself, which is why I started this blog in 2008 to serve as a guide where I share lessons learned, and how to overcome challenges with real estate investing in the Philippines … [Read more]
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