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NextAsia Land’s Cris Carreon on moving out, letting go and retiring at 36

Is your child planning to move out for a university dorm or go on his/her own? Let go.

Trust that you have taught your children as much as they need to know, and that they have the capacity to figure out the rest. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary.

Take it from Cris Y. Carreon, the 58-year-old CEO and founder of NextAsia Land, one of the fast-growing value-oriented estate developments in the country today. He encouraged his children to move out of the family home before 25, fostering personal growth and independence. Yet he ensures they remain connected.

Cris knows whereof he speaks.

“I took the plunge at 21. Moving out of my parents’ house was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” shares Cris, who also became a dad at 21. “It molded me into the man and father I am now.”

Dream (home) builders: NextAsia Land’s Cris Carreon with his children (from left) Kevin, Dustin, Jessica and Tristan

Cris was inspired by the book The Millionaire Next Door, “a primer for amassing wealth through hard work and frugality.”

“It explains why children who left home became more successful than the ones who stayed with their parents. Why? Because of the influence parents have on their kids. Some parents tend to be control freaks,” explains Cris.

According to Cris, the best thing we can do as parents is give our children the advice that matters most and withhold the stuff they can figure out on their own.

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Fatherhood is character-building

Being a young dad — and barely out of college (graduating) at that — was, indeed, tough for Cris.

“I wasn’t emotionally and financially ready then. In fact, I had to leave my young family behind to try my luck in the US,” he relates. There, he worked as an errand boy at an engineering firm in San Francisco.

However, doing these odd jobs somehow affected his self-esteem.

“I’m a college graduate with good entrepreneurial skills. I knew I could do better than this,” adds Cris.

And so, after saving enough money to provide for his young family, Cris decided to move back to Manila — and explored the corporate world.

“Fatherhood is character-building,” notes Cris. “Things that I thought are impossible to do are actually doable.”

Cris’ professional trajectory is nothing short of inspirational. With a robust foundation in civil engineering and an Executive MBA from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), he has sculpted a distinguished career. Rising through the ranks to become a highly sought-after executive, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and garnered global recognition, including the first Asian laureate of the Alcatel World Business Finals in Madrid.

“At 29, I was head of channel sales at Smart. I was one of the pioneer employees there. I went around the country opening branches. We were like basketball stars then. We were being poached left and right,” recalls Cris.

He moved to Lucent Telecom and then transferred to a French company called Alcatel.

“Though I have a Civil Engineering degree, I’m a sales and marketing person at heart. I’m the ultimate dealmaker. I’ve dealt with the likes of the late John Gokongwei. I led the negotiation of Sun Cellular’s $100 million contract with Alcatel to ensure extensive network coverage throughout the country,” relates Cris.

He closed that deal at the age of 34. And two years later, Cris decided to retire — well, because he could afford it — to spend quality time with his growing family.

As a father of four, Cris has instilled values that underscore independence while cherishing familial bonds.

He champions entrepreneurial thinking, prudent financial management, and prioritizing family and health over career — a blend of wisdom that prepares his children for both professional success and personal fulfillment.

“I always remind my children to prioritize their physical and mental health, and live below their means,” adds Cris, who keeps himself fit by running 10 kms and lifting weights thrice weekly. “No amount of money will last if you don’t know how to take care of it.”

Cris acknowledges that he has areas for improvement as a father, but he is proud of his efforts to prepare and provide his children with everything they need to reach their full potential.

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Dream (home) weavers

A year after he retired, Cris ventured into real estate.

“I would buy houses in Alabang and flip them,” relates Cris. “It was an easy job. I played golf in the morning, went to the gym after, and by 3 p.m., I would stop by the site and meet with my contractor.”

Once the house was finished, he would text-blast brokers.

“I used to flip two to three houses at the same time and those houses weren’t cheap,” he adds. “And it went on for 10 years.” The initial venture, Cris shares, was his introduction to the challenging but exciting world of real estate.

In 2012, his son Dustin, who was a banker, brought him out of retirement.

“He said I was too young to retire and that we should start our own real estate business,” he adds.

And so, NextAsia Land Inc. was born.

Founded by Cris in 2013, NextAsia is a rapidly growing real-estate development company whose focus is to build value-oriented and future-ready homes nestled in the south of Luzon.

Dustin joined Cris less than a year later. Together, they incorporated NextAsia, which initially embarked on building its first major project — 100 or so premium townhouses complete with their own road networks in BF Parañaque and Alabang, before the company ventured into Calabarzon in search of more prime real estate to develop.

This time, their developments consisted of average-sized gated communities consisting of a combination of two-story townhouses and single-attached units. Each community has its own road network, guardhouse, clubhouse, solar street-lighting system and completely built houses that are broadband-ready.?

In anticipation of current developments on the ground, NextAsia’s succeeding projects under the brand name Estonia by NextAsia will also have provisions for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for homeowners and their guests to use.?One of the first NextAsia communities to have this EV charging station provision is the soon-to-be-launched Estonia by NextAsia in Calamba.

While Cris is credited within the company for his seasoned expertise and visionary foresight, Dustin, 33, a BA in Humanities and Management graduate, is lauded for his future-focused approach.

Together, father and son believe that their respective strengths, experiences and points of view are complementary in achieving their dream for NextAsia to further grow and develop more future-proof communities that are responsive and affordable to working-class Filipinos.

Looking forward, Cris’ medium-term vision is to take NextAsia Land public, creating a legacy business “that my children can take over and pass on to the next generation.”

This self-made man’s story serves as an inspiration to all fathers striving to leave a lasting legacy, both in their careers and their families.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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