By Trish Fontanilla
Hope you all enjoy our interview with Ronnie, and special thanks to Ronnie for all he does for the Filipino community here in MA!
Where are you and your family from?
Ronnie: My mother is from Bicol and my father is from Ilocos, but my parents met in California. My mother was a nurse at the time and my father was in the Navy. When my father got stationed in Boston, my mother planted roots here and became a teacher. They lived in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Navy housing, and when that was closed down, they moved the families into the Charlestown projects. I would call the projects home for the next 15 years.
Where do you work and what do you do?
Ronnie: Right now, I am a Broker / Owner of RE/MAX Trinity in Malden, MA - a real estate agency and we currently have 20 agents. In addition to co-managing the office and agents with my partner, I also assist buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.
Can you tell us a little more about how you got into real estate?
Ronnie: Well I attended Northeastern University and graduated with a degree in Finance. The co-op programs led me to a career on Wall Street where I was an equity trader for 20 years. After retiring in 2012, I decided to pursue a second career in real estate. I first started to get into real estate 20 years ago as an investor. It started out as a sort of hobby. I now rent a number of my apartments to low-income families, and I also help to educate my investors on using real estate as a retirement vehicle.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Ronnie: I love to travel. My bucket list would be to travel to every country in the world. I have only been to 63 countries, so I may be running out of time! I also run and train for marathons. I have completed the 6 World Marathon Majors (Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, London and Tokyo). And since every true Filipino has at least 1 or 5 side hustles, I’m also into real estate and trading stocks and options.
If anyone ever wants to talk about any of the above, drop me an email!
How long have you been in Boston?
Ronnie: I was born and raised in Boston. I worked in New York City for about 6 years, then came back to Boston. I just couldn’t stay away.
What’s your community superpower?
Ronnie: I like to give back to the community. Although I have not worked for a non-profit, I am involved at the local level with the Malden Rotary (President), Malden YMCA (Board Member), and Asian Real Estate Association of America - AREAA (past Board Member). Internationally, I am involved with Habitat for Humanity where I have been a part of a team that’s build houses in 10 countries.
On Filipino Food...
What's your all time favorite Filipino dish?
Ronnie: I love all Filipino food. Whenever I get a chance to go to a cookout or party with Filipino food, I jump at the chance. I loved my mom's pancit and egg rolls. I wish I had the recipes.
What's your favorite Filipino recipe / dish to make?
Ronnie: Unfortunately, I do not cook.
On staying in touch…
How can people stay in touch? (Social, email, website, whatever you’re comfortable with)
Ronnie: Please feel free to drop me an email with questions on anything. I like to try to help people out and connect them if I can. I also love meeting people. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can also add me on Facebook or Linkedin.
We’re always looking for BOSFilipinos blog writers! If you’d like to contribute, send us a note at email@example.com.