Tracing the roots of Madrigal Properties requires going back into the lives of the owners’ grandfather, the late Senator Vicente Madrigal and grandmother Susana Paterno.
Mr. Vicente Madrigal was successful in his businesses and industries. He had wide interests in coal, oil, cement, shipping, and real estate. His wife, Susana had her own career: a dress shop, jewelry shop, and real estate. She spotted the possibilities of Alabang and planted the mango trees that now serve as a pleasant enclave.
He acquired a newspaper chain, the People’s Press, which published four newspapers, DMHM, including the mass daily Philippine Herald, Debate, Mabuhay, and Monday Mail. He believed in industrialization, and owned cement plant, oil and sugar mills. He felt his role was that of industrialist rather than a politician.
A year after the death of his wife, he ran for the Senate in the election of 1941. Though hesitant at first to be a politician, he gave in to the request of then President Manuel Quezon, and was elected as Senator.
He presided over his vast holdings in his office building in Escolta, Manila. His holdings includes the first and foremost profitable coal-trading operation; a shipping line with dozens of ocean-going vessels; oil mills in Manila and Cebu; logging concessions in Surigao; a gold mine in Masbate; a cement plant in Rizal; a cotton factory in Tondo; and the Jai Alai fronton on Taft Avenue, Manila.
They also have accumulated choice lots in and around Manila and outlying areas as far as Bicol. This includes an 11,000-hectare hacienda in Canlubang planted to coconut and sugarcane and Alabang, the bamboo and mango orchard of Manila, which is now a whole new city called Ayala Alabang, housing thousands of the wealthiest families in the Philippines.
Their children were Macaria, Pacita, Josefina , Antonio, Jose (the founder of Belek, Inc.), Consuelo Alejandra, Maria Luisa. They taught them to be self-sufficient and to always help others. They insisted that the children should work. He gave business assignments to them. He assigned Antonio to the shipping lines, foreign and local. To Jose, the real estate holdings and their development. To Consuelo, the Rizal Cement.
Senator Vicente Madrigal equally gave properties to his seven children through draw lots. Land and buildings are equally divided. This can be seen in the equal ownership of the Madrigal Building in Ayala Avenue. Each floor is assigned to a child but there is still a managing company that manages common properties. He also gave ownership to shipping and banking companies.
Don Jose, together with his six other siblings, established their own companies out of the inherited properties from their father. Don Jose and his wife, Victoria Abad Santos established Madrigal Properties for his real estate properties.Victoria Abad Santos was the daughter of the famous World War hero Justice Jose Abad Santos.
On May 30, 1984, Don Jose incorporated Belek, Inc. The name Belek was coined from his nickname – Belec, which is short for “Belecoy”- a tease for someone with slant Chinese eyes.
Lagirdam, Inc. was incoporated on November 14, 1984. Its name was derived from the surname “Madrigal” spelled backwards.
Belvic Corporation was incorporated on May 29, 1985. Belvic was the combination of “Belec” and his wife name’s “Victoria”.
A sister company Lekbe, Inc. was incorporated on December 17, 1991. Lekbe was his nickname “Belec” pronounced backwards. He incorporated Vicbel Inc on January 14, 1993. Vicbel was the combination of his wife name and his name.
After the death of Don Jose on August 26, 1995 and the death of Victoria on Oct. 1996, their children Mr. Vicente II and Mr Gerardo Madrigal assumed management of the company. They either serve as the Presidents or the Vice Presidents of the companies.