Jose Rizalino “Jerry” L. Acuzar
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development

Jose Rizalino Larion Acuzar is a self-made real estate developer who made a name in the business sector despite facing many challenges as he rose from poverty, eventually becoming one of the most successful players in an industry dominated by large legacy corporations and affluent families.

His career started as a young draughtman, working through college while drawing plans for the redevelopment of the slums areas of Tondo in 1975 (for what was then called Tondo Foreshore Redevelopment Project and later became part of the National Housing Authority). After his stint at NHA, he decided to open a small ironworks company in 1986 which later grew into what is now known as New San Jose Builders Inc. (NSJBI), a 100 percent Filipino and privately-owned construction and real estate corporation.

He served as the Chairman of NSJBI, which provides a diverse range of real estate projects – from high-rise condominiums, horizontal residential projects and mixed-used developments. NSJBI is a AAAA contractor, having constructed over 65,0000 affordable housing units, more than 20 high- rise condominium projects, and other construction projects such as Quezon City Hall of Justice, 7.6 km of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, the Subic Bay International Airport Roads and Lighting System, and many others. NSJBI was also the project manager of the world- class Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan – one of the world’s largest indoor arenas.

Acuzar’s success in real estate allowed him to expand his investments into various sectors such as education, health and wellness, and the arts. An avid collector of antiques, he started collecting discarded parts of old houses in 2007 which he would later on rebuild, building the foundations for what is now known as Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in his hometown of Bataan. Now a sprawling 300-hectare heritage-inspired development, it houses more than 40 original colonial-era houses and has revived traditional building techniques by providing an organisation for over 300 artisans from all over the Philippines. Las Casas Filipinas has become a tourism gem, attracting tourists from all over the world and has provided thousands of jobs and opportunities for the people of Bataan. In 2021, the resort won Best Historic Hotel in Asia Pacific by Historic Hotels Worldwide.

In 2014, he acquired Manuel L. Quezon University with the intention of restoring its former reputation and expanding the school’s campuses nationwide, starting with Quezon City and Bataan, a tribute to both his alma matter and hometown. In 2018, he established Victoria Sports Club and Victoria Skin, an integrated indoor sports and wellness center, with the firm belief that sports and wellness are vital to one’s community. His upcoming brainchild, Victoria Arts Theater along Timog Avenue, will be an integrated arts and theatre complex within a highrise residential building. The vision of creating real estate projects centred around sports and culture is one that he started to focus on during the later part of his career.

Jose Rizalino Acuzar hails from Balanga, Bataan where he studied in Bataan National School of Arts and Trade, then later on pursued his Architecture studies at Manuel L. Quezon University and the Technological Institute of the Philippines. In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.