Aeda Mae Siao bucks obstacles, goes vertical with her career
By Deneb Batucan
FOR Aeda Mae Siao, her life’s path was a straight line — graduate from college, be a registered nurse, work for a few years in Cebu, apply for work abroad, get married and then have a family. But God had a different course for Aeda. And it definitely wasn’t a straight path — it was filled with twists and turns and highs and lows.
Aeda went through a number of small businesses, career shifts and whatnots before she landed on her real estate job. After graduating from Velez College with a degree in nursing, a course her parents’ chose for her, she took the board exam and became a licensed nurse. She worked for Velez Medical Hospital as a staff nurse for four years. She also worked as a clinical instructor for the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
After a year as a clinical instructor, she entered her first career shift. Aeda decided to get into the BPO industry and worked as a call center agent for a year and a half. During her BPO stint, she had a lot of sidelines, from glutathione injecting to selling of RTWs, lotions and perfumes — all this to fund her immigrant application to Canada where she planned to work as a nurse.
But again, opportunity knocked on Aeda’s door. She got in touch with an old friend whose husband was a chef. They had the idea of opening a restaurant/bar. Aeda latched on the idea and they opened a restobar called Frigos. As a hands-on owner, she oversaw the operation at the restaurant. Aeda started to dream of owning a chain of restaurants here in Cebu, then the Philippines.
Now restaurant manager and owner, Aeda had some time left in her hands. The bar opened during the night, so a friend suggested to her that she enter the real estate business. She was hesitant at first because in her mind, her business was her number one priority and also, she was a nonbeliever of the real estate business. “My old thinking was how could you sell millions when the building is not yet there? It was impossible for me to sell something that expensive when (the product) is not yet tangible,” she said. “But I thought, I’ll just give it a try.”
The real estate world was a whole new thing for Aeda. As a nurse, her only interaction with people was with the patients, the doctors and consultants. As a real estate sales agent, she was trained to talk to people from all walks of life. She didn’t think she would last long in the industry.
But after two years in her restaurant business, they had to close it down due to financial problems. It was a hard time for Aeda because to her, that was a dream that went down the drain. For two months, she went into depression. “I was embarrassed of myself. Everyone knew my restaurant was closed down. Plus, my job as a sales agent was also affected,” she shared.
But her bosses and mentors at Grandland, Ryan Bernard Go and Tina Pestaño, president and vice-president for sales and marketing respectively, pushed Aeda to her utmost potential. After two years as an agent, she was promoted as local manager. “That was how I was convinced that this really is my path. I was happier here,” she said. “This is really the best job that I’ve ever experienced.”
It was surprising to her that she stayed for four years in the sales world. “I had no idea about managing, sales, seminars, etc. I had no idea about real estate. My classmates in Velez would see me handing out flyers in malls and they would tell me, ‘Are you crazy? You should work as a nurse!’ But I didn’t mind them. I took all those discouragements and turned them into motivators,” she said.
Even when the going was getting tough, Aeda pulled through. “I got rejected about a million times and even insulted by people who I thought would support me. I cried buckets of tears. But it’s all part of the job,” she said. “In sales, it’s a numbers game. The more people you talk to, the higher the sales. Before, I would be the one calling people and sharing to them about this great investment they could acquire. But now, people are the ones calling me to ask about our projects.”
Because of Aeda’s wonderful work in sales, she has companies, both national and international, calling her and offering her higher-paying jobs. But her heart is loyal to Grandland Residences. “I have this principle – why would I swim with sharks when I could create my own pond? My goal is not just the money. It’s about passion. And my instinct tells me to stay in Grandland. This is where I grew in my career. The trust the company gives me is unbelievable. So as the company grows, I grow as well,” she said.
Today, Aeda is the international sales and marketing manager for Grandland Residences. Now that she’s in the managerial position, she is inspired to help people achieve their dreams in life. “Don’t stop chasing your dreams. You just have to believe in yourself.”
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Locale: Grandland Residences Showroom