First Ilocano five-star resort to be built in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Initial meeting between (left to right) Chief Executive Officer of Pagudpud Sands Resort (PSR) Rick Rivera, a landowner at Pasaleng Bay in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte Dr. Priscilla Ramos and Larry Dela Cruz, Vice President of PSR in Sacramento, California.
(left to right) Vice President for Marketing of Pagupudpud Sands Resort USA Nelson Manmano Chief Executive Officer of Pagudpud Sands Resort (PSR) Rick Rivera and Larry Dela Cruz, Vice President of PSR enjoy the paradise feeling of Pagudpud Sands Resort..
The business partners Larry Dela Cruz (extreme right) with wife Teresa and Rick Rivera (extreme left) with wife Marie.

Scheduled for a soft opening in February of 2020, the Pagudpud Sands Resort features 144 Suites complete with full kitchen, two Infinity pools, Water Sports, Fitness Center, Restaurants, Business Center and everything that one would expect to find in the best resorts anywhere in the Philippines.

One of the most admirable traits that Filipinos who eventually become Americans is to maintaining and showing their love of the place they came and grew up from by helping their own struggling Kababayans become successful like them.

And that is precisely what buddies and business partners Larry Dela Cruz, Rick Rivera and Nelson Manmano seek to achieve for they lived through and experienced how very challenging it is for someone who just migrated to the United States to adjust to their new lifestyle that is different from what they got used to back home.

Dela Cruz was one of ten siblings, born in San Marcelino Dingras, Ilocos Norte, attended Nagmarcaan Elementary School to. Ricarte Dela Cruz, a community leader in Ilocos and Hawaii-born Maria Dela Cruz.

At the age of eight, the Dela Cruz family migrated to the United States in Woodland California and the elder Dela Cruz couple had to struggle raising their ten children who all had to attend school tat some had to help somehow by working on the side while studying.

One of them was Larry who, while in high school juggled worked in the fields, hospitals and pharmacies on weekend that helped him financially during hard times.

He was inspired and influenced no end by both of his parents who worked hard to provide for the needs of their large family. One of his most cherished lessons from his father was to never forget where he came from.

“As far as my values and culture my dad always reminded me to “Never forget your tradition and never forget to speak your language.” Once you forget your values and your tradition then your culture is gone. My heart is in Ilocos and I will never forget my tradition, values, and cultures,” intimated Larry who even started a nonprofit organization Children and Senior International Foundation that helped kids and seniors attain better lives.

It is a great help that his wife Teresa is always supportive of his efforts in this foundation aside from also being always by his side in what he is doing for the Filipino community in Ilocos Norte.

One sad experience, however, nearly shook the Dela Cruz family down to its foundation. Larry and Teresa lost their suddenly lost their grandson and the family took it hard particularly for their daughter, the grandson’s mother. But they were able to turn things around and made used of the tough and tragic situation into something that defined Larry’s present mission in life.

“We all really were down when that happened we all wanted to give up. But we had to be strong enough and managed to learn from the tragic and very challenging chapter in our family life. We did not allow ourselves to wallow in grief and misery and that proved to be a life-defining moment for us all. Personally, I knew I had to help my daughter and show her that we can overcome this,” Dela Cruz shared. “That’s why now I am a big advocate to help people figure out what they want to do with their life, and this made me become an insurance broker. I also became an advisor for CalPERS State of California to help navigate people’s long term program.”

His partner Rivera Rick Rivera of Sta. Cruz in Ilocos Sur and Lingayen Pangasinan but was born in Baguio City also had his share of struggle being raised by two aunts who sent him to school until he finished business management in Saint Louis University in Baguio City.


After college, Rivera worked in different construction jobs at his father’s numerous residential property projects in Baguio for two years. Then he decided to try to be an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the Middle East just like many of his peers. In Saudi Arabia, he did some accounting, payroll and computer jobs before migrating to the United States started working in the caregiving business. This is where he met his wife Marie Rivera started a family with their two beautiful children.


Rivera had a lot of mentors on his way to success but one of the most influential one was Xuan Nguyen, a former social worker who became a major player in the financial Industry


“When I was around seven to ten years old, we always traveled from Baguio to Sta. Cruz and dreamt of traveling to different countries too. Now that I am privileged to fulfill my dreams, I am able to compare the hospitality afforded by peoples of differing cultures but realized that there is nothing like the Filipino kind of hospitality wherever in the Philippines that you go to,” Rivera confided. “That important experience influenced me on how to welcome visitors in our future development particularly in Ilocos provinces.”

During a Philippine tour in 2002 with his wife Marie, Rivera stayed at the Manor Hotel in Camp John Hay, fell in love all the more with his wife Marie, was impressed with the beautiful Manor Hotel and also learned that “we can invest in a neighboring project which was formerly called the suites and now referred to as The Forest lodge“

“In short we bought our first investment and since 2002 we had never came back to stay but with it is the component for me to enjoy the return of my investment yearly,” revealed Rivera.

The third of the triumvirate Nelson M. Manmano was born in Camangaan, Laoag City and migrated to Hawaii at a young age of fifteen years old and has lived there ever since.

“After attending Waialua High School, I hurriedly started a career in the Real Estate & Financial services, also ventured into the travel business and now have my own Society World Travel agency,” recounted Manmano, currently the Vice President for Marketing of Pagudpud Sands Resources, USA. “I am now traveling and visiting all the 1,000 famous places around the world and I am already halfway in my journey.”

Nelson is married to Olongapo City-born and raised Evangeline Manmano, a registered nurse at Kapiolani hospital and they four beautiful children.

Somewhere along the way, the soon-to-be partners’ paths crossed, now are at the helm of a very promising project in their native province, particularly in the famous town of Pagudpud that boasts of resorts that line up Saud Beach in the Bangui Bay with numerous rich natural resources on the side, and decided to take on the mission to help their Kababayans become successful too.

Dela Cruz, Rivera and Manmano would take in striving Kababayans, share the lessons they learned on their way up the ladder of success wanted to share their secret that they want to share only to those who not only want to help themselves but also their other Kababayans who want to improve their lives through hard-earned savings.

“One of the things that my partner Rick Rivera and I want to give people in Ilocos is the opportunity for success. In Ilocos the people are well educated but the problem is that there are not enough jobs. We want to prevent them having the OFW mentality of having to go out of the country and becoming OFWs to seek greener pasture for their families in exchange usually for physical longing for each others’ company,” stressed Dela Cruz.

With this goal in mind, Dela Cruz, Rivera and Manmano came up with a project in their Pagudpud Sands Resort that will create jobs right in Ilocos and need not go out of their home country to find work, help families stay together, generate a lot of revenue for their community making it a better place to live in.

If you would like to learn more about the Pagudpud Sands Resort and possibly owning one or more units you can go to their website or call their corporate offices at 888-688-9469.