MANILA, Philippines – The Zobel de Ayala brothers – Jaime Augusto and Fernando – cite their adventures on two wheels for their early interest in real estate.

On CNN’s latest Talk Asia program, Jaime Augusto, also known as JAZA, talked about how the family started them young in taking off the beaten path destinations — and had been backpacking during their travels — in how these influenced them in running the country’s largest property developer, Ayala Land Inc.

“Both Fernando and I, from an early age, we were both backpackers and we actually traveled around the Philippines extensively when we were young…as backpackers. We moved around. We actually discovered many areas that we then developed from a real estate point of view, because we enjoyed them so much when we were young,” he told told CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens.

“We like being able to… take the beaten path and go discover countries and locations. It’s been quite extraordinary,” shared Fernando, Ayala Land’s chair. “We’ve had a chance to see the Philippines through eyes that most people have not seen. And a lot of that is thanks to our ability to get off on two wheels and move around.”

But these adventures come with risks. Fernando, a triathlete, recently figured in an accident last March 31 when his bike crashed during an event in Pico de Loro leisure estate in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Fernando explained that that it rained just before the race. “So it was a bit slippery that day. And I was one of the unfortunate cyclists that went down. But it’s all part of the sport…This is a risk that you take in any race that you go into.”

The brothers are taking calculated risks with the business, too. Ayala Land is launching 67 projects worth P90 billion this 2012, adding 50 residential developments, 7 shopping centers, 7 office buildings and 3 hotels in their growing and profitable portfolio.

The company is agressively expanding out into the provinces with the aim of capturing a larger segment of the mid- and low-income markets outside Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.