The Project Review : Philippine Real Estate News and Update

News and updates on real estate developments and projects; current event news updates; property listings; home and architecture; laws and regulations; education and seminars; people; ecology and environmental issues; geography and history; places of interest and events; travel and tourism; tips and how to; others matters allied to the the Philippine real estate industry. Trivia and rants on anything under the sun.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trivia : "Bayanihan"- The Best of Filipino Traditions

This picture of Filipino men carrying a house on their shoulders in this " More fun in the Philippines" picture might seem odd to other nationalities and the younger Pinoy generations. But in the olden days this is actually how houses are moved or how people "change address" as the caption of the pictures says. And Yes! this is really fun with much bantering during the lifting and moving of the house.This is called Bayanihan.
What is Bayanihan?
This is a description of Bayanihan. "Bayanihan" is commonly a term applied to a group of neighbors helping another neighbor in need of  help for a work to be done which requires group effort. This is normally done by the neighbors without any monetary compensation. In the olden days, when  most of the houses were made of bamboo, wood and palm or grass roofs (thatched roofs), it is common to transfer houses of such materials from one location to another  by lifting the whole house atop  wood beams.The group effort of lifting and transferring the house is called "bayanihan" or the "spirit of bayanihan". The picture below is the iconic cultural image of "bayanihan"( see picture below). The term can also be applied to other group endeavors such as the planting and harvesting of rice, helping victims of disasters like typhoon, earthquake and flood. To these days, specially in the provinces, you can still see the people transferring houses the bayanihan way.  

Definition : Bayanihan  is a Filipino term taken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, town or community. The whole term bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective.

    Picture Source :  Change of address. More fun in the Philippines - By Frank Aldana

    Source Dictionary :

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Project Review : The Thunderbird Residences Condotel at Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point La Union

    There's a beautiful and new place to visit in the North : The Thunderbird Resorts Poro Point

    The Thunderbird Resorts is a 65 hectare beachfront development at the Poro Point Special Economic and Freeport Zone in San Fernando City, La Union in the North. Poro Point used to be the location of the US Military Base-Wallace Air Station. The resort boasts  a 5-star hotel,   facilities and amenities like : a golf course, a beautiful infinity pool by the sea, a spa and wellness center, fine dining restaurants, a casino and a creamy white-sand beach. The resort complex is perched on a cliff overlooking the China Sea. The resort buildings' architecture are Greek and Mediterranean-inspired which makes it stand-out in its location by the sea. This resort development is definitely a big tourism boost in the Ilocos region.

    Incorporated in the resort and hotel development are the Point Residences, a residential village (where lots and villas are being sold) and the  Thunderbird Residences, a condotel. The Thunderbird Residences Condotel is being offered as an income generating investment package.

    The Thunderbird Residences privately-owned condotel units will be pooled together as part of the hotel managed properties and whatever income that is generated from the renting out of a condotel unit will be shared by the two parties (i.e unit owner and hotel management). On income sharing, seventy(70) percent  goes to the condotel unit owner and thirty(30) percent goes to the hotel management. Even if the unit is not rented out, a condotel unit owner still gets an income from the use of the common areas facilities.  It seems to be a very good investment indeed.

    I hope that more developments of this type will sprout in the northern part of the Philippines. Having visited many provinces of the country, comparably, Ilocos ( Region 1) is one of the most scenic and historical region in the country. Add to that the hospitable and friendly Ilocanos of the North, this new resort development will indeed be a beautiful place to visit, live and invest in.

    Click pictures to enlarge
    The beachfront

    The resort infinity pool and hotel on a cliff 

    The Thunderbird Resorts and Condotel complex

    Please click here to see more pictures of the Thunderbird Residences Condotel :

    Related Link :

    For those interested to know more of the Thunderbird Residences Condotel Investment package,  please email List and Sell Realty Group at

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Trivia : The PACMAN Training

    Click photo to enlarge

    I'm not sure if this photo of MP is real or photoshopped. Real or not, this picture of  "PACMAN" is really inspiring. It just proves that we don't need sophisticated and hi-tech gadget to do training or for that matter any other field of endeavor, in order to succeed. We only need determination, perseverance and a little creativity.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Information : Climate Disaster-Prone Provinces/Regions in the Philippines

    When I saw the map I remembered a movie entitled: The Year of Living Dangerously (Incidentally, the movie was shot here in the Philippines, starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver). But the movie was not about natural disasters but more on politics in Indonesia during Pres. Sukarno's regime. It was just the phrase "living dangerously" which triggered me to remember it. This map is about the comparative dangers of living in the different provinces in the country due to climate disasters. Some provinces are more prone to climate disasters while some provinces have not experience any disasters at all. What  about "The Years of Living Dangerously in the Philippines" for a disaster movie?

    Getting back to the real topic, this is about the environmental disaster areas in the country, specifically climate-induced(?) disasters. After the the number of consecutive disasters we had in the country the previous years, it's prudent to know and learn how to avoid these disasters or minimize their effects in our lives and livelihood. But first you have to know where the dangers and risks are. How dangerous or climate disaster-prone is your province? Check it out with this Combined Risk to Climate Disasters Map. 

    Click map to enlarge

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Information : SM Acquiring Major Share of Greenhills Shopping Complex

    Is this good or bad news? When you say SM it has become synonymous with the words: mall and shopping. It has become an icon in the industry. But SM is getting to be a case of "anything that is too much or in excess is not good". A case in point is the proliferation of SM malls, SM Hypermarts and SM Save More retail shops in Metro Manila and its suburbs without any letup. 

    Let's start from the southern side of the Metro. At Bicutan Exit you have SM Bicutan that is straddling the road, then at Sucat another bigger mall SM Sucat, then at Alabang Zapote road SM South Mall, SM Supercenter Muntinlupa, SM Molino, SM Damarinas, SM Bacoor, SM Sta Rosa and SM Calamba.
    At the eastern side of the Metro, In Marikina : an SM Mall along the riverbank at Marcos Hiway, a few kilometers away is another SM Mall in Masinag at the boundary of Marikina and Antipolo and another SM Mall at Taytay. 

    At the western side of the Metro, in Manila you have : SM Quiapo, SM Arroceros, SM Sta. Mesa, SM San Lazaro, SM Mall of Asia at nearby Pasay.
    At the northern side of the Metro, in Quezon City you have : SM Cubao, SM City North, SM Fairview, SM Novaliches and farther north SM Valenzuela and SM Marilao.

    In the central part of the Metro you have : SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM Podium.
    And coming soon an SM Greenhills?

    And in between these super malls, are the smaller SM Hypermarts and  SM Save More retails shops (which are much more than the malls in number), interspersed around or near these bigger malls.   I'm sure I missed some  SM branches in the list. They are to many to mention and these are just the ones in Metro Manila and suburbs.

    Is SM becoming a monopoly in the Mall, Shopping and Retail industries? Will these SM malls, SM Hypermarts, and Save More retail shops expansions ever end? The proliferation of Save More retail outlets  in residential areas and secondary roads had definitely caused some  retail stores (mom and pop stores, mini marts and sari-sari stores) to close shop. And maybe with every closed store the demise of the entrepreneurial spirit of a struggling Filipino entrepreneur. Couldn't SM at least spare these areas for the small entrepreneurs? The SM theme song refrain is really an apt description of what they are doing : " We Got it All, We Got it All ( for you)".

    Didn't SM founder Mr. Henry Sy Sr. started small as an entrepreneur with his shoe store after the war in Carriedo St, Quiapo, Manila? He was a lucky guy there was no "SM" yet during that time. 

    SM Fairview

    Here's the news on the Greenhills  SM acquisition :
    Tycoon Henry Sy Sr. is finalizing a deal to acquire a majority stake in the privately held Ortigas property group in a transaction worth around $1 billion, seen as a potential “game-changing” move that will expand the SM group’s landbank in the metropolis and give it control of the 16-hectare Greenhills shopping complex. . . .

    To read the complete news article please click link below :
    News Source :

    Updates and Related News :
    Ortigas family nixes SM offer, partners with Ayala :

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Information : Verify your PRC Examination Rating

    Have you taken a Professional Regulation Commission examination lately and want to know if you passed or not? Or  you just want to know your PRC Examination rating? Verify it here :

    Click PRC link below to verify your rating :

    Sample Only :

    Exam date 
    Application no.    ex. 012345
    First name
    Last name
    Birthdate  (mm/dd/yyyy)

    Related Link :

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Announcement : Approved Real Estate Brokers and Consultants - PRBRES Resolution No. 03 (Series of 2012)

    Here is the list of PRC Approved Real Estate Brokers and Consultants :
    Approved Real Estate Brokers and Consultants ( PRBRES Resolution No. 03 Series of 2012 )  
    Under Sec & 20 Art III of RA & 9646 :
    Click List to enlarge
    Click link below to go to PRC website and download complete list :

    Registration for the issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card (ID) will start on February 20, 2012 but not later than March 5, 2012 at Unit C, Window 27, at the Registration Division, Ground Floor.

    Source  :  Professional Regulation Commission 

    Announcement : Approved Real Estate Appraisers - PRBRES Resolution No. 02 (Series of 2012)

    Here is the list of PRC Approved Real Estate Appraisers :
    Approved Real Estate Appraisers ( PRBRES Resolution No. 02  Series of 2012 )  
    Under Sec & 20 Art III of RA & 9646 :

    Click list to enlarge

    Click link below to go to PRC website and download list :

    Registration for the issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card (ID) will start on February 20, 2012 but not later than March 5, 2012 at Unit C, Window 27, at the Registration Division, Ground Floor.

    Source  :  Professional Regulation Commission

    Update : Coverage and Schedule of the PRC Real Estate Broker Exam on March 18,2012

    Here is the coverage of subjects included and the time allotted for each subject for for the March 18, 2012 PRC Real Estate Broker Examination. Requirements (attire, what to bring and what not to bring, etc.) on the day of the examination are also listed below. School and room assignments of examinees to be posted in PRC premises two or three weeks before the examination date. Please be guided accordingly.
    Click to enlarge

    Click to enlarge


    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Travel-Information : Bicol Express Fare Rate

    When I posted the news about the PNR Bicol Express that it was already operational, a lot of people inquired about the train fare rate and schedule. Finally, I was able to get the information on the train fare rate from a friend and posting it here for everyone's reference. The information on the train schedule from the PNR Wikipedia page says there is a daily trip that leaves Manila at 6:30p.m. and arrives at Naga City at around 4:00a.m. the next day. Travel time is about 10 hours.

    I'm sure that traveling to the south is now more comfortable and convenient with the first class and sleeper coaches. I hope the Bicol Express will reach Legazpi City by this year. This will really be "bliss" for all the Bicolanos and tourists going to the south.

    I just have a question : Can people going to some parts of Visayas and Mindanao use the Bicol Express as alternate mode of transportion and route? I think this will make their travel more comfortable and faster up to Legaspi City, and from here they can take a connecting boat or ship ride to the different islands of Visayas and to the big island of Mindanao. Can somebody comment on this please. Thanks!

    Bicol Express Fare Rate

    Philippine National Railways System Map
    Related Link :

    Map Source : Wikipedia

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012

    Information : The February 6 Negros and Cebu Earthquake

    The first postings that I put in this blog were : the Metro Manila Geohazard Maps and the Philippine Fault Zone Map. I just thought then that these maps will be good references for those buying real properties so that they will know the exact locations of these fault lines and avoid buying real properties straddling these fault lines. These two subjects are the most popular and most visited posts in this blog (see the list of popular posts on the side of the blog).

    After the news of the earthquake in  Negros and Cebu yesterday, I checked the actual areas affected by the earthquake on both islands.  Out of curiosity I decided to compare the map of the areas affected  and the  Philippine Fault Zone Map. When I  saw the two maps, it was eerie! The actual areas affected by the earthquake in both provinces lie exactly where the fault lines are located. ( See and compare the yellow-orange/yellow-green shaded areas in the USGS ShakeMap and the red lines in the Philippine Fault Zone Map). It means that the Philippines Fault Zone map is really accurate and not just an approximation. And these maps are made to inform people of the potential dangers of these geological hazards. Take time to seriously study these maps specially if you live in these  areas where the the fault lines are located.           ( Please click and see P.F.Z. maps below)

    But what I realized now (and dread) is that all these places in the map with fault lines ( red lines ) could have or would have earthquakes at anytime : now, soon or in the future. I just hope and pray that we would be ready and prepared when the "time" comes.

    Areas affected by the earthquake ( yellow/yellow-green colored areas ) 

    Active Faults of Negros and Cebu ( red lines )

    Philippine Fault Zone Maps :

    Map Source  :  U.S. Geological Survey     Philvocs/DOST

    Sunday, February 05, 2012

    People : "The Korean Invasion Part II"

    Last week I posted an article about the migration of Koreans to the Philippines, my admiration of the Korean people and the possibility of the Philippines having a Korean First Lady in the person of Ms. Grace Lee whom our President P-noy is courting. I also mentioned my wish that some Koreans learn more from the Japanese on humility. It was a subtle remark on something which I think some Koreans can improve on, on the almost perfect Korean image as an Asian model country. In the 70's up to the 90's Japan had been our Asian model country, now it is Korea. We look up to both countries not only in terms of economic progress and development but also in terms of  their character and values as a nation.

    I guess I was a little bit out of touch on what's going on lately, primarily because I had been avoiding  reading the news due to an overdose on the semi-comedy show called CJ impeachment trial.
    Yesterday I accidentally read on-line an article of respected Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo entitled "The Ugly American" which was old news already. This was about a Korean-American diplomat who almost ran over and verbally abused a young Filipina here in her own country. I hope it's not true but if the incident really happened, then this diplomat is despicable and should be treated as "persona non grata" :

    persona non grata  (pɜːˈsəʊnə nɒn ˈɡrɑːtə)

    — n  , pl personae non gratae
    1. an unacceptable or unwelcome person
    2. a diplomatic or consular officer who is not acceptable to the government or sovereign to whom he        or she is accredited

    The  diplomat may be an American national but his Korean ethnicity and that of other Koreans will definitely be besmirched by his misdeed  and arrogance. Unfortunately, whether this incident is true or not,  it didn't help change the general impression that, to put it bluntly, many Koreans are boorish in their behavior and manners. Maybe some of them forgot to put their good manners and discipline in their luggage when they left Korea to migrate to other countries. But I still believe that the majority of Koreans are gentle and well mannered people.

    Related News Link :

    Source Dictionary : Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
    News Source : Philippine Inquirer

    Friday, February 03, 2012

    Information : NAIA Airport Terminal Fee Reduced

    Here's some good news for Pinoys who love to travel :

    GOOD NEWS to our INTERNATIONAL-bound Passengers: NAIA TERMINAL FEE has been reduced to P550.00 (from P750) effective February 1, 2012. Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel A. Honrado explained that the cut comes as a security development program — funded by a terminal fee increase that started February 2007 — ends on February this year. Note that the reduction only applies to International flight passengers. The Terminal Fee from Manila for DOMESTIC flights remains at P200. Happy traveling!

    NAIA 3 Terminal

    Travel Advisory Source :  Ms. Venus Lopa  of TQ Travel Solution


    Information : Initial List of PhilRES Chapters

    Here is the list of PhilRES Chapters that have been already organized. Real Estate Service Practitioners who have not joined any chapter yet can join any of these chapters as a broker, appraiser, consultant or assessor member. Residency in the location of the chapters is not a requirement in joining any of the chapters. Membership in a local chapter is a requirement to be in a good standing as a PhilRES member, and to be able vote and be endorsed as a candidate in the forthcoming 1st PhilRES National Election.

    Click list to enlarge