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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Places : Manila - A City that Never Sleeps

If America has New York City as the city that never sleeps, Asia has Manila as the city that never sleeps. Manila as a "never sleeping" city is a recent phenomenon. 

Hongkong , Macao, Bangkok, Manila and other Asian capitals, are given "late sleeper" cities and bustling with activities even at night.  But a recent business trend  and cost cutting practice called: business outsourcing, has made Manila the 24-hour no-sleep city of Asia. 

Business outsourcing has introduced large-scale business call centers  in Manila and this has made Manila's night time as regular business working hours, and has employed thousands of  Filipinos and expatriates. These call centers serve multinational companies in different time zones of the globe has made Manila one of  the busiest business call center hubs in the region. But while other Asian cities are dimming the lights of their buildings and business districts, and getting ready to sleep, Manila is lighting its own to start another business night. 

India is the call center capital of the world until recently, but the Philippines has grabbed this tag. The reason for the shift, they say, is due to the preference for the less accented American English spoken by the Filipinos (as compared to the heavily accented British English of the Indians). The influence of Hollywood movies in making American English the common English is likely another reason for the shift.

Manila- Asia's City that Never Sleeps
Going back to the main topic of Manila being Asia's city that never sleeps, besides the introduction of  call centers, other factors have contributed to this phenomenon. Manila having one of the most vibrant night life and live entertainment in Asia is one reason, and another is the  recent proliferation of 24-hour casinos, shops and restaurants. Both have added to the nocturnal activities of the city. 

But one factor, distinctly Filipino, that has contributed much in making Manila the sleepless city that it is, is the Filipinos' love for coffee.( Asia is generally a tea drinking continent ) Majority of Filipinos being coffee drinkers, have made coffee drinking a ritual and a regular  social activity; and this has created some sort of an elitist subculture of coffee drinkers. This is the reason why many local and international coffee shop chains, have successfully thrived in the Philippines  despite the competition. Many of these coffee shops are open 24/7 and offer unlimited free wifi to night owl netizens. And for many coffee addicts, night time until the crack of dawn, is  the best time to have a cup of hot brewed coffee or a glass of frappuccino with friends.

Sleepless Manila will never be the same again.

Related Link :

Acknowledgement : 
Picture Source :

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Information : FAQ on PhilRES-AIPO

With much misinformation and disinformation sown by individuals and groups on different issues in regard to RESA Law, PhilRES (Philippine Institute of Real Estate Practitioners Inc.) and its status as the only recognized and  accredited AIPO (Accredited and Integrated Professional Organization), many RESPs are confused with the many  conflicting information that they have received or read.

To disabuse the minds of those RESPs who have gathered the wrong  information, and for those who want to know the factual answers to the  issues concerning the PhilRES, AIPO, etc.; Mr. Enrico Sevilla, as an officer of PhilRES and in his private capacity as a concerned licensed real estate practitioner  has authored this FAQ e-information primer :

An honest to goodness FAQ primer on PhilRES as the AIPO, the Accredited and Integrated Professional Organization (AIPO), the First PhilRES Regular National Elections, Legal Impediments upon PhilRES as the AIPO, and the effects of any recommendations of the Congressional Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation contrary to the position of PRC and PhilRES on the definition of an AIPO.

Please click link below to read complete FAQ primer :

Author : Mr. Enrico Sevilla, Licensed REBroker, REAppraiser, REConsultant

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Interesting Places : The Benham Rise

With our on-going territorial dispute with China on Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands, it is a welcome relief to all Filipinos to hear that our territorial claim of Benham Rise  has been  approved by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf as part of our continental shelf and territory. For  laymen like most of us,  the terms :  continental shelf and exclusive economic zone are greek to most of us. To fully understand and appreciate the significance of the approval of our territorial claim of Benham Rise as part of our continental shelf and territory, let's define these terms. Below are the definition and description of these terms :

1) Continental Shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the name continental shelf was given a legal definition as the stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country to which it belongs. Such shores are also known as territorial waters.

2) Exclusive Economic Zone

The exclusive economic zone of the Philippines shown in the lighter blue shade,
 with Archepelagic Waters in the darkest blue.
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind[1]. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles from its coast. In colloquial usage, the term may include the territorial sea and even the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile limit.

What and Where is the Benham Rise?
BENHAM RISE is a 13-million-hectare undersea region that lies east of Luzon and off the provinces of Isabela and Aurora. 
Also known as Benham Plateau, it is a massive formation of basalt, a common volcanic rock, and is described in a study as a thickened portion of the Philippine sea plate’s oceanic crust. The formation lies within the continental shelf of the Philippines as defined by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), under which a coastal state’s exclusive economic zone extends 370 kilometers (200 nautical miles) from its continental shelf, while its extended continental shelf extends for another 278 km (150 nautical miles).

Benham Rise

The Benham Rise is believed to be rich in natural gas and mineral deposits. 

The approval by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf  of Benham Rise as part of our territory  will change the existing territorial boundaries of our country and  will expand our  Exclusive Economic Zone for our maritime explorations and fishing. And hopefully, soon, this new territory will give us the "treasures" hidden in its submerged giant land mass.

Related Article :


Monday, April 23, 2012



Finally the long wait is over. PhilRES-AIPO  officially announces schedule of the 1st PhilRES Regular National Election to be held on 09 June 2012. Below is the full text of the announcement  of  the First  PhilRES  Regular National Election, PhilRES Eligibility Rules on  Membership, and Election Rules that shall govern the First Regular National Election as published today (Monday), 23 April 2012, on page 4 of the Manila Bulletin.

Click link below to read full text of announcement at PhilRES-AIPO Facebook Group:

Or view on Slideshare:

Please click fullscreen button to enlarge page and text :


People : Pacman's "What's Your Wild Rabbit?" Hennessy Commercial

Is world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao  caught in a dilemma? Between preaching the word of God and promoting the premium brand Hennessy cognac?

The new "What's your wild rabbit" Hennessy cognac tvc commercial is really something that Pacman and the Filipinos can be proud of. The commercial is about pushing the limits of one's potential to reach new and greater levels of achievement which Pacman epitomize. The commercial was shot in the Philippines, and feature Pacman and ordinary Filipinos as supporting cast. The other "Wild Rabbit" Hennessy commercials feature the great director Martin Scorsese, and award-winning musician and lyricist Erykah Badu. 

With the recent  changes in Pacman's lifestyle, belief  and religious affiliation, this new commercial doesn't compliment his image as a man free of worldly vices, and as a "preacher of the word".

In an interview with ABS-CBN News Pacman defended himself by saying :  ”It’s not about the alak (liquor), it’s about inspiration on how to become successful."

Pacman's print ad for Hennessy Cognac
Martin Scorsese's billboard side by side with Pacman's in Times Square, N.Y.

Pacman's "What's your wild rabbit?" Hennessy Cognac TVC 

Acknowledgement  / Source :

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Information : (PRC) Professional Regulation Commission Position Paper on AIPO Accreditation

To All Real Real Estate Service Practitioners :

A Congressional hearing initiated by the Honorable Congressman Rodolfo G. Valencia of  Mindoro Oriental was recently held on matters concerning the interpretation of  Republic Act 9646 on Accreditation of the Accredited and Integrated Professional Organization ( AIPO ) and the status of the PRC Board approved and recognized AIPO : PhilRES - Philippine Institute of Real Estate Service Practitioners . A position paper was submitted by the Professional Regulation Commission(PRC) on the matters concerned during the hearing.  Here is the complete text of the PRC position paper :

Please click link below to read complete text of PRC Position Paper on AIPO Accreditation :

Monday, April 16, 2012

Project Review : The Wellington Courtyard in Tagaytay City

Are you looking for a weekend-end getaway residence or a vacation condominium  in a very good location that is not too far from Metro Manila? Here is one very nice condominium project that is "ready for occupancy" in Tagaytay City. Located in a place that is far enough from the crowded tourists areas of the city if you are looking for peace and serenity, but not too far from the city center when you want to dine out  or just have a coffee  in the city's famous restaurants, cafes and hotels. The project is called "The Wellington Courtyard" located along Mahogany Road in Tagaytay City. It offers 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and penthouse units. The 5-storey condominum  complex has an American country-inspired architecture and design. This is a development of Robinsons Communities of Robtnsons Land Corporation.

Here are some pictures of the place :

Swimming Pool
Condominium with Parking
Wellington Courtyard Entrance Gate

If interested to know more about the project  kindly e-mail 
List and Sell Realty Group  at :

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Places : The Blue Lagoon at Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

When we talk about Pagudpud we think of Saud Beach, that long stretch of golden-colored sand beach where most people go if they are in Pagudpud. But Pagudpud is not just Saud beach, there is a new beach destination being develop about 18 kilometers farther north near the  boundary of Cagayan province called the Blue Lagoon. The place is quite remote but the beach is very pristine. Coming from the main national hi-way, there is only one access road going to the place that still needs paving and asphalting.

The Blue Lagoon is a cove with creamy-white sand  and aqua-blue seawater, surrounded by forest and mountains on the land side, and protruding rock islands  and corals on the sea side. It has better surrounding sceneries compared to Saud beach but a smaller beachfront area. At the moment there is only one good hotel/resort existing along the beachfront  but there are plenty of private cottages offering transient accommodations for those who want to stay overnight. There are also a lot of beachfront nipa hut and gazebos for day-long shelter if you just want to swim at the beach.

The Blue Lagoon is really a beautiful beach and one of the best I have seen up North. Here are some pictures I have taken and see for yourselves if it's a beach worthy of the long trip to Ilocos Norte.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Events and Places: Most Revolting Pictures of the Week


Pictures of local and foreign tourists hanging on the cross, imitating the crucifixion of Christ, and having their  pictures taken have gone viral in the internet. Some subjects  even have the gall of  doing "sexy" poses on the cross. These pictures were taken in Angeles City, Pampanga during the Holy Week. 

Christians, the Catholics in particular,  have expressed their disgust over these revolting pictures, and the desecration, disrespect and sacrilege committed by these tourists.  I'm not even a Catholic but I empathized with  their disgust. 

I could just imagine what punishments await these people if they have committed similar acts with another religion, known for its zealot-like reactions to any disrespect on anything related to their religion or prophet. They are lucky, the "Catholic  Inquisition" is long gone and over. 

Lack of good breeding and plain stupidity are the only reasons I could think why these people committed this sacrilege. Stupidity really knows no color or nationality.

Source :

People : World's Least Rude People

For the "nth" time, I have been mentioning in this blog that we Filipinos are among the friendliest people in this planet, not because I am a Filipino but because this is what I have observed after having met, interacted and worked with other nationalities. I guess our friendly disposition comes from being exposed to a lot of cultures and people for a very long time, our innate sense of humor and our Latin heritage.

In a recent survey of  a leading European travel site of the "World's rudest nationalities", there is a mention of the "least rude nationalities". The "least rude nationalities" are topped by the Brazilians, the people of the Caribbean Islands and the Filipinos. If you have noticed, these "least rude nationalities" have something in common : they are countries of Latin heritage and places with many celebrations  and festivities (e.g. religious festivals, fiestas,  carnivals / mardi gras). And if I may add, countries which love to sing and dance.

This is really something heart-warming said about our country and our people, specially so since the compliment comes from other nationalities. I guess this is really the reason why it's more fun in the Philippines.

World's least rude people : Brazilians

Source :‘least-rude’-in-the-world-says-survey

Monday, April 02, 2012

Trivia and Places : Yemen and the "Khat"

I had the chance of going to Yemen when I was working in the Middle East. An Arab country that  is quite different  from  the rest  of  the Arab world, culture-wise. Yemen has oil and gas, but not in large quantity and has a very minimal reserve. It is not a rich country, in fact, it is considered poor and under develop.  The only exception among the countries in the Arabian Peninsula. 

The country used to be divided into North and South Yemen until its unification. South Yemen used to be a socialist state allied with USSR. Yemen still has insurgency in some parts of the country, so there are some dangers traveling to some parts of the country. 

During my trip to this country, I was not as excited as my other trips to other countries in the Middle East. But I was in for a surprise when I arrived. No fanciful airport or high-rise buildings to see. The surprise started when my travel by land commenced. It was like entering into a time warp and being brought back to a civilization 200 years  ago.( Men in traditional attire with knives or gun tucked on their waist is a common sight .) If not for the evidences of modern technology, like cars and power cables, you would think that  you have time-travelled into the past.  What Yemen lacks in infrastructure and development is compensated by the natural wonders of its landscape, historical landmarks and antique architectures.( It is considered  by UN a World Heritage Site) In fact, I would consider it the most beautiful country  I have visited in the Arabian peninsula. 
 Sanaa and its beautifully designed buildings
But Yemen has something else unique about its culture and this is the "khat"- a plant. Life in Yemen seems to revolve  around this plant. They have large plantations of this plant and khat markets to trade this "national plant" of Yemen. Other countries peripheral to Yemen also have this plant but Yemenis'  devotion in the cultivation and use of this plant is exceptional. Yemen which used to plant  coffee and export high quality coffee beans has replaced it with khat.

If the Japanese and Chinese have their reverence for tea for their ceremonies and for their social activities, khat is "it" for the Yemeni. It is not used as a drink like tea, the leaves are chewed fresh and raw, but not swallowed. ( Similar to the way  tobacco is chewed by the Major League Baseball players in the US). Whatever remains of the chewed leaves is deposited on one side of the mouth for quite a time and only spat out when there is not enough space to deposit them. Khat  chewing can be considered the  national past time of Yemeni men.(I didn't  dare ask if women also chew khat out of respect for their islamic culture. Most  Yemeni women have their faces covered in veils.) Khat chewing  activity normally starts in the afternoon until early in the evening. It is simultaneously done with other activities they are doing.  Almost all adult Yemeni men seem to have the habit of chewing khat. 

I find the Yemenis  a very friendly, hospitable and happy lot. It must be their culture or maybe . . .  yes, the "khat".

What is Gat / Ghat or Khat?
1) Khatqatgat or miraa  /ˈkɑːt/ kahtCatha edulis, family CelastraceaeArabicقات‎ qātYemeni Arabic: [ɡɑːt]Hebrewגת‎ gatSomaliqaad;Amharicጫት? č'at) is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Amongst communities from these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years.
Khat contains the alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria. In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a drug of abuse that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence(less than tobacco or alcohol), although the WHO does not consider khat to be seriously addictive. The plant has been targeted by anti-drug organizations like the DEA. It is a controlled or illegal substance in some countries, but is legal for sale and production in others.

Ghat is a leaf chewed in Yemen, Ethiopia, Somalia, and among Yemenite Jews in Israel that has stimulative qualities. Ghat chewing sessions involve playing the 'ud smoking a nargilah and other such Eastern reveries.
Ghat or Khat plant

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Trivia : Origin of April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day is one of the most celebrated popular "unofficial holiday" in the world. It's actually a pranksters' day where people play harmless practical jokes on others. Most of us  had either been the victim of these practical jokes or the "prankster".  But does anyone know how April Fool's Day started or where it originated?

Here's one article on the history of April Fool's Day and its probable origins :

The History of April Fools' Day     

By: Jennifer Maughan

The idea of springtime practical joking and merriment has roots in ancient times. Many countries and cultures have long practiced some form of lighthearted celebration around the first of April. . . .The origins of the April Fools' Day prank goes back to the late 1500s, when most of Europe changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. . . . 

Please click link below to read complete article on History of April Fool's Day :

Note : The article quoted above is not owned or written by the owner of  this blog. 
Article Source : 

Picture source :