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, September 28, 2012

People : Senator Teofisto Guingona III- The Virtual Hero of Filipino Netizens

Senator TG Guingona-Virtual Hero of Filipino Netizens
The public backlash against  the unconstitutionality  of some of the provisions of the recently passed Cybercrime Law is growing. Spearheading this public outcry on the flaws of the Cybercrime Law are the Filipino internet users or Netizens, which is the the group or sector directly affected by the law. Let me give you some data about this group.

According to Wikipedia [1], the Philippines is ranked 18th ( out of 193 ) in the list of countries by number of Internet users in 2011, roughly 29% of its current population ( 29,531,842 ).  And a recent survey[2] ranks the Philippines as the top user of the social media : Facebook. What do these data mean? They mean that there are 29 million internet users or Netizens in the country that would be affected by this new law.

Yesterday, Senator Teofisto Guingona III filed a petition in the Supreme Court to amend the unconstitutional provisions of the Cybercrime Law. His petition is the fourth petition that was filed in the Supreme Court. But he is the first to do so from the Senate to support the public outcry for amendments to this new law governing internet use in the  country. Wittingly or unwittingly, his move gave a "face" to this public outcry to the Cybercrime Law. He virtually became the icon of this movement and the "Virtual Hero" of the Filipino Netizens.

Whether his petition succeeds or not, his action has surely endeared him to the Filipino Netizens. And surely, these Filipino Netizens will be always be grateful to him and for his unselfish support in their cause.

Two thumbs up for Senator TG Guingona!

[3]Note : Senator TG Guingona voted against the passage of the Cybercrime Law in the Senate.

Source :

Related Link :

Monday, September 24, 2012

Trivia : The Oldest High-rise Buildings in the World

Ancient skyscrapers of Shibam
Throughout history, there had been recorded construction of high-rise structures e.g. the biblical Tower of Babel, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Pyramids of Giza and the more recent Tower of Pisa (the last two mentioned are still in existence). But these structures were either a tower or a monument, an observatory or a lighthouse. How about high-rise residential buildings?

Are high rise buildings and skyscrapers development or innovation that started only during the twentieth century? Definitely not. Here's the proof :

Below are pictures of the still existing high-rise (skyscrapers?) building of Shibam in Yemen. These high-rise buildings are made of mud and rise as high as 100 feet (30 meters). The city of  Shibam is said  to be in existence for 1,700 years  and its high-rise buildings were built in the 16th century.

The Walled of City of  Shibam  is a UN World heritage site.

The Walled City of Shibam
Over 500 years old high-rise mud buildings of Shibam
Mud buildings of Shibam
Source :

Friday, September 21, 2012

History : 40 years ago...the First Day of Martial Law

This post is dedicated to all the victims of Martial Law,
                                               who never lived to tell their stories.

Many Filipinos had lived their growing-up years during the 20-year period of Martial Law. But some were not old enough to remember  any experience during the first day or week of Martial Law. I vividly remember one experience. 

I'm not sure if it was on the day Martial Law was declared or the days that followed, when this incident happened. But I vividly remember it was way past midnight when soldiers came knocking to our house and woke up our  household. They  went to every room in the house rousing people up. They roused me up and didn't care that I was just a kid. I wasn't spared from their routine check. I didn't know why they were there or what they were looking for then, I was too young to care or know. They didn't take anybody or anything from us. But those soldiers left something in our house and  the neighborhood. . . Fear.

Most of us lived through Martial Law with the curfews, checkpoints and all, but our experiences don't compare to the experiences of the "victims" of Martial Law. We know what happened to them. Some lived to tell their stories, some died and some just disappeared never to be found. 

Today is the anniversary of Martial Law, it is a day that is better forgotten, but we can not. We will always remember, and should always remember, because those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. We hope and pray it will not be repeated again. Never again!

Note : Martial Law (Proclamation 1081) was signed by then  President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972  but the actual announcement and declaration of the imposition of Martial Law was done on September 23. The "ambush" of then Secretary of Defense Juan Ponce Enrile on September 22, was said to have precipitated the declaration the following day.

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Related Link :

Thursday, September 20, 2012

People : Cris "Kesz" Valdez,13 - 2012 International Children's Peace Prize Winner

Cris "Kesz" Valdez,13 
2012 International Children's Peace Prize Winner
This year's winner of the International Children's Peace Prize is a 13 year-old Filipino from Cavite : Cris "Kesz" Valdez. He was chosen from among three final nominees from Ghana, India and the Philippines, who were selected from 97 entries from around the world. Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Bishop Desmond Tutu gave him the award in The Hague, Netherlands last September 19. He also received $130,000 as part of the prize. 

Another Pinoy to be proud of, and a kid at that.

About International Children's Peace Prize 

The International Children’s Peace Prize is presented annually to an exceptional child, whose courageous or otherwise remarkable acts and thoughts have made a difference in countering problems, which affect children around the world. The prize is an initiative of the Dutch organisation KidsRights and was launched during 2005 Nobel Peace Laureates’ Summit by Mikhail Gorbachev. 

Each year the International Children’s Peace Prize Laureate is selected from nominations from all over the world. An Expert Committee assesses the candidates and then selects the winner. The prize money of €100,000 that is attached to the Children´s Peace Prize, is spent by KidsRights on projects that are closely connected to the winners’ area of work.

About Kesz - Nominee Profile

Kesz is a boy from the Philippines who was abused by his family and forced to beg and scavenge at the dumpsite  as a two-year-old. Three years later, he even sustained burns on his arm and back, which prompted him to run away. Kesz was cared for by a social worker. On his seventh birthday Kesz didn’t wish any presents for himself; he wanted to help other street kids instead. That year, Kesz set up the organisation “Championing Community Children”. His aim is to give children hope and show them that they can take their future into their own hands. Kesz gives them “HOPE GIFTS”: packages with slippers, clothing, soap, toothbrushes and toys. He also regularly holds speeches at events, thus inspiring other street children and acting as their representative. Since the launch of the organisation “Championing Community Children” in 2005 Kesz and his team have already distributed 5,000 “HOPE GIFTS” and helped over 10,000 children through the programmes set up by Kesz.
Source :

Kesz with Nobel Peace Prize Awardee Bishop Desmond Tutu

Related Link and Source :
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Information :1st PhilRES Synchronized National Election Calendar

To All Concerned :  Members of PhilRES-AIPO and Real Estate Service Practitioners

Below is the chronological order of activities and events leading to the 1st PhilRES Synchronized National Election on November 18, 2012. Please be guided accordingly.

PhilRES Synchronized Elections Calendar

Please click zoom icon above to enlarge or magnify the calendar :

Source :

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Information : Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 - Republic Act No.10175

I do not know if Filipino internet users or Netizens will be happy to hear about this new law passed by the Congress and already signed by President Aquino, which will soon take effect. I am referring to the internet-related law called Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 ( Republic Act 10175) or in short  the Cybercrime Law. 

Quoting from the news website,, the new law punishes the 
"Cybersex, child pornography, cybersquatting and identity theft, spamming or unsolicited commercial communication, computer-related forgery, illegal access to a computer system and/or illegal interception of data, data interference, including intentional alteration or damaging of data; system interference, including damaging or altering computer data or programs as well as the use of viruses, the misuse of devices; and the use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution or making available without right of malware, passwords or codes."

"Violators could face a punishment of prison mayor or reclusion temporal and/or a fine (between P200,000 to P1,000,000) depending on the offense as stated under the new law."

The law also includes and punishes "online libel" or "online defamation". Some people are wary of the inclusion of online libel in the law because it might threaten "democratic and free speech online" and might be used by the government as a tool for censorship. 

Filipino internet users have to think twice if what they are publishing online is libelous. The big question is: How do we define or know that something is libelous? The definition or interpretation of what is a libelous word, statement or deed is sometimes very subjective. It's time to read the Cybercrime Law: R.A. No.10175. And this is a must-do for all Filipino Netizens now.

I guess it won't hurt to heed this advice :


Related Link and Source :

Click link below to read RA No.10175 or Cybercrime Law :

Photo Source :

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

People : Francis Kong - Author and Motivational Speaker

Before he became the very much in-demand motivational and international speaker that he is now, I have been a follower of his column in the Philippine Star:Business Matters. It was in that newspaper where I first came across the name of Francis Kong. I seldom read articles written by Filipino-Chinese authors because I thought they were better entrepreneurs than writers.(Talk about biases!) But after reading Mr. Francis Kong's column, that impression changed. I became a regular reader of his column. 

His column: "Business Matters" is not really about business, may be just part of it. It's about good business ethics, good character, leadership, relationships, success and other important subjects in business and life. He would also write about God and spiritual matters, but is never preachy. But just like the "good book" you either feel good or guilty  after reading his column.

I have the chance of meeting him in person when he was a guest speaker in one conference I attended, and he was very humble and approachable. He is not a speaker with a dramatic and booming voice, in fact he is a bit of a monotone, but once he talks you will listen. Sometimes you can also hear him on FM radio. (Why do I feel old saying FM radio?)

I have missed reading his column in the newspaper for quite sometime now and I'm just glad to know that he is now online with his FB page and website: . I hope that I would have the chance to listen to Mr.Kong in person again, but for the moment I would be glad to listen to his podcasts which are available in his website. If you have not heard him speak yet, download and listen to his podcasts, he just might get you motivated and inspired about your business and life.

Click picture to go to link :

Related Links :

Monday, September 10, 2012

Places : La Union Province - The Next Big Thing

Welcome to La Union
La Union is one of the most scenic and progressive provinces in the country. A major gateway to Region 1 ( Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur )  and the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Its capital city of San Fernando, is also the capital of Region 1, where all the important  government offices are located. Region 1 is mainly the  Ilocano-speaking region of the country.

With the on-going construction of the new  Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway ( TPLEX )  and rehabilitation of the old PNR railway (North Luzon Railway project)*,  and with both projects terminating in La Union,   future developments are expected in the province. Residential, hotel/resorts, commercial and mall developments, BPO/Call Center facilities and transportation transit terminals are expected to rise in the areas around and near the north-end train terminal station of the North Luzon Railway project, and likewise, where the TPLEX  Rosario Exit ends.

In San Fernando City where Poro Point is located, the BCDA is presently developing the former  American Military Base-into a prime mixed-use tourist/recreation/resort/gaming, a special economic  and free-port zone. 

With the  closing of the Laoakan Airport in Baguio City, more passengers and increase in air traffic  are expected of the San Fernando Airport, also in Poro Point. It would soon become a major domestic airport in Northern Luzon. But San Fernando Airport should be rehabilitated and improved, and the runway upgraded to accommodate bigger aircrafts. This development would be a big advantage to  the province and would have the potential of making San Fernando City the air transportation hub of Northern Luzon. 

Poro Point could also provide the port infrastructure for the province.

Complementing the economic infrastructure and the geographical advantage of La Union province, are the dynamic developments in the neighboring provinces of  : Pangasinan, Ilocos  Norte and Ilocos Sur and   nearby Baguio City/Benguet. These provinces are basically tourist magnets where major tourist destinations are located e.g., Alaminos-Hundred Islands, Manaoag, Bolinao, San Fabian, Vigan City, Laoag City, Pagudpud, Fort Ilocandia , etc. La Union itself is the Surfers' Mecca of Northern Luzon, and is now becoming a resort/entertainment/gaming haven with the construction of Thunderbird Hotel and Casino at Poro Point. La Union being a coastal province has beautiful beaches with scuba diving, sailing and surfing facilities. It also has many historical sites and old churches, and other  attractions for tourism.

Real estate developments are also booming in the region. Major developers are presently putting up residential, condominium and mall/commercial projects in different parts of the region with developers like Robinson Land Corp, Villar Group and SMDC leading these developments.

With all modes of  transportation infrastructures (road, air, railway and sea) available, expect La Union province to grab a bigger share of future investments and developments in the region. It has all the necessary components for a big economic boom, including the very important human resources. La Union and Baguio City being educational centers with good schools to boast, could provide the educated and skilled human resources needed by companies and business locators.

The proximity of Hongkong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and China to La Union/San Fernando City would be a big factor in making it an international travel and business destination in the near future, like Cebu. 

If all the necessary infrastructures would soon be completed and upgraded, particularly the airport and the roads, my fearless forecast : La Union is the next big thing!

*Note : 
The North Luzon Railway Project was stopped and  later cancelled in March 2011 due to some anomaly in the contract. 
Region 1
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Related Link :

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Events : Marikina Valley Realtors Board Inc. GMM a Big Success!

Congratulations to MVRB President Cesar de Larrazabal, the Officers and Members of the Marikina Valley Realtors Board Inc. for the very successful and well attended General Membership Meeting and Fellowship at the Legends Villas in Mandaluyong City last September 6, 2012. 

The special guest and speaker of the MVRB General Membership Meeting was Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board CEO and Commissioner:Atty. Antonio Bernardo, who spoke about HLURB regulations  and updates on the  real estate industry. Before his appointment at the HLURB, Atty. Antonio Bernardo is a former Customs Commissioner. He placed second in the 1988 bar examinations, had perviously served as undersecretary of the finance and energy departments, Secretary of the Commission on Appointments (CA), and officer-in-charge of the Social Security System (SSS) 

Marikina Valley Realtors Board Inc. is one if not the friendliest  among the member boards   of the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards Inc. and deserves to be called "The Friendliest Real Estate Board" in the association. 
Awarding of the certificate and token of appreciation to the guest
speaker HLURB CEO/Commissioner Atty. Antonio Bernardo by

MVRB President Cesar de Larrazabal and PP Mike Caparros
Officers and Members of the Markina Valley Realtors Board Inc.
with HLURB CEO  and Commissioner Atty. Antonio Bernard
HLURB CEO and Commissioner  Atty. Antonio Bernardo as guest speaker during
MVRB General Membership Meeting and Fellowship at the Legend Villas

Click link below for more pictures of the MVRB GMM  :

Environment : Adapting to the Changing Climate

The recent "Habagat" that wreaked havoc to a large part of Luzon, particularly Metro Manila and Central Luzon was not a typhoon. It was just the  normal seasonal wind coming from the southwest called southwest monsoon induced by low pressure areas. 

The SW monsoon wind carries heat and water vapor which cause rain along its path. In normal times, these "habagat" rains are beneficial specially to our farmers. But the recent "Habagat" we recently experienced was an extended one, which brought continuous and heavy rainfall causing severe and extensive flooding. 

These abnormal weathers that we have been experiencing these past years is brought about by what scientists call the"climate change". Whether we accept it or not, "climate change" is already a reality that we have to lived with in the coming years or maybe centuries. Climatologists say that the big factor  causing climate change is the increasing  carbon footprint of our planet, which means that there is an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases resulting to global warming (temperature increase of the earth ). 

A carbon footprint is defined as:
The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The increase in earth's temperature  is melting polar ice, increasing ocean and sea levels, and also changing their temperatures. The resulting change in temperature of the oceans and air is what is  causing these erratic weather disturbances we are experiencing. 

Agriculturist are saying too, that the increase in global temperature is also reducing harvests, and changing the seasons of crops and fruits. Eventually, this would severely affect our food supply. 

For laymen like most of us, all these changes and effects of "climate change" and global warming at that, are quite complicated for us to understand completely. But it is necessary for us to understand at least, the basic reason of   global warming and its immediate effects that are already affecting us. 

We just hope that the changes in our climate is not yet permanent and irreversible. And let us do our share in helping reduce the carbon footprint of our planet. In the mean time, we have to learn adapt  our lives to the changing weather and to be prepared to its effects and what it would bring to us.

Southwest Monsoon

Sources :

Friday, September 07, 2012

Events : The First Professional Summit

To All PRC-Licensed Professionals :

The First Professional Summit
Theme :  “Convergence of Professionals for Nation Building and Global Competitiveness” 
When : October 18-19, 2012
Where : Manila Hotel

Posted by PRC : Posted on 8/31/2012

The Professional Regulation Commission is happy to announce the holding of the first ever Professional Summit with a theme “Convergence of Professionals for Nation Building and Global Competitiveness” on October 18-19, 2012 at the Manila Hotel.

The Summit will take up the current state of the practice of the various regulated professions in the country in order to address the mismatch of supply and demand of professionals, galvanize support to and cooperation of the professional sector in the Philippine Development Plan, and come up with strategies, action plans, and recommendations to resolve pressing issues relating to global events, including climate change and risk management.

The summit also aims to enhance the knowledge and capabilities of the PRC, the Professional Regulatory Boards and Accredited Professional Organizations (APOs).

Specifically, the seminars are intended to generate greater awareness and understanding of the implementation of free trade in services under various international agreements; validate, improve and widen ownership of drafted competitiveness roadmaps for specific professions; discuss and generate inputs for preparing promotional materials of respective professions to be used for local and global placement of professional services; strengthen collaborative partnerships among PRC, PAPRB, PRBs, APOs and DTI in building competitiveness of Filipino Professionals; firm up roles and responsibilities and formulate action plans of respective professions in support to the implementation of the PEDP and of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

Click brochure to enlarge

Related PRC Link :

Development : The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)

Click map to enlarge
Click map to enlarge 
Tarlac-Pangasinan- La Union Expressway

People from the North and those who often travel to Northern Luzon, know that the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)  have made traveling faster and more convenient. And they would surely welcome the news that the new Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) would soon be completed and operational. With this new expressway extension,it is estimated that travel time from Manila to La Union would be reduced by as much as two hours.

The DPWH official project webpage gives the following information on the project : 
The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway is an 88.58-kilometer 2-lane expressway. It starts from Tarlac City, Tarlac, and ends in Rosario, La Union. It traverses Tarlac City and the municipalities of La Paz, Gerona, Victoria, Pura, Anao and Ramos in Tarlac, Nampicuan and Cuyapo in Nueva Ecija and Rosales, Villasis, Urdaneta City, Binalonan, Pozzorubio and Sison in Pangasinan and Rosario, La Union. 

Tentative date of completion and operation of the expressway would be on 2013, but a portion extending up to Rosales, Pangasinan would be operational by the latter part of 2012, if the construction work is followed as scheduled.

Once completed, this project would surely improve the transportation traffic in the provinces it would pass through, boost and develop trade in the cities, towns and peripheral areas along the new expressway. And this would also promote tourism because of faster travel time to major tourist spots and destinations in the North.

Hopefully, this project would be finished at the soonest time possible.

Two thumbs up for this good news!

Update on TPLEX : 
Phase 1 Section 1A of TPLEX will be operational beginning October 30,2013. This portion of the new expressway runs from Tarlac City to Gerona, Tarlac. The beginning portion of this 17 km. phase of TPLEX is connected to the SCTEX in Tarlac City then traverses Victoria town, and ends at Gerona town. This initial  phase to be opened will reduce travel time to Northern Luzon by approximately forty minutes.

TPLEX Project Segments

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News Source and Related Links :

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Places : Coron,Palawan

There are a lot of beautiful places in the Philippine archipelago but once you get to see the town of Coron in Northern Palawan, there's a chance that many of the places you had been to and considered beautiful before may become ordinary. The town of  Coron occupies a bigger part of Busuanga Island, the whole of Coron Island and some smaller islands. The Coron island itself is quite awesome for its small size. Imagine a very pristine lake with emerald waters within the small island, and towering rock formations around the island similar to that of Halong Bay,Vietnam on a smaller scale.If there are other places in the country that would be on a par with it, that would be El Nido, which is also in Northern Palawan and Caramoan in Camarines Sur.

Although Boracay is a "must visit" island because of its extraordinary beaches and fine white sands, it doesn't compare to the magnificent landscape of Coron. 
Indeed, the Philippines is blessed with the most beautiful islands. 

Here are some pictures of Coron Island :

Map Source :

Events : PHilRES Synchronized Elections Set on Nov.18, 2012

The Philippine Institute of Real Estate Service Practitioners( PhilRES) Inc., the AIPO of professional real estate practitioners, has officially published the schedule of the synchronized election for the AIPO's1st General National Election on November 18, 2012. The election will be simultaneously held in the following locations : Baguio City, Batangas, Pampanga, Naga City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City and Manila. 

All PRC-licensed real estate practitioners who are not yet bona fide members of the PhilRES-AIPO (membership not in good standing) must submit the necessary membership form, pay the required membership dues and join a local PHilRES chapter; to be able to participate and vote, be nominated and elected as officers of PhilRES-AIPO in the scheduled election. 

Please read Manila Bulletin (dated: September 1, 2012) article and announcement below for more details of the PhilRES 1st General National Election :

Click article to enlarge
Announcement of PhilRES Sychronized Election

Click link below for a bigger version of the Manila Bulletin article :

Trivia : Philippines - The Social Networking Capital of the World

According to an article by, ten countries top the list  of countries with the highest number of Facebook users.

Here's the list of the top 10:

1. Philippines
2. Israel
3. Turkey
4. Chile
5. Argentina
6. Malaysia
7. Indonesia
8. Peru
9. Colombia
10. Venezuela

The rankings were based on the following criteria : use of the following social networking sites --  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the ratio of the number of internet users vis-a-vis the population of a particular country.

The article also cited  the Philippines in particular, for  getting the top spot among the 10 countries mentioned. Below is an excerpt from the article :

Social network penetration is incredibly high in the Philippines, reaching 95%.  Facebook is the country’s most popular website, more so than Google, and has a penetration rate of 93.9%.  The Philippines is also the eighth most popular country for Twitter use on a global scale, with a penetration rate of 16.1%.  The popularity of photo sharing has increased by 46% in the country in one year, largely due to Facebook.  Social networking is so popular among Filipinos, the country has been nicknamed “The Social Networking Capital of the World.”

Get a life Pinoys, there's more to life than Facebook!

Article Source :
Logo Source :

Property Listings : Townhouses for Sale in Alabang

 Townhouse Units for Sale at Primavera Homes, West Service Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

3-Bedroom, 2-Storey, 2-Toilet and Bath, 1-Car Garage, Corner Unit (Elah Model) and Middle Unit (Althea Model),  Underground Cable Utilities. Located near Festival Mall, Bellevue Hotel, MC Home Depot,  Alabang Town Center, San Beda College-Alabang, Asian Hospital and Alabang Bus Terminal.

Primavera Homes is a 30-Unit  Townhouse Compound inside Rizal Village near the New Alabang Exit at West Service Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

These are foreclosed units. Unit are in good condition, to be delivered 

Available thru : 
In-house or Bank Financing 
Developer : Planters Development Bank Properties

ELAH Model Primavera Homes Price : P3M and P2.5M
 LOT  AREA= 93 or 69 SQM (Lot Area depending if corner or  middle unit)
    AVERAGE FLOOR AREA=63.2 SQM [SOLD]             

ALTHEA Model Furnished Unit Price: P3,554,000.00
LOT  AREA=70 SQM           FLOOR AREA= 64.20 SQM                

If interested please contact : 
List and Sell Realty Group
Mobile No. 0928502-4470
E-mail :