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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Announcement : MVRB 2Q General Membership Meeting and Fellowship

Marikina Valley Real Estate Board Inc. (MVRB) 
2nd Quarter General Membership Meeting 
and Fellowship

The heat is on at MVRB!
It's summertime fun and fellowship for 
MVRB's members and friends. 

MVRB RESAR 2013 PRC Real Estate Broker Board Passers and 
Top-notchers will be honored during the occasion.

Venue : Jade Palace Restaurant
106 Shaw Blvd, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
(Beside China Bank)
Date : May 4, 2013
Time : 5:00 to 10:00 P.M. 

Please Contact :
Beth (MVRB Office Secretary) at 
to confirm attendance 

Jade Palace Restaurant along Shaw Blvd, Kapitolyo, Pasig

Location Map of Jade Palace Restaurant
View Larger Map

Photo Source :

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Places : Intramuros - Reminiscing at the Walled City

Last January I attended a symposium at a school located inside the walled district of Manila: Intramuros. Intramuros is the old walled Spanish city-fortress from where the city of Manila originated. The walls were built by the Spaniards in the late sixteenth century to protect them  from marauding Chinese pirates and other foreign invaders coming from the Manila Bay. The walled city used to be surrounded by a moat. Intramuros is one of Manila's main tourist attractions. Inside Intramuros are schools and universities, parks and gardens, churches and convents, museums, government and private offices, restaurants and shops, hotels and some private residential houses. Most of the buildings and churches have Filipino-Spanish architectures and designs. The preserved old buildings, churches, monuments, cobblestone paved streets and "calesas" or horse-drawn carriages make Intramuros looks like one of the old cities of Europe. 

I studied at one of the schools located inside Intramuros, and seeing the place again after a long time made me reminisce the good times I had spent inside the walls of Intramuros during my school days.  Here are some pictures I took of one portion of the walled city and its peripheral areas during my last visit. 

Comment : Whoever is responsible in maintaining the cleanliness of Intramuros is not doing a good job. Some parts of the walled city are scattered with litters. Considering that Intramuros is located right in front of the City Hall of Manila and being the city's prime tourist spot, it should be well-maintained. 

Click photo to enlarge
The Manila's Walled City : Intramuros

Picture Source :

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rants : Chinese Ambassador Apologizes for Chinese Embassy First Secretary's Blunder

H.E. Ambassador Ma Keqing of China
Having lived and worked in China in the early '90s, I have a very good impression of the Chinese people. The Chinese I had met during my stay there were very humble, hospitable and happy people. I think these good qualities are inherent of the Chinese people and its culture.

But recently, the news I have been reading about Chinese expatriates give a different picture of their character and behavior. Did I get a wrong impression about the Chinese people during my stay in China? Or did they have a reversal of values because of the prosperity and wealth they have now.

Last year, there was a news about a Chinese expatriate driving a Ferrari that drove thru a red light signal in Singapore causing his death and the death of a Singaporean cab driver and a Japanese passenger. The Chinese national involved in the accident was not an ordinary laborer but a financial adviser, which means that he was a highly educated person. The accident created a backlash on mainland Chinese expatriates living in Singapore. The Chinese embassy's "first secretary" in Singapore had to apologize on behalf of the mainland Chinese expatriates' behavior.

Two weeks ago, another road accident happened involving a mainland Chinese expatriate, this time in Manila. A Chinese diplomat by the name of Wang Ben bumped the car in front of him. The car he rear-ended happened to be the car of the MMDA(Metro Manila Development Authority) Chairman Francis Tolentino. According to report, "Wang, who appeared to be drunk, showed a photocopy of his ID and then suddenly drove off in the middle of their exchange, Tolentino said"[1]. Chairman Tolentino gave chase but lost him. It was a good thing that nobody got hurt when the Chinese diplomat drove and sped off, it would have been another big diplomatic problem between the Philippines and China.

The Chinese diplomat involved in the accident was the Chinese embassy's first secretary. A few days after the incident, the Chinese ambassador apologized to the MMDA Chairman for the incident. The irony of  the matter is that the Chinese embassy's first secretary would normally be the one apologizing on behalf of misbehaving Chinese citizens in a host country, like what happened in Singapore last year. But this time it was the Chinese ambassador H.E. Ma Keqing herself, apologizing on behalf of the Chinese embassy's "first secretary".

Why couldn't the Chinese embassy's first secretary Wang Ben apologize by himself to MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino? Why the need for the Chinese ambassador to apologize for Mr.Wang's traffic violations and his disrespect of a Philippine government official? As a diplomat, he is covered by diplomatic immunity and won't be penalized, so why the fear of owning up his blunder? Anyway, the humble gesture by the Chinese ambassador was accepted and very much appreciated by MMDA Chairman for him to forgive and forget the incident.

I wish diplomats like Mr. Wang Ben be transferred to Afghanistan for posting.
I am sure China does not tolerate abusive behavior from its diplomats abroad, specially from a high ranking officer like an embassy's "first secretary".

I hope my good impression of the Chinese people remains a good one.

Picture source and related link :
Click link below to know about H.E. Ambassador Ma Keqing of China : [1]

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

History : Friar Lands and The Friar Lands Act

Hacienda de Mandaloyon
Trivia :
"The Hacienda de Mandaloyon originally formed part of the estate holdings of the Augustinian Order. The property covered an area of 4,033 hectares. On January 20, 1920, the Augustinian Fathers sold this property to Dr. Frank W. Dudley and Don Francisco Ortigas. Hacienda de Mandaloyon, spanned the municipalities that are now known as Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasig & Quezon City."
Source :

I still vividly recall one of the questions when I took the Real Estate Broker Exam, it was about "friar lands". It was one of the hardest question during the exam. During our review class then, our lecturer  mentioned the term "friar lands"once or twice, but never thoroughly discussed it. It was just a minor subject on real estate terminology. 

Through the years as a real estate practitioner, I have often encountered the term "friar lands" because many of the real estate properties in the Philippines used to be classified as such. And what is interesting is that there are vast references in our history about  the subject. In fact, it was one of the reasons of Filipino revolts and insurrections during the Spanish period. And for this reason the subject should be given more importance and thoroughly discussed in real estate seminars and in Philippine history classes in our schools. But sometimes, the subject of "friar lands"is a contentious and sensitive matter to discuss considering that it involves discussing the past abuses of the Catholic Church and the origin of its landholdings.

The Augustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits and other religious orders were all holders, administrators and owners of vast tracts of land in different parts of the country during the Spanish colonial period. Some of these lands were given to them by the Spanish government and landed Catholics, others they bought and some were taken and possessed by them in very questionable ways, i.e. land grabbing by the friars. They owned estates comprising thousands of hectares. Most of these lands were agricultural and tilled by native Filipinos who themselves did not owned lands. Some of these religious orders were practically landlords during the Spanish colonial period.

These "friar lands" or church lands were a big problem when the Americans took administration of the Philippine Islands. The Americans had to make arrangements with the Holy See to discuss the status of these parcels of lands and estates, and offered to purchase them. Eventually, the friars were forced to sell these lands to the Americans, and these real properties became part of government administered lands classified as "friar lands". A special classification under the Act 1120 (of the Congress of the United States) or "The Friar Land Act".

These "friar lands" also became a source of corruption of some of the American administrators. Some of these lands were transferred to individuals who were not citizens and residents of the country, and some were sold to companies not registered in the Philippines. These acts by the American administrators were in violation of the existing laws at the time.

Below is the salient feature of Act 1120(of the Congress of the United Stares) or The Friar Lands Act :

ACT NO. 1120

To study and know about "friar lands" would give us Filipinos, particularly the real estate  practitioners, a better understanding of our history, and the real estate and urban development of our country.

Sources and related links:

Map Source :

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Property Listings : 2 BR Brentwood Condo Unit for Sale - Baguio City

Brentwood Village Baguio

2 Bedroom Brentwood Condominium Unit For Sale
Floor Area : 80.80 SQM
Selling Price : P2.8 M
Descriptions : 2 Bedroom, 3 Toilet and Bath, 
Fully Furnished, with 1-Car Parking Space

For inquiries please contact :
Lease and Sell Realty Group
Mobile : 0928-5024470
Email :

Picture Source :
Brentwood Village photo by frisno

Property Listings : Townhouse for Sale at Far East Asia Village, Antipolo City

Townhouse at Far East Asia 
Townhouse for Sale at Far East Asia Village, Marcos Hiway, Antipolo City
About a kilometer away from Masinag Market and walking distance to
Cherry Foodarama Supermarket-Marcos Hiway.

Description :
Lot Area=120 SQM, Floor Area= 96 SQM  Carport = 9 SQM
Single-Storey Townhouse,  Corner Unit, 4 Bedroom, 2 Toilet and Bath,
Fully-furnished, Near clubhouse and swimming pool, Selling Price : P2.5 M

For inquiry please contact : 
List and Sell Realty Group
Mobile : 0928-5024470

Friday, April 05, 2013

People : Jaime FlorCruz - CNN Beijing Bureau Chief

Jaime FlorCruz former Time Magazine
Beijing Bureau Chief
Jaime FlorCruz CNN Beijing Bureau Chief

I was browsing the CNN web news portal the other day when I came across the name of Jaime FlorCruz, the CNN Beijing Bureau Chief. He has a column at the news portal called Jaime's China which talks about China's society and politics. When I saw his name at the CNN website I suddenly remembered my personal encounter with him in Beijing.

To the younger generations of Filipinos, Jaime FlorCruz may not be as popular as the other CNN Filipino reporter, Maria Ressa, the former CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief. Jaime FlorCruz had been Time Magazine's Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent for years before he transferred to CNN. He has a very interesting story on how he went to China and was forced to stay there in exile for long time. (See related links below)

In 1993, I was assigned by my company (Alcatel) in Beijing, China. At that time I already had read some information about Mr. FlorCruz as a Time Magazine correspondent and as a former  activist during Marcos time in some printed publications.(There was no internet yet at that time)
During my work stint in Beijing, the employees of our company stayed at the Holiday Inn Lido-Beijing for accommodations. We usually had our dinner at the restaurants inside the hotel because it was hard to get around Beijing, basically due to language problem. Onetime, while we were dining in one of the restaurants, a senior co-worker pointed to me that the guy at a table near us was Mr. Jaime FlorCruz, the Time Magazine Beijing Bureau Chief. I looked at the direction of the table and finally saw in person the Jaime FlorCruz I had only read about. Quite a good-looking man with a dignified bearing. I think my co-worker knew him personally because he had been a resident of Beijing for quite sometime. The restaurant where we were dining was a favorite hang-out of Filipino expats staying at the Holiday Inn Lido because it had a Filipino chef who served "sinigang" to Pinoy expats who requested for it (even if it wasn't on the menu). Mr. FlorCruz being a Pinoy must had been also a regular at the restaurant.

That was the only time I saw Mr. Jaime FlorCruz in person in Beijing. But that encounter with him made quite an impression on me. I guess I was awed seeing an international Filipino journalist  and the Time Magazine Beijing Bureau Chief at that.

Related link :

Property Listings : Condominium Units for Sale at Pioneer Highland-Mandaluyong City


  • Pioneer Highlands Condominium Unit For Sale 
  • Floor Area : 64.72 SQM located at 29th Floor
  • Selling Price : P3.6 M
  • Description : 1 Bedroom, 1 Toilet and Bath, Fully Furnished, with 1 Parking Space

  • Pioneer Highlands Condominium Unit For Sale 
  • Floor Area : 78.08 SQM located at 30th Floor
  • Selling Price : P4.9 M
  • Description : 2 Bedroom, 2 Toilet and Bath, Fully Furnished, with 1 Parking Space
  • Note : Presently leased until May 2013

For inquiries please contact :
Lease and Sell Realty Group
Mobile : 0928-5024470

Picture Source :

Monday, April 01, 2013

Development : Triangle Park - The New Quezon City Central Business District

Quezon City Central Business District

Triangle Park : Quezon City's Central Busines District

The commercial and business district(CBD) of a city showcases its progress and development. It represents a city in a micro level. It won't be presumptuous to conclude that most cities with bustling and progressive CBD are the most dynamic and progressive ones. The biggest and the best commercial and business centers in Metro Manila are classic examples : Ayala Commercial and Business District in Makati,  Ortigas Commercial and Business Center in Pasig and Mandaluyong, Alabang CBD in Muntinlupa and Global City in Taguig. The cities where they are located are Metro Manila's most progressive.

In some cases, other progressive cities have multiple and scattered CBDs, like Manila. Manila has CBDs in Binondo/Divisoria/Sta Cruz and Port Area/Intramuros/Malate districts. Manila being geographically bisected by the Pasig River would naturally have CBDs on both sides of the Pasig River.

Metro Manila's biggest city : Quezon is another case. Quezon City also has multiple pocket CBDs, e.g. Araneta Center in Cubao, Eastwood City in Libis. But these pocket CBDs are small and are not comprehensive. They have limited locators and lack some infrastructures. Araneta Center is still basically a residential enclave centered on a private commercial development. In fact, an ongoing re-development of the Araneta Center is promoting itself as a residential and entertainment center more than a comprehensive CBD.

Quezon City was originally planned as a residential, educational and government institutions' district. Among the cities in Metro Manila, it has the best urban and residential zoning plan. It also has ample real estate for future developments. A few years back, the city's local government has decided to utilize these available real properties in the city to build its very own  comprehensive commercial and business district that is comparable, if not better than the best CBD's in Metro Manila. The Quezon City local government together with the National Housing Authority, which owns most of these real properties for development, have planned the establishment of Quezon City's Central Business District called the Triangle Park.

This new commercial and business district will have a  :  bigger real estate map,  better and strategic location, bigger EDSA frontage, more major roads access, more mass transit stations access, greener  and bigger parks, and more diverse locators, including government offices and institutions. The Triangle Park basically consists of the North Triangle, East Triangle and the Veterans Memorial Center/ Veterans Golf Club. These are real estate properties owned by the National Housing Authority and the government.  An estimated 260.6 hectares will be allotted for development and redevelopment for this new CBD. Bounded by five major roads : EDSA, East Avenue, North Avenue, Elliptical Road and bisected at the center of the triangle by Quezon Avenue. These parcels of real estates were originally meant to be the center for national  government offices and institutions, in fact, many government head offices and institutions are already located here : Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Ombudsman, The Land Registration Authority, BIR, National Power Corporation, Lung Center, Kidney Center, Children's Medical Center, QC Central Post Office, Occupational Safety Center, Veterans Medical and Memorial Center and Philippine Science H.S.

The Triangle Park is also fringed by other government institutions along its East Avenue border : The Quezon City Hall, SSS , LTO, The Heart Center and East Avenue Medical Center. The inclusion of government offices and institutions makes this new CBD a comprehensive business district. These institutional locators give it an edge over other CBD's where government offices and institutions seldom exist and are mostly  comprised of private locators. 

The Triangle Park development comprises of five major districts : Triangle Exchange, Emporium, Downtown Hub, Commons, and Residence Districts. Each of this districts will have it own type of development, usage and locators. These five major districts will also have its own sub-districts.

"The Triangle Park's five major districts are mixed use, anchored on major uses – mixed use with retail on ground floor, transit oriented mixed use, mixed-use commercial, mixed-use residential, mixed use institutional and commercial. Mixed uses with ground floor retail will be located along the main Park Lane roads that loop around Triangle Park. Comprising the largest portion (20%) of total built space, these can be commercial/office/residential/institutional maximizing ground floor retail. This is followed by Mixed-use Commercial with 19% which is hinged upon office uses. Mixed-use Institutional sprawling over 13% of the area, is essentially institutional or related to the administration of government, the Triangle Park area being originally envisioned to be the National Government Center.
Mixed-use Transit Development will cover 3% of the area. These are compact developments built around the GMA-Kamuning and Quezon Avenue MRT Stations. They have higher densities, walkable scale, and a mix of uses including residential, retail, office, institutional and commercial. Mixed Use Residential (2%) will have predominantly residential land use, with commercial amenities to serve its residents."
Source :

Developments in the Triangle Park have already begun in some sections. Among its first locator and partner-developer is Ayala Land.  Ayala Land  and  NHA, which owns the lands on the northern tip of the triangle has a joint venture for the Vertis North project, a mixed-use development of about 29.1 hectares. An earlier development is the already existing Trinoma  Mall. (Triangle North of Manila Mall).
Another locator and developer is Eton Properties which is  currently developing  Eton Centris, another  mixed-use development in the middle part of the triangle at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Avenue. 

Trinoma Mall
Eton Centris
A distinguishing feature of Triangle Park development is its building density and height guidelines: 

"The building density feature is deliberate. Higher densities along EDSA will in effect establish a scheme of physically enclosing Triangle Park and optimizing the experience of entering and exiting thus, enhancing the Triangle Park's sense of place. On the other hand, the intended tapering of densities as the development approaches the Quezon City Memorial Circle area will respect and enhance the historical and cultural character of the area rather than erode it. This design scheme will effectively create a skyline that defers to the symbolic meaning of the Quezon Memorial and to create a distinct yet smooth experiential and perceptual transition from modernity to heritage and history."

Click map to enlarge

"The following are the threshold guidelines for building heights in identified districts in Triangle Park:
35-45 Storeys – Icon Towers located at the Triangle Exchange/Emporium Districts. These will be the tallest buildings on site and together with Quezon Memorial on the opposite side of the area will be signature icons of Quezon City.
15-25 Storeys – The rest of the Triangle Exchange and the Emporium Districts will have buildings having 15-25 storeys; less intense than the Icon Towers but more intense than the Residential and Downtown Hub districts.
6-20 Storeys – The buildings in the Downtown Hub and Residences will be 6-20 storeys in height to establish an undulating pattern to the skyline profile, from the taller icon towers dipping down but ascending again around the District Green of the Downtown Hub
4-8 Storeys – Buildings towards North Avenue, Elliptical Road and East Avenue to allow views of the Ninoy Aquino Parks & Wildlife and the Quezon Memorial Circle."

This unique feature of building density and height in this new CBD will be complementing its surrounding area making it blend with the existing peripheral developments.

"The new and improved road network will highlight and expand access points to the Triangle Park, as well as open up inner parcels, integrating them with the rest of the CBD. Park Lane is the main entrance to Triangle Park. It traverses the five districts of the CBD and will be lined with trees, particularly along Triangle Exchange, Emporium, Downtown Hub, and Commons District. The parkway is envisioned to complement the active storefronts of the buildings that line it."
Source :

A CBD with big parks and plenty of gardens :
The Triangle park will be a very green and eco-friendly CBD. The North and East Triangles already have existing big parks and forested areas with mature hardwood trees which will be incorporated the Triangle Park development. This would make Triangle Park  the greenest  CBD in Metro Manila. Other parts of the CBD's landscape would be enhanced with greenery with the addition of pocket parks interspersed among its road network and waterways.
From the given information and project details above, the Triangle Park will indeed be the CBD to watch for.

Comment :
I wish the Triangle Park would also become a showcase of modern Filipino architecture, iconic building designs and monuments, similar to what is being done in Dubai and Singapore, where grand iconic buildings, monuments and landmarks are incorporated in their development.

Source :

Picture Source :

Announcement : Approved Real Estate Appraisers - PRBRES Resolution No.10, No.15 & No.16 (Series of 2013)


Here is the list of PRC Approved Real Estate Appraisers Without Examination :
Approved Real Estate Appraisers ( PRBRES Resolution No.10, No.15 & No.16  Series of 2013 )  
Under Sec & 20 Art III of RA & 9646 :

Posted by PRC on 4/1/2013

Click links below for Approved Real Estate Appraisers :
Resolution No.10 Series of 2013 :
Resolution No.15 Series of 2013 :
Resolution No.16 Series of 2013 :

Registration for the issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card will start on April 03 to 05, 2013 at the PRC-REGISTRATION DIVISION UNIT C.

Source :

Announcement : Approved Real Estate Brokers - PRBRES Resolution No.08 & No.09 (Series of 2013)

Here is the list of PRC Approved Real Estate Brokers Without Examination :
Approved Real Estate Brokers ( PRBRES Resolution No.08 & No.09 Series of 2013 )  
Under Sec & 20 Art III of RA & 9646 :

Posted by PRC on 4/1/2013

Click links below for Approved Real Estate Brokers :
Resolution No. 08 Series of 2013 :
Resolution No.09 Series of 2013 :

Registration for the issuance of Certificate of Registration and Professional Identification Card will start on April 03 to 05, 2013 at the PRC-REGISTRATION DIVISION UNIT C.

Source :