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, December 29, 2014

Announcement : 2015 PRC Real Estate Broker Licensure Exam Seminar and Review

MVRB Real Estate Seminar and Review ( Click poster to enlarge)
Note : 

Venue has been transferred to Unit 217 Citiland Pioneer Condo., Pioneer Ave. Mandaluyong City

Information: ASEAN Integration: Real Estate Practitioner Perspective

By : Augusto "Gus" Agosto, REB, REA

What is the view of the real estate practitioners on ASEAN Integration? The integration will bring both opportunities and challenges to the 28,869 licensed real estate practitioners in the country. It means bigger market and area for business, exposure to different practices and culture, marketing strategies and plans. It should help in easing the problems besetting the practitioners for several decades.

ASEAN Countries Map

ASEAN is composed of 10 countries—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It has a vast economic market of 600 million people, which accounts for at least 8 percent of the global population, spread across 4.6 million square meters of prime real estate.

The integration will result in stronger capital inflow and investments, particularly in real estate industry. More industry players also mean increased rate of construction activities where we will be seeing mixed-use residential districts, retail, commercial and office hubs, and key infrastructures—airports, sea ports and many others more—racing to dot the skyline all at the same time.

We will also see more emerging economic hotspots in various parts of the country, particularly in Mindanao—a region deemed as the Philippines’s gateway to the rest of Southeast Asia. Small and new players will venture other markets in provinces.

The free flow of goods and services will result in much higher rate of consumer spending. This will then drive the development of more lifestyle-centric developments, such as malls, retail complexes and properties anchored on tourism, across the archipelago.

This will activate other industries in our country that will result in job creation and lessening new entrants and “part-timers” in real estate.

With ASEAN, foreign and local developers will rely on local practitioners to market their properties and in exploring more properties in our country. We will be seeing in the coming years of different realty business thriving, forging alliances and cooperation in different levels.
This will play a significant role in fueling a stronger exchange of best industry practices and ideas among practitioners of ASEAN participants.

The above indicators should excite every real estate practitioner rather than fret in the competition that it will bring. It will push authorities in resolving the deadlock in the accredited and integrated professional organization issue and strict implementation of Real Estate Service Act (RESA) on the proliferation of “colurums” in the industry. It means redrawing of our business plans, strategies and sharpening of our skills and brand of service.

The inevitable entry of foreign practitioners demands a new and higher level of capabilities, quality service, stronger real estate organizations and cooperation to safeguard the common interest of practitioners. The best preparation is to prepare ourselves, and it should start…Now!

The writer is a practicing real estate broker and appraiser.  He is an AB Economics graduate and recently completed the Comprehensive Seminar and Review for Consultants. He is currently the president of Cebu South Real Estate Board, a local board under Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers.

If you want to read more articles by our guest writer : Mr. Gus Agosto, please visit his blog:

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Words of Alternative Wisdom : The Parable of Three - A Lesson on Leadership

The Parable of Three

Being a leader comes with great responsibility and humility. He must be careful with what he utters. A leader does not ever say these three words : "I don't care". These words make people go away and never come back. And when people go away, they go in threes : mind, body and soul.

From : The Book of Lessons of the Three Kings

Picture Source :

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Announcement : Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminar for Real Estate Service Practitioners

 A joint CPD seminar of :

(PRC-Accredited Service Provider)
 PhilRES - Caloocan City Chapter


  S E M I N A R

For All Real Estate Service Practitioners requiring CPD points/units for their PRC license renewal. 

This seminar is also recommended for real estate and marketing professionals who want to update their knowledge and skills necessary to ensure competent professional practice.     

Earn : 48 Hours

Schedule of Seminar : 

Nov.28,29 & Dec.4,5,6,12  Time: 9:00am-6:00pm

Venue: 14F San Miguel Properties Center, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

Seminar Fee(entire seminar) : P6,000.00

For inquiry and information please contact :

Ms. Boots Saratan @ 0918-5859708 
Mr. Romy Abustan  @ 0925-8753278
Mr. Ric Umali     @ 0928-5024508
E-mail :

Picture Source :

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Information : One-Stop Government Center at Ali Mall - Araneta Center

Many of us ---Filipinos—are always complaining, some are even fed up, with how our government offices provide their services to the citizenry. In our dealings with these offices, we often encounter the arrogance and discourtesy of  many civil servants, corruption in the government, and the very frustrating bureaucratic  red tape. 

But just when we thought that the quality government service in the country is a hopeless case, we see some glimmers of hope.

I recently accompanied a relative to a DFA satellite office to renew a passport and was expecting a very long queue and endless waiting in a very hot cramped place, but to my surprise the whole satellite office was comfortable (air-conditioned, with spacious receiving area with good seats), with very courteous civil servants,  and fast service.
This new DFA satellite office is located at the recently opened Ali Mall Government and Banking Center-Araneta Center Cubao, a one-stop government service center where the following government offices and institutions are located : Department of Foreign Affairs; PhilHealth, PAG-IBIG; DTI; SSS; SEC; PhilPost; LTO; NBI; Quezon City City Hall Business Permit and Licensing Branch, and Barangay Socorro Barangay Permits Branch.(Barangay Socorro in Quezon City is the barangay where Araneta Center is included). Government and private banks are also located at the center : Land Bank; BPI; Union Bank; and Security Bank. All these locators are housed on the third level of the Ali Mall, the same level where you will find the cinemas and its sprawling fast food center. The fast food center is right outside the government offices which is very convenient for those who are about to start or just have finished their transactions to have their meals or snacks. Despite being on the same floor with the cinemas and the fast food center, the place is very spacious and not cramp. Most of the government office locators, e.g. DFA, NBI, are already open for service , but others like LTO are still to open.

There are also other satellite government offices in other malls but  they have limited government office locators. The government center at the Ali Mall is quite exceptional, and a (more) complete one-stop center for many different government services. I hope they will also include a PRC satellite office as one of the locators to service our professionals. 

Ali Mall Government and Banking Center at Araneta Center
Kudos to the Ali Mall management and the Araneta family for allowing this government center to be located in their shopping mall. Their partnership with the Quezon City local government and the national government will really do a great service to the mall customers, residents of Quezon City and of other nearby cities and towns. 

So if you are planning of renewing your passports; getting an NBI clearance; registering or renewing your business; paying your PhilHealth insurance, SSS and PAGIBIG amortization, etc., go now to the Ali Mall Government and Banking Center. 

Two Thumbs Up for this government effort to decentralize its services, and for giving good service and convenience to the citizenry! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Announcement : Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminars for Real Estate Practitioners

The Philippine Learning Institute for Property Practitioners Inc. will be conducting a series of CPD seminars for real estate practitioners (licensed real estate brokers and salespersons) from July 'til October 2014. These seminars are PRC approved and accredited for CPD credits. Please see poster below for seminar schedules and registration.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Travel : Japan Eases Visa Requirements for Filipinos

Mount Fuji - Japan's highest peak
Many countries do not require visa for Philippine nationals to visit their country; but other countries require Filipinos to get an entry visa, and some of them have very stringent requirements. One particular country that is quite strict in issuing visa to Filipinos is Japan. This is understandable because some Filipino tourists overstay in Japan to find jobs when their visa expires. The high exchange rate of the Japanese yen, the high-paying blue collar jobs, and job referrals from friends/relatives who are already working there, are some of the  reasons  why these Filipino visitors are enticed to find jobs in Japan. 

There are also thousands of overseas Filipino contract workers all over Japan (working mainly in the entertainment industry) and it would not be an easy task for Japanese immigration to apprehend these overstaying visitors, so this could also be one reason for them to strictly qualify visa applicants from the Philippines.  For whatever reason, getting a Japanese visa is a hurdle to many Filipinos.

A couple of weeks ago, there were "unofficial" news that Japan would be easing up on visa requirements, and many Filipinos welcomed the news with anticipation. But last  Tuesday (June 17, 2014) the Japanese embassy in Manila released the news officially :

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has approved “substantial relaxations of visa requirements” for tourism visas issued to nationals of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, the Japanese Embassy in Manila said Tuesday.
The policy move is just an “initial step” of the ministry's “endeavor to realize the exemption of visa requirements,” the embassy also said.
A report by Kyodo News on April 15 said the Japanese government is “making arrangements” to waive visas for tourists from the three Asian countries.

A report on Nikkei Asian Review quoted a Japanese Tourism Agency official as saying that for the Philippines and Vietnam, Japan will launch "a substantive visa exemption" by simplifying visa acquisition procedures for participants of tours offered by the travel agencies designated by the Japanese government.

Tourist visa requirements were relaxed to help achieve Japan's goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors by 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympics and Paralympics, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“For national of the Philippines multiple-entry visa requirements will be substantially relaxed, and requirements for single-entry tourism visas will be relaxed to a quasi-exemption-equivalent level when applied via specified travel agencies,” the embassy said in its statement.

However, other details, including “the beginning date of application” are still being worked out, the embassy said.

According to The Yomiuri Shimbun, visitors from overseas surpassed the 10 million mark for the first time in 2013 due partly to the yen’s weakening.

It said Japanese officials believe that by making it easier to obtain a visa, the number of foreign tourists to Japan will double from the 2013 level by 2020.

New Source : GMA News

Indeed this is a welcome development specially to Filipinos. Japan is geographically so near to the Philippines but it seems so far to many Filipinos because of this visa impediment. 

For the three countries specifically mentioned (Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam) who would be benefitting from this development, it is obvious that economic and political reasons had been considered for their inclusion------These three countries are the fastest growing economies in Asia these past years; and Vietnam and the Philippines are Japan's allies in fighting China's expansionist scheme in East Asia.-----

Japan is a very beautiful country with a unique and ancient culture; and the Japanese people are admired for their kindness and courteous manner. Many people would love to visit the country if given the opportunity. With the easing of visa requirements (and maybe even a complete waiving of visa requirements soon) this will give more people a chance to visit Japan. Im sure many Filipinos are already excitedly planning for a Nippon adventure. 

Let's forget Hong Kong (who likes unfriendly people anyway?). As one travel writer puts it : Japan will now be the "New Hong-Kong" for Filipinos. 

Picture Sources :

Thursday, June 19, 2014

History : Today - June 19, 2014 is Dr. Jose Rizal's 153rd Birth Anniversary

There have been many biographies of Dr. Jose Rizal written mostly by Filipino authors and historians, but seldom have we read one by an American author. While looking for a digital copy of “Noli Me Tangere” online, I found this biographical sketch of our national hero written by an American author who translated an abridged version (Friars and Filipinos) of Noli Me Tangere sometime in 1900. His name is Frank Ernest Gannett, an American who served on the staff  of the First United States Commission to the Philippine Islands. Rizal's short biography was part of Gannett's work on the translation of the novel. His translation of the novel was copyrighted in 1900, which means that he was one of the first Americans who came to the archipelago after the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the Philippine-American War thereafter. The contents of these biographical sketch isn’t much different from the other biographies of Rizal, but what is interesting to note is that Gannett's work was one of the first to be published right after the Spaniards left the Philippines. And coming from the perspective of an American, we can deduce that this short biography on the life of our hero is comparatively more objective, and written with no bias and restriction on its contents. (Rizal being regarded an enemy by the friars and the government at that, earlier biographers during the Spanish period could not have extolled the advocacy of Rizal or else they would have been branded as his supporters and of his ilk.)

Frank Ernest Gannett mentioned in the preface of his work the reason why he translated the novel of Rizal :
     “While serving on the staff of the first United States Commission to the Philippine Islands my attention was called to the life and writings of Dr. Jose Rizal. I found in his novel, "Noli Me Tangere," the best picture of the life of the people of those islands under Spanish rule, and the clearest exposition of the governmental problems which Spain failed to solve, and with which our own people must deal. It occurred to me that an English translation of Rizal's work would be of great value at the present time.”    

Friars and Filipinos

Below is the biographical sketch on the life and career of  Dr. Jose Rizal written by Frank Ernest Gannett.


Dr. Jose Rizal, of whose "Noli Me Tangere," the following story, is an abridgement, is the most striking character to be found in the history of the Philippine Islands. He was not only a great martyr to the cause of liberty, and to the advancement of his fellow men, but he was without doubt the greatest Filipino ever born, and his memory is cherished to-day by his people as we ourselves cherish the memory of Washington.

Rizal was born on June 19th, 1861, in the pueblo of Calamba, in the province of Laguna, on the Island of Luzon. He came of a Tagalog family, which, it is said, acknowledged a slight mixture of Chinese blood, and possessed considerable property. As a child he gave evidence of extraordinary precocity. He is said to have written poetry in his native tongue at eight years of age, produced a successful melodrama at fourteen, and later to have won prizes in literary contests with writers of recognized ability.

After passing through the University of Manila, and receiving much instruction at the hands of the Jesuit fathers, he was sent to Europe to complete his education. He pursued courses of study in Spanish and German universities, and won the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy. Besides acquiring a knowledge of seven languages he gained a brilliant reputation for proficiency in the branch of optical surgery. For a time he was the leading assistant in the office of a world-renowned specialist at Vienna. While in Europe Rizal wrote several books and also gave considerable time to sculpture and painting. His artistic ability was great, and some of his productions are now treasured by friends into whose possession they came. Rizal's best known work is his "Noli Me Tangere," written in Belgium about 1886 or 1887. This novel, with its vivid picture of life in the Philippines, and its exposure of Spanish misrule and oppression, won for him the bitter hatred of the friars, and inspired the relentless persecution which only ended with the taking of his life.

In 1889 Dr. Rizal returned to the Philippines, but was soon compelled to leave his native land in order to escape forcible banishment. After a short residence in Japan, he went to London, where he published a work on the History of the Philippine Islands. About the same time a sequel to "Noli Me Tangere," entitled "El Filibusterismo," was published. The hatred of the priests against him was further inflamed by this production, and the government in Manila was forced by the friars to forbid the circulation of any of his writings. Copies of his novels were burned in the public squares, and it was worth one's life to be found possessing a copy. Until very recently it has been almost impossible to obtain a copy of Rizal's works, and it was necessary to go to Europe to secure the one from which the following abridged translation was made.

In 1892 Dr. Rizal was so overcome with a desire to see again his beautiful fatherland that he ventured, in the face of all the dangers that threatened him, to return to Manila. He had scarcely set foot on shore, however, before he was arrested and thrown in prison. The friars demanded his execution on the ground that he carried incendiary leaflets for the purpose of stirring up a rebellion, but subsequent inquiries showed that such leaflets had been introduced into his baggage at the custom house through the intrigues of the Augustine friars. Despite his indignant protestations of innocence; Rizal was summarily condemned by the Spanish General, Despujols, to banishment at Dapitan in the island of Mindanao. Although the trickery of the friars became known to him, Despujols lacked courage to revoke his order of banishment, for fear that he, too, would incur the hatred of the powerful religious corporations.

After four years of exile Rizal saw plainly that the hostility of the friars would make it impossible for him to live in his native land. In 1896 a plague of yellow fever broke out in the island of Cuba and Rizal volunteered to lend his medical services to the Spanish government. Ramon Blanco, then general-in-chief of the Spanish forces in the Philippines, accepted the generous offer and recalled the young man to Manila that he might sail at once for Cuba. Alarmed by demonstrations of popular affection for Rizal, who represented the aspirations of the Filipino people, the Spanish authorities broke faith with him and imprisoned him in the Fuerza de Santiago. He was arraigned on false charges, given a military trial, and at the dictation of the religious orders was sentenced to be shot as a traitor.

At dawn on December 30th, 1896, he was led to the place of execution on the beautiful Luneta, overlooking the tranquil surface of Manila Bay. Notices of the event had been published throughout the islands and the day on which it was to occur was proclaimed a fiesta. Thousands ngathered around the place selected, and so evident was the sympathy of the helpless Filipinos for the man who was to die for their sake that Spain marshalled ten regiments of her soldiers about the spot. The populace must be intimidated. A nation's hero was about to become a nation's martyr. With face uplifted he glanced at the multitude about him and smiled. They tied his arms behind him and made him face the waters of the bay. In vain he protested and begged that he might die facing his executioners. A squad of his fellow countrymen, who were serving in Spain's army, were selected for the bloody work. They drew in position to shoot him in the back. The order was given to fire, but only one had the courage to obey. The bullet went straight and the hero fell, but another shot was necessary to despatch his life. His newly wedded wife remained with him to the end. The best hope of the Filipino people was crushed; a light in a dark place was snuffed out.

Rizal was no extremist, no believer in harsh and bloody methods, no revolutionist. He aimed to secure moderate and reasonable reforms, to lessen the oppressive exactions of the friars, to examine into titles of their land, and to make possible the education and uplifting of his people. He loved Spain as he did his own country, and repeatedly used his influence against the rebellious measures proposed by other Filipino leaders. His execution was only one of the numerous outrages which characterized Spain's reign in the Philippines.

In closing this short sketch of Rizal's life we can do no better than to quote the estimate of him made by Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, professor in the University of Leitmeritz, Austria, who prepared a biographical sketch of Rizal. Dr. Blumentritt said:

        "Not only is Rizal the most prominent man of his own people, but the greatest man the Malayan race has produced. His memory will never perish in his fatherland, and future generations of Spaniards will yet learn to utter his name with respect and reverence."

Source :é_Rizal

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Events : June 12, 2014 - 116th Philippine Independence Day

Bonifacio Monument

Ika-Isangdaan at labing anim (116) na taon ng Kalayaan

Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan 
Mabuhay ang Filipinas!

The Philippines is the first country in Asia to gain independence from its colonizer, thanks to our brave heroes and countrymen who fought and shed their blood for our freedom. Foremost among these heroes are Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini. These two great men, despite their handicaps and weaknesses, led the Philippine Revolution. 

Apolinario Mabini

Let us not forget our heroes, many of them are unknown and unsung. We owe them our freedom and independence.

Picture Source :

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Announcement : PAREB-MVRB Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminar

PAREB-Marikina Valley Real Estate Board Inc. will be conducting a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Seminar on April 25, 26 and 27, 2014. For Real Estate Service Practitioners needing CPD credit units for the renewal of their PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) licenses,   please see poster below for schedule and details of the seminar or visit PAREB-MVRB official website :

PAREB-MVRB CPD Seminar poster