Someone like me who’s been house-hunting can’t help but toy with the idea of living in the great suburbs. Condos and other developments in the heart of Manila are definitely out as an option for me; it makes me cringe that building permits for new high-rises are being issued without regard for urban planning and the over-congestion already taking place. In all possibility, I will be buying a home in the outskirts because I still want my garden, a view of trees and a white picket fence.
The suburbs may be a long drive if you work in Manila but it pays to fast-track one’s mind to the future. It may be the province all right, but with the right infrastructures being built, such as highways, train stations and other road networks, your obscure piece of real estate may appreciate in little time. Hopefully, employment trends in the future will also be desirable such that we will either telecommute or work nearest to where we live.
I met recently with executives of the SM Investment Corporation (led by the lovely Rea Gomez) who apprised me of the giant SM group’s biggest project to the date: the 1,800-hectare Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas. Those of us who are accustomed to the giant edifices that are the SM Malls will find in Hamilo Coast a refreshing development. It will showcase to residents and tourists 13 natural coves, a sweeping 32-kilometer coastline and a number of lush hills, cliffs and valleys boasting of virgin flora and fauna. Activities in the site will be geared towards eco-tourism including diving, hiking, mountain climbing, sailing and the like.
The first phase of the Hamilo Coast masterplan is the 40-hectare Pico de Loro Cove. This resort community, which is slowly being built, shall boast of a country club, marina, golf course, hotel, forest park, condos, lakeside townhouses, retail shops and a boardwalk surrounded by restaurants and entertainment centers. I foresee that in the future this will be a snazzier alternative to Boracay and other resort towns. The best thing is that it will soon be very accessible from Manila. With a ferry terminal to be built in SM Bay City, travelling to Hamilo Coast will only take 1 1/2 hours by sea. Alternatively, it can be reached at almost the same time by land; with a road network being built through Coastal Road, the 114-km. stretch it takes to travel to Nasugbu at present will be cut to 70 kilometers.
It was a sales presentation all right, but I couldn’t help but wish I had the budget to invest in that gem of real estate south of Manila. With SM as the developer, the overall ROI potential of the place and its ability to give you the ultimate nature trip, one would be a fool not to. I will be very excited to see how the grand masterplan that is Hamilo Coast will unfold in the next few years, most probably like a precious pearl coming out of its shell to reveal unseen facets of the beauteous canvas that is the Philippines.
“Promoting Philippine tourism should be every Filipino’s task. It is through tourism that we can compete in the global marketplace.” Taipan Henry Sy Jr.
**** Photos provided by SM Investment Corp. (Commercial Property and Resorts Group) This is not a sponsored post.