Sustainability in Urban Design

It is not enough for a place to be habitable. It also needs to be sustainable.

Urban design is the process, design, and organization of public space, transportation systems, and open space. With half of the Earth’s population crowding in cities, urban design needs to take a hard look at its mechanisms. Each city must commit and choose sustainable development. Philippines, in terms of population and the economy, exponentially grows each year. But, the land areas of its cities remain the same. The same rings true in other cities across the globe. Three (almost four) billion people stay in these urban areas. Therefore, the role of urban design has a significant impact in today’s contemporary way of life.

According to a United Nations’ (UN) report, 60% of the Earth’s population will crowd cities by 2030. This is not good news for various reasons.

Millenials are slow to pick up the traces of needing change concerning their way of living. Thus, it is better for the current millennia to have the collective movement of individuals, industries, and countries to commit to change. The foundation of inhabitation – the Earth, is ruined and its cries are getting louder. The natural structure of planet is sacrificed to have the luxurious comfort of the modern life. The towering skyscrapers, concrete housing units, and asphalt plazas are chosen over the lush greeneries and the natural wonders of the world.

Urban Development

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Urban development is a perennial threat to nature. Fortunately, developers like Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), considers the site’s ecosystem in their planning and design. Bobby Dy coins the term “eco-efficient.” It is a simple yet effective word that summarizes the purpose of their city districts. Natural resources or the natural state of the land area should not be sacrificed because of urban design and development. ALI patterns their design to the area’s original state.

The best example of eco-efficiency is their dynamic suburb in the South, Nuvali. Nuvali has a long stretch of green grass park and open spaces. The structure mixes modern suburban living with green zones and forestry. It also encourages recreation and outdoor activities which are refreshing for the modern dwellers.

Organization and Open Spaces

Although aesthetic plays a major role in urban setting, it is important for a developer to consider general public interest and not be biased towards age and way of living. When the city or structure is open to everyone, the need to have access to additional public infrastructure is removed. The environment becomes inclusive and inclined to only one goal – providing for the years to come.

Ayala Land is best known for their wholesome urban design. The company follows its focus areas as a guide during planning – resilience, pedestrian and transit connectivity, eco-efficiency and local economic development.

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Their latest land developments incorporate wide spaces and parks. Having these spaces encourages time off the digital world and physical activity. It also lessens the dependence on vehicles as these places are conducive to walking. Most importantly, it discourages cul-de-sacs which can be rampant in urban areas. The design also creates low-carbon cities because they become walkable and mass transit-oriented. This is much more sustainable and healthier for the people. It also gives a high quality of life to residents.

Economic Vibrancy

A thing, structure or endeavor that is sustainable is said to solve today’s problems while also providing for the problems of the future. Generations to come should meet their own needs using these structures and environment-friendly solutions. Thus, it should be an enabling environment.

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Rapid urbanization puts pressure on resources. Densely-packed cities can lack sources of fresh water supply and strain the living environment and public health. During planning, local and small-scale businesses are heavily considered. The shops and stores should be strategically placed so they may contribute to poverty reduction. There should also be designated spaces for public utility and health services.

Cloverfield, an ALI development in the North, is an example of a well-planned community that employs living, retail, and health. The development has a residential tower, shopping mall, park and a hospital – all within walking distance.

Well-planned public spaces commune communities and people together. Physical and cultural activities, recreation and play, are also encouraged. The spaces restore a sense of place, identity, and pride in an area, and play a significant part in attracting businesses and jobs. Thus, poverty is reduced.

Technology has picked up speed on constructing mega cities, but it has not made low-carbon cities. Local and international urban development still have a long way to go. Choosing to be sustainable goes back to planning, where all the aspect of the building is considered. When the vision for the future is clear, urban design will manifest through eco-efficient development.

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

Monday.

Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.

The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or who ever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.

Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

John Rood suggests to lay out how managements should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedbacks you get for your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities – agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.

Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.

Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com

Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed with counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack.

Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

The benefits of the pitch should be clear – how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.

A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory.

When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

A Guide to Suburban Neighborhood in the South

There’s a sprouting suburb in the South, and you don’t know if moving there is a good move.

Vermosa is a suburban development that features active living. It’s in Cavite, and it perfectly combines residences, retail spots and business hubs in one area, which make it seem like a good place to settle down. But hold your train of thought. Did you consider what you need to know before buying a house? Do you know what kind of neighborhood will be at Vermosa?

Before setting your sights at this new development, read on to find out the standards of what makes a good neighborhood.

There are street walks.

And those streetwalkers are for walking.

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Some residential communities are disorderly, so cyclists pass through pavements instead. A neighborhood with functional road walks prioritizes walking over the use of vehicles. Low-carbon communities have sidewalks wide enough for bicycles and establishments. It gives the cafés liberty to set up tables for outdoor lounging.

A spacious sidewalk also gives room to set up benches – a great feature for relaxation and people watching.

 

There are various transportation modes.

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What a nice feeling to have when travel from work to home is a breeze. Often, an exclusive neighborhood isn’t commute-friendly and is only accessible through private vehicles. An ideal community should be available through different road networks. You can get to Vermosa via Daang Hari Road, SLEX through the MCX exit, and the upcoming Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Road – which are also the routes of public transportation. The proposed LRT 6 will pass through Daang Hari Road which makes Vermosa accessible to the bulk of passengers. The community is also less than an hour away from Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa and Tagaytay.

 

There is a foundation for education.

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De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), a member of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), is an established educational institution in the South. It will open its second campus in Vermosa to provide quality basic and secondary education. DLSZ is also an establishment that pronounces spiritual and moral maturity through the teachings of Christ.

The DLSZ-Vermosa Campus will implement the Next Generation Blended Learning Program which will include the latest trend and innovation regarding teaching strategies and educational research.

 

There are high-value residences.

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Property value varies greatly from one development to another. A neighborhood with quality housing options allows people with different financial capability to lead a quiet and comfortable life. When there are lots of people are waitlisted, it is a sign that the particular neighboorhood is hot on the market.

Vermosa will have diverse living options with Ayala Land’s urban residential developers – Alveo, Avida, and Ayala Land Premier. Alveo offers upscale residences while Avida is perfect for compact city living.

Since Vermosa is a new community, most of the people in the neighborhood are homeowners. An area with high rate of homeownership is stable. Renters are mobile and flaky, so they don’t add value to the community. Long-time residents have been there all way. They watch out for their neighbors, which makes the area feel safe and secure.

 

There are communal facilities.

 

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Vermosa has a total of 165 hectares of open space for wellness and recreation, training facilities, and retail shops.

There’s Vermosa Sports and Lifestyle Complex which will have an Olympic-sized pool, a 400-meter track oval, and a Sports Science laboratory that caters to all the training needs of endurance athletes. The MX Track and the Bike Skills Park offer a place to fill the need for speed and thrills for bikers.

There’s Vermosa Midtown, a pedestrian-focused, bike-friendly area with a commercial district. The Ayala Malls Vermosa will be within the limits of Midtown and will complement the active life of Vermosa by housing sports themed retail stores.

A contemporary active living is kept alive in Vermosa with its engaging facilities for its residents. Besides these amenities, a balanced community should have a place of worship. It shows the collective and strength of the community.

There should be a hospital, police and fire station.

Safety first.

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The right neighborhood adds value to the entire community, not just to the houses separately. You can check out if the community is fit for you if it has the qualities on this list besides the things that you want. Your new neighborhood should meet your standards and if you’ve found it in Vermosa, then go ahead. Enjoy the fulfilling life of active lifestyle.

Home Selling: Four Ingenious Home Selling Tactics You Should Try

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“I still think buying a home is the best investment any individual can make.” -John Paulson

 

In today’s present and competitive real estate market, where the demand remains erratic, and there are sporadic changes in housing prices, it would take more than just an affordable price to attract prospective buyers. Back in the day, it seems like all it would take to land a potential buyer is to have enough refreshments for them and to spruce up the house to make an excellent first impression. Unfortunately, modern buyers are unfazed by these, and although appreciated, these gestures would not be enough for them to negotiate a deal with you. As a result, more and more home sellers would resort to rather unusual, and at times, unorthodox methods in order to have their homes noticed and potentially sold. There is no guarantee that the same set of tactics would work for you, but there are innumerable cases where they have been tremendously effective. The key here is to find out what sticks and what makes your house get noticed. It matters not whether you have a condo for sale in Fort Bonifacio Global City or elsewhere, if you wish to sell your homes faster and easier, you might as well try these ingenious techniques.

From the clever and creative tips to the downright bizarre ones, here are four of the most uncommon ways to get your house noticed:

1.) Take home staging to the extreme

Back in the day, home staging used to be an optional task home sellers would take in order to attract prospective buyers. Today, however, not only is it recommended, but it is necessary if you want your home to sell faster. However, instead of simply beautifying some certain areas and aspects of your home, take it up a notch by utilizing the ancient art of Chinese philosophy. Use Feng shui to your advantage and rearrange the elements of your home to enhance its chi. As a result, your home will have a more receptive feel to visitors and potential buyers would feel more at ease and welcome.

2.) Hold an open house party

What’s an excellent way to drive more prospective buyers into attending your open house? Well, host a party in lieu of just a simple open house. Offer refreshments and if the budget fits, have some catered food and live music for your guests. It might not necessarily find you, buyers, right away, but it would generate enough buzz to make your home memorable. Furthermore, your guests will no doubt regale their friends with their experience at your open house, and you might just find your prospective buyer from there.

3.) Get Web Savvy

If you are relying on obsolete and outdated methods such as having your home selling ads printed on newspaper, then you might find yourself losing to your competition. In the era of social media, more and more users would be logging into their profiles every single day. As a result, there is an untapped market in social media platforms which you can exploit. Selling your home through the Internet and social media are excellent avenues for getting it noticed. This alternative method would not only get the attention of many potential buyers, but it would cost relatively cheaper as well.

4.) Let buyers sleep on it

If you already have prospective buyers, do not pressure them as to when they will make an offer—especially when they are on the fence as to whether they will buy your home or not. Do not immediately pester them as if they have already made their minds. Instead, try this alternate route of letting them sleep on it—literally and figuratively. Let them spend the night in your home in order to give them an idea of what it would be like to truly live in there. You might not know it, but it might exactly be what they are missing to finally convince them to make you an offer.

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Home Is Where The Heart Is: Five Ways to Make Your Home More Inviting

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“The greatest investment and greatest fair deal and enterprise is family, cozy homes. A cozy home is based on cozy people. Cozy people are not brought and imported; they are made from the time of birth to the time of infinity.” -Harbhajan Singh Yogi

 

Home is where the heart is.

This is a familiar adage that sagely proclaims that our homes should be a form of sanctuary—a haven if you might, where we are called not only to rest our bones and weary bodies but somewhere we can feel safe and comfortable. Our homes should not only be structures made of bricks and stones but that place where every single one of us can look forward to going after a long and tiring day. As it is, the best memories are forged in a home that cultivates a cozy and inviting atmosphere—one that beckons visitors to come in, have guests linger for a little while longer and make family members never want to leave. Indeed, a place such as this would give you the fondest memories and a relaxed lifestyle.

However, how does one create an inviting home? How do you ensure you can cloak it with an inviting aura that entices people to stay? Whether you have a condo in Manila or a flat elsewhere, here are some of the creative ways you can create that inviting atmosphere:

1.) Let your front door and entryway set the inviting tone

An excellent way to establish an atmosphere that beguiles is to set the tone first. In doing so, you will not only be making a good first impression, but you would create enough interest for your guests to discover more about your home. Elevate your curb appeal and never underestimate the inviting power of a front door and entryway. Install a welcome mat and a few potted plants by your front door. Furthermore, you should make sure that this area is clean and devoid of any clutter.

2.) Use color and other design tricks to pull eyes through your space

In designing an inviting space, consider your guests’ perspectives. With this in mind, you should pay close attention to utilizing a creative design at the farthest point of view. An excellent example of this is to install a painting on the far wall just across from your front door. Emphasize this design piece by adding more fun art and lighting beside it. This design aspect alone will intrigue your guests and would pull them through your home all the while inviting them to explore your space.

3.) Have as many leafy, long, trailing and green plants

Incorporate natural elements into your home and make it seem eco-friendlier by strategically placing green, long and trailing plants all over the place. Potted plants not only make your home seem au-naturale, but they also enliven the space by bringing life to it. Additionally, the abundance of plants promotes a relaxing and calming ambiance that would be ideal for individuals looking to have a little relaxing space after a long and busy day.

4.) Personalize at least one furniture piece

One way to make your home more inviting and a lot more unique is to have at least one personalized furniture piece. This furniture piece can be anything—from a reupholstered furniture designed in a fun fabric or artwork you made yourself—let this be the distinctive feature of your home that sets it apart from the others (and keep it from looking like the inside of a catalog). Furthermore, personalized furniture pieces or design pieces make for excellent conversation starters as well.

5.) Have good smell linger in your home

One great way to make a significant impact on your guests is not only to stimulate their visual senses but their olfactory sense as well. Rid your house of any bad smell and have a signature scent you can have lingering in your home. If you want to take the natural route, place a vase full of fragrant flowers and it will do the trick. Alternatively, you can use potpourri as well. If you have a sensitive nose and are adverse to fragrances, then at the very least make sure your home does not have any bad smells lingering about.

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Five Important Things to Know When Living Alone

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“True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what is right.” -Brigham Young

So, you have graduated college, established a career and are now prepared to embark on your life’s next milestone. You have saved enough money to finally live on your own and away from your family to discover new heights and reach your fullest potential. Indeed, living alone can be quite a thrill. The freedom and independence that come along with it are nothing short of exhilarating. However, while living alone means no one can prevent you from doing anything and everything you like, it does not mean that it comes without a set of responsibilities. Before you start scouring the metropolis for prospective Manila properties you can live in, know that living alone means having to fend for yourself. After all, you only have yourself to rely on so it would be understandable to expect a degree of answerability to yourself as a consequence.

For some, the responsibilities that do entail in living independently may be too cumbersome to handle, while others may flourish in their solitude. Regardless, if you have even given living alone some consideration, here are things you should know and expect:

1.) There will be unplanned expenses

No matter how meticulously you partitioned your monthly salary for utility bills, groceries and the like, know that there will be unplanned yet inevitable expenses. No, these are no the things you buy on a whim or an impulse. There are likely events that would cost you to fork some cash in order to maintain a semblance of livability in your home. An example of this is an appliance breaking down on you or some plumbing repairs that would need to be immediately taken care of. These are things that cannot wait until the next month for repairs if you want to live comfortably.

2.) You need a decent amount of money

Suppose you have gone through leaflets and scoured the web for the ideal home and found one. To your surprise, it is just within your budget. Unfortunately, it might not be as simple as you think. Apart from the money you pay for rental dues, there might be a security deposit you would need to defray as well. Depending on where you live, your landlord might even request a consigner for the least. To top all that, if you are going to live in an unfurnished flat, you would also need to have your own furniture to fill it up with. With all this in mind, it is important to have a decent amount of savings before deciding on living alone.

3.) Read your contract

If you are planning on renting out a flat, take note that you need to read your lease contract thoroughly. This is because the contents within are legally binding and if you neglect to read it, you may be inadvertently agreeing to something you actually do not. It might be tempting to skim over a lot of pages instead of poring over them then sign it at once, but you will be glad you did not do that if you find something you are not amenable to. Remember, should you break your lease, you are bound to pay up.

4.) You cannot take everything

You might want to pack every single thing you have in your parents’ house that you own, but know that this might not be possible. For one, the space you have might be limited and another thing, you will have more work to do and would have to expend more effort. Additionally, you might end up just filling your new flat with a lot of clutter as well.

5.) You need to spruce up

Living alone means cleaning up for yourself unless you want to live in a hovel. Everything you own would inevitably get dirty and the longer you put them for cleaning later, the more grime they accumulate. Apart from your dishes, you are responsible for your laundry and the general cleanup of your flat. So, if you want to live comfortably (and healthily I might add), it is best if you clean up regularly.

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Hassle-free Move: Four Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Day Stress-Free

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It is no doubt that moving day can be one of the stressful days you will ever experience in your life. Of course, collecting, stashing away and moving your entire household is no easy feat, so you are inevitably going to encounter a lot of stressors along the way. After all, in the years that you have lived through your old home, stripping it down of your possessions and packing them away can seem like a herculean task—especially if you have spent a significant number of years accumulating your belongings. However, there are ways of ensuring that your moving day goes on without a snag and without ruffling any of your family members’ feathers. Your moving venture might be a huge endeavor, but with a solid strategy and good planning, you can be assured that it would go smoothly for the most part.

So, whether your change of address is to a condo in Manila or elsewhere, here are some tips that will help you make your moving day easy and stress-free:

1.) Start weeks or even months in advance

If you live in a relatively small home with a meager number of possessions, you can start packing weeks before your moving day. However, if you live in a sprawling home with too many valuables to count, you might as well start as early as you can—even months prior to your moving date. Although your moving date may seem rather far, it is best to make some progress in your packing than be overwhelmed with the sheer number of things you have to do come moving day. True, it might be tempting to leave packing at the last minute—especially if you dislike living among boxes or have to use some things inside them. But you will be glad to have packed earlier than you should have. Just remember to pack the things you are not regularly using first and leave your daily essentials for last.

2.) Be organized

Being organized is key during your move as it aids you in staying on top of things. To make sure you stay organized during the move, have a list of all the tasks that you need to do and divide them in weeks. This would give you ample time to complete whatever is written on a particular week’s list. A typical organized moving day list would consist of eight weeks of their own respective tasks.

3.) Clean out the clutter

Clutter can not only induce headaches, but they are eyesores as well that would do nothing to prove visual aesthetics. If you have a lot of clutter lying around at home, it would be a good idea to start getting rid of them before you even start packing. In this way, you would feel a lot more organized. Additionally, getting rid of the clutter would prevent you from packing things you would not necessarily need in your new home—saving you from all of the frustration in getting rid of them once you unpack and get settled into your new place.

4.) Label your boxes and bags

To know where items to be packed should go and to easily identify which is which, you should label all of your boxes and bags. Apart from categorizing them and knowing what the contents inside are, this would also help you determine which boxes and bags are to be opened and unpacked first. Typically, this is best done if the box is labeled according to where its contents will be placed (labeled per room). However, it would also be ideal if you also wrote and included the contents in its label. Boxes that contain important and sensitive documents such as birth certificates, insurances, passports and the like should be placed in a secure folder and should have a different marking than the rest. Ideally, this folder should be in your person at all times.

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Where to Dine in UP Town Center

There are a number of Ayala Malls, but UP Town Center is something special. The idea is that for the students, workers, and residents around the area to have a place which would respond to their needs and wants. The 7.4 hectare UP Diliman East Campus property will be reconstructed to become a hub of opportunities and businesses. Aside from the stores and restaurants in this establishment, there are a lot of events and activities held in UP Town Center. UPTC, as fondly called by their visitors, is open every day, from 10 in the morning until 9 in the evening every Sunday to Thursday, and until 10 pm during Friday and Saturday. Some stores have their own schedule so check them out as well.

To give you a quick food trip in UP Town Center, here are the ten places where you could (and should) try dining in:

Silantro Fil-Mex

Silantro Fil-Mex, Silantro for short, is known for serving Mexican food infused with Filipino taste. You’d get delicious food and fine service with a good price. Since the place is superb, expect a lot of people dining so if possible, get a reservation before you visit.

What you should try: Beef nachos, Beef Quesadillas, Chicken wings, Seafood Paella (and you can order alcoholic beverages too!)

St. Marc Café

If you’re out for a quick snack and some refreshing drinks or desserts, St. Marc Café is your go-to. This specialty bakery and patisserie is a well-known place from Japan. They envision and work towards satisfying the needs of their customers, as well as making them “need” some more.

What you should try: Little Fuji, Kyoto Delight, Mango Fantasy, Nara, Matcha Latte, Freshly Brewed Coffee, Egg Salsa, Chococro, Salmon Cheese Potato, Carbonara

Cold Stone Creamery

Serving the finest, freshest ice creams, cakes, smoothies and shakes for 25 years, Cold Stone Creamery is really something. This international franchise from Arizona has a signature way of delivering ice creams as it’s created on a frozen granite stone.

What you should try: Berry Berry Berry Good, Birthday Cake Remix, OREO Overload, Midnight Delight (and you can also create your own mix)

Pepper Lunch

ペッパーランチ Peppaa-ranchi is a “fast steak” restaurant in Japan and was established in 1994. The customers can cook their food choice of beef, chicken, pork and salmon over an electromagnetic plate which is heated up to 260 degrees Celsius to make sure that your meat is perfectly cooked. You can also pick your seasoning and sauce – Amakuchi or the honey brown sauce, or Karakuchi or the garlic soy sauce.

What you should try: Beef pepper rice, Shimofuri pepper steak, Salmon pepper rice, Beef BBQ Yakiniku with egg

Rodic’s Diner

Since 1949, Rodic’s Diner serves nothing but the best beef tapa and garlic rice. They are known for being a budget-friendly restaurant for classic Filipino food.

What should you try: Tapsilog, Kare-kare, Sisig with egg and rice

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

As what the name suggests, Mama Lou’s offer yummy Italian cuisine along with a relaxing ambiance. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen started in 2010 and still delivering good food which they are known for.

What should you try: Spinach and goat cheese pizza, Italian sardine pasta, Gnocchi, Vesuvio, Take the Cannoli

Backyard Kitchen + Brew

If you are looking for a chill place to eat or grab some drinks alone or with friends, Backyard Kitchen + Brew offers good food, drinks, and company. It also has an artsy interior to add on its ambiance and comfort. The servings are enough for you to share, but you might want to eat it alone because the dishes they give are nothing less than perfect.

What should you try: Slow roasted pork and beef belly, Salted egg chicken skin, Buffalo wings, Tinapa and Quinoa Salad (and alcoholic drinks as well)

credits to the owners of the pictures used

Property Reservations 101

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You’ve been seeing this sophisticated and elegant townhouse Manila for sale. Given that it is near your workplace and your favorite Ayala Mall, you can’t help but purchase this property. What can you do? Reserve!

Reservation is your deposit when you rent a house, apartment, or condominium. You haven’t fully owned the property unless you have paid in full or partial, or depending on the terms agreed upon between you and the seller.

You can now have that condo by reserving it under your name. Property reservation is very easy as you only need the following:

  • seller or property specialist

  • Reservation Agreement Form, and

  • reservation fee

Through the seller or property specialist, you will be able to deliberate which property you should buy, depending on different factors and of course, its availability. After considering these details and confirming the property’s availability, you can continue with reserving it online. You may check the developer’s website and look for the “Reserve Now” or similar buttons to proceed. If necessary, you can also contact the developer for clarifications or reserve the property by visiting their office.

photo-1477577314779-8dd53d8e615f.jpgAnother important thing is your Reservation Agreement Form. Carefully fill out the form and check all the details and signatures before passing it. If the Reservation Agreement Form is not available online, the developer or seller will be handing it to you. You can simply mail or fax the form to the developer or seller’s office before you proceed with your reservation. If these options do not appeal to you, you can always visit their office and have this done.

Now you’re finished with choosing the property and submitting the Reservation Agreement Form, you are now to pay the required reservation fee. Reservation fee differs depending on the developer and the type of property you are interested with. It can go as low as ₱5,000 and as high as ₱100,000. Aside from cash payment, you can also pay the reservation fee through the following:

  • bank deposit

  • credit card

  • online bank transferable

  • remittance center

  • and other methods advised to you

You will be asked to send proof of payment so make sure to secure an official receipt. Some only give out acknowledgment receipt so better check with the bank or establishment that you have what you need. Afterward, the developer will confirm your payment by sending welcome letters.

Keep in mind that the validity of your reservation fee for new houses in the Philippines is 30 days. Within this period, you should be able to make a partial or full payment for your property. Better ask your developer with the different payment options that you have.

Lastly, here are some other things that you need to know about property reservations:

1. Is it deductible? Definitely! The reservation fee that you’ve made will be deducted from the total selling price. Others deduct the fee from the downpayment.

2. Is it refundable? Unfortunately, reservation fees are non-refundable. That is why you should be sure with your actions and decisions before you consider reserving a property.

3. Is it transferable? It depends on the policies of the developer or seller. Some won’t let you transfer the fees, and others will charge a transfer fee if it’s permitted.

Be reminded that not all properties in the Philippines require reservation fees so you are to confirm that with your developer or seller. Other developers immediately ask for a downpayment or initial payment. Nevertheless, in whatever reserving and purchasing you will be doing, be sure and secured. Make sure that you will be abiding by the policies you signed for so you can enjoy your property hassle-free!

Real Estate Investment 101: Strategies to Use in Selling Your Condo in the Philippines

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“Real estate is an imperishable asset, ever increasing in value. It is the most solid security that human ingenuity had devised. It is the basis of all security and about the only indestructible security.” -Russel Sage

With the condo housing market at an all-time high, it would be readily apparent that condominium towers would be proliferating almost every corner in any major city in the Philippines. After all, condo living affords a unique lifestyle option that allows for convenience and maximum accessibility. Most real estate developers would build their condominium towers in proximity to major offices, schools, and entertainment hubs–making it a premier housing option for young professionals, newlyweds and families.

Considering how competitive the housing market for condominiums is, it would be no question that selling your condo unit might be a bit difficult—even in places where the demand for them is the highest such as in Arbor Lanes. However, there are a few tips and techniques to help you sell your condo a bit faster and to make your transactions a lot easier. Do not be mistaken though, the logistics in the sale of a condo unit would involve a great deal of patience (Do not expect to a close a deal right away). Do your research, be prepared to compromise and negotiate, otherwise here are some useful tips to make your condo selling endeavor a smooth-sailing one.

1.) Know when the best time to sell your condo is

When it comes to selling any kind of real estate, timing is a pivotal factor that contributes to the quickness or delay of a sale. Additionally, it would also play a crucial factor in how much you could actually profit from selling your property. Before selling your unit, have an understanding of how property cycles move. In this way, you can determine how far along the property clock would yield more and much better profit. Recurrent events such as rising prices (also known as the boom phase), fall of prices which is the (slump phase) and stabilization phase (essentially known as the recovery period) would comprise a property cycle. Familiarize yourself with this and put your condo up for sale during the market peak where the boom phase occurs.

2.) Determine your property’s market value

Apart from knowing how to time your sale, it is also vital that you know how to price your condo unit appropriately. If you price it too low and you may end up losing profit, and if you price it too high, it will take you longer to close a deal. Consult a professional and have them give you advice as regards the price of your property, or you can try a different tack by looking at online listings that are similar to your property.

3.) Look for potential buyers

More often than not, the sale of a real estate property would be significantly faster with the assistance of a professional such as a real estate broker who would serve as the middle person between you and the buyers. However, this would come at an added cost, and if you do not wish to make that monetary expense, you can always put your condo up in the housing market in online listings. There are websites that would offer free listing where you can list your property. However, do not limit yourself there, advertise wherever you can and go beyond free listing websites. Put up your listings on social media platforms and encourage your friends to share it themselves too.

4.) Secure the necessary documents

Before finally putting your condo up for sale, make sure you are in possession of all the legal documents required to sell it. This will expedite the process of ownership transfer and would make the transaction a lot smoother. Some of the documents you would need are as listed below:

*Certified True Copy of Condominium Certificate of Title from the Register of Deeds
*Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration and Real Estate Tax Clearance for the present year from the City Assessor Office
*Certificate Authorizing Registration and Tax Clearance from the Bureau of Internal Revenue

 

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