Sta. Rosa, Laguna: best real estate in the Philippines, part 1

Originally titled “Best place to live outside Metro Manila,” this entry is not based on a hunch nor was I paid to promote this place. This is based on my own studies, experiences and observations that started as long ago as the early 1990’s. And the more I poured myself into research, the more I have realized how magnificent this place is and, therefore, the need to change my original title.

You will only appreciate this article if you read my three previous posts – Perfect type of housing, parts 1 and 2 and News that will impact on Philippine real estate. I strongly urge you to read them first before moving on.

This place has impressed me so much that my family will definitely relocate to this place within the next two to three years.

Most important rule when buying real estate

Think MACRO

The digital photography industry has misused this term; it uses the term macro mode to mean close-up view of an image. In Economics it’s the opposite, macro means taking a very long, wide and far perspective. Other economists describe macro as taking a “top-down” view of things, i.e., you look at something, in our case real estate, as if you are riding in a helicopter.

Most say that the three most important things to remember when buying real estate are “location, location and location.” But how can you choose the best location if you don’t think macro?

You have to take a TOP-DOWN view: You have to remember that when buying real estate in the Philippines, you’re not just buying, say, a 300 square meter lot. You’re buying into the:

Region

Province

City or Municipality

Barangay and

Neighborhood

of that 300 square meter lot.

Make the wrong choice in one of them and you will be disappointed with your acquisition.

So, fasten your seat belts as I take you on a ride to see where the best real estates are in the Philippines.

They are in Santa Rosa, Laguna

SantaRosaSeal

Originally named Barrio Bukol when discovered by the Spanish Conquistador Juan de Salcedo in 1571, Sta. Rosa is now a premier city that is part of CALABARZON or Region IV-A.

It has a land area of 54.1 square kilometers and is divided into 18 barangays with a population of 266,943 per NSO’s latest survey.

Here’s a brief history of Sta. Rosa (PDF file), its demographics and its rapid industrialization. It was reprinted (with permission) from a book edited by former Finance Undersecretary, Hon. Juanita Amatong, who’s now with the Bangko Sentral. You won’t find these facts anywhere in the internet.

I posted a teaser for this entry on Aug 19. Oddly, two days later, this came out in the Inquirer.net. (Check the date just below the title of this post. It is only today, September 18, that I published this.)

Salient parts of that report are:

… When the 387-hectare Laguna Technopark, the country’s first industrial estate opened here in 1980, Sta. Rosa was deemed as the “gateway” to the Calabarzon Region…

… our income reached P1.2 billion last year. These came mostly from the business and realty taxes paid…

… Sta. Rosa is regarded as the Philippines’ motor city housing 4 of the country’s major car manufacturing companies… that account for 90 percent of the total car manufacturing output of the country.

What the report didn’t say is that the remaining 10 % of the car output are produced by Isuzu in Binan, just spitting distance from Sta. Rosa, in the same industrial park where the other car manufacturers operate : )

Sta. Rosa has been dubbed in so many ways:

  • Motor City ala Detroit, Michigan
  • Wikipedia calls it the Investment Capital of South Luzon
  • Gateway to CALABARZON
  • Just last year, it was voted the Number One Next Wave City in ICT by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology and by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (or BPAP).
  • Mr. Lucio Tan’s company calls it the Silicon Valley of the Philippines where some fifty semiconductor manufacturers operate.

But my favorite is: Santa Rosa – the Next Makati Central Business District.

My tip when buying real estate:

Think as the tycoons do; invest where they do.

The most successful people in real estate are all visionaries; they see things that we ordinary people don’t. They look decades ahead and behind; they are astute students of history, i.e., they never forget their mistakes and they learn from their own mistakes and from those of others. When we see mountains, they see anthills… they all think MACRO, and they all ride in helicopters. (To save on gas, I use Google Earth and Wikimapia instead.)

Today, billions have been and are still being invested in Sta Rosa (and in its periphery) by the who’s who in Philippine real estate: the Ayalas, the Sta. Rosa pioneer whose current flagship project is Nuvali, Mr. Lucio Tan of Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., the Gotianuns of Filinvest, the Ng’s of Cathay Land, Inc., the Quiros family and Britanny Corp., the Yulos who have partnered with the Ayalas to develop Nuvali, the Campos of Greenfield Development Corporation and so many more.

So, what do they see in Sta. Rosa that we don’t?

Two faces of Sta. Rosa

Below is the map of Sta. Rosa City, its 18 barangays, their population and its major thoroughfares.

Do take note of the soon-to-be rehabilitated PNR double-tracked railways. (that’s why you should read my previous post, “News that will impact on Philippine real estate”)

I consider Sta. Rosa as having two faces: the Old Sta. Rosa and the New

From the north, after taking the Sta. Rosa exit, you will face a dead end. You either turn left towards what I call the Old and quaint Sta. Rosa or turn right to the New and cosmopolitan one, along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road (let’s call this SRT Rd.), the corridor to Tagaytay.

In the mid 1990’s, SRT Rd. extended only up to Laguna Blvd. Beyond was a dense woodland and there was no access to Tagaytay. Sta. Rosa, then, was mainly known for the two Coca-Cola plants (the biggest outside the United States), Toyota, CIGI and the now defunct Filsyn.

Fast forward to the present

Sta. Rosa has so much to offer in terms of real estate opportunities; I cannot discuss them all in this entry; I will have to divide this topic into several parts.

NEW STA. ROSA

As mentioned, Sta. Rosa was discovered by the Spaniards in the 1500’s. But the New Sta. Rosa emerged only in the 1980’s when Laguna Technopark was established. It’s a joint-venture among Ayala Land, Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation and Kawasaki Steel Corporation. The New Sta. Rosa was master planned by the local government, and to a large extent, by the Ayalas.

How well-planned is the New Sta. Rosa?

The most important principle in my second post is:

Inherent geographic characteristics, scarcity and cost of land, population density and availability of commercial establishments, varied job opportunities and conveniences determine the suitable type of housing in a given area.

Job opportunities in Sta. Rosa

Below is the map of the New Sta. Rosa indicating its Economic Zones (in blue texts)

Map of the south western part of Sta. Rosa

I only indicated the most relevant companies in these Ecozones. Kindly use Wikimapia or Google Maps to see other companies operating there. There are hundreds of them in these ecozones that include some of the most reputable in the world. And so many are ISO-accredited.

You will not run out of jobs in Sta. Rosa.

But what if,… just what if, you can’t find a job in Sta. Rosa?

You can try the other ecozones in Laguna; it currently has seventeen and many are just stones-throw away from Sta. Rosa. Excluding the ones in this city, these are:

  • Carmelray Industrial Park I; Calamba; 46 has.
  • Carmelray Industrial Park II; Calamba; 145 has.
  • Filinvest Special Zone; Calamba; 250 has.
  • Laguna International Industrial Park; Binan; 32 has.
  • Light Industry and Science Park I; Cabuyao; 67 has.
  • Light Industry and Science Park II; Calamba; 64 has.
  • LIIP Calamba Industrial Community/Calamba Premiere; Calamba; 66 has.
  • Prince Cabuyao Special Economic Zone; Cabuyao; 26 has.
  • Silangan Industrial Park; Calamba; 197 has.
  • Southwoods Ecocentrum Tourism Estate; Binan; 71 has.
  • Terelay Industrial Park; Cabuyao-Calamba
  • White Lily Industrial Park I; Calamba; 145 has

For call center agents, there are at least two BPO’s operating in Sta. Rosa, Convergys and KGB (30 are nearby in Muntinlupa and 11 are in other places in Laguna).

According to Mr. Jaime I. Ayala, President and CEO of Ayala Land, Inc., a number of BPO’s have already bought into their Evozone in Nuvali.

Listen very intently on what Mr. Ayala says in the first video below and pay very close attention especially on that part where a “security guard” is biking.

The office buildings in Evozone Nuvali are called “office campuses,” the current buzz word in modern office design that first became vogue in the real Silicon Valley. Microsoft has them in its Redmond, Washington “campus,” so does Google in Mountain View, California.

(I’m getting ahead of myself, but this is something I have to discuss now). These office campuses in Nuvali will be built according to the LEED standard. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The buildings (actually, the entire Nuvali) are designed to encourage people to move around using means that do not require non-renewable energy. Of course, there will be facilities like elevators, escalators and artificial lighting that require energy but they will be balanced with those that do not.

The first office building in Nuvali, One Evotech, has “bicycle ramps inside,” i.e., you can ride your bicycle from your house (there will be dedicated bike lanes across the entire Nuvali and they will cut through developments (wala pong putol; tuloy-tuloy!) to your office then continue biking your way “into” the building “up until” you reach, say, the fourth floor where your office is. (you’ll see these bike ramps in the video). You can reach your office cubicle without riding a bus, without using the elevator and do the same when going home.

Isn’t that fantastic?!That’s the finest example of what Green Living and Working is all about.

Now is your chance to invest in properties that will become… “tomorrow’s” Forbes Park, Urdaneta or San Lorenzo at… “today’s” prices!

For foreigners who follow this blog, the three property developments mentioned above are the Gold Standard in Philippine real estate; the equivalent of Redwood Shores in Redwood City, California, the SW3 between Chelsea and Brompton in England, or The Palm in Dubai.

See here an example in the US of an office campus and its concept.

Below are videos of the 2 real estate giants whose projects in Sta. Rosa are vying to become the Next Makati Central Business District. In my opinion, there is no conflict in their projects. I think they will even complement each other and, together, they will turn this city into the next Makati CBD sooner than expected.

Do watch out for more; I have barely scratched the surface.

Rest assured that Sta. Rosa has something for you regardless of your economic stature.

Thank you so much.

Acknowledgment:

This article would not have been made possible without the generosity of the City Government of Sta. Rosa particularly the Hon. Nelly C. Gomez, the City Assessor and the wonderful people in her department under the “Geographic Information Center” -  Messrs. Alfie Tamayo, Jerico Layosa, Rey Arnobit and Arnold Rico. They’re the ones who provided me the maps using their cutting-edge Geographic Information System (it’s Sta. Rosa’s giant version of Pinoy Big Brother : )

I’m also grateful to Mr. Aries Zapanta, City Public Information Officer who was my first contact in the City Government.

Thank you so much also to the Hon. Juanita Amatong who gave me permission to reprint part of the book she edited – Local Government Fiscal and Financial Management: Best Practices.

Thank you also to Engr. Gilbert Patulot, Area Division Manager under the Engineering Department of the Philippine National Railways and to Mr. Wilfredo Llabitan for the invaluable information they gave me.

Last but not the least, thanks to my buddy, Mr. Andy Adan for his patience in teaching me Photoshop and Corel Draw.

Disclaimer:

The satellite maps given me by the City of Sta. Rosa are accurate, reliable and up-to-date. It’s the way I edited them that may not be accurate. So, please don’t use them for navigation purposes nor for choosing real estate in Sta. Rosa. Kindly conduct your own due diligence.

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Comments

  1. Hello Nicole,

    I got the basic maps from the office of Mrs. Nelly Gomez, the City Assessor of Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I had to edit them to show the way points and places of interest. You may try calling their office at 049-534-1301, 049-534-1103 / 1315.

  2. hey there, i was wondering where you got your maps/ pictures… can you provide me some details or contact persons? for thesis matters :) thanks

  3. You mean Laguna BelAir?

    I think there are just a few lots still left available

    If you are referring to the development itself; it’s one of the first subdivisions to be developed along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road. Others are Sta. Rosa VIllages, San Jose Village and later Santa Rosa Estates. They’re all targeted for the middle-income market.

    Thanks a lot for dropping by Gayle

  4. Hello Martin,

    I’m so sorry for this very late reply as I thought your comment was a spam. In my blog editor, only the first part of the comment could be seen. And what I saw was a mere quote of what I wrote. I only saw your entire comment now. As to your questions:

    1. You would have really gained on your investment in Nuvali if you entered early, but it is only now that you’ve become financially ready. In short, there was no way you could have invested earlier.

    A friend of mine bought 2 lots at Venare (one of the residential developments in Nuvali) July last year at P13,000 per sqm. A year later the price has increased to P15,000 sqm.

    I don’t think it’s too late for you to invest in Nuvali now, prices will continue to increase and the longer you wait, the higher the prices will become.

    Would you believe that today, around 50 years after Forbes Park was first launched, there’s still a big demand for properties there where prices of a vacant lot can go for as high as P140,000 per sqm. Compared to them, you’re an early bird in Nuvali.

    2. You said you you’re adopting an investor’s mindset, rather than a homeowner’s. All things being equal, investing in Nuvali now is your best option.

    3. I agree 100%. Just look at Ayala Alabang. It was launched in 1984 at P350 per square meter. Today, lots there can go from P27,000 to P30,000 per sqm.

    I would guess that properties in Nuvali will appreciate at a much faster rate.

    Thanks for dropping by, Martin

  5. Hi Jun,

    First of all, great blog you have here. By far the most useful resource I have found.

    I’m a relatively young Quezon City entrepreneur, in business for just under a year. Thankfully, luck was on my side as my business has flourished enough for me to make my first investment.

    I am single, have no property whatsoever, my family has none as well. More importantly, no experience in buying real estate. I have a workable financial plan, and I’m looking into this with an investor’s mindset, rather than a homeowner’s.

    I have no problem living in a my office or rented apartment for that matter, as long as my assets are appreciating. I really believe in Ayalaland

    In this light, I hope you could help out a 1st time investor by answering some of my questions:

    1) You would suggest “buying on the opening bell of the launching, it’s the stage when the project is a mere drawing”. Would you think it’s too late to make my investment in nuvali, since the prices are now relatively high? (11k-15k/sqm)

    2) Would you suggest buying a “home the metro” first, rather than investing in nuvali now, then getting my “home in the metro” later in the future?

    3) As far as everything I’ve read and heard, I really believe in Ayalaland. I have looked at Serendra and other ayala projects. I think Nuvali would have the “Pound for Pound” best property appreciation in all ayala projects. Would you say so too?

    Thank you for your help

  6. What’s your opinion on BelAir Sta Rosa?

  7. Your observation is very true. My personal opinion is whatever positive development transpires in Sta. Rosa will bode well for Calamba and other nearby areas and vice versa. Progress in any part of Laguna will be progress for the other parts.

    I hope to see the day when the various real estate developers in Laguna will stop looking at one another as competitors but rather as partners in uplifting the economy and well-being of the entire province.

    Thanks for your comment

  8. im based here in cabuyao but analyzing the data given..i will prefer to buy a lot in Canlubang or Calamba City…which has more industrial parks na pede kong aplyan, mas murang house and lot compare to sta. rosa city…i also found found out na yung bigger part of nuvali ay nsa canlubang/calamba especiaslly the nuvali central business district na malpit din sa ittyong greenfield regional hub which will home regional goverment center ng calabrzon…in short sa plgay ko Calamba city will be next Maktai of the South..

  9. Hello Bom;

    It think it will help somehow if you read this first.

    I’m not a local of Sta. Rosa; I live in Malabon City. But from my own observation, the farther (westward) a barangay is from Laguna de Bay, the higher its elevation is, and the less susceptible it is to flooding.

    Note that the most heavily affected barangays when Ondoy hit in 2009 where the coastal barangays like Sinalhan, Aplaya and Caingin. Please pardon me for not having any information if Brgy Dita, or a part of it, was flooded during Ondoy. It’s something that you would have to do a due diligence on by asking locals in or around the barangay that you have chosen. Your best bet are tricycle and jeepney drivers who are familiar with Barangay Dita and its neighboring areas.

    But if I were in your position, just to be absolutely sure, I will actually visit the place after a heavy downpour and find out for myself.

    Perhaps it will also help if you ask a group of people who know so much about Sta. Rosa. These are people who regularly hold a “kapihan” (or round table discussion) about the history of Sta. Rosa. Look for Architect Mario Zavalla in this place. I’m sure he can help you more than I can.

    Thanks a lot for dropping by, Bom, and good luck on your decision.

  10. Hi Jun,

    I got your point about investing in the new Sta Rosa area, but I guess we can’t still choose that place over the old Sta Rosa for now. I’ve been there (new Sta Rosa) last year to check several subdivisions but the price and accessibility (public transportation) stopped us from getting a unit there. I haven’t checked the Nuvali projects yet, but it seems the cheapest house and lot is already beyond my budget range.

    Right now me and my wife are about to choose a housing unit in the old Sta Rosa area, at Brgy Dita, a single detached house of modest-but-enough-for-us space worth less than 2M, from a not-well-known developer. I’ve done my research and rumor has it that the national highway road from Balibago to Cabuyao is easily flooded with moderate to heavy rains (even without typhoons), and has a very heavy traffic even when it’s not raining. With the current situation of our climate, I think we have to anticipate worst disasters that could happen in the next few years, and ready are we when that time comes.

    Maybe you have some inputs that could help us, before we finally choose our own home.

    Regards.
    Bom

  11. Hello Geri,

    Will email you as soon as I gather all the information that you require.

    I’m looking forward to your homecoming and I’ll be glad to show you around Westgrove. If possible, I’ll even accompany you to the schools that you’re considering for your daughter.

    Thanks a lot.

  12. Geri Rhodes says:

    Hi Jun,

    Thanks for all the info and advise. We would appreciate if you could please let us know price list for house and lot or lot only in Ayala West Grove and if you could fit us in your diary for a viewing around August. Regarding school we manage to narrowed down our selection and thanks a lot for your help. God bless.

  13. Thank you Jun for this info.
    This helps a lot. We’ll be visiting Phil. soon and hope to see you if you could fit us in on your diary.
    Again, thanks a lot.

  14. Hello Geri

    First, your question about a school for your 10-year old daughter. If you read part two of this series, I enumerated there the various schools in and around Sta. Rosa.

    If I were in your position, my first choice would be Greenfields International School. It used to be an English Language school for the children of the many expat-executives in Sta. Rosa. Only recently did it become a school that offers full curricula for pre-school, grade school and high school.

    De La Salle Canlubang is also a good choice and so is St. Scholastica’s College.

    Note also that Xavier School South will be opening in Canlubang in 2012 and unlike the original school in San Juan, Xavier South will be co-educational.

    At 10 and nearing high school, Laguna Bel Air (Science) High School will be a perfect school for your daughter especially if she’s inclined in the sciences.

    Though, college is still far off, be informed that the University of Sto. Tomas will be putting up a campus in Sta. Rosa soon. It will be 5 times the size of its Espana campus and will be so big that it will have residential projects and commercial areas inside. It will be located here.

    About other real estate projects, I have always emphasized that the developer’s track record and experience comes over and above anything else. As such, if money is not an object, I will choose an Ayala project any time. They’ve been in this business for more than 50 years. That, for me, counts a lot.

    I hope this help, Geri.

    Thanks a lot

  15. Geri Rhodes says:

    Hi Jun,

    Thanks for all these infos you published here. At least we are seeing a glare of hope for a philippine transformation. It looks as if we are catching with our neighbouring countries e.g. Singapore, Hong Kong, etc….

    I hope you don’t mind me asking a favour if you could help us with some worries we have regarding relocating back to Pinas. We are considerig Sta. Rosa Laguna since it is the most promising city with the balance of enviromentally friendly living. We have a 10 years old daughter who would obviously require a good school. She doesn’t speak nor understand a single word of any filipino language or dialects. I tried teaching here but no success at all.
    We find international schools in the philippines seems so extremely expensive . It digs a big hole in our pocket. Is there any particular private school that has an international standard in its curriculum that you could recommend. Your help will be very much appreciated.

    Is Eton City or Fort Golf City a reliable and safe place to invest property? It seems Eton city is not built yet but their plan is so enticing. Golf city has a good vision as well and it seems part of it already existing. Any other place you could consider us looking at. Again thank you and looking forward to hear from you. God bless.

  16. Hello Renz, it’s a noble project you have there.

    Right now, I can think of only two things to consider for your project, I’m sure there are more: transportation and price of the property.

    Transportation is an issue since some of those who will be housed in the shelter have relatives or friends who would want to visit them regularly. Transportation might also be an issue for some of the staff. Some may find going to Sta. Rosa a problem since, currently, the only available mass transportation are buses.

    Note, however, that PNR’s railroad system is currently being rehabilitated. Having it finished is not a question of if, it’s just a question of when. We expect it to go full blast now that the election is over.

    I suggest that you choose a property near this place. A new and bigger train station will be built to replace this old station and, when finished, the frequency of the train trips will eventually approximate that of the LRT. The subdivision east of this station, Olympia Park Subdivision, may be a good choice. I was told by some residents that a large part of this subdivision, especially the western part was not flooded during typhoon Ondoy. Just choose a location that’s not too near the station where the sound of oncoming trains will bother the home’s wards.

    Remember that in Sta. Rosa, the farther away you are from the Laguna Lake, the better are your chances of not being affected by flood. It’s the barangays along the coast of the lake that were badly hit by Ondoy.

    About the price of the property, I suggest that you choose a foreclosed property. If you’re lucky, you can buy a foreclosed property from a bank for 60% of its asking price, with 10% down payment and 5 years to pay. Here’s a great website where you can learn a lot about investing in foreclosed properties. The owner of this site, Jay Castillo, is brilliant and he knows whereof he speaks.

    I will email you the contact information of Sta. Rosa’s City Assessor, Mrs. Nelly Gomez. I’m sure she’ll be able to answer many of your questions and she can connect you to other city officials who may be able to help you further with your thesis.

    Good luck on your project.

  17. Good day sir. I am Renz Urbano, a student from the UST College of Architecture. I am currently doing my thesis which is a Home for the Aged. I wish to put my site on Sta. Rosa but I’m having a hard time looking for an appropriate site for my thesis. Can you please help me with this sir? Thank you so much.

  18. Dear Ma’am Dada,

    That was one piece of information that’s very valuable

    I do hope that you get the property that you like and experience being in the threshold of what will truly become a landmark in Philippine real estate market.

    Thanks a lot for dropping by, Ma’am Dada.

  19. I live in Canlubang that is now part of Calamba City. The original Canlubang Sugar Estate of the Yulo family was so big, it’s boundaries crossed at least 3 towns: Calamba, Cabuyao and Sta Rosa. Some parts of Canlubang has already been converted by the Yulo children and grandchildren into industrial parks and residential villages. I currently live in one of the first residential villages built after the closure of the sugar estate. It’s located inside the Silangan Industrial Park. The bigger portion of Canlubang that was left is now being developed by the Ayalas as NUVALI.
    Yulo insiders have talked about the Yulo-Ayala partnership in developing the huge property since the early 1990s. After 20 years of not seeing any progress in old Canlubang, most of us waiting for exciting development activities have stopped hoping.
    Today, I received an invitation to Nuvali’s open-house on Sunday, Oct 25th. I can’t wait to go to see the long-anticipated project that we know will change the landscape of our neighbhorhood. Even though their initial offerings are pricey premier lots (745-1,113 sqm @ 10,000-11,000 Php per sqm), I know that to be there at this very early stage of development will be like standing at the threshold of history.

  20. Glad to hear that Nuvali was not affected by floods of typhoon Ondoy. This place is very clean and think that air quality standard is quite good compared to metro manila.
    I purchased a lot in one of the developments in Nuvali and the last time I saw the place, the clubhouse is almost finished. Looking forward to build my dream house in the future.
    Thank you in advance for posting the pictures

  21. Hello Mrs. G,

    Like I told Sir Nog, New Sta. Rosa, particularly Nuvali, was not affected, in any way, by Odong.

    My friends and I surveyed New Sta. Rosa last Thursday and have taken so many pictures. Please do watch out for them. If you haven’t been to New Sta. Rosa recently, I assure you, your jaw will drop when you see these fantastic pictures. MINE DID : )

    Thank you so much for dropping by, Ma’am.

  22. Hello Nog,

    Do you have any statistics to back up your claims? There are jobs in Sta. Rosa, but will your salary be enough to pay for a house in Sta. Rosa? These might be blue collar jobs where you work in factories and it may not be enough to buy a house there.

    Sir, if you can be more specific about the statistics that you need, I will gladly do my best to look for them.

    Meanwhile, to give you an idea of the companies that operate in just one of the seventeen ecozones in Laguna, Laguna Technopark, kindly click here

    At least one of them, Isuzu Philippines Corporation, has been an occasional client of mine for around a year now. There are, indeed, blue collar workers in all the companies (or locators) operating in these ecozones. But they are managed by some of the best minds in the industry.

    I’ve also attended one of the meetings at Ford (Mazda, actually) with their advertising people for their major event last February 14 – their Mazda Zoom-Zoom Fest at the Fort. I can mention at least one name, Mr. Prudencio “Pruds” Castillo III who is Mazda’s Product Marketing and Planning Supervisor; he and many other officers and staff in Mazda are white collar workers and are paid well.

    The two Coca-Cola plants in Sta. Rosa, as well as all their other plants in what they call “Mega Manila” (from Meycauayan, Bulacan, Antipolo, Manila, Cabuyao and Canlubang) were long-time clients of the company that I once owned. I dealt with levels in all departments of Coca-Cola from operations, purchasing, marketing, finance even training. Many of them are the brightest and highest-paid people by the NUMBER ONE brand in the world that offers one the best compensation and benefit packages in the Philippines. By the way, Coca-Cola has a global recruitment standard, i.e., if you qualify as, let’s say, finance manager in Coca-Cola Sta. Rosa, you also qualify as a finance manager in its Atlanta, Georgia HQ.

    The reason why demand for premium housing in New Sta. Rosa suddenly increased is precisely because there’s a high demand from managers and executives from these multinationals who want to live near their workplaces.

    Property prices in Sta. Rosa might be high already. I’m not sure, but if you can research some statistics, it may give us a better picture.

    Sadly, that’s fast becoming true in New Sta. Rosa. But it’s a universal principle in Economics – the Law of Supply and Demand – the higher the demand for anything (including housing), the higher the price becomes; it’s an incontrovertible law.

    So, my two-cent tip is if anybody is serious and has the means, or at least a workable financial plan to own a house in New Sta. Rosa, buy only from the most trusted real estate developers during the pre-selling stage.

    Don’t buy when the project has already full swung for prices automatically rise with the level of development. The more concrete, hollow blocks and steel are put in a project, the higher the price of the property becomes. I suggest buying on the opening bell of the launching, it’s the stage when the project is a mere drawing ; again, buy only from the most trusted developers who have proven track records of delivering what they promise. For this, you will have to conduct your own due diligence. Don’t take anybody’s word for it, including mine.

    Like I said, Sta. Rosa has enough for every Pinoy regardless of his economic stature… as long as he’s willing to work hard and make a few sacrifices along the way. Lower middle and low-income earners may not get their dream house in New Sta. Rosa (it’s not for everyone), but there’s the Old Sta. Rosa (please do not associate the word Old with Ugly); Old Sta. Rosa is very beautiful.

    Does Sta. Rosa have a land use plan already? Are there future provisions once Sta. Rosa’s population booms? What are their plans to mitigate congestion in the future? Will there be comfortable mass transport?

    Great questions, Sir Nog! The answer to all questions is a resounding YES, but I cannot elaborate on them here. You’re questions deserve an entirely new post. I will flip them, hopefully, after I finish this very long series. I will do my best to invite the mayor of Sta. Rosa, the Hon. Mayor Arlene Arcillas-Nazareno, to answer your questions; she is in the best position to answer them. I will ask for an interview, at least.

    But kindly, if ever she agrees, don’t expect it to happen any time soon. I was in contact with her staff this Thursday and they were so busy because of Ondoy and, now, Pepeng. New Sta. Rosa was not, in any way, affected by Ondoy, it’s part of the Old Sta. Rosa that was affected.

    My friends and I toured New Sta. Rosa last Thursday and the weather was great. It’s like it has a world all its own. We even toured Ayala Westgrove Heights nearby in Silang and took pictures of New Sta. Rosa from one of its club houses.

    I’m working on the pictures as i write this; they’re going to come out shortly. These are fantastic images.

    Thanks a lot Sir Nog, you made my day and helped ease my apprehension about Pepeng : )

  23. How was Nuvali after typhoon Ondoy? I saw some videos of flooding in Sta. Rosa but no news as to Nuvali.

  24. Do you have any statistics to back up your claims?

    There are jobs in Sta. Rosa, but will your salary be enough to pay for a house in Sta. Rosa? These might be blue collar jobs where you work in factories and it may not be enough to buy a house there.

    Property prices in Sta. Rosa might be high already. I’m not sure, but if you can research some statistics, it may give us a better picture.

    Does Sta. Rosa have a land use plan already? Are there future provisions once Sta. Rosa’s population booms? What are their plans to mitigate congestion in the future? Will there be comfortable mass transport?

  25. Hello Sheryl,

    You didn’t just make the right decision; your family may have made the best investment decision ever.

    If I may ask, what development in Nuvali did your family invest in?

    Here’s how I put it:

    1. If today, you are given a chance to buy a lot in Ayala Alabang at yesterday’s price (it was started in the 1980′s at P350 per square meter and its value has appreciated 83 times since), will you buy it?

    2. If today you are given a chance to buy a lot in Forbes Park at yesterday’s (1950′s) price, will you buy it?

    These two questions will forever remain theoretical questions and will never happen. However,…

    3. If today you are given a chance to buy a property that will become tomorrow’s Forbes Park, at TODAY’S price, will you buy it? This one is not a theoretical question. And many people, including your family, now own a piece of property that will become the next Forbes Park, Urdaneta Village, Dasmarinas or San Lorenzo within a relatively short period of time.

    I suggest you repeat watching the first video above – Ayala Land background and introduction to Nuvali. Watch and listen to every word in the video, don’t miss a beat.

    Congratulations and thanks a lot for dropping by.

  26. glad to have come accross this article of yours!…we bought a land in Nuvali last year and after reading this, I have been more confident that we made the right decision!…more power to you!

  27. Hello Noel,

    Already back in the country?

    I’m glad you like it. I envy you for you and Liza are already locals of Sta. Rosa and you happen to be in the cosmopolitan part of it.

    Mark your calendar, my family will relocate in Sta. Rosa within two or three years. I will have to first put a lot of things in order and wait for my eldest to reach college.

    What a great place to live and work.

    Thanks for dropping by and send my regards to Liza.

  28. Noel Jocson says:

    Hi Jun,

    Very informative article. I realized after reading it that I still have a lot to learn about the very city where I live in.

  29. Hello j

    It’s something that I love to do and doing it without knowing that I have helped a few people in the process, even if just in very little ways, has unexpectedly brought me so much blessings. I never thought that by simply writing about a topic that I love very much would open countless doors for me.

    This is something I should have done a long time ago.

    Thanks for dropping by, j

    God bless us all

  30. Appreciate your time & effort for giving us such articles/reports. God bless

  31. Hello, Charlie

    We are in the same boat. I live in Malabon City (not on a boat, though : ); was born and grew up here. I’ve never lived anywhere else.

    But the place I will write about will be my future home. Sooner or later, come hell or high water, I will build my dream house there.

    Sorry to keep you waiting; I’m busy putting my website in order.

    Thanks a lot for dropping by.

  32. Hi Jun,
    Great site you have here, and very interesting teaser. I’ve always wanted to live outside Manila for the most part I really like the quiet nature of provinces. So I hope to read your report on this. Thanks!

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