Michaela Romulo | Rappler.com
Published 4:45 PM, Jul 08, 2014 | Updated 5:33 PM, Jul 08, 2014
Looking to invest in real estate? Read on for our list of reasons why you should consider investing in the south
MANILA, Philippines – Living in the city can be exhilarating: the fast-paced life, the close proximity to commerce, leisure, and entertainment, and the everyday hustle and bustle. However, it’s not for everyone.
More and more buildings sprout like mushrooms around the Metro, the traffic quickly builds up, malls get more congested, and parks and patches of greenery are sparse – you tend to feel boxed in.
As more urbanites seek out alternatives to city living, modern cities in the south are offering a more laid back atmosphere with all the convenience offered by a modern city. Often dismissed by many as provincial, the recent boom in development in the area is proving that you can still have all the convenience and access you get in the congested city but with a more balanced atmosphere.
Take a look at our list of reasons why you should look out for modern cities in the developing south:
1) A gateway to weekend and weekday destinations
One of the best things about living in the South is that you are so much closer to weekend destinations.
A 30-minute drive gets you to NUVALI, a one-hour drive can take you to Tagaytay where you can enjoy the view of Taal Lake and a little further down takes you to the beaches in Batangas. These are all ideal destination for weekends away with the family or barkada and close enough for that spontaneous day trip adventure.
In addition to its close proximity to weekend destinations, it is also conveniently accessible to and from cosmopolitan areas like Makati and Bonifacio Global City. If you need to conduct some business and run errands in the city or would prefer a night out on the town a drive towards the north is also a stone’s throw away.
Thanks to the planned Skyway extension and other government infrastructure projects like the highly anticipated Intermodal Transport System (ITS), the south will soon become much more accessible.
The ITS will make commuting easier and less of a hassle as it targets to provide 4,000 buses to cater to 200,000 commuters daily. It will serve as a central station linking commuters from other regions such as Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Bicol to the metro.
Communities like Ayala Alabang have benefited from the increased accessibility shown in the growth of commercial establishments; expansion of malls, and influx of more residential high rises in the recent years.
The newest master planned development of Ayala Land is ARCA South. It is being developed to strategically situate the city in between the suburban south and already developed north. Adjacent to the upcoming ITS and and close to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the Southern Luzon Express Way, it is set to becoming a main hub of transit.
3) Less air pollution
Metro Manila is known for being the region with the highest levels of air pollution in the Philippines due to the high density of man-made pollutants: smoke belching motor vehicles, cigarette smoke, industrial buildings and factories, and improper waste management to name a few.
Air pollution is a major contributor to health problems and according to a report released by the World Health Organization it causes more deaths world wide than AIDS and malaria combined (more than 6 million people in 2012).
4) Maximized limited space
Since there are very few remaining large-scale parcels of land left in Metro Manila, available space is being maximized by developers to create smart, mix-used, and diversified cities.
Residential areas like Ayala Alabang and Nuvali encourage outdoor activity with their many parks and open spaces. Business parks, malls, hospitals, hotels, schools, and barangay offices are well spaced but still close enough to get to without traveling long distances.
These developments in the south have maximized the limited space to create well balanced, mix-used, areas. A rising development on 74 hectares of land, ARCA South, promises to be a complete multi-use development that will offer a wide variety of activities and services for everyone.
5) Family-oriented community
Due to the close proximity of everything in the south there is a stronger sense of community that is noticeably lacking in the city. When running day-to-day errands you are bound to run into a familiar face or two. Social circles are more interconnected because everyone is either someone’s friend or friend of a friend.
The southern community is also much more family-oriented. With so many premier schools like De La Salle Zobel, Woodrose, Southridge, and Brent International School Manila located around the area it is an ideal place to settle down and start a family.
6) Expect less traffic in the coming years
Once the upcoming infrastructure projects of the government are in place – the Skyway extension, C5 to C6 connection, and the ITS – rush-hour traffic will be significantly lessened and the south will be much more accessible.
A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2012 revealed that congestion costs the Philippines a loss of P2.4 billion every day. Developers are keeping that in mind when planning new cities to help boost economic gains and minimize losses incurred by road congestion and traffic.
7) More pedestrianized
With clearer and wider roads, the cities in the south encourage more walking and less driving. Need to go to the mall or do some errands? Take a walk and you can get your shopping and work out done at the same time. It is also better for the environment as walking to places rather than driving or commuting will lessen your carbon footprint.
Cities that encourage walking also contribute to a healthier and less sedentary lifestyle. This is why new cities such as ARCA South are making sure to devote 40% of the total area to greener, open spaces. More green spaces also mean more areas for people to engage in outdoor activities and sports such as soccer, ultimate Frisbee, running, and biking.
ARCA South also plans to include an integrated basement parking to decongest roads and maximize pedestrian-friendly areas. It will also have a 30 to 60 meter wide greenway, much like Bonifacio High Street, in the heart of the city that will encourage residents to walk to and from their homes to commercial centers, parks, offices, and hotels.
8) Development is migrating southward
The south is no longer as provincial as city dwellers used to think. Just like the Fort used to be merely military bases and is now a center for business, commerce, and entertainment the scale of development is continuing to migrate south.
Hotels like Acacia, Vivere, Bellevue, Crimson Hotel, and boutique hotels like Azumi, and B Hotel have all recently populated the South to accommodate the rise in tourism and development in the south.
Major businesses such as call centers and even multinational corporations have set up headquarters in the business parks in the area. Lifestyle and entertainment areas are also expanding and giving southerners many options to enjoy their leisure time on the weekends.
With the same developers of Bonifacio Global City and Makati CBD, ARCA South has definitely more in store. Within their first 5 years of development, they will launch Ayala Land Premier, Alveo and Avida residential projects, 9 office buildings, a Seda Hotel, Qualimed hospital, and a lifestyle mall.
With all these reasons it is easy to see why developers are keeping an eye on the south and people, business, commerce, and lifestyle centers are moving southward.
Whether you are single, a young professional, or have a family of your own, southern living has something to offer you. Far from provincial, highly accessible, and still developing, the south may just be your answer to a change in pace – a gateway to a new way of living.
Do you live in the south? Tell us why you love it and leave a comment below. – Rappler.com