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Design Dimensions

What’s in for 2013?

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MULTISTORY residential developments are sprouting outside Metro Manila, just like Marquee Residences located in the heart of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The world didn’t end in December 2012, but many in the West felt it did. With the very bad economic situation, they still don’t see the light at the end of their tunnel.

So while the West pulls the reins on building and spending, Southeast Asia continues to flourish with Indonesia and the Philippines as star players going for the win in the growth marathon. As I write this, our stock exchange hits another all-time high, and this month, Conde Nast Traveller magazine lists the Philippines as one of its top 10 destinations for 2013 and calls our archipelago its new “flame”—giving emphasis to its beautiful islands, coastal waters and reefs bursting with sea life. It’s a vacationer’s sweetheart indeed. After many years of trying to build this nation, it seems our time has finally come!

Quickly transforming

The urban landscape is quickly transforming as new buildings come up in the metro. Alveo Land completes the last of its Serendra Towers while getting started on its Meridien development in Bonifacio. The Federal Land-Orix Group broke ground The Grand Hyatt. Finally we have one!

Filinvest Alabang Inc. has just re-launched and rebranded itself as it expands its mall and builds more “homes” for the outsourcing business. Its mother company has also brought in the hotel brands of the high-end Crimson and the mid-market Quest, while Ayala just opened Fairmont in Makati and just launched its Seda hotel brand.

A new Holiday-Inn is about to  open at the redeveloped Glorietta Mall. While Seda launched its first property in Bonifacio Global City, four more hotels will open in other cities in 2013. Rockwell has launched its multi-tower development, The Proscenium. Quietly, Discovery Primea punctures the sky above Ayala Avenue with its tall and slender luxury apartment and service-suite tower, the first residential development of its kind.

Rural landscape changed

The rural landscape has changed as well: we now have large malls in the once-sleepy cities of both the north and south, in places we still call “the province.” SM’s new premiere mall in Lanang, Davao has opened and Ayala Malls is expanding into all the major cities. Ayala and Rustans are bringing in the Japanese chain, FamilyMart.

High-quality resorts are coming up in areas that were considered isolated some 10 years ago. Ayala Land has expanded their portfolio with the El Nido Resorts brand, and the Dedon (yes, of the high-end outdoor furniture) Resort Island in the surfer’s turf of Siargao raises the bar for developments in the backpacker’s paradise.

In Bohol, there are resorts mushrooming on its many coves and islands. And our beautiful but overbuilt Boracay will soon have strip malls and even more hotels; and its airport is up for expansion. So too is Cebu’s Mactan International.

To be up on reclaimed area

Let’s not forget all the new hotels, condominiums, office buildings and casinos soon to be up on the once-barren reclaimed area on Roxas Boulevard.

And of course, I don’t have to expound on how quickly our outsourcing businesses have been growing, fueling the demand for office spaces and its related amenities, giving more jobs to the young workforce and allowing them to fuel local tourism and invest money in the condos sprouting all over the city. Then there are the many multinationals coming in, or existing ones establishing their foothold by expanding their operations. Coca-Cola, for one, is set to move to larger offices.

For the design and building industry, that means new products coming into the market. Recently, we’ve had brands like Porcellanosa, Capellini and Poliform enter the Philippines. As the new sweetheart consumer, we have better opportunities to explore possibilities in design and get better prices for products and services. The competition makes the product better, whether it be a hotel suite, a beachside cottage, a retail shop or a corporate office space—you will likely be getting better value for your money. Now, if only government will build more roads, reduce the cost of power, improve our airports, upgrade mass transport systems and educate our young population and allow our newfound wealth trickle down to the masses.

On the matter of a market crash, all signs show that we are nowhere near, and we will continue to build and cater to a healthy, growing economy where there will be more than enough for everyone.

So what’s in for 2013?  Plenty! I mentioned the other week that emerald green is color of the year, but really, I see only pink! Everything’s coming up roses.

Contact the author through designdimensions@abi.ph or through our Asuncion Berenguer Facebook account.


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Tags: Architecture , Design , property

  • JX Peron

    Fresh time to be optimistic.

    No sense at all in embracing pessimism. 

  • crab2008

    all this because of GMA 

  • http://openid.anonymity.com/pete45 R2017

    Don’t forget the peace pact in Mindanao. If it last it will really bloom in all aspects in the south.
    But.. the 1 percent are getting richer, they are the ones building all this. But if you look at wikipedia, the percentage of people living in poverty is still increasing. And the level of corruption haven’t gone down, even we got rid of gloria.

  • GorgeousB

    I have never seen posters of the Philippines’ tourist attractions as travel/vacation destinations here in the Netherlands, and i wonder why. Tsk, tsk, sad. Popular here are Indonesia and Thailand. Phil tourism shld expand its advertising here in Western Europe.

  • alienpatriot

    Isabel, let’s try to write a fair and balanced report. If you are gong to write in the business pages, it is best that you do not write like a tourism brochure. Nobody is going to deny that the situation in this country is positive but please be balanced in what you write.
    The tourism situation here is awful. I receive tourism reports on Asia from my country of birth and the Philippines is still not mentioned. I wish that it was but it isn’t. Ten countries in Asia were mentioned but Philippines and Myanmar were both left off …. as was Mongolia. We lost out to Laos!
    I have no doubt that the Proscenium will sell but there must be some concern of a future property bubble. Where is the direct investment? It is not happening yet.
    Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to be an investor here as well as a resident but there are concerns that must be acknowledged also.



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