FROM OUT OF THE INBOX:
The ‘other’ top Philippine citiesBy Tessa R. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The previous weeks, Inquirer Property revealed the Philippine cities ideal for young professionals, as chosen by several property analysts. These cities were: Metro Cebu, where the investments and opportunities have consistently been pouring in due to its strategic location; Taguig (Bonifacio Global City), whose city chic, modern and sporty qualities attract the international community; Makati, the “traditional business district” where most businesses thrive and mature property developments are located;
Muntinlupa (Alabang), where the first live-work-play concept was put to action; The Clark-Subic corridor, for the availability of developable land, as well as a superior level of infrastructure links (air, land and water transport); Santa Rosa, Laguna, the investors’ favorite; and Davao City, for its relatively secure environment.
Inquirer Property also laid down the criteria for the ideal cities, as explained by property analysts. These are: the cost of living index; affordability of rental and home ownership; a well master-planned community; accessibility; job opportunities;
connectivity; security and rapid emergency response; empowerment of property buyers, environment and air quality; diversity for global market; and policies to attract outside capital.
In the conclusion of the series, Inquirer Property has sifted through readers’ e-mail. Now, in no particular order, here are the most-liked cities, fresh from the inbox: Dumaguete, Ormoc, Cebu, Lucena City, Manila, San Carlos (Negros Occidental), Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Bacolod.
More for less in Ormoc City
“I have lived in Manila and Cebu and the fast-paced lifestyle really eats up your time. Here in the provinces, you have more time to do what you want—be it spending time with your friends and family, your hobbies, interest, health, business. All these at a fraction of a cost if you do it in Manila or Cebu,” wrote a male resident of Ormoc City in his late 30s (name withheld upon request), who has four kids. He lists his priorities as “personal time,” schools, peace and order, Internet connectivity (a must, because he engages in online stock market trading) and proximity to major cities.
“Right now, I live in Ormoc, but ideally I would want to live in Dumaguete City. It’s also my first choice followed by Ormoc, Cebu, then Manila. I have lived in all four of these cities.”
A ‘livable’ Cebu
An e-mail from a reader who claims to be Sabino Dapat (Sabino.Dapat@cpkelco.com), the past president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chair of the Cebu Business Council of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, wrote: “There are ongoing advocacies on improving the infrastructure of Cebu to address the increasing tourism business not only for Cebu City but the whole province. The study is granted by the Research Education and Institutional Development Foundation. There is also another advocacy proposed for Mega Cebu. If you come down to it, all these advocacies will harmonize itself, as we move forward toward the future.”
The e-mail cited the advocacy of a multisector group called the Movement for Livable Cebu. On May 18, 2011, the Cebu Daily News published a story on the signing of a memorandum of agreement during the launch of Public-Private Partnership for
Better Infrastructure, or PBI, in Cebu. The story indicated that the REID Foundation would work in partnership with the Cebu Business Club to advocate for better infrastructure in Cebu. REID Foundation would provide technical assistance through a series of workshops on the national and regional economy, national budget, and procurement, among others. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through The Asia Foundation (TAF) is supporting these activities.
Historical San Carlos City
JG, who e-mailed that he is a New York-based Filipino, wrote: “It is not only the amenities itself but the originality and the scope of what a visitor wants to see and feel encompasses the validity of an ideal city. It is not about how tall the buildings are, or the presence of technology.”
In his e-mail, he recommended the inclusion of San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, for being the “biggest little city in the Philippines.”
“The city has been the sugar hub during the Magsaysay era, and now a booming aquaculture industry. Glimpses of the past can still be seen, such as houses during World War 2, the Azcona and Atienza ancestral home, the Jovencio Broce mansion and the famous San Carlos Milling Co.”
Peaceful Lucena City
Dominic Romero wrote that Lucena City should be in the top 20 cities in the Philippines.
Romero wrote that “it has the lowest crime rate compared to its counterparts around the country, has the most number of financial and educational institutions, is far less crowded, excellent water and electricity supplies, and a booming real estate and leisure industry. It is also far less polluted and more convenient in terms of public infrastructures.”
Clean, green Puerto Princesa, CDO
Reader Tony S., who claims to have traveled halfway around the world, said the best livable clean cities in the country are Puerto Princesa in Palawan and Cagayan de Oro.
The best urban livable cities are Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. The other ideal cities with the best urban lifestyle options are Bacolod and Dumaguete.
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