Tanay Naman: A legacy homecoming from A Brown Company, Inc.
For more than four decades, Dr. Walter William Bendaña Brown, a trained geologist, and geo-chemist had been a successful businessman. He helmed the mining and quarry, palm oil cultivation, energy, and real estate ventures of A Brown Company, Inc. (ABCI). The company is known in Northern Mindanao, particularly in the cities of Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, and Bukidnon province, thanks mainly to their property developments.
While it thrived in the southern part of the Philippines, A Brown’s roots are actually located 1,400 kilometers away, in another picturesque mountainous area – Tanay, Rizal in Luzon.
“It’s a homecoming for me,” Dr. Brown shares about his return to Tanay after over 30 years of being away. “At the same time, it’s a chance for me to use the experiences I have gained over the years. My land holdings here (in Tanay) are actually land passed down over four generations ago. Thus, I felt a sense of responsibility to the community that nurtured my early years. I felt the need to give back and do something for the benefit of my hometown.”
Tracing roots in Tanay, Rizal
The Bendañas are an influential clan in Tanay, Rizal. Dr. Brown’s grandfather, former Tanay Mayor Simeon R. Bendaña, served the municipality during the 1940s.
“Most of the land here was set up by my grandfather as early as 1937. And I acquired additional properties. We actually have the biggest contiguous area of land with trees that were planted by me, my father, and my son-in-law,” Dr. Brown reminisced.
During the COVID-19 surge, Dr. Brown had the opportunity to spend more time in Tanay, Rizal, and noticed the growing potential of his hometown. Armed with practical experience, knowledge, and genuine love for his community, he urged the local chief executive to maximize the development of land areas in the mountainous barangays.
Bringing home the success
A Brown pioneered the master-planned mixed-use community concept in Northern Mindanao. Now, the company is looking to further develop more properties that follow the concept of healthy, environment-friendly, and low-density communities.
Leading the company’s landmark projects is Xavier Estates in Cagayan de Oro, the first master-planned residential community in the region and is the most sought-after residential address in the city as it offers prestige, convenience and security.
Coral Resort Estates in Initao, Misamis Oriental overlooks the tranquil waters of the bay and is the first residential resort estate in the region. West Highlands, is a residential community beside a golf course. It is located 289-feet above sea level overlooking Butuan City.
“I started off in Cagayan de Oro. That was my first foray into real estate on my own. I wanted to create subdivisions and residences for families. We are family-oriented, so family orientation was something that I have from my background,” related Dr. Brown.
True enough, A Brown projects in Northern Mindanao exude that familial ambience with properties that underscore healthy, environment-friendly, and low dense communities with a focus on the city, mountainside, agricultural, golf, and sea resort, and lifestyle developments.
“I’m in business not only to make money but to create jobs and opportunities for the people,” he added.
Armed with successful projects and decades of experience in business ventures, Dr. Brown brings his expertise in Tanay, Rizal to boost the municipality’s economic and tourism capabilities.
“I always had taken a position that land should be kept and developed eventually, otherwise, there’s no use to just hold it, leave it there without the guard and staff,” Dr. Brown highlighted. “So when the opportunity came to develop it, I felt it was my obligation to get it started.”
Vision for Tanay
“One of the things we are going to bring here is to make this area secure because I know that a lot of people here don’t feel secure with the vast areas,” Dr. Brown said. “We have a commercial development and it’s going to be unique. We are also creating opportunities for the workers to have their own homes within there.”
Among the company’s projects is a 300-hectare mixed-use development in Tanay, Rizal which will feature an upscale residential estate, themed restaurants, bike trails, villas, and economic and socialized housing units. A Brown’s project will feature a perfect mix of modern city living and natural surroundings.
Dr. Brown takes pride in Tanay’s potential as the next hub of Rizal, the gateway between Metro Manila and the provinces of Laguna and Quezon. Just like himself who is returning to Tanay, Dr. Brown aims to provide an opportunity for fellow Tanay residents to maximize land appraisal values that will be generated once real estate developments in the area are in full blast.
“It’s a place to stay, where you, you have all the things you need, and yet you have good weather, fresh air, and you have enough, you have enough space to breathe. You don’t have to worry about wearing a mask to protect yourself from pollution,” Dr. Brown described in excitement. “We make sure to play around with the natural topography,” added Paul Francis Juat, A Brown’s Vice President.
A Brown’s Rizal projects
When A Brown launched its first project in Tanay, more than 60% of the pre-selling lots had already been sold, mainly because the residents could see the development unfolding fast. Adelaida Mountain Residences (AMR) is the company’s latest project in Rizal, which will feature a residential estate and commercial areas surrounded by nature. AMR is a master-planned and gated community that boasts around 40% of open spaces for its homeowners to enjoy. Future residents will reside in the property’s four phases, all with different things to look forward to – anything from a community surrounded by trees, sounds of birds chirping throughout the day, fresh scent of morning breeze to a picturesque riverscape along a promenade. A clubhouse overlooks the entire property and serves as the development’s main amenity. Being anywhere around 400 to 500 meters above sea level, the weather around the area stays relatively cool, with a temperature that’s 4 degrees Celsius cooler than Metro Manila. It is also away from major fault lines. Finally, the property also aims to have its own reliable water source.
Home upgraders within Tanay and investors interested in the area can expect a quick return on investment , value for money, and top-notch security. With A Brown’s development in the area, land values will definitely appreciate. Other developers are noticing this but A Brown has the first-mover advantage.
The company is also preparing to launch its second master-planned community, Epic Mountain Estate (Epic), this year. Epic is touted as the company’s more upscale residential development meant to cater more to Manila residents and investors in search for a vacation or second home surrounded by nature. Nestled in the mountains, untouched and well-maintained, Epic banks on the raw beauty of nature as one lives among centuries-old trees. The forests remain green and protected, and fresh air and birdsong welcome visitors within the development, as it promises to only develop up to 30% of the land area and then leave the rest virgin.
Epic Mountain Estate also doubles as a bird sanctuary. A little way away is Epic’s commercial area, where a restaurant, a hotel, a condominium, and other attractions are set to be built. Surrounded by unmatched nature, with front row seats to a sunset that never gets old, it is the perfect destination to foster the very best of what life has to offer.
“We call ourselves pioneers so we’re going to areas where people haven’t gotten to. We want to be the first movers in these areas,” noted Dr. Brown.
After 40 years of investing and making it big elsewhere, Dr. Brown is back in Tanay, ready to make an investment in the land he calls home.