PALAFOX Associates’ principal architect and urban planner Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr. — a name that’s been equated with sustainable architecture — has been known for not accepting all projects that come his way.
But he said yes to a 47-hectare master planned community that developer MyCitiHomes is building in Barangay Panungyanan, General Trias, Cavite.
Sabella will be MyCitiHomes’ biggest project yet. The developer for the most part has concentrated on affordable housing projects since 1983.
Together, Palafox and MyCitiHomes will be building Sabella.
“For Sabella, we did the master plan, concept, and architecture for the common areas,” Mr. Palafox told BusinessWorld in a Feb. 13 interview.
The Sabella project will be built on principles that coincide with his firm’s core values, the urban planner said.
“It’s really our mission and vision: value for God, country, and planet earth. Then the five guidelines: people first like affordable housing with creation of jobs that will alleviate poverty; then planet earth and for the environment; then we can talk about prosperity and economic growth; then culture, history, and heritage; and interfaith and spirituality,” Mr. Palafox said.
“If one of them does not satisfy, we don’t accept the project.”
Sabella will feature a three-hectare eco-tourism park with amenities for boating and fishing, a greenhouse community garden, team building facilities, zip line, specialty shops, crafts center, and a retreat house.
The development also features the usual amenities offered in any other MyCitiHomes’ projects including a grand village entrance, a central park, playgrounds, a multi-purpose clubhouse, chapel, and swimming pool.
MyCitiHomes President and Chief Executive Officer Rosie Tsai told reporters: “We envision this to be a different project from what we normally do. It should be balanced… There will be a different kind of lifestyle, which is more geared towards family, towards a stronger community. We want to provide families with more facilities for outdoor activities.”
“Sabella is a Hebrew word, which literally translates to ‘pledge to God’ because Sabella is MyCitiHomes’ pledge that we continue in our mission and our mission is that we serve God by helping people achieve meaningful lives by building quality homes and communities,” Ms. Tsai added.
Sharing the story behind the envisioned eco-park, Ms. Tsai lamented that most families are becoming more dysfunctional because families do not spend much time with each other, and instead focus their attention on gadgets or in the company of other people like friends.
“The amenities will be within the project so that our homeowners won’t have to go far to have a more family-oriented recreation,” she said, adding that the amenities will cater to everyone from kids to senior citizens.
Prospective buyers can choose from either townhouse or single units with prices ranging from P1.7 million to P2.4 million, which are available through various financing options like Pag-IBIG, bank, and MyCitiHomes in-house financing. There will be a total of 1,800 units to be sold occupying 15 hectares of the property.
The company plans to break ground on Sabella early this year, with a goal to sell 1,800 units in the next two years, Ms. Tsai said.
“Architect Jun Palafox is one of the foremost urban planners in the Philippines. We’d like homeowners to have a strong sense of responsibility, and respect for people and the environment; and architect Jun is known for that,” Ms. Tsai said. — Romsanne R. Ortiguero