Metro Manila in recent years has become the Philippines’ pride and glory. In addition to being the hub of Philippine culture and commerce, the metropolis, particularly in the business districts of Makati and Bonifacio Global City, has given rise to some of the most remarkable buildings and landmarks in the country.
Yet for all the pomp and spectacle that the megacity provides, it does nothing to dim the growing lights of emerging cities outside Metro Manila. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most exceptional properties outside the metro, landmarks that serve as beacons to less renowned, but not less incredible displays from the Philippines’ rising cities.
Cebu Business Park, a 50-hectare masterplanned development in Cebu City, was developed by Cebu Holdings, an affiliate of Ayala Land. Paired with the Cebu IT Park, a 24-hectare mixed use business park developed by a subsidiary of Cebu Holdings, Inc., the two unique destinations form the Cebu Park District, representing Cebu City’s multitude of possibilities for urban development.
Described by Ayala Land as the “address of choice for multinationals and industry leaders”, the Cebu Park District offers prime residential, business, and commercial spaces as a highly pedestrian mixed-use regional hub. It is the one of the largest urban development projects in the Philippines outside of Metro Manila, integrating business, residential, sports, recreation and leisure facilities for Cebuanos.
Another landmark property in Cebu is the SM Seaside City, the centerpiece of SM Prime Holdings’ mixed-use development at the South Road Properties. Seaside City is the sixth largest shopping mall in the world, and third in the Philippines behind SM City North EDSA and SM Megamall.
In Lapu-Lapu City, Megaworld is developing The Mactan Newtown, one of the first major township developments with its own beach outside Metro Manila. The 28.8-hectare “mega-community” features high-end office towers, luxury condominiums, leisure amenities, retail shops, and a school. Also in development is the township’s own exclusive, world-class beach club at the beachfront.
Further south in Davao City, the Abreeza Mall shopping complex is one of the first Ayala Malls in Mindanao, with over 300 stores from popular local and foreign fashion concepts, brands opening their first stores in Davao, varied dining options, to homegrown brands.
The Davao Park District, located in an 11-hectare property along the S.P. Dakudao Loop, aims to be Davao City’s central business district (CBD) and a major center for information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) in Mindanao. According to Megaworld, the P15-billion project will be completed in the next five to seven years, giving rise to office towers suited for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and other corporate offices, as well as themed residential condominiums that will be built by Suntrust, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Megaworld. The township will also have a lifestyle mall, commercial and retail strips, open parks, a lagoon, and a school.
Cagayan de Oro’s Pueblo Business Park, one of the oldest IT economic zones in the region, was developed by Pueblo de Oro and envisioned as an emerging Central Business District and Lifestyle Center. The world-class property offers spaces for various businesses such as banking institutions, corporate offices, residential condominiums, healthcare providers, educational institutions, government agencies, and other mixed-use establishments.
Forbes Hill is Megaworld’s first upscale residential village in the Visayas and Mindanao region, a 53-hectare Northill Gateway township property in Bacolod City. The high-end neighborhood along the new Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road in the up and coming lifestyle district features large lot sizes, wide street roads and first-class leisure and recreational amenities, and a promise for a low-density community that evokes exclusivity and privacy to residents. First-class amenities exclusive for its residents include an events hall, fitness center, game room, entertainment room, lap pool, children’s pool, a gazebo park and a basketball court.
Located along Diversion Road, Mandurriao, Iloilo City is Ayala Land’s the Iloilo TechnoHub which is envisioned to be composed of three buildings with support facilities and amenities for BPO firms. The Iloilo BPO Building promises to be a three-story, Grade-A facility which will be the prime office real estate solution for BPO locators.
In Naga City, Robinsons Land Corp. is launching a mixed-use complex with a shopping mall, an office building and two hotel chains: Go Hotels and Summit Hotel. At 5,900 square meters and located at the corner of Naga Diversion Road and Almeda Highway, Robinsons Cybergate Naga features two office levels with an additional recruitment space on the third floor, which will be connected to a mall. The office building will have its own lobby on the ground floor and elevator dedicated to its tenants. It is also designed with large and efficient office floor plates and will be in warm-shell hand-over condition.
With the continued growth of the Philippine economy, it naturally follows that cities other than Metro Manila are receiving their share of the limelight. Businesses, both local and foreign, are always looking for premium office spaces, and the growing middle-class are always looking for residential and commercial areas. Metro Manila might be the Philippines’ brightest spot, but it is far from the only one. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran