Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Pampanga is Underrated When It Comes to Real Estate

Pampanga, the gateway to Central Luzon, was the center during the Spanish colonization. The history and culture of the past remained embedded in its people and is reflected in their preparation of delectable dishes and colorful cooking palette. It is dubbed as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines after all. 

In the modern era, it is the next big thing. Greater Manila, which includes Bulacan and provinces of the South (Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) are congested and polluted, so it's better to look for options to relocate. What better place than Pampanga? With the development of Clark Green City and Clark International Airport, real estate developers will be eyeing for land spaces and lots to market house and lot for sale in Pampanga.


Overview

Pampanga has three cities - Angeles City is an independent city - and 19 municipalities under different classes. It is surrounded by its neighboring provinces; Tarlac in the North, Nueva Ecija in the Northeast, Bulacan in the East, Bataan in the Southwest and Zambales in the West. Manila Bay is directly in the South, where fishing activities and shipping are conducted. 

sctex, expressway, central luzon, philippines, pampanga, subic

Most of Pampanga is part of NLEX and SCTEX. The placement makes the province accessible for commuters, travelers, and markets to Metro Manila. It also has Clark International Airport which caters to domestic and international flights.The airport is less crowded than Manila International Airport (NAIA).



Why Stay in Pampanga


Opportunities to grow

Companies are branching out in other areas of the country, and some are setting their eye on Pampanga. Besides the Duterte's administration ‘BUILD, BUILD, BUILD' big ticket project, other developers like Megaworld will begin land development to set up a business district in the province. Buildings will be for business-process outsourcing firms and other IT companies expanding or starting their operations in the North. 
Alphamed Medical Group Inc., a group of doctors specializing in different medical areas, recently established a branch in the municipality of Mexico. Various industries setting up in the province brings services closer to the people. 
The ability to grown does not only concern economic improvement. Personal growth starts from learning institutions. Schools now prefer suburban areas to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city that impedes the student's learning. Thus schools and universities are closer to home than ever before. Pampanga is not only the perfect suburban setting, but it is also the home of the first and oldest private institution in the country. Lubao Institute was founded in 1929 and is the first and oldest non-sectarian school in Lubao.

Less expensive

The cost of living in Pampanga is less compared to Metro Manila. Pampanga is still a province even if there are highly urbanized cities in the area. There are other housing options available in Mabalacat and Porac. Rent-to-own properties are significantly much affordable in San Fernando and Angeles City than other provinces. OFWs and expats looking for low-cost accommodations can choose from different home developments available in the area.


Having a place in the fastest growing city and the future central business hub of the country saves a lot of money before housing triples their value. Owning a house also lessens the need to commute from home to the workplace. It reduces the expenses for transportation and shelter as it removes the need to rent a space. 


Work life diversion


fontana hot springs leisure park and casino, fontana pampanga, pampanga, recreation, facilities


Latest housing developments and suburbs now include clubhouses, swimming pools, and fitness facilities which give time off the daily grind. Nature is also an important aspect of recreation that's why some housing projects are strategically located near golf courses and nature parks. In the heart of Clark Freeport Zone lies the Fontana Hot Springs Leisure Parks and Casino, where a suburban community is just a few minutes away. The hot springs, pools, grass parks and casinos are a perfect amusement for everyone in the family. Mabalacat has Dinosaur Island while Porac has SandBox, located within Alviera,  which features various outdoor activities and adrenaline pumping attractions. It has a playground, mini golf, roller coaster zip line and a giant swing! Sandbox gives the ultimate weekend experience.
The suburbs and homeowners communities are also distant from the noise, pollution, and traffic of the city. Since Pampanga isn't crowded and densely populated, it is peaceful and orderly. The quietness if the area offers a refreshing and relaxing feeling after a long day at work.

History and festivities  


lantern, christmas, festivals pampanga, giant lantern, christmas philippines

At night, Angeles City is teeming with lights and laughter of the party crowd. Around January and February, the city celebrates the Hot Air Balloon Festival which attracts tourists yearly. San Fernando has one-of-a-kind festivities like Sinukwan Festival and Frog Festival and grand celebrations like the Giant Lantern Festival. Lubao observes the Sampaguita Festival while Manalin has the Egg Festival every June.
Regarding history, the Spanish genuinely left its marks and traditions in Pampanga. The province has no shortage when it comes to churches. The oldest and prominent Catholic churches were built in its municipalities. Santa Monica Church and Santa Lucia Parish Church are some of the most visited church with numerous devotees.


Overall, Pampanga is an underrated province when it comes to family life and business opportunities. Although the area is flourishing on its own, it was neglected when economic development focused on Manila. Pampanga provides a wholesome environment suitable for family life, community engagement, and vigorous business. Its cities and municipalities are always open to welcome those who seek the relaxed pace of urban living.







Monday, May 22, 2017

Must-Haves for Your Kids at Home


Having kids at home is not easy. You need to get up early, prepare food and the things they need, and make sure they are well-taken care. More than that, you got to keep your condo in Manila or wherever you live, a child-friendly place. With all the furniture and things you have at home, can you honestly say your kids are safe and can be their happy place?

To help you in making your condo unit or house and rooms kid-friendly, here are some of the things you might want to consider having or doing:

 

Faucet Extender


You cannot carry your kids all the time, nor they can drag a chair and stand on it for them to reach the sink (which is not quite safe to do) so it’s better for you to have a faucet extender. What’s fun with this product is that it comes in different colors and designs too! Might appear to be nonsense since they can’t see it much yet. Nevertheless, having an extender on your main sink's faucet is a good step in making your home kid-friendly, especially if they are still small.

 

 

 

Rounded Furniture

Instead of having the usual rectangular or square-shaped tables and other furniture, you can try purchasing rounded or oval-shaped ones especially if your kids are just starting to crawl and walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have Your TV Mounted

If your television is very easy to reach, you may want to consider having it mounted. We can see kids and adults tumbling down from TVs on tables, and we may find it entertaining, but it’s 0% safe. Aside from it’s harder to reach for kids, having your TVs mounted may be more comfortable when you are watching.

 

 

 

 

 

Fixed-cushion Sofa

Most of us own a removable couch cushion since it’s easier to clean. But since kids move a lot and there’s a tendency they can fall or slip thru the cushion, it’s better to have these cushions fixed. If you can’t afford to buy a new fixed-cushion sofa and still believe that removable cushions are still good, there are some ways on how to make the pillows more sturdy or fixed, but still removable. You can search online for different ways on how to prevent these cushions from sagging and slipping.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Outlets and Stove Knobs Cover


Electrical outlets cover can be easily bought in hardware and even in supermarket stores. Even though your kids’ fingers may not fit into the outlets' holes, due to curiosity and playfulness, they may stick metal conductors to those holes and may get electric shocks. Make sure that the covers that you would be buying are hard to remove for kids, but still easy for adults to adjust when needed.

Some kids can already reach your stove knobs. Aside from making sure you turn the gas tank off, you should also protect your oven. Most stove knobs are removable but replacing it then and now is quite a hassle so you can have it covered instead.

 

Cushion or Corner Guards

Edge and corner guards are a must-have especially if your furniture at home are mostly with sharp edges and corners, and your children are practicing to crawl and walk. Your little babies are prone to bumping so keep them safe by sticking or putting some cushion guards. You can also do your very own cushion guards using soft materials. Just be careful in using your materials because if it’s too mushy and squishy, the impact on bumping would still be the same. If it’s too hard, the kids will still get hurt just similar to when there are no cushion guards.






 

Box for Their Toys and Trinkets

More than making your house cleaner and better arranged, you are teaching kids to be responsible for their things. After playing with their toys, you can ask them to keep it properly and have their storage boxes secured.












(Credits to the rightful photo owners)


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Are You Ready to Buy a Condo?


You might be so interested in buying one of Manila properties, or if not, you are considering that condo for rent Bonifacio Global City. You are probably thinking of living on your own, settling down with your better half or contemplating on the thought of investing. We have different reasons and stories why we are tempted to buy or rent a condo unit. Whatever your rationale is, you should ask yourself: “Am I ready to buy a condo?”

Just like any other big things you do, buying a condo unit needs to be thoroughly reviewed. In this article, let us focus on your financial readiness. Time to review your bank accounts and assets, and see if you can afford to buy a condominium unit.

How much can I afford?

We can't give you a definite answer on that big question as different factors or variables affect individual capacity on buying a condo unit.

According to real estate experts, you can use the “2.5 rule” to estimate how much you can afford. How does it work? Note your net monthly income, and multiply it by 12. After getting the product, multiply it by 2.5, and the answer will be the maximum amount of condo unit you may afford to pay or buy.

Example:

Your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000.
₱ 30, 000 x 12 = ₱ 360, 000
₱ 360, 000 x 2.5 = ₱ 900, 000
Maximum amount of condo you may afford: ₱ 900, 000

This is just a rough estimation on the amount of condo unit you may purchase.

Not all people can buy a condo unit with one-time-big-time payment (you must be really lucky!), so most of us go to our banks and see how can they finance our condominium. But don't forget how banks love to know the exact figures and calculations. They will carefully compute your income against your expenses. More than the computations and numbers, the banks also love rules. One of which is that only 25% of your net monthly income should be devoted to housing.

Using our previous example, given that your net monthly income is ₱ 30, 000, you can save ₱ 7, 500 for your condo unit. Unfortunately, if you are earning ₱ 30, 000, you might want to think of other ways of earning to afford your dream condo unit since the computed ₱ 7, 500 should cover not only the amortization but also the other costs of living and owning in a condominium.

You should also remember that we can quickly know your net income but not your expenses. Our spending practices vary from time to time. There are a lot of factors that may affect your budgeting – emergency needs, needs and wants, and other priorities.

Along the way of getting your dream condo unit, sacrifices are inevitable. If buying a condo unit is your top priority, you might postpone your expensive vacation or delay your plan of purchasing a new car, or other pricey liabilities.

Another thing for you to note is what will happen if you suddenly lose your primary source of income? Even though this may be out of your control, you should be able to keep your commitment to pay no matter what happens. That is why you should also have a generous amount of savings allocated for your condo unit expenses. You should have saved at least six months worth of your monthly amortization just in case you will be losing your job or have a drastic change in your monthly spending.

For example, your monthly allocation for your condo is ₱ 20, 000, you should have at least ₱ 120, 000 in your savings account.


After knowing all these things and thinking about your current situation, can you confidently say “yes” if you're asked, “are you ready to buy a condo?” No worries if you can't answer that yet. You got enough time to start looking for more cost-effective condo units or have other sources of income to finance your goal of owning a condominium.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Philippines as an Avian Archipelago

The Philippines is one among the very few countries that is considered to have mega-diversity, from flora and fauna specifically when it comes to birds and mammals. Birdwatching in the Philippines is the current trend among the birders worldwide. Let’s discover further what these birders love about the avian diversity in the country.

A look at the statistics

In the Philippines, the avifauna totals to about 657 species, 214 species of which are endemic. Of these endemic species, 68 are globally threatened, 52 are accidental or rare, and 5 are introduced by humans. Specifically, there are 48 non-passerines and 35 passerines.
According to a Science Daily article, biologists worldwide already considers the Philippines as a ‘biodiversity hotspot.’ They also claim that the country might have a unique bird species than what is already known. About 31% of all bird species found in the Philippines are regarded as Philippine-only (or can be found in the Philippines exclusively).

Where to bird watch

Further, there are more than 200 bird-watching sites in the country in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with special mention in Palawan and Batanes.
The top bird-watching sites in the country are found in: Ilocos Norte, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Pampanga, Laguna, Manila, Quezon, Bicol, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Batanes, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Zamboanga.
For those who occupy Manila properties, the closest bird watching paradises are in Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve in Laguna, Mt. Palay-Palay National Park in Cavite and Las PiƱas-ParaƱaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Zone. Another avifauna haven is in Wildlife and Bird Watching Sanctuary in Nuvali where you can see hundreds of bird species including herons and otters.

When to bird watch


Birding is possible all-year-round. However, it is best to visit the Philippines between December and July (dry season). During the wet season, it is tough to spot the majority of the birds though you can still watch or observe some species like pittas. Not to mention, terrains can get muddy, traveling to and fro the site will be more of a challenge.
Some local bird clubs also conduct bird festivals from time to time. Birders can contact these bird clubs to determine schedules.
The best time to bird watch is during the morning when they start to search for food. You should be up before 5 am.

Must-watch birds in the country

In the city, the most commonly observed birds are Eurasian tree sparrow, Yellow-vented bulbul, Olive-backed sunbird, zebra dove, black-naped oriole, golden-bellied flyeater and Philippine pygmy woodpecker.
However, there are must-see birds as well. Top of the list is the Philippine eagle. Others are Palawan peacock pheasant, steere’s pitta, Philippine cockatoo, scale-feathered malkoha, rufous hornbill, green racquet-tail, spotted wood kingfisher, Apo myna and Bukidnon woodcock.

What to bring when bird watching

When you embark on bird watching in any of the sites mentioned above, make sure to bring binoculars and camera with you. You should also bring a guide and journal where you can document the experience.
Also, bird watching is a hobby that is not for everybody. Patience is a virtue, and it holds true for this hobby. If you cannot stand long hours of silence, you might as well give it up. Respect for the birds and their natural habitat are also necessary.


The Philippines is a home to hundreds of bird species, each one of which has its own distinct beauty. Our avian bionetwork is legendary, making the entire archipelago as the latest bird watching hotspot. There are many choices for bird watching sites even in and around the metro. While bird watching is a worthwhile activity, this is not for everybody. It takes drive patience and passion to be a bird watcher!  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Top 6 Kitchen Ideas for Every Home

For homeowners, designing kitchen is as much important as the other rooms in the house. It doesn’t matter whether you live in South Park District or any real estate property in the Philippines, designing your kitchen is within your reach. Yes, it is within your reach since you can!


However, not all of us here can achieve the desired outcome. Perhaps, they don't have any idea on how they can effectively and successfully design their kitchen without any compromises. To give you an idea, below are some tips most experts suggest to every homeowner who plans to design their kitchen. And mind you, it's easy and doable.

1. Think ahead

You can’t start renovating or decorating your kitchen when you don’t have any idea on what you want to do at all. Thinking ahead also means envisioning your ideal kitchen. From its structure way up to where you want to put your kitchen utensils matters the most. And of course, thinking ahead doesn’t just end up with envisioning to what you want to do with the kitchen; you also have to consider a proper plan on how you can successfully achieve the kitchen that you desired the most.

2. Make room for storage

When it comes to your kitchen, storages are important. However, this is also one of the common mistakes most homeowners fail to consider while still in the planning process. As a result, they tend to place utensils and other goods anywhere in the kitchen. And mind you, it is not a good sight. The most common storage most homeowners used is the overhead cabinets. With that, it is easier for you to grab the things you need. Moreover, this is also one way to save enough space to your kitchen area.

3. Space and surface

Whether you agree with me on this or not, there is no such thing as too little space for your kitchen. Yes, since it will always be up to you on how you make room for everything found in the kitchen. Moreover, taking care of your kitchen space is also one of the things you should never ignore. As a homeowner, it is also your duty to maintain a clean kitchen environment, especially when it comes to cleaning the grout between tiles. Well, cleaning will be much easier if you do it on a regular basis.

4. Safety first

Above all, safety is the number one priority you should and must do. Every after cooking, you need to turn off the gas range properly for as not to ignite a fire. Of course, outlets should be free from wires, especially when you are not using its electricity. Think safety first, and you will have a better kitchen experience.

5. Good lighting

Proper installation of lighting is needed in the kitchen. Unlike with the other rooms you have at home, kitchen lightings should be sufficient enough to light the entire place. If your light is not properly positioned to fall in front of you, you will most likely cast a shadow on the workplace. Mind you; it’s going to be painful to the eyes. And don’t forget that lights Under-cabinet should shine directly on the countertops.

6. Power play

If you think you don’t need any power source in your kitchen, then you better think again. In fact, having a power source is one of the things you should never forget to consider while still in the planning to process. There’s a caveat, though; you have to make sure to locate the power source in its appropriate place for other new appliances. For instance, if you have your rice cooker and other appliances that need electricity, make sure that they are properly fitted to its place.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Home Improvement Hacks: How To Remove Stubborn Gum From A Table



Hands up of you have kids at home! I bet, there are a lot of parents here who have playful and cheerful kids. And of the most all-time favorite snacks for most kids is the chewing gum. Who would not be amazed how you can make some bubble out from the snack, right? However, this is also one thing that worries most parents – putting gum anywhere, especially on the table. And removing gum from a table is one of the most daunting tasks at home. Agree?

It doesn't matter if you are a resident of Solstice or any other real estate properties in the Philippines, you will experience this kind of situation especially if you have kids at home. But fret not, although this might be a daunting and frustrating task for some parents, there are already tricks or hacks where you can effectively remove the gum without any hassles at all.

Scrape gum off using a blade


On this method, you have to be careful not to leave a mark on your table since you are going to do some scraping on the gummed surface. Well, you have to carefully press the blade between the gum and the table's surface, and push the blade gently across the table. A dull edge is advisable for you to use. However, if you don't have such, then a sharper blade should be used with caution. But before you scrape the gum off, try to put a little vegetable oil for easier removal of the gum.

Rub with vegetable oil


The use of vegetable oil is not just for cooking your favorite meal. This is also a helpful and effective element that helps remove gum from a table. Well, just soak the paper towel in the vegetable oil, and then rub the area vigorously. Since oil is greasy, the gum should release from the table. And the good thing is, any vegetable oil will work on this method.

Apply ice cubes


Whether you realize it or not, ice cubes are an effective thing that can remove gum. Ice cubes can freeze the gum into a more solid element. Just put a dozen ice cubes into a plastic bag and put it again the gummed surface. Wait for minutes until the gum is completely chill. And once the gum is chilled or frozen, it would be much easier for you to remove the gum through the use of a dull knife. But make sure to use the knife carefully for as not to leave any marks on the table.


Dab with peanut butter


Who would think that a peanut butter is an effective tool to remove gum? Yes, you heard it right! All you have to do is put a small amount of peanut butter on the gummed surface, and let it sit for 15 minutes until the gum can be easily removed by a knife. Wonder how? Since peanut butter has some oil in it, it will help dissolved the gum and release it from the table. If you don't have any peanut butter at home, then try to refer to number 2, or any oily substance such as mayonnaise, make-up remover wipes or even facial moisturizer. These products will help you remove the gum.

See? Removing of gum is not that hard as you think it is. Well, you just have to make sure that you think before removing the gum with your hands – it's a no-no. You need to follow some tricks for an effective and successful removal of the gum on your table. Moreover, as a parent, tell your kids not to put gum on the table anymore. At least with that, it would be lesser hassles in life at home.


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Top 6 Secrets Spot At Home to Hide Your Valuables From Thieves



Whether you realize it or not, we humans are good at hiding. Not just hiding secrets from our family and friends, but also with our valuables. Perhaps, you want to hide something because they might get mad or jealous over a simple thing; or from the potential thieves with some good sense of sight.  Whatever the reasons may be, it is undeniable that you want to hide something. That's it! However, even if you live in any condo in Manila, there are limited spots you know. And I'm sure it is not a good spot to hide something, right?

However, if you are desperate enough to hide your things yet you don't have any idea at all on what and where you should put those valuables, then let me help you by giving you these six secret spots at home you probably don't know you can safely put your valuables.

1. Wall art


Just like your bedroom mirror, you can also choose to hide your valuables behind your wall art. With a flat wall surface, who would notice that there are some things hidden behind it. Well, just make sure that your wall art is not suspicious enough for a person to be curious to look what's behind it. Moreover, the flatter it is, the more it is convincing it is.

2. Air vents


Air vents are not just used for bathroom or any other rooms for the circulation of air. If you are wise enough, you can install a faux air vent storage units in hallways or even in your bathroom. With that, burglars or any other sensitive eyes will notice it. They will assume that it is one of the real vents you install for the room. Of course, who would not teach that air vents are also a good place to keep your valuables at home.


3. Closet light


If you have a closet light at home, then this is also one of the places where it can be safe to hide your valuables. Any person will not notice the things hidden inside especially when the light is on. Well, if you are willing to pay an amount of money, then you can also purchase a closet lighting without any need for wiring. With this, it will not be that obvious to any other person that you are hiding something in there.

4. Books


Yes, books. Some books are made for storages. There are shops such as Etsy shops that sell secret safe books. This kind of storage is fancy enough that it gives us an illusion that it is a real book. Of course, its feature is almost the same as the real book. Its texture, design, size, shape is a book. But you also have to make sure that it is hidden in a place where it can't be reached by anybody in the house.

5. Pantry items and cleaning supplies


Household cleaning supplies and other cleaner products are one of the safe places where you can hide your valuables. Well, if you plan to put your things inside, then make sure that it is clean enough for you to use. Moreover, choose a cleaner that it is not that useful at home. With that, it is still safe whenever someone wants to use a particular cleaner.

6. Bedroom mirror


It is not just your ordinary mirror. If you choose to place your valuables in this storage, you better have a good idea on how you can properly put the things behind it. Perhaps, you can install a bigger mirror where no one will notice that it has a back portion for storage use. If not, then you might as well willing to pay a good price to purchase a secret storage mirror where even large things can easily fit inside.


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