Real Estate Innovation and Market Trends 2014

I have observed a significant demand for industrial, manufacturing and warehouses. The industry sector, on my analysis, will outpace in terms of growth the other real estate sectors.

In businesswordlonline.com, reported that Real estate in the Philippines attracts foreign direct investments.

A year of strong economic growth and high foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines has set the scene for a wave of new real estate activity during 2014.

Growing demand from the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, rising rents, a construction boom and a substantial increase in foreign remittances will all play a part in driving the sector’s expansion. A move by the banks to rein in lending, meanwhile, should help allay concerns that a real estate bubble could be forming.

The Philippines’ property market has been buoyed by the country’s strong economic performance. Annual GDP growth hit 7.2% last year, exceeding both the government’s targets and many analysts’ expectations, while FDI for the first eight months of 2013 reached $2.8 billion, up 25.4% on the previous year. Foreign remittances, meanwhile, peaked at an all-time monthly high of $2.06 billion in November 2013, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Building work, in particular, is booming, sparked by rising demand for residential and office space, especially in Metro Manila. Real estate and construction activity combined now account for one fifth of the Philippines’ economy, edging closer to the manufacturing sector.

The Philippines Constructors’ Association listed 24,400 private projects in the first quarter of 2013, with data showing that residential buildings made up over 70% of the ventures.

A shortage of housing is a major problem for the Philippines. According to a report compiled by the Subdivision and Housing Developers Association, the national housing backlog stood at 3.9m units in 2013, with data suggesting it could rise to 7m during the next 16 years. Reconstruction efforts in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan will also boost construction work and push up foreign remittances.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the BPO industry has created high demand for new office space. Manila placed second on investment advisory firm Tholon’s 2014 ranking of top BPO destinations, while Cebu City ranked eighth. Several other municipalities, including Davao, Santa Rosa, Laguna, Iloilo and Baguio, made the top 100.

The BPO industry generated $13.3 billion in export earnings last year, according to BSP figures, notching up 15% growth, with the central bank forecasting a further expansion of 15% in 2014.

However, top real estate developers are venturing into non-traditional real estate projects. In news on businessmirror.com, written by VG Cabuag last February 23, 2014, Ayala Land Inc. said it will focus on businesses that provide recurring income for the company, such as supermarket, shopping center, hotel and hospital ventures as it seeks to gain more stability in the years ahead.

Ayala Land President Antonino Aquino said for the rest of the year, the company will finish what it had lined up, mainly developing properties from the ground up and acquiring more property to increase its land bank.

“We want to have a balanced growth. We will keep on investing on the recurring part to give us far greater stability,” Aquino said.

Its supermarket venture will be handled Puregold Price Club Inc., the convenience stores under the Family Mart brand that is being operated by Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corp. and the hospital venture will be handled by the Mercado Hospital group.

“For our horizontal development, we will be a bit more on Nuvali-types. Probably in places like Pampanga, Bulacan and Cavite,” Aquino said, adding that it will continue its vertical developments.

Last year the company earned a record P11.74 billion in net income, some 30-percent higher than its P9.04-billion profit recorded in the previous year.

Ayala Land is also involved in manufacturing industrial parks, power generations and infrastructure projects.

Another top developer is the SM Prime Holdings, aside from malls and residences, SM Prime owns Tagaytay Highlands an upscale residential development and golf resort, and also owns Pico de Loro Cove, a large-scale ecotourism and leisure project. The company has hotels in Cebu, Davao and Manila and convention centers in Taguig and in the latter two destinations.

SM Prime Holdings is involved also with reclamation, infrastructure projects, and Health Care especially ambulatory clinics, while SMDC is involved in infrastructure, roads and bridges construction, and power generation.

We, Real Estate Practitioners should be innovative and creative and must try to become successful, but more important, or rather, to become persons of value. “Success” is not always assessed or measured in monetary terms, but by its fruits of service to others, and the Worth of our Work, Family Life and Good, Prestigious relationship with All.

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Tapping Health Tourism and Retirement Market: Alternative to Rural Land Best Use ( part two)

Last Saturday, February 22, 2014, we wrote about the need to Develop Resort Hotels away from Metro Manila. In the study we did for a client in BINAGONAN Rizal, we concluded that a Health and Wellness  facility would  be one of the Best Uses for the Tropical Land with a River and a Spring.

We saw the importance for City Dwellers, to find a place to have wholesome rest. It is necessary for our health; the mind, body and soul.

For us who live in “stressful” urban environment , are open to suffer from pulmonary illness , high blood pressure , heart conditions, and several other kinds of maladies . 

To site one of the stressful elements of Urban living is having to undergo daily traffic jams. It is nerve wrecking at times. August last year, a study by the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Study (UP NCTS) placed the average annual losses incurred due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila at over P137 billion as of 2011. The study noted that the country has lost more than P1.5 trillion since 2001 due to traffic, which has led to loss of productivity.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica)

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica)

Earlier in 1999, studies by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and the Department of Transportation and Communication placed annual losses due to traffic in Metro Manila at P140 billion.

Of this figure, P40 billion went to direct losses, such as wasted gasoline, lost labor hours, employment of traffic aides, and wasted electricity, while P100 billion went to indirect losses, like missed business opportunities and reduced capital inflow due to investors shying away from the country, among others.

At the time, the Jica study said that the average speed of vehicles was 12.6 kilometers per hour, and identified the following main reasons for the traffic: Bad driving habits, inadequate traffic enforcement, and poorly coordinated infrastructure projects. Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research.

One of the well known tourist spots in the Philippines is the Pico de Loro Cove in Batangas. You probably wonder why it is called Pico de loro, the picture below explains why..

collagePico Sands, the only hotel in Pico de Loro, a seaside development by SM. Rooms are decent, and luxurious. There are wall arts,  It has quirky elements in the room rather bland structure. This gave the place a whole lot of character.

The view. Set between a backdrop of a bald Pico hill and a calm pristine lake, these elegant condominiums are wonderful. It was a peaceful view, even though the sea was out of sight. The lobby seemed to have risen to life with all the natural light coming in. The greens from the gardens outdoors seemed to want to come inside.

collage1

There is a lake which was confirmed to be man made. It became the landmark of Pico de Loro, the center lake where everything else revolved around in. There were several lobbies and dining areas in entire complex. There were huge ballrooms as well, making it a perfect events place for both weddings and corporate affairs.

The pool in the beach club is amazing, and the cove is absolutely beautiful. The natural landscape of the place is incredible. It feels like secluded and exclusive, and it is just near Manila.

collage3

Medical infrastructure should be constructed in other places in Philippines, like Bataan. One good medical infrastructure project that should be constructed is the Blue Lotus Health Resort in Laurel, Batangas. The project will be the development of a health resort envisioned to help foster a holistic lifestyle with the end in view of helping others achieve a longer, healthier, and happier life, specifically focusing on Ayurveda treatment programs. Ayurveda resorts are mostly found in India, but there are others also located in other Asian countries, Europe, and the U.S.A. This project will be the first of its kind in the Philippines.

Blue LotusThis project will be a big help for medical needs of people, especially to our senior citizens that those who greatly in need of medical attentions.

In other countries, when they reached the age of being senior citizen, they move out of their house and live in a house with other senior citizens called “elderly care”. Our country is known for our hospitable characteristics and love for our parents. Most of us Filipinos still live with our parents even regardless with their age, so that we can personally take care of them. Our mentality is that, we should return what our parents gave us when we we’re young, like they love us with all their heart and lives, so we should also love them back.

People can retire for health and wellness if we have this kind of project here in the Philippines. Because of the aging population like in Japan, China, Europeans, some of them are going to other Asian countries looking for care. So Philippines should take advantage of this situation.

Medical Tourism Philippines (MTP) welcomes tourists from all over the world to visit the Philippines for their medical and leisure needs. The most common procedures are cosmetic and plastic surgery, dermatology, weight loss surgery, ophthalmology, and dentistry.

medical_tourism_philippines

The Philippines has been growing as a tourist destination of choice for health and vacation because of our world class physicians, modern technology, and our uniquely Filipino brand of caring and compassion at great values for money at a fraction of the cost in developed countries. We are home to some of the best hospitals and stand alone Specialty clinics in the world, offering world-class expertise, state-of-the-art facilities, and the distinct warmth of the Filipino hospitality. We also have some of the world’s best spa retreat resorts and tour destinations in this part of the earth.

Below are the three compelling reasons why you should have your medical procedure in the Philippines.

  • Great value for your money – at a fraction of amount you’d spend on a treatment in the US or Europe, with MTP, you’ll get the same world class quality care in the Philippines…plus a Bonus Vacation in an Exotic locale.
  • Be in safe hands – Filipino doctors study in Asia’s best medical schools, with many stayed in the US, Japan and elsewhere for additional exposure and experience making them among the most capable physicians along the Pacific Rim.
  • Heal faster and better – after your procedure, pamper yourself with the Filipino blend of spa retreats.. Enjoy your kind of excitement with our ecotours, adventure tours, and cultural tours. Recovery has never been this quick and enjoyable.

With the help of Medical Tourism in the Philippines, we can attract more tourists that who come here in the Philippines not just for the beautiful tourist spots but our medical services for them. We can also give services for elderly tourist with the help of Philippine Retirement Authority

philippine_retirement_authority“Smile at Life in the Philippines.” This is the invitation of Philippine Retirement Authority to our former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals to choose the Philippines as their second home. Famous for our vibrant culture, hospitality, friendly English-speaking population, natural attractions, and tropical climate, retirees can expect the good life in the Philippines at an affordable cost.

GEOGRAPHY
The Philippines is an archipelagic nation made up of 7,107 islands spanning 1,840 kilometers north to south. It is part of the Southeast Asian region, and is bordered by Taiwan to the north, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo to the south, the South China Sea to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Three main Philippine Island groups are Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. The Capital is Manila. Time Zone is GMT +8 hours.

CLIMATE
Generally, Philippines has a tropical climate. March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78F/25C to 90F/32C; humidity is 77%.

LANGUAGE
Understanding each other will not be a problem between the retirees and our people. Almost every Filipino can understand and speak some English. In fact, we are the third largest English-speaking nation in terms of population.

Two official languages are Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog is the national language. English is widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog; Cebuano; Ilocano; Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.

RELIGIONS
Some 83% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 5% are Muslim. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.

COST OF LIVING
The principal appeal for retirement in the Philippines is the lower cost of living. Housing, food, and labor costs are quite reasonable. Global Filipinos and foreign retirees can retire in the Philippines and enjoy not only the lower cost of living but also the very favorable currency exchange rate.

The Philippines’ monetary unit is the Peso. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments.

WORLD-CLASS MEDICAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
In terms of medical services, our facilities are comparable to the best anywhere else. Our highly trained medical personnel and caregivers are in demand all over the world not only for their competence and expertise but most especially for the care and compassion they show to their wards. Healthcare, a top priority of the senior market, is an expertise of the Filipino who is world-renowned for his excellent healthcare practitioners.

FILIPINO HOSPITALITY
Filipinos are naturally warm, friendly and hospitable. We have a ready smile for everybody and our religious background that is predominantly Catholic makes service to others an innate trait.

TELECOMMUNICATION EDGE
Every retiree can avail of the country’s continuously improving telecommunication facilities. They can keep abreast of what is happening around the world and keep in touch with their relatives and friends back home.

ECO-TOURISM DESTINATION
Philippines can provide the retirees endless choices of world-class destinations that will bring them closer to Mother Nature with clean air and beautiful sceneries. The white sand beaches of Boracay and Panglao and the virgin islands of Palawan often referred to as “the last frontier” are truly unforgettable places that entice the visitors to come back in the Philippines.

PRA SERVICE
The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) prides itself on the after-membership service that it provides to the retirees. During their stay in the country, they can consider PRA as their second family. PRA helps them address their needs. If and when they encounter any problem, PRA is with them every inch of the way.

The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) is a government owned and controlled corporation created by virtue of Executive Order No. 1037, signed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos on 04 July 1985. On 31 August 2001, through Executive Order No. 26, the control and supervision of PRA was transferred to the Board of Investments (BOI) – Department of Trade and Industry from the Office of the President.

On 12 May 2009, Republic Act No. 9593, otherwise known as Tourism Act of 2009, PRA became an attached agency of the Department of Tourism and placed under the supervision  of the Secretary.

PRA is mandated to attract foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to invest, reside and retire in the Philippines with the end-view of accelerating the socio-economic development of the country, contributing to the foreign currency reserve of the economy and by providing them the best quality of life in the most attractive package.

Left: Happy foreign couple senior citizens in the Philippines Right: Dancing Filipino couple as the music plays. photo source:  www.passporthealthusa.com www.clinicalsportsmedicine.com

Left: Happy foreign couple senior citizens in the Philippines
Right: Dancing Filipino couple as the music plays.
photo source:
http://www.passporthealthusa.com
http://www.clinicalsportsmedicine.com

Sources:

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Some Practical Suggestions on How to Prepare for the Real Estate Brokers’ Exam

prcThe Real Estate Broker’s Exam is just around the corner which will be held on March 16, 2014 and it will fall on Sunday. I wish to share some suggestions that will help you not only to pass but to excel on the exam. It is good to strive to be a top notcher.

First and most important thing is, dedicate quality time to study and read at least four hours a day. Set a daily time schedule, this will help you focus on your studies.

I suggest to breakdown your Study Time or hours on particular topics such as: Fundamentals, Condominium Concepts, Legal Requirements, Planning, Development and Zoning, Principles of Ecology, Real Estate Economics and Finance etc., focus on your weaknesses, i.e. Math, Law, and Taxation etc., use keywords to memorize. This will also help you not to cram during the review. Just make sure you have the discipline to follow your schedule.

Gather all the materials that you will need during the review, usually the review center also provide some reviewer, but that is not enough since they are only distributing some handout or guidelines. If possible you can borrow from your classmates and friends or buy some books and review materials.

Second, ask some people who already took and pass the board exam. Try to ask some advice from them, surely they will give you very helpful tips and that you can use in reviewing or even in the actual examination. Also ask them about the recent examinations like what certain problems in a particular that appears in the examination, and the technique that they used when they took the exam. Ask any thing by the way it’s good because you are learning and at the same time it’s for free.

EXAM

Many honor students even from reputable and highly respectable school also flunked the examination this just proves that the outcome of the examination doesn’t rely on intelligence alone, and I agree with that. It may be because they are over confident and/or even lack of preparation. Do not rely on luck.

Stock knowledge is the key in passing any given licensure examination, but studying and pushing so hard can give you stress. If you feel so much stress, no matter how hard you review, your brain will no longer absorb what you are reading, it’s the best time to stop and relax. Relaxation and Breathing exercises will help you reduce stress. Also try to spend time with your family, friends and special someone. Though you are not learning relative lessons from them, you got motivation. This will help you once again to pursue what you have started.

According to ptsd.about.com., deep breathing can be an important coping skill to learn. It may sound silly, but many people do not breathe properly. Natural breathing involves your diaphragm, a large muscle in your abdomen. When you breathe in, your belly should expand. When you breathe out, your belly should fall. Overtime, people forget how to breathe this way and instead use their chest and shoulders. This causes short and shallow breaths, which can increase stress and anxiety.

Fortunately, it is not too late to “re-learn” how to breathe and help protect yourself from stress. Practice the simple exercise below to improve your breathing.

  • Find a comfortable position either lying on your back or sitting. If you are sitting down, make sure that you keep your back straight and release the tension in your shoulders. Let them drop.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
  • Take a few breaths as you normally would. Does your belly rise and fall with every breath in and breathe out? If you can answer “yes,” that is good. This is the natural way of breathing. If your belly stays still but your chest rises and falls with every breath, practice breathing by only allowing your belly to rise and fall when you breathe in and out.
  • Continue to take deep breaths, concentrating on only moving your belly.
  • Continue as long as you would like!

According to Physician Committee for responsible Medicine, here’s a guide to which foods alleviate stress and which foods make it worse:

High-fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods: Scientists believe carbohydrates cause the brain to produce more serotonin, a hormone that relaxes us. And lots of fiber is helpful in preventing late-night binging. Some examples of healthy comfort food include baked sweet potatoes, minestrone soup, or sautéed vegetables over rice.

Fruits and vegetables: Chronic stress can weaken our ability to fight disease. By upping our intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, we can boost our immune system. Acorn squash and carrots, for example, are great sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene. And citrus fruits provide plenty of vitamin C, another stress-busting antioxidant.

Foods to Avoid

 High-fat foods: Fatty foods such as meat or cheese dishes and many baked goods thicken our blood which in turn makes us feel tired, even lethargic. This is clearly not a good way to reduce stress! Even just one high-fat meal can increase our risk of a heart attack.

Caffeine: Many of us deal with a stress-induced lack of sleep by turning to coffee, tea, and colas. Unfortunately, caffeine stays in our systems longer than many realize. Cutting back on caffeine can help with both sleeping problems and jitters.

Sugar: As a carbohydrate, sugar tends to calm us. The problem with sugar is that it’s a simple carbohydrate so it enters and leaves the bloodstream rapidly, causing us to, in effect, “crash.” On the other hand, complex carbohydrates? Such as pasta, beans, and lentils, the starchy parts of foods? Soothe without bringing us down.

On the day of examination, you should bring easy food to avoid hunger, dizziness that can be a cause of “black-out”. You can bring raisins, biscuits and drinks like Gatorade, but since it is high in sodium, water will be safer to drink. You can also eat dark chocolates or honey if you are not diabetic, to avoid hypoglycemia which is caused by low sugar, however, if you are diabetic you can take foods with protein like tofu or dried tapa.

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Dark chocolates and Tofu

Upon release of the Room Assignments, visit your assigned venue as soon as possible, this is to help you familiarize with the venue and the route you will take during the day of the exam.

It is best to stop studying at least one day before the examination, this will help you to condition yourself and release all the stress you’ve got during the review.

Prepare your Examination kit which should contain the following:

  • Notice of Admission (NOA)
  • Official Receipt
  • Community Tax Certificate (Cedula)
  • Brown Envelop
  • Metered Stamp Envelop
  • BLACK ballpen NOT Sign pen.
  • #2 Pencil (at least 3)
  • PRC Approved Calculator
  • Sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Clear Plastic Envelop

images (5) Arrive at your venue as early as possible, this will help you relax, and compose yourself for the examination. Coming in late will just add stress to you and travelling late or arriving almost late will just create a sense of pressure in you which will just make you more worried about the exam. But do not forget to have your breakfast. For those who are leaving very far from their respective room assignment, it would be wise to check-in in good, clean hotel to stay overnight. And for those who are Catholics, and wish to attend Saturday anticipated Holy Mass won’t miss their Sunday obligation.

license

If during examination you are in doubt, DO NOT answer if you are not sure. You can skip and read the other questions first, who knows you may discover the answer in the questions below, towards the end of the exams and you’re still in doubt or do not know the answer then choose the best possible answer by eliminating the one that most likely are not correct. when we have no other recourse it is good to pray for light and guidance to the Holy Spirit.

Use the restroom before entering the exam room, since the examinees are discouraged to go out to the examination room while the examination is ongoing.

Optimism, patience and perseverance are the keys to the desired success in passing the board exam aside from good study habit. Be optimistic that you really can pass. Research claims that the more the person envisions success, the more it becomes achievable. Don’t mind what other people will say if you fail, as long as you do your best, what they say doesn’t matter. This is your fight not theirs and be sure you are giving your best shot work hard. The one blessed with enormous patience, good study habits and perseverance will pass the exam. Have faith, prayers are very powerful especially when combined with handwork. Keep believing that all things will work out for the good. 

dr.kirby salvador, taking her oath as a Professional Real Estate Broker

“It’s not just a matter of exam but a beginning of a career”

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Developing Health + Wellness Resort Hotels: An Option to Rural Land , Best Use


Yesterday, we discussed the importance and need to decongest Manila. One of the reasons why we should  consider moving out of Metro Manila,  is for Health and Wellness. I received an Email , asking for my opinion, on  what one can do to his raw lands , located at BINAGONAN, Rizal. After having done my usual study, and Alternative Land Uses, I concluded in one of the options that there is a need and demand for Resort Hotels that are for Health + Wellness.

source: www.farmatsanbenito.com

source:farmatsanbenito.com

Since the yield my client was getting for his rural lands were very low, we were given the task to look at  the Highest and Best Use, given certain limiting conditions and Market Demand. After the study of the different feasible alternatives and options, we concluded that A Resort Hotel with Health and Wellness facilities of world class quality and in compliance with international Tourism standards, would be the Best Land Use.

 Although unfamiliar to many, the Philippines  provides a variety of Health and Wellness Resorts with Spa Services. Tourists enjoy the experience, variety of choices ,  to suit every need, or taste -from beaches, to mountains, lakes, hot springs, rivers, and tropical gardens . In these relaxing, healing  and  luxurious surroundings, one can find a wholesome place for a retreat. One needs to rest  from the daily grind and be revitalized ,  by the best and popular therapies, or just simply being one with nature.

 To name a few popular destinations, places that i particularly know, that transformed raw underutilized land, into successful  Health and wellness resorts and spas. These are:

The Farm at San Benito. Tucked away in the foothills of Mount Malarayat, two hours away from Manila, is The Farm at San Benito, a former coconut and coffee plantation which is steadily gaining popularity as an alternative healing center and one of the world’s few truly medical spas. It combines a spa resort and a medical facility to target those seeking relaxation and relief.

Founded with the aim of helping people maintain or regain their good health, The Farm specializes in alternative, non-western therapies and the treatment of degenerative, acute and chronic diseases. Visitors can opt for an Overnight Wellness Program which includes a one-hour medical consultation, or a Medical Vacation which aims to jumpstart their health through a cocktail of detoxification, exercise, skin cleansing and bowel cleansing for five days.

To pamper the body, there’s a wide choice of treatments at the Salus Per Aqua Spa including reflexology, various types of massages plus foot scrubs and facials and traditional Asian body scrubs. Tibetan exercise, yoga, meditation, and breathing and walking exercises are also available at the resort.

They also offer Filipino Body Treatment like “Hilot Haplos” Coco Cocoa Body Scrub, Coconut Cream Milk Bath & Hilot Massage feed your skin and relax tense muscles with this fresh scrub made from coconut cream and powdered cocoa that is spread over the body. Following the scrub indulge in a luscious bath of freshly squeezed warm coconut milk. After the bath a sensationally luxurious Hilot Massage, a traditional Filipino treatment, is sure to leave you wanting for more. “Tres Banos Lunas” is especially effective in treating energy stagnation while improving vitality. It also releases impacted toxins, commonly attributed to fluid retention, while strengthening the immune system. Regarded as one of the most soothing experiences – it will fine tune the aura, astral and etheric bodies, reducing stress to invoke regular restful and healing sleep. Hilot Lakan A.K.A. “The Noble Man” The treatment begins with a ritualistic cleansing of the feet, followed by a herbal body polish of fresh, local medicinal herbs to detoxify and purify the skin, infusing nutrients and enzymes to draw out toxins while renewing skin cells naturally. Firm massage releases stored emotional stress and built-up lactic acid, while invigorating the circulatory system for improved liver and kidney function.

 An invigorating yet healing herbal bath, naturally fragranced by the soothing smell of sandalwood marks the end of this masculine experience.

North Haven Spa Baguio City (Mountain High).The chilly Cordillera air in Baguio City is not the only attraction the destination has to offer these days. The North Haven Spa in the City of Pines is, without a doubt, the perfect reason to escape from the hurly burly grind of the city.

Their Strawberry Organic Scrub, Cordillera Rice Scrub and Benguet Coffee Scrub are among the varied highlights for a totally skin tingling experience. One must definitely experience their invigorating local massages such as the Dagdagis, a local foot rub that is definitely a treat which your aching feet deserve from all that tramping around the city. There’s also the indigenous head massage of the Mountain Province, the Gisgisto and the body massage, Taltaladtad, which are just a few of the special indigenous techniques passed down from their elders. With the North Haven Spa Signature Massage, you can smoothen out the rough edges and emerge feeling revitalized and ready to take on whatever may come your way.

A visit at the North Haven Spa is an intimate, personalized spa experience that reflects the transcendent beauty of the Cordillera’s natural mountain environment.

 But the problem here is that, the place is getting polluted and because of that, the Pine trees which are one of its main attractions are getting damaged. It is shameful to the foreigners isn’t it?

Sonya’s Garden (Master the Art of Doing Nothing). The colorful charm surrounding Sonya’s Garden hidden in the cool hills of Tagaytay will captivate you as you await your massage under this beautiful Bed and Breakfast’s serene atmosphere.

For the first timers in this blissful sanctuary, Sonya’s Signature Massage is a must-try. Get to experience this full-body massage filled with intense relaxing strokes infused with scented oils that will fully unite you with your harmonious environment. Detoxify under the sweet smelling fragrance of roses with their Aromatherapy Steam Bath. They also have singers to serenade you and it is soothing to the ears.

 Tirta Spa (Royal Spa Grandeur). Known as the first “premier spa” in Boracay, Tirta boasts of opulent Balinese and Asian-inspired architecture and elements. Its signature hue is the color purple which Ms. En Calvert, the spa director of Tirta, revealed has a relaxing effect on the mind and body. It is also the color of royalty — a likeness to how the staff treats you as soon as you enter its magnificent gates.

What makes Tirta Spa more exciting is its passion to create innovative treatments to satisfy every guest. The Before and After Sun Treatment is a highly-recommended spa package for those who love to soak under the sun. Before hitting the beach, try the Boracay Sunrise which includes facial and body exfoliation topped with a body massage for that even glow. The Boracay Sunset is ideal after a day at the beach. Cool pink clay (a botanical skin care product from Australia) is applied all over your body to revitalize your skin and help it maintain its youthful appearance. Tirta Spa also has a customized package to make your wedding moments more memorable. The Pulot Gata (Honeymoon Ritual) can be a pre- or post-wedding beauty ritual. Immerse yourself into this 3.5-hour session of pampering and relaxation fit for royalty.

Tirta Spa also uses Biodroga products manufactured exclusively in Baden, Germany. Made only from natural ingredients, these spa creations provide special care for your skin needs, leaving you more relaxed and radiant than before.

Mandala Spa and Villas Boracay (Island Wellness Sanctuary). Mandala Spa is a great choice for discerning spa enthusiasts visiting Boracay, one of the best beaches in the world. It is renowned for its award-winning spa treatments, elegant facilities, healthy cuisine and legendary service.

Enjoy their signature treatments and rejuvenation programs including the Shodhana Karma Ayurvedic detoxifying treatment– inspired by the ancient Ayurvedic system of well-being. The Princess Treatment or the Boracay Bliss is the ritual where you can experience the pleasure of a scrub or wrap of your choice, allowing aromatic oils to penetrate your skin. The resort also features the Prana Restaurant which serves vegetarian spa cuisine.

Great care has been taken to provide a profound experience — where the senses are drawn inward through the right blend of oils, freshly prepared natural ingredients, hand-picked flowers, the unmistakable Mandala healing touch and legendary service with a soul. These are the fine details that allow each moment to gently unfold and deliver one to wellness.

 Ylang-Ylang Spa at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort (Fragrant Pearl Discovery). The Ylang-Ylang Spa at The Pearl Farm Resort in Samal Island of Davao provides a perfect refuge for travelers seeking sun, sea and sand. The spa is located outdoors, surrounded by trees and thick foliage for more privacy. The ambiance of the place is part of the total spa experience.

Ylang-Ylang Spa relies mainly on ancient recipes from oriental and Philippine folk traditions. Try their signature treatments that uses focused pressure and a traditional local mix of oils to release muscle tension. With certified massage therapists and licensed aestheticians, Ylang-Ylang Spa at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort boasts of a truly relaxing and rejuvenating experience which offers specific and effective approaches to suit one’s needs by combining the power of aromatherapy, massage techniques and the latest spa services.

The Ylang-Ylang Spa experience envelopes your every sense. Everything is an oasis of tranquility and world-class pampering that is unique. As it has been told and retold, one comes to Ylang-Ylang Spa to do nothing but to be one with nature.

 Badian Island Resort and Spa (Cebu’s Best Kept Secret). Dubbed as Cebu’s best kept secret, The Badian Island Resort and Spa is the ultimate refuge for the body and mind. A five-star romantic haven positioned in the sunset side of Cebu City, Badian Island Resort and Spa invites guests to step away from life’s everyday stress for utmost pampering, relaxation and rejuvenation.

The 8-hectare private hideaway boasts of large and highly comfortable suites facing the picturesque Badian Bay. The resort’s spa village offers therapeutic treatments in their open-air pavilions and new wellness rituals using fresh seaweed in heated seawater done at the open-air Badehaus. Their Thalasso facilities feature healing properties from seawater wading pools and cascading waterfalls. Lounge in huge seashells and bubble beds where wellness seekers can find the ultimate relaxation and enjoyment with a picture-perfect view of the island. The sauna next door is the perfect ending to this extraordinary experience.

Badian Island Resort and Spa is a destination in itself, where every guest is assured of a customized spa and fitness experience to revive their spirit.

Springs of Los Baños aguna. Laguna is popular for hot springs also known to be “healing”. Located southeast of Metro Manila and an hour’s drive from the southern Manila cities of Paranaque and Las Pinas, this province has the most hot spring resorts in the country. The heat coming from the water of the hot springs helps improve a person’s blood circulation through increase in oxygen flow. This also helps relax the muscles and remove toxins through perspiration.

 The only problem here is that, this is not yet developed, but once it is developed, it will surely attract tourists.

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Laguna Hot Spring (left), Taal Lake (right)

Sulfuric Waters of Taal Lake, Talisay Batangas. Tagaytay is particularly famous for the Taal Volcano. It is one of the Philippines’ popular destinations due to proximity to Manila. Tgaytay is attractive to tourists because of its cold weather. Although often described as one of the smallest volcanoes in the world, it is actually one of the largest. The entire Tagaytay ridge is the crater’s edge and the Taal Lake is the caldera of the volcano. The little ‘volcano’ you see in the centre of the lake is merely a ‘vent’. Taal volcano is known as the largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island. But Tagaytay is also congested and the traffic on Holy week is horrible!

 There are many other places that offers Health and Wellness facilities but the problem is that, like in Mindoro, it is a very beautiful and enchanting place but they do not have airport, which is an important aspect of attracting people to go to the place. In Palawan, there are five airports, but the place lacks of high-end spas with health and wellness facilities which complies with the international standards.

 One of the biggest problems is infrastructure. In my blog Business Opportunities in Philippine Tourism posted on February 5, 2014, I made“6- Aces” of Tourism Development for the Philippines: AFFECTION & The World Class Filipino Smile, ACCESS & Tourism Infrastructure, ACTIVITIES & FUN Filipino Culture & Cuisine, ACCESSIBILITY: Tourism infrastructure and the “Seamless Travel” concept, ACCOMMODATIONS: The need and Demand for World Class Hotels & Resorts, AIRPORTS: Point of Entry, the First impression and our “face to the world”.

 These are very important key points that we can use to achieve a great opportunity in tourism.

 To conclude, there is a lot of rural lands in the Philippines not best used which could cater to tourism like in some parts of Rizal-Cardona, Morong, Tanay, Pililla, and Teressa.

 Some of our advantages is the “Filipino care”, ability to heal through “hilot”, our herbal plants with healing properties like Coconut oil, Pito-pito, Niyog-niyogan etc.

Coconut oil (left), Niyog-niyogan (middle), Pito-pito (right) sources: www.foodmatters.tv,www.stuartxchange.org,www.spawnskiesblogspot.com

Coconut oil (left), Niyog-niyogan (middle), Pito-pito (right)  Photo sources: http://www.foodmatters.tv,www.stuartxchange.org,www.spawnskiesblogspot.com

We  recommend ,  that one with the necessary resources and conditions, to Develop our Raw Rural Lands, into    Resort Hotels, with Health + Wellness Services.

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Decentralization of Metro Manila and the Benefits for Regional Expansion

Yesterday, we discussed some tips in preparation for drought, like conserving water and power, using solar energy and the risk management for safety reasons. Today, we shall begin a new series on the importance of spreading the centralization of the different national government agencies within the Metro Manila or the National Capital Region to the different parts of the country.

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Heavy traffic is one of the evidence that Metro Manila is congested. Last February 17, 2014 Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3- a P26-billion project, which will connect the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (NLEX) by 2017-construction have started.

“Kumbinsido tayong makakamtan natin ang patong-patong na positibong bunga ng yugtong ito ng Skyway – mula sa masusulit na oras, pera, at gasolina, hanggang sa dagdag-trabaho at pag-arangkada ng komersyo’t pambansang ekonomiya”, Aquino said during his speech at the launching of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, last January 22, 2014.

But as opposed to what the President Aquino said, Skyway 3 will ease but won’t solve Metro traffic, said the urban planners.

“The more roads you put, the more cars you attract kaya it will never be enough if you (build more roads)” Felino Palafox Jr. said in a phone interview with GMA News TV’s “Balita Pilipinas”.

In an article written by Dr. Jose Rene Gayo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer last January 20, 2014- ‘Decongesting Metro Manila’- he wrote, “What if a typhoon like Yolanda or a massive earthquake stronger than what Bohol experienced hit Metro Manila? Definitely, it would paralyze government apparatus since practically all national agencies are based in Metro Manila. But a good planner will always prepare for the worst. So how can the Philippines plan for such a scenario?”

The obvious solution is to decongest Metro Manila.

 Dr. Gayo, suggested some ways to be done to alleviate the congestion of Metro of Manila.

He said, the first thing that needs to be done is to move out of Metro Manila many of the national agencies. This could be done by assigning a Department in the various regional capitals. For example, the Department of Agriculture to Davao City or somewhere in Mindanao. For the Departments and other national agencies, we can narrow our options to regional capitals because basic infrastructure are in place like airports, seaports, and support services.

This relocation out of Metro Manila can also be done for the various units of the military and police in rural areas because they can operate autonomously and for obvious security considerations. For example, the headquarters of the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, Armed Forces of the Philippines and Old Bilibid Prison which is owned by the Home Guaranty Corp., Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo through business conversion, joint venture with the Ortigas and Co., should be relocated outside Metro Manila. And this could be a very good action of the City government. It is also a better alternative than reclaiming manila that will add to Urban Renewal.

From Upper Left, The Old Bilibid Prison, Philippine, Philippine Army Head Quarters (right), Philippine Navy Headquarters( lower left),Camp Crame (middle), and Camp Aguinaldo

From Upper Left, The Old Bilibid Prison, Philippine Army Headquarters (right), Philippine Navy Headquarters (lower left),Camp Crame (middle), and Camp Aguinaldo

This way too when a calamity strikes any part of the country, there is a major government unit that can respond to it immediately. Having national agencies spread out in the provinces also gives government flexibility to establish a “headquarters” to respond to a calamity since there is a facility nearby that is equipped with the necessary equipment and people. We have seen how ill-prepared government was in the case of Typhoon Yolanda or even of the Bohol earthquake with everything centralized in Metro Manila.

This design and suggested plan for government follows the whole idea behind the Internet. Information flow can be routed in endless possibilities when one node or area gets knocked out.

This is also what Vice President Jejomar Binay, the former mayor and MMDA chairman suggested in an article written by Boo Changco of Philstar last February 19, 2014. He was asked “What is the solution to the metrowide chaos that drastically cuts into the quality of our lives and even endangers our health?”

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Poropoint Freeport Zone (top),  Lingayen Gulf (lower left),  Clark International Airport (lower right)

The Vice President said that “We probably have to move most of the national government offices out of the metro area. There are just too many people already”. But he didn’t say where the national capital should be relocated to.

Furthermore, Vice President Jejomar Binay, was also asked what ought to be done? And if having an elected Metro Manila governor will help? He said “It probably would”, but quickly added that the politics of the region will not allow it. Indeed, the mayors of the 16 cities and one town in Metro Manila will not favor any diminution of their powers in their fiefdoms”.

 Unfortunately, he pointed out that MMDA is toothless. He probably got more respect from the other mayors when he was MMDA chairman because they were his colleagues. But giving up powers, even to manage traffic and impose fines, is hard to do for the metro kingpins.

Then again too, we see Metro Manila turning into Mega Manila and one wonders how far away could we move the capital before that area is also engulfed by the fast expanding urban sprawl? For practical purposes, more than half of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan are de facto part of the national capital region even if the laws do not recognize that.

“Our poor cannot be faulted for wanting to live in the city, particularly one like Makati where social benefits are available from cradle to grave. VP Binay pointed out to our group that he knows of many instances where children of poor residents endured bad living conditions while taking advantage of Makati’s free education up to college. Staying in their impoverished home provinces won’t give them that opportunity”. The Vice President observed.

 During the 2010 elections, we can recall that the running Jojo Binay promised in his campaign advertisement “Ganito kami sa Makati, Sana sa Buong Pilipinas”.

The VP said that, his advertising consultant, Greg Garcia, may have been over enthusiastic with that promise. It is not easy to do that in the national level. But he quickly added that the promise is doable if there is a political will to do it. There should be enough money for that if government spends wisely.

He seems convinced that the metro area, and eventually, the Mega Manila area, ought to be managed as one political entity. Hopefully, he will have the political guts to convince his former fellow metro mayors to see the light. A metrowide government unit with an elected governor or chairman will be able to do planning on the basis of the entire metro area instead of a smaller fiefdom”.

Things like traffic management, garbage collection, sanitation and health services can be approached on a metro basis. The metro government can take over from the inept DOTC the responsibility of providing essential transport infrastructure.

We can hope that things will get better as we face the ongoing reality of the exaggerated problem in our streets. The problems can only get worse until we get better leaders ready to do what ought to be done.

 In continuation of the suggestions of Dr. Jose Rene Gayo, here are the next steps in decongesting Metro Manila.

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Clark Freeport Zone (top) , Mactan, Cebu International Airport (lower left), Zamboanga Port (lower right)

The second thing that needs to be done is to find a new place that we can designate as the political capital of the Philippines. Metro Manila can be left as the business capital. This is the case for a number of countries in the world. Australia has Canberra as its political capital, Brazil has Brasilia, China with Beijing, and the United States with Washington, D.C. Such countries have a tandem city as the business capital with Sydney, Rio de Janiero, Shanghai, and New York, respectively.

Finding a new political capital for the Philippines should include the following criteria: A place not frequented by typhoons, on an elevated ground safe from floods and storm surges, with large open space for expansion where a new city can be built without worrying about existing urban population, and with possible or close proximity to leisure activities like eco-tourism for building a “green and sustainable city”.

To facilitate the work of identifying such a place, I have one possibility that fits the criteria above. An area covered by the towns of Amlan and Pamplona and the cities of Bais and Tanjay in Negros Oriental may be carved out of the existing boundaries of these local government units. These areas are light sloping moving toward the foothills of Mt. Talinis and the panorama from there is fantastic overlooking the Tañon Straight.

Do we have the financial resources to do this?

Money with this plan is no problem. Real estate prices in Metro Manila are so expensive that with the privatization of these assets presently occupied as offices of the national government agencies and military camps, trillions of pesos can be raised to fund such a relocation project. Even the Ninoy Aquino International Airport can be relocated to Cavite or Clark. Likewise, the international container ports in the City of Manila can be moved to Batangas and Aurora.

With the massive construction that is required for such a project, it can catalyze a whole economic boom of the Philippines never seen before. The construction industry has been dubbed by economists as the one with the most multiplier effect. Thus, for every peso spent, a lot more pesos can be generated because of the industry’s linkages with other industries in the economy not counting the millions of employment opportunities that can be generated from such a mega project.

I think we need to have a paradigm shift in the way we think. It’s about time we think big instead of just having a small town outlook. If we are to lick the poverty problem of the country, then this is one project that can spur economic growth for the whole country and generate much business and employment opportunities especially for the poor. This project shall also trigger the development of many more metropolitan cities spread all over the country that shall serve as alternative investment areas for Filipinos and foreigners alike. With these in place, people need not go to Metro Manila and crowd the place.

This is also where political will is needed. To make such a decision, once and for all on decongesting Metro Manila and to execute the plan within 10 years, not in decades to come.

As I see it, this spreading of centralization is a good idea, for when a disaster comes in Metro Manila the government will still have the support from other regions. What we need the most is a political will to implement these.

We also need an adequate public transport system that will allow people to have an affordable, easy and comfortable way of getting into the city centers to earn a living. The Government should also consider disposing of vehicles which are too old. The DOTC should add more trains especially for MRT or LRT. The inadequacy of public transport likely caused residents to buy cars and this is why our streets and highways are clogged most hours of the working day.

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Some tips on how we can weather the “Crazy” Hot & Dry Season

Bull’s Eye! Our article yesterday made an “educated guess” or “gut feel” prediction that the hot, dry days are here again.

The current dry spell has been plaguing the Philippine Islands and its farmers by causing crops to dwindle and diminish because of the lack of rain. (Photo by Greenpeace Southeast Asia/Courtesy Flickr)

The current dry spell has been plaguing the Philippine Islands and its farmers by causing crops to dwindle and diminish because of the lack of rain.
(Photo by Greenpeace Southeast Asia/Courtesy Flickr)

Today, we are experiencing extremely hot weather in Metro Manila. While yesterday, it was cool, windy and cloudy. Mr. Red Valencia, President of metrokonsult planners and formerly connected with Laguna Lake Development Authority; CSM & technical expert advice for LLDA-LISCOP/World Bank-funded projects Solid Waste Management Specialist. Mr. Valencia confirmed that hot dry season has begun. He commented on my blog and I quote “True. We’re experiencing grassfires in Rizal/Antipolo 2xweekly. Also, spring water sources are drying – and it’s only February”.

He claims that the usual water flow traversing their property in Antipolo is going dry. One can deduct that there is less rainfall in the Eastern part of the Philippines covering the Sierra Madre Mountains up to Quezon, and this would endanger our important water source.

Today’s topic will be on some tips on how we can prepare and undertake risk management during the coming hot, dry season. Because, there is a possibility that we could experience water shortage and power interruptions.

A drought occurs when there is a less-than-normal amount of rainfall over time. Drought has a bad impact on the agricultural sector. It will reduce productivity, with adverse effects on crops, livestock, trees and hydroelectric power. Rivers and lakes are also dried up during long periods without rain, slowing down the trade industry by limiting barge and ship travel.
We can prepare for a drought by following a few tips or steps:

Inside the House

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  • Reuse water whenever possible — “gray water” or Rain & Dew water can be recycled for the garden, car wash, toilets.
  • Repair dripping faucets and leaky plumbing.
  • Install aerators with flow restrictors on household faucets, and install low-flow showerheads.
  • Insulate new water pipes and dispose old rusty pipes.
  • When you buy new appliances, choose energy- and water-efficient models.
  • Put a one-gallon plastic jug of water in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water needed to flush.
  • Instead of flushing tissues and other waste down the toilet, put it in the trash.
  • Compost food instead of putting it down the kitchen sink disposal, which uses a lot of water.
  • Take short showers instead of a bath, which uses gallons of water. Turn off the water while you soap up, and then turn it back on to rinse. If possible, use what we Filipinos called “tabo” (dipper) to control water consumption while taking a bath.
  • Don’t let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth, washing vegetables, thawing meat or waiting for tap water to get cool (store water in the refrigerator instead).
  • Only run full loads of dishes and laundry.

 

Outside the House

  • Lawns need only an inch of water per week. Watering in the early morning or evening topics_solarenergy_395will prevent water from being lost to evaporation from the heat.
  • Make sure sprinklers aren’t watering the sidewalk or other areas that don’t need the water.
  • Watch your hoses when you’re watering: A garden hose can discharge an amazing 600 gallons of water in only a few hours.
  • Instead of planting thirsty vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees, put in native and drought-tolerant plants that, once established, can survive with less water.
  • Plant a drought-tolerant lawn, and don’t over-fertilize it — too much fertilizer can increase the lawn’s need for water.
  • Raise your lawn mower blade to its highest level — a higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deep, holds soil moisture and shades the root system from the hot sun.
  • Weather-based irrigation or a smart controller will adjust to conditions in the environment and water more or less depending on rain, evaporation, soil moisture and other factors.
  • Use mulch on your garden to prevent evaporation.
  • Check for leaks in your water pump: If the automatic pump turns on and off when you’re not using water, you may have a leak.
  • Install soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system that waters more efficiently.
  • Install rain barrels to catch and store rainwater.
  • Cover pools and spots to reduce water evaporation.
  • Conserve water in your pool and spas by installing a water-saving pool filters.
Drought can also cause Power Shortage so we should also conserve power supply.

Drought can also cause Power Shortage so we should also conserve power supply.

Drought can also cause Power Shortage so we should also conserve power supply.

In a news on Philstar, published last January 3, 2014, that the Department of Energy is in talks with big power users such as the SM and JG Summit conglomerates for a program that would help provide additional power in Luzon when supply is tight, “It’s the same (as the one in Mindanao), the only difference is there is a market. We will come up with rules that Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) can invoke when prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market go up” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said. We could also start former President Fidel V. Ramos’ ‘power barges’ and the late former President Marcos’ so called ‘little generators’.

We can also use the Solar energy for it is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available. Modern technology can harness this energy for a variety of uses, including generating electricity, providing light or a comfortable interior environment, and heating water for domestic, commercial, or industrial use.

Metro manila is prone to natural disasters so we have to be prepared. We have to spread out to other regions for incase the Metro Manila will get hit by these disasters, the whole government won’t be paralyzed and will still have the ‘back ups’ from other regions. “It is good to act ahead not to react when things go bad”.

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In conclusion, I would like to advise to take seriously fire drills, what to do during earthquakes, and study some important tips on risk management. Corporations should make it a point to have a backup plan should disasters strikes. Each home from parents to children and domestic help should learn and train as to how to act when there is an earthquake, or fire or some other type of natural disaster or even other types of dangers such as robbery, theft, and other security issues that could endanger the home, family, and household.

Tomorrow, we shall begin a new series on the importance of spreading the centralization of say, government, education, and other types of services within the Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, we shall see the need of setting up key satellite cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

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Be Forewarned, Be Prepared, for the Weather in Metro Manila is going crazy!

Let us brace ourselves and prepare for our Dry, Hot, Topical Weather. We just had our tragic, deviating experience, of the Yolanda – Storm Surge, Heavy Rains and Ondoy   Floods. Now we are enjoying the  Cool ” Christmas- New Year ” season, from  January up to February; but this coming March, we shall have the usual Hot and Very Hot; Dry and Very Dry ” four ”  seasons.

As a real estate consultant, I wish to warn the public, that we need to prepare, plan, and act now. We need to Brace ourselves, and act, for we expect a long, hot, dry season, and the weather is expected to go “crazy” in the Philippines.

 Fortunately, in the  past weeks, we also seem to extend this cool season into a “crazy” unpredictable weather. From cool to warm, from a dark cloudy days, to strong hot sunshine…We have felt and seen a few raindrops, but not that much…Looks like we are in for a Long, Hot, Dry season.

 Philippines is a tropical country, and now gaining momentum, as a tourist destination specially during “summer” or the dry season. Unlike other counties, our four (4) seasons are not, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. We here only experience Hot, Very Hot & Wet, Very Wet… These are our “Four Seasons, “Fire & Rain” .

 Based on some fresh information and  data, we can make a “calculated” guess, that the odds for another El Niño conditions will hit us this year. I won’t be surprised that the “Apocalyptic Four Horsemen” in this year of the “Wooden Horse” , will gallop and wallop the Philippines, with new record breaking “crazy” weather conditions, maybe, 2014 will be one of the hottest temperatures in decades.

figure3We are living now in the “Apocalyptic ” times; that is, seen in global warming, climate change, drought, deluge, storm surge, earthquakes , volcanic eruptions ,  etc. If you are familiar with the “FOUR HORSEMEN of the Apocalypse” each of them has its representation. In the book of revelation.net, the White Horse and rider with a bow is known to be the “Conquest” falsely representing Jesus Christ, which would deceive many. A Red Horse, and rider with a sword, represents “War”. The Black Horse and rider with scales to weigh scarce food supplies, which represents Hunger & Famine, which will increase around the world as the end of the world draws near. Famines are caused by both droughts and wars. And the Pale horse, (literally chloros, a pale green color) and rider named “Death.”

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

In my own opinion, we are now about to face a battle with these Four Housemen of the Apocalypse, especially the  Black Horse. My guess. Is that by mid March, to September and October, there is high probability, that we will have Water shortage due to a drought.

Farmers, be prepared, for the agricultural sector, will be severely affected by this, there will be shortages of power, and water supply, affecting even irrigated farmlands.

 El Niño-related drought events are also associated with indirect environmental effects. Due to the long dry spell that moves into the otherwise wet season, forest fire destruction has steadily increased in recent years.

According to QUARTZ, El Niño is the name that climatologists give to warming of the surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Since the Pacific Ocean is so big, slight changes can drive weather patterns worldwide. In fact, the El Niño/La Niña cycle is the world’s biggest source of year-to-year climate variability.

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The tropical Pacific is now expected to warm throughout 2014, according to scientists from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society. That could produce a massive source of energy that would be strong enough to drive up global temperatures.

 It would be the first official El Niño since 2010, currently the world’s hottest year ever recorded. Four out of the five warmest years on record were all El Niño years.

 In addition to a possible spike in global temperatures, here’s what else we might expect if El Niño conditions materialize in 2014:

  • Abnormally dry conditions in Southeast Asia and Australia. Past El Niño events have been linked to wildfires in Indonesia and reduced hydropower availability in the Philippines.
  •   We see possible reduction in the Indian monsoon.
  •   Probable fishing reductions off our coast up of Peru.
  •  A rise in virus and bacteria related Maldives, and mosquito-borne diseases like malaria.
  •  Fewer tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and in Southeast Asia, and more in Japan and Korea. But dangers of Earthquakes around “the ring of Fire”.
  • Stronger, Cold winter storms,  in the northeast United States and along the coast of California during winter 2014-15
  •  Floods and heavy Rains in Britain, and parts of Europe.

The ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. The odds of this happening by chance alone is something like 1-in-21.6 billion, or about the same as guessing the serial number on a $1 bill exactly without looking at it first. It almost makes you wonder if something else is at work here?

 Truly, No one can predict. But we can and ought to Prepare, Plan, introduce Risk Management Skills in your Corporations & Homes.

 The Philippines suffered economic losses from El Niño in 1990-1992; P4.1 billion in damage was recorded mostly in agriculture. As expected, the El Niño phenomenon extend a long dry spell which has resulted in the drying up of water sources, reduction of water supply, the consequent damage to livestock and agricultural crops nationwide and the rise of various diseases aggravated by the long drought.

 However, we should prepare and have contingency plans. One should start to conserve, and store potable water. Set up a Power and Electrical back up Risk Management strategy.

 My advice is, for those of us who are in Real Estate, that we need to study and learn how to prepare now. This way we can help our clients  to plan ahead, and take the necessary precautions, and take a position of being ready should these disasters come, happen or with GOD’ s Mercy, we be spared. No need to be in fear, we will overcome, enjoy the summer, and make best of the fun happy days, of our summer vacation… Prepared.

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