Worry-free investment for Filipinos abroad

In the last weekend of November, my family and I traveled to San Diego to spend some time with our family friends.  On Saturday afternoon, Cristina, my friend invited me to join her on a “roadshow”. Since I have nothing else to do, I decided to go with her. We spent our afternoon at Megaworld International San Diego office. I learned that Megaworld International is the global marketing arm of Megaworld Corporation and subsidiaries. The Megaworld team was very accommodating and I was able to also meet fellow Filipinos from nearby cities. Out of curiosity, I asked some of the Filipinos there on why they attended the roadshow, mostly would say it’s for their investment while the others would like to earn extra income as a marketing network.

I was smiling during the presentation because the townships were very familiar to me; in fact I mostly stayed in Megaworld townships during my vacation in the Philippines. I am glad to be able to relate with their presentation, the photos and renderings were enjoyable but like what I said to Cristina, the real experience is the best. I agree that Megaworld Townships offer the life-work-play-learn lifestyle as reflected from the proximity of shops and stores in their residential and business areas. Though, I am familiar with some, I learned more about the on-going and upcoming projects in the Townships. I also learned about possible investment opportunities especially through the concept of Condotel which Megaworld offers as a worry-free investment. From what I understand, it works like time-sharing (like the membership with clubhouses in the US) but the difference is that you actually own the hotel room! And you earn through the hotel operations. This appealed to me during the presentation that I had to approach a marketing manager to explain it further to me. There were a lot of technicalities and conditions but overall, this is a perfect investment for Filipinos who lives abroad without the worry of looking for tenant with your property. The condotel will be managed by a Megaworld company and the owner is given 30-days free stay in the hotel but not necessary the specific condotel unit that the owner owns.

The options given to me were Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown (Cebu), Kingsford Hotel (Entertainment City) and Belmont Hotel (Boracay). After the event, I went home bringing brochures and sample computation and payment terms for these three. I discussed this with my family and their feedback is very positive towards the Belmont Hotel in Boracay.  My husband said that it was perfect location for a vacation property every time we go home to the Philippines while my children said that since it is located in Boracay which is a top destination for Filipinos and foreigners, the condotel will surely have higher occupancy rate and in the long term, a higher ROI, too.

Until now, we are still deciding and checking other options for this investment. We all have to think about this especially that this is a long term commitment of payments and coordination. Nonetheless, I was able to talk to the Marketing Manager who helped me and we are going to schedule a one-by-one presentation with my family.

I hope that this investment will push through! Now, time to focus on the preparations in the coming holidays J

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Titas of Manila Take Over Fort Bonifacio

It has been raining in the city these past few weeks and waking up in the morning with raindrops falling on my window for two weeks at Eight Forbestown Rd makes me feel really home. I told you in the previous blog that Newport City has everything accessible the moment I step foot outside Belmont Hotel and again like déjà vu, being in Forbes Town Center (the guard said this is what the area is called, I am only familiar with the Burgos Circle haha) makes everything so easy and accessible for me. Newport City and Forbes Town Center are both Megaworld  projects. I had a small talk with the caretaker of the unit, she said that these properties are called “Township” development, a city within a city and everything you need is just right outside your door. (Super true! and I love this concept!!)

Minus the heavy downpour of the rain, I enjoy walking around the area – it’s very modern, chic but peaceful and quiet.I did my own grocery at the shops in the ground floor of the building for my breakfast and light snacks for my visitors aside from the usual “states side” chocolates and chips. I have been meeting with my friends non-stop for the past two weeks. It is good to be just reunited with everyone, sometimes we stay inside the unit or my nephew and nieces use the pool in the building but most of the time, I go out with my friends, who are now staying in nearby cities in Manila. I also get to enjoy my quiet alone time in cafés catching up with my family in the US.

We’ve had lunch at the Max’s Restaurant almost right across the building. I can remember how we only eat here during “special occasions” like weddings and reunions, because we had to travel to the nearby city from Pangasinan to be able to eat in Max’s. Iba pa din talaga ang Pinoy food.  Crispy Pata, Kare-Kare and Sinigang. Yum! Surely, you wouldn’t miss our group. We’re the tita table na pinaka-maingay.

So you see, I’ve placed myself right in the center of the bustle and hustle city life which means I am in the center of food, leisure and entertainment. From Burgos Circle until at the McDonald’s at the end of Forbes Town Center, it is filled with restaurants, cafés, retail specialty stores and fitness which makes it easier for me to just go down and explore. Actually, the whole Fort Bonifacio area for me is “walkable”. In the morning when it doesn’t rain, I exercise and jog from my area to High Street, then have morning snacks or breakfast at the Starbucks Reserve on the ground floor of the condo building or Wildflour Café + Bakery.

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Mabuhay! Jennifer has Landed!

Sa wakas, nakarating din sa lupang sinilangan! Thank you flag carrier for the safe trip back home.  I made sure to have a window seat and I was blessed with my early morning view of Manila.  They say Manila sunsets are beautiful but the sunrise is equally gorgeous. Oh it feels so good to be back home! So sorry to my seatmate in the airplane whose sleep I disturbed because I couldn’t keep myself quiet as my adventure finally begins!

I felt like a wide-eyed, giddy little girl when I stepped out of the terminal. It is such a relief that there’s a free shuttle ride to The Belmont Hotel courtesy of Resorts World Manila. Travel Tipid Tip 101 (thrift tip): Utilize the free shuttle services c/o the hotels, airports. It will save you a fortune. LOL.

So during the shuttle ride to The Belmont Hotel, I couldn’t help myself but smile from ear to ear. The first thing that struck me during the ride was how many buildings there were! There were several buses each fighting for passengers and this caused a traffic jam (hello, Manila traffic!).  And yes, the jeepneys! I have to ride one soon and be able to say “para po”.

Finally, we reached the hotel.  After checking-in, I made sure to call some family and friends to tell them I arrived safely. And then the excitement and the jet lag got the better of me and I fell asleep.  A few hours later, I was ready and back to my fighting, adventurer form!

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Where is Jennifer going?

I have been researching for my trip in the Philippines and just recently there was a viral video of DOT’s campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” in London Waterloo station.  Were your able to watch it? If not, you can watch it here.

I got teary eyed watching this and I realized that I have been missing A LOT. The only thing I can remember from my younger years in Philippines was our little province of Pangasinan. Other than that, Palawan, Boracay, Davao and Cebu were just places I read on textbooks. I am happy how people of different races and culture appreciate the Philippines, well of course, who wouldn’t want to spend time in a paradise, right? I have been to almost every state of the United States and a couple of places in Canada and I am quite ashamed that it took me some time to go back to my homeland, but at least that won’t stop me from doing it whatever the circumstances are.

So after days and weeks of reading travel blogs, I finally mapped out my trip to the Philippines following the 15 Ways to have More Fun in the Philippines from DOT (I must say, DOT has been doing really good job in promoting our country! Their videos and events are really enticing. Kudos DOT!)

Keeping true to my blog name (he he) I decided to do a “backpacking” style of trip which has been pretty popular to young (and young at heart) travelers. I also decided to explore not just Luzon, but also Visayas and Mindanao.

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