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

Golden Girl is Back to the US

It’s been a few weeks since I returned to LA. In true Pinoy fashion, my entire clan picked me up at the airport and we went out for some Vietnamese food. My husband J.T. could not contain his happiness and I would like to think it was because he missed me, or that he was particularly excited about the spicy Pho at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I failed to mention to him that my heart (and tummy) has already fallen in love with Iloilo’s La Paz batchoy!

Being reunited with my family and grandchildren helped me get over my jet lag quickly. With pride, I passed around my phone and showed them pictures of my adventures in the Philippines.  I took 3,000 photos! Can you believe that?

When my grandchildren saw photos of the jeepneys in Manila, they immediately begged me to find one so they can try riding in it. A functioning jeepney in the U.S.? Hmm.

All in all, I can’t seem to run out of stories to tell them regarding my Manila, Tagaytay, Cebu, Boracay and Iloilo trips. I have such fond memories of the people I’ve met, the long-lost friends and hometown relatives I’ve finally caught up with, the food I’ve savored, the beautiful scenery that captivated me, the cultures of the cities I’ve experienced, and the warmth and welcoming embrace that the Philippines have given me.

Eastwood City was a wonderful surprise – shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment all rolled into a self-sustaining “city”. It even has its own Walk of Fame!

And how can I forget Davao’s majestic monkey-eating eagle? Or the tasty, though notoriously foul-smelling, durian?

I will definitely miss the one-of-a-kind Cebu lechon. Just thinking about it makes my stomach growl. How truly memorable it was to stroll leisurely in Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown to enjoy the best of Cebu and all its modern conveniences.

In Iloilo, I still remember my stay at Richmonde Iloilo and how the staff made me feel well attended and right at home. La Paz batchoy anyone?  It’s simply the best.

I have postcard-perfect photos of Boracay’s famous sunset. I will miss the fresh seafood, the powder white sand, and my ATV adventure!

A quick trip from Manila is the cool and modern city of Tagaytay. Seeing Taal Lake was breathtaking. The cool climate was balanced out by the tasty and heavenly bulalo. Oh, I would love to be able to own a vacation home in Twin Lakes in Tagaytay and have access to a vineyard.

And Manila’s hippest place, Burgos Circle, made me feel young and “cool” (is it still cool to say cool?).  I exercised and jogged within Fort Bonifacio which has been developed into a place worthy of international standards.

I am indebted to my many friends, family, and new acquaintances for making my stay in the Philippines an experience that I will cherish forever. I have indeed crossed-out a major item from my bucket list but I know that this is not the last of my trip back home.

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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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.

Continue reading “Where is Jennifer going?”