Cebu: Nowhere to expand but up


Cebu has a limited buildable space, only eight percent (8%) of its total land area is flat and this is spread along the coastline of an elongated island. You only have two options, go north or south.

In the 60’s, southward development started in San Nicolas Mambaling area. Subdivisions like Ma. Gochan with its fruity streets Avocado, Bayabas, Caimito, etc. Then Labangon, Punta Princesa and Tisa became residential areas with corn and peanut fields giving way to housing structures.

The 70’s saw expansion reaching the barangays of Pardo in the South and Mabolo in the north. During this time, the city of government of Cebu realized the scarce land resource and to address the need requirement by a rapidly growing city like Cebu, planning started for the North Reclamation project which eventually became the home of SM’s first mall outside Metro Manila

During the 80’s, expansion continued filling every available space from Guadalupe to Pardo in the South and and in the north, Lito Osmena started to move farther north the haven of the ultra-rich, Maria Luisa Subdivision. Yes, Banilad at that time was considered very far from the city. I’m not that old yet but I still remember buying Japanese corn in what would become  Gaisano Country Mall.

The 90’s saw an unprecedented growth in Cebu. Dubbed “Ceboom”, the tandem of governor Lito Osmena and Mayor Tom Osmena opened Cebu to opportunities never seen before. Manila developers went on crazy shopping for space. Ayala cornered the provincial lot utilized as golf course while SM secured the greatest chunk in the new reclamation. The residential expansion now extends from Talisay city to Mandaue city. The northward expansion shifted westward to Mactan island after plans for a 2nd bridge floated.

To continue the legacy of his father, Tom Osmena proposed the South Reclamation project even before the North was completely sold-out. Also called the age of malling, Cebu saw three giant malls opening within an 18-month period. Gaisano Country Mall broke ground late but was the first to open followed by SM then by ACC. How these stores almost killed the business in Colon will be a good separate story

Condominiums started out in Cebu not as housing solution but as status symbol for the rich. This was however short-lived with the onset of the Asian Crisis in 1997-98. The slowdown in real estate activities continued into the new millennium.

Ceboom part 2 started around 2006 and growth went exponential since then. Two things happened, residential properties now pushed farther north in Liloan and down south in Naga city., and traffic has become an ever worsening occurrence.

Traffic and scarcity of land  indicate one thing , there’s nowhere to go but up. If you buy a house in Liloan for example with a monthly amortization of 15,000 pesos , you would need more or less the same amount monthly for you and your family to commute to the city. Not to mention the amount of time you need to bear in daily traffic.

Traffic will get worse, believe me. With just one major road going north and one going south, daily snarl will be as predictable as the sunrise. We can always build a new highway but where? Slice it in the mountains or erect a viaduct above the sea?

Cebu’s topography is telling us, its time to buy a condo in the city.

Nowhere to go but up, a skyscraper city in the making.



photo credit to :romanslerz/skyscrapercity



My Mivesa 


We visited Mivesa Garden Residences yesterday to check on the construction progress of  tower 3 where we have a unit acquired around two years ago.

I was totally surprised to see the first two towers already occupied by happy owners. Kids were splashing in one of the pools, their nannies chatting in the nearby function hall. The manicured gardens and lighted walkways are comparable to that of a high-end resort.


In the commercial area, a 7-11 is teeming with teens in their pajamas  working with school assignments while next to it, a laundry shop is  also bustling with business. More shops are opening soon I suppose.

I did not expect this low priced project to turn out this beautiful. Its more elegant than in the brochures.

But the best news probably is the timely delivery of the units. Hands down to Landmasters, this homegrown developer can claim the  bragging rights of walking their talk. A feat rarely seen in the industry nowadays.

My 30sq.m. corner unit with balcony  have appreciated by more than 30% in just two years, the increase in value bigger than my actual investment( the equity I paid in 36 installments zero interest.)

The rental rate and occupancy in the area is also promising, just as expected with its location.

From my unit’s balcony, I have a sweeping view of the immaculate gardens of the property across, a condo development with a price tag of 8M upward per unit. The same ambiance and view for less than half of the price. That’s the cherry topping!


Note: I am a unit owner of Mivesa Garden Residences and this is just my personal opinion and experience. I did not receive anything for writing this.

Taft Properties to launch upscale subdivision in Cebu city

After a series of successful condominium offerings, Taft Properties is set to launch another project, this time in a horizontal development within Beverly Hills subdivision, Cebu city. For the affluent Cebuanos who prefer a house over a condominium unit and for those looking for an ideal property to invest but cannot find anything anymore within Cebu city, this is for you.

A subdivision within a subdivision, this 6-hectare project offers a privileged privacy within Beverly Hills, one of the most exclusive addresses in the city. Located in Doña Modesta Gaisano st. in Barangay Lahug but can also be conveniently accessed from Capitol via Villalon drive, this is one place that can prefix proximity to its name.

With an elevation of a few hundred feet above sea level, you can expect a cooler temperature all year round and with the matching view of the of surrounding hills and the city below, the ‘home of the gods’ can soon be yours too.

Click the follow button at the bottom of this page for advance information regarding this project. It will be my pleasure to email you details as soon as they become available.

Similar story: Gaisano realty arm eyeing more subdivision projects | Cebu Business, The Freeman Sections, The Freeman |

What’s in CEBU?

A tourism mecca for some, shopping paradise for others and investment haven for many. Cebu as a destination has evolved over the years into a multi- faceted paradise. Let’s take a look again at the queen city of the south in  a series of videos.

  1. A Glimpse of its natural beauty
  1. The world in one island
  1. Investment hub
  1. Opportunities and Potential

Uswag pa Sugbu