Earlier this month, Vista Land, the residential real estate development firm of Philippine Senator Manny Villar, began marketing its 8.8-hectare community in Bancao-Bancao. Vista Land has several business operating units: Camella Homes, Brittany, and Crown Asia.
Camella Homes is the largest. Its houses target the middle class, especially those with OFW incomes.
Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW)
Overseas Foreign Workers are the best exports of the Philippines. Some countries (like Japan) export great products. The Philippines exports great labor.
In the United States, you can often associate an industry with a specific ethnic group. Think Dunkin’ Donuts and you associate Indians with the stores. Say dry cleaner and you associate Koreans with the trade. Personal groomers (in Chicago where I lived) are hair workers and nail workers (i.e., they work on the hairs and nails of their clients). That business seems to be shared by Russian and Vietnamese women! Now, if I said hospital workers, you should have answered “Filipinos.” There are more Filipinos and Filipinas working in U.S. hospitals as nurses and technologists than any other single ethnic group.
Filipinos also comprise the most numerous ethnic group among sailors. There are more Filipinos working in the global merchant marine industry than any other single group.
Philippines condemns killing of Filipino sailor by Somali pirates
Feb 9, 2011, 5:03 GMT
Manila – The Philippines condemned Wednesday the killing of a Filipino sailor by Somali pirates aboard a hijacked German cargo vessel off Somalia.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the pirates killed Farolito Vallega on January 26, two days after a failed rescue attempt of the MV Beluga Nomination.
Two crew members of the ship, a Filipino and a Ukrainian, were rescued during the mission while another Filipino sailor was missing.
The ship was seized by Somali pirates on January 22 390 nautical miles (722 kilometres) north of Port Victoria in the Seychelles.
‘We condemn in no uncertain terms the killing of Farolito Vallega, a man who was merely doing his job and making an honest living for his family,’ the department said in a statement.
The Filipino sailors now in the hands of Somali pirates in the Gulf in Aden number 121.
The Philippines is the world’s leading supplier of ship crew with more than 350,000 sailors manning oil tankers, luxury liners and passenger vessels worldwide.
(Do you know what the second-largest group is? It surprised me but they’re the Ukrainians. Who would think? Ukraine has only limited access to a major body of water. That would be the Black Sea.)
Together, the remittances of OFWs (money they send home) and direct spending by OFWs (money they invest or consume directly), drive the Philippine economy.
Thanking overseas Filipino workers for saving the economy By Tonyo Cruz Feb 15, 2010 9:56PM UTC
About ten million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent back to the Philippines $17.3-billion last year amid the global economic crisis, up by 5.6 percent compared to 2008 figures.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the country’s central bank, said migrant remittances accounted for 10.8 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product.
The World Bank representative in Manila also credited migrant remittances for saving the Philippine economy from the adverse effects of the global recession.
I was buying some groceries at NCCC when I decided to stop by their marketing booth.
Here’s the scoop:
The development has an area of 88,000 square meters (nearly 22 acres). It’s in Barangay Bancao-Bancao which is on the east side of the city. It’s located off Gabinete road near Jacana (which is a tricycle station, i.e., trikes hang around there for passengers).
The subdivision will be surrounded by a 6.5-meter tall concrete wall topped by barbed wire. (That’s common in the Philippines. Many Chinese-owned and Chinese-influenced residences, for example, are surrounded by such tall concrete walls.)
Camella plans to erect these amenities in the subdivision:
- a clubhouse
- a swimming pool
- a park, playground, and basketball court
- a bike trail
- a meditation area
Eleven different house models will be sold in this community. That’s a lot. Two of the 11 are townhouse models. Nine are detached (as in free-standing structures).
The townhouse models are the smallest at 40-sqm (square meter) and 46-sqm. Both townhouse models have two bedrooms. The smallest detached also has a floor area of 40-sqm and it will occupy a 60-sqm lot. The largest is a 150-sqm detached house with three bedrooms and it will occupy a 179-sqm lot.
I wasn’t impressed with their lack of a process to handle customer-desired upgrades.
All of their bath and toilet fixtures are colored plain white, I was told. Now if I wanted to upgrade that color to blue, let’s say, how do I go about it? To my surprise, she said that there was no process in place to handle that. She gave me a vague answer about making “arrangements” with the construction management but when I drilled down into the nature of those arrangements, it turned out that there was nothing.
Gabinete road was a dumping ground until the late-1980s for bodies of “salvaged” individuals. Up to the present day, this narrow road has no street lights but the presence of more inhabitants has discouraged further dumping.
Salvage has a unique meaning in the Philippines. Salvage there means an extra-judicial killing (cops or the military killing suspected criminals without the benefit of legal proceedings) or an assassination.
It’s a pidgin anglicization of the Spanish word salvaje (Wild animal, feral), which when used as a verb means to maul.
In the news:
A suspected salvage victim was found inside the University of the Philippines (UP) Ayala Techno Hub in Quezon City yesterday morning. The body was spotted 7:30 p.m. at a vacant lot located along Arboletum Drive at the UP Ayala Techno Hub. He had two gunshot wounds in the torso, another in the left jaw and one in the nape.
Two suspected victims of summary execution were discovered Monday night near the Manila North Cemetery. The Quezon City Police District Station said the victims may have been choked to death since their bodies had no wounds or blood stains. Police also suspects the victims were killed somewhere else and were only dumped in the area. A village watchman who was among the first to respond to the incident said a child told him of seeing a vehicle dumping the bodies in the poorly-lit area.