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Even before Ondoy, I already love the place where I grew up and live up to this day. My place is in Mandaluyong City. (For those who are not familiar with “Ondoy”, Ondoy was like a super typhoon Katrina, that caused massive floods and billions of damages in the Philippines)

I live in the part of the city where it’s not only flood-free, but also close to the highway, where everything is near that I feel I’m at the center of everything – malls, hospitals, drugstores, gas stations, services like car shops, barber and parlor shops, wet markets, name it and everything is within minutes from my house. Indeed, I really feel like we are situated at the center of everything.

More popularly known as the place where the National Mental Health Institution is located – I often get ribbed when people find out that I live in Mandaluyong. The usual question they’ll ask first – if I live “inside” (sa loob?) or “outside”? (sa labas) – the question implies if you live inside the Mental Hospital or just outside of it – it’s been a known joke for the past decades and only people from Mandaluyong understands the humor behind it.

Now, developers are starting to appreciate and notice Mandaluyong because of its strategic location. Formerly known as the capital of the Mental Hospital, it is now on its way to being more known as a Tiger City, if it’s not yet one. Maybe, when all the real estate developments are completed in 5 years time. For one, it is a notch lower or less expensive than Makati. So, Mandaluyong is a real estate’s haven to investors and end-users.

You have the malls which are like magnets that bring in the crowds. Before, you just go to Makati, Greenhills, Cubao and SM City to do your malling. These days, before you even get there, you’ll be greeted along the way by MegaMall, Shangrila-Mall, Robinson’s Place Pioneer or now called the Forum. Why, even Pioneer is bustling with a lot of real estate activities at the time of this writing. Condominiums are sprouting within minutes of each other. First, there were Pioneer Highlands, the original HQ of Globe Telecom, followed by Robinson’s condos, adjacent to its Rob Place Mall. Then it was followed by Empire East condo project. But not until SMDC made its mark in Mandaluyong when other developers followed suit. (or maybe developers had plans in the pipelines before but SMDC beat them to it and was first to cause a “domino effect”)

When SMDC started selling Light Residences, late in 2009, it made a buzz in the industry. Condo units were selling like hotcakes because of its selling features. Units are being sold fully-furnished and the come-ons are the grocery at the ground floor; a connection to the Boni-MRT station for those who are commuting; you initially have 5 pools, now readjusted to 4 pools; and recently, a Light Mall with 2 movie houses are being played up as part of the development.  Since then, 3 other developers followed suit – DMCI, Robinsons Land and Federal Land, Avida all trying to make its presence felt in the area.

The latest breakthrough in Mandaluyong is that it’s going to be the future home of TV5, the network station of Manny V. Pangilinan, more popularly known as M.V.P. in the sports circles, for being an ardent supporter of Philippine sports and a catalyst of change, a prime mover in the Philippine business. Imagine, seeing the stars up close and personal? But no, I don’t even think about it and dare to go to the shows of Willing Willie.

I just know that TV5 is a good target market for SMDC’s Light Residences where I am an active seller/Broker.

In hindsight, it was a good move to sell Light Residences condominium units.  To date, Light Residences is the No. 1/bestseller condo among all SMDC condo projects. And last year, 2010, according to Colliers, 8 out of 10 most saleable condo projects belong to SMDC. This makes Light Residences the most bankable projects to date and a lot has to do with the basic of all real estate requirements which is: Location, location, location.

Thank God, I live in Mandaluyong.

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