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Ohana Place News in Philippine Star 091910

Condo life is a breeze

The Philippine Star
Updated September 19, 2010 12:00 AM
By Lester Gopela Hallig

MANILA, Philippines - Travel comes in many forms. For us, it does not necessarily translate to an out-of-town escapade. Sometimes, all it takes is a drive around town — which was exactly what we did one balmy afternoon. We just had to stop by what looked like a Thai-inspired resort in Taguig City. We later found out the place is called Royal Palm Residences, a residential development of DMCI Homes.

Apparently, resort living has become the “in” thing now in property development as evidenced by the number of such residences rising high in the city. Seeing Royal Palm, it is easy to see why this type of development makes complete sense to city dwellers. The stressful pace of city life does affect oneself and the only way to respond to this counterproductive situation is to find a peaceful environment within the city. It would be ideal if the place has relaxing and recharging amenities such as a pool, a pond or lush greenery. One can go further by finding a place that evokes the top resort destinations of the world.

Truth to tell, there have been condominium developments offering daily resort living in the metropolis. DMCI Homes has long zeroed in on the value of this type of development. As a developer that is sensitive to the needs of middle-income Filipino families, DMCI Homes knows that a relaxing living environment is appealing to this driven, upwardly mobile market.

In the case of Royal Palm, the resort-like theme is already apparent at the entrance. One is greeted by the Thai-inspired clubhouse, the ornaments, the canopies, and the swimming pools.

“One of the features of Thai architecture is the presence of water surrounding the structures,” says DMCI Homes design manager Rina Soriano. “The pools give the illusion that they are connected to each other. It all looks like one big pool, really.”

The four-hectare property has dedicated a quarter of its size to amenities such as a koi pond, basketball court, tai-chi grounds, business center, function rooms, sauna, flower garden, gym, mini soccer field, and audio-visual room, among others.

“We made Royal Palm luxuriously spacious. So when you come home from work all tense, this is the place where you can chill out and de-stress yourself,” Soriano says. She reveals that coming up with this design took virtually endless hours of research. “We pored over books, searched the Net, even taking inspiration from our travels. We want our properties to be true to form.”

Soriano adds that the Asian resort feel is important to the equation. “People are attracted to the resort ambience. Personally, if you are designing for Filipinos, then you give them a tropical design as they are used to a tropical climate. That is why this property has a lush landscape and abundant natural lighting and ventilation. It is like living in an ideal tropical world.”

DMCI Homes’ other developments such as Ohana Place and Raya Garden likewise take inspiration from the resort environment. For its part, Ohana Place, a mid-rise condominium village in Las Piñas City, highlights the Hawaiian lifestyle. Raya Garden in Parañaque City is a Bali-inspired community of mid-rise and high-rise condominium residences.

For DMCI Homes, the most natural yet effective way of achieving a resort environment is through design and architecture. Soriano notes that the making of Ohana Place was not something that came out of the blue.

She relates: “Our site improvement is site-specific, so it depends on the shape of the property. We do not just put any building as we please. We make careful studies. When we saw the site of Ohana Place, we realized the shape was similar to the islands of Hawaii. So we have buildings named after the islands of Honolulu, Maui, and Anahola.”

The design head explains that Raya Gardens’ Balinese theme runs in a similar vein. The largest structure in the community is the aptly named 15-story Surabaya Tower. Like its sister properties, Raya also boasts of enough natural light and ventilation as well as open spaces.

Indeed, resort living DMCI-style is not a literal translation. As what Soriano mentions, all three developments are re-interpreted to suit daily living the Filipino way. “Top of our mind is still what our local residents need,” she remarks.

No surprise then to see meditation gardens and quiet walkways in Raya Garden and Royal Palm, or cabanas, grill pits, a luau pavilion for the family- and outdoor-friendly Ohana Place. Both passive leisure amenities and active play features are offered in all three properties.

The design manager is also proud of a DMCI Homes trademark: single-loaded corridors. “The units are not designed to face each other. So when you open your door, you do not see who is living in front of you. We want residents to enjoy the luxury of space. We are also introducing our new scenic elevators such as those in Ohana Place.”

As with other DMCI Homes projects, these three properties are accessible to places of work, study, leisure, and business. They are near prime areas, so even if their addresses create a feeling of seclusion and escape from the insanity of the urban jungle, residents are still within reach.

“We are proud of our efficient property management. Our security system makes our residents feel safe and enjoy peace of mind,” Soriano says. “I guess the immediate positive response we constantly get from our clients is proof that they have put their trust in us. They know that our properties give them a feeling of assurance and value for money. In this case of resort living, it is like having two types of properties at the same time.”

At the end of the day, being able to enjoy the resort life sometimes does not require a boat ride or a plane ticket or even a road trip. Sometimes, the travel requires just a ride home. DMCI Homes has truly made resort living a reality.

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