Alphaland Makati Place

 

 

It’s been a while since I blogged about homes and condos. I used to do it weekly because of my old show Urban Zone. But now I rarely have a chance to feature homes. I’m sure many of you are missing my house tours from UZ. It’s a good thing my friend invited me to check out a new development in Makati. I visited The Residents at Alphaland Makati Place. It is a very unique new development just at the foot of Ayala Avenue, a stone’s throw away from the Makati Central Business District and two minutes away from Makati Medical Center.

Alphaland Makati Place is an integrated urban lifestyle solution, with residential, sports and leisure, and retail necessities all in one complex. There is nothing quite like it in Makati . You could practically stay in the Alphaland Makati Place for days and never have to step out. Everything is there. Alphaland Makati Place is a complete community that will cut down on commuting, save time and energy for its residents, and minimize traffic, all in secure, private surroundings. All units are fully fitted and fully furnished, and come with Home Automation. The entire development is 100% covered by a backup generator.

Alphaland Makati Place was built by the same developer of Balesin Island Club Resort. It consists of three residential towers above a six-storey podium that houses an upscale shopping centre and a membership sports club – The City Club. This isn’t your ordinary sports club. It has state-of-the art exercise facilities and a wellness centre. Ownership of a unit at The Residences will give you the benefit of using 52 amenities in a three-hectare area. Alphaland Makati Place is designed by Wong & Ouyang who also had a hand in designing Hong Kong’s Pacific Place.

 

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Alphaland Makati Place

 

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The scale model of the development. Alphaland Makati Place is designed by Wong & Ouyang who also had a hand in designing Hong Kong’s Pacific Place.

 

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The Residences at Alphaland Makati Place.

 

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Lobby of Residences

 

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I had to take a selfie at Master Bedroom of the units I visited. Sorry for my serious face. That wraparound view!

 

Here is an example of a one-bedroom floor plan:

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And what it actually looks like. The model unit shows exactly how the units get turned over — fully fitted and fully furnished.

 

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The same room in reverse.

 

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The living room of the same unit. I love that huge window.

 

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The bedroom in this 1BR unit.

 

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The washer and dryer are hidden away behind folding closet doors.

 

The Premium Two-Bedroom looks like this:
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And the 3-Bedroom unit looks like this:
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There are a minimum of five and a maximum of seven units in each floor. Each tower has three passenger elevators and one service elevator. And as part of Alphaland’s excellent property management style, they have a maid service available for P600 per day. And should a resident wish to employ a maid full-time, there is a dormitory for staff available at P4,000 per month.

 

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The bigger unit’s living room is fitted with built in shelves, lots of storage space, and recessed lighting.

 

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Wonderful kitchen. And take note of the extra storage under the bench by the window.

 

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Appliances are built-in and the solid surfaces are seamless. These appliances are all included in the unit, by the way. All you have to do is just move in.

 

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From the living room, you can draw the sliding doors in to separate the bedrooms if you are entertaining in the living/dining area.

 

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The living room and kitchen of the 3-Bedroom unit.

 

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Bathrooms are well designed with modern fixtures in chrome and white surfaces.

 

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The second bathroom in the 3-Bedroom unit.

 

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This is the ensuite of the master bedroom in the 3BR unit. I love the double lavatory and use of mirrors.

 

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The shower area is enclosed in a domelike structure with glass mosaic tiles.

 

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The hallways leading to the private quarters in the Two and Three Bedroom units are lined with shelves and drawers. (That’s my bag, btw).

 

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All the bedrooms have huge window views.

 

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The second bedroom in a Premium Two-Bedroom unit can fit two twin beds comfortably. It also has its own bathroom.

 

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They have been well designed to be mindful of maximizing space and storage.

 

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An extra bedroom can double as a den or guest room with this day bed.

 

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Which pulls out into a trundle

 

The City Club

All residential unit owners of The Residences at Alphaland Makati Place are automatically members of the City Club. Non-residents may also purchase memberships. The City Club occupies an area of 30,000 square meters. It is within walking distance of most of the major offices, residential buildings, and commercial establishments in Makati.

 

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The City Club lobby

 

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Ownership of a unit gives you access to all the club amenities – sports, wellness, restaurants, meeting rooms and more.

 

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Boxing ring

 

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Auditorium Theatre

 

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Outdoor pool

 

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All the themed restaurants in Balesin Island Club Resort can also be find here in Makati Place

 

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The Italian restaurant.

 

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The Balesin Islander restaurant.

 

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The Balesin Islander Restaurant offers fine Filipino cuisine.

 

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The restaurant also has cosy private rooms.

 

Aegle Wellness Center

By being a member of The City Club, you have access to Aegle Wellness Center. Walking through the halls of Aegle made me feel like I was walking in a white cloud. It was so pristine and immaculate.

Aegle Wellness is a state-of-the-art Center for Longevity and Holistic Health devoted to the enhancement of health through personalized health support, medical- and science-based technology, and extensive life management tools for long-term lifestyle modification. Aegle offers comprehensive programs uniquely designed to provide the resources, motivation, and support needed to alter one’s lifestyle through sustainable holistic healthcare programs — Total Ageing Management, Medical Detoxification, Weight Management and Nutritional Intervention, Functional Exercise and Fitness Program Design, Thalassotherapy for Anti-Ageing, Longevity and Regenerative Medicine, Customized Supplementation, Women’s Health, Men’s Vitality.

 

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Aegle’s reception area just by the pharmacy.

 

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The Hyperbaric Room

 

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The hyperbaric chamber involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. A hyperbaric chamber can treat decompression sickness caused by scuba diving. Other conditions for hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

 

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Through an integrated approach based on scientific and medical diagnostics for early detection, prevention and correction of age-related imbalances, Aegle Wellness Center offers comprehensive evaluation of your body at cellular level for a personalized program based on your specific profile. (Source.)

 

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Therapeutic bath, located outdoors.

 

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The reception area of Aegle, leading to the therapeutic bath.

 

Alphaland Makati Place is designed from the ground up as an intelligent development, with state-of-the-art building management and security, as well as energy efficient mechanical, electrical, and sanitary systems. The complex will consume far less water and energy than comparable buildings, minimizing carbon emissions and unnecessary costs, while still achieving a high level of comfort. The project is registered under the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) rating system, which administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Makati Place is designed to a Gold level of certification.

In the past decade and a half, we saw a boom in the real estate market in Metro Manila. Much of this was chronicled in Urban Zone. The skyline of Makati, Bonifacio, Ortigas and Manila have changed so much. High rise condominiums and office towers dominate the city centres. And there are still more plans and promises for new condominiums.

When I saw Alphaland Makati Place already completely built with all the amenities and establishments in place, I was impressed. Not only was the place well designed and situated, it had all the amenities I would need. It even houses some international schools in the same building. No need to wait or base decisions on drawings and scale models. Everything is already there. All you have to do is move in.

 

For inquiries and a visit:
Jela G. Daclan
Email: jgdaclan@alphaland.com.ph
Cellphone: +63908-8868981 and +63977-8413884

 

 

Rediscovering Boracay

 

 

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It has been almost ten years since I’ve been back at Boracay’s White Beach. It wasn’t a deliberate absence. We’ve just been spending more time with long summers in Toronto. I was also under the notion that I had outgrown Boracay. I’d been going there since the early 1990’s. But last month, during my sister’s visit to the Philippines, we planned a four-day stay in Boracay.

We flew to Kalibo, instead of the more convenient Caticlan. I knew there would be extra land travel once we land in Aklan, but I was told that the roads were nice and the drive was pleasant. It was. This time we flew Air Asia. It was my first time to try Air Asia. I was very impressed with their snappy service.

We chose to stay at Discovery Shores Boracay. I knew about their excellent service because we stayed at Discovery Primea in the early spring. What I didn’t know, being a first timer at Discovery Shores, was their excellent location. They’re at the best part of Boracay, the northern tip of White Beach called Station 1, with the whitest and finest sand.

Here’s how our Boracay rediscovery went…

 

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Our journey started in Terminal 4 which, in my opinion, is the more organized terminal than the other three. It’s smaller and more efficient. But there are no tubes and ramps, so you have to walk across the tarmac. On a sunny day, it’s wonderful.

 

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We had five kids with us.

 

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The kids were so impressed with Air Asia’s in-flight menu (pretty pictures and bold graphic design). They ordered a feast!

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Stella’s in-flight meal. I suggest for longer flights, you pre-order your meals online for fancy hot meals.

 

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Stella and her new friends.

 

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Our land transportation to Caticlan from Kalibo was arranged through Discovery Shores Boracay. We had a private van. The trip took 90 minutes. These days there are many options, like shared vehicles or buses. You may arrange it with your hotel or on your own. On board the flight, Air Asia staff was selling land transfers as well.

 

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The Caticlan shore.

 

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Our bunnies excited to just be there already. All my three girls are wearing Gingersnaps and Melissa shoes. Unplanned.

 

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The five-minute boat ride from Caticlan to Boracay was very comfortable. The little boat was air-conditioned. We were given cold towels, cold water, and oatmeal cookies. There were lifejackets for all of us in the seat pockets in front of us. And there was a stewardess!

 

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Our home for four days. Approved by The Lily, my only child who loves doing OOTD shots.

 

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A lot has been said about Boracay’s environmental problems – over-development, algae, flooding, local governance and more. Yet one thing remains, that 8 kilometre stretch of white beach is still so beautiful. As someone who once worked on an environmental planning project there in 1995 (under my Canadian government’s technical assistance program), it alarms me to see the many violations that have been/and are still being committed. But I am also hopeful because there are stakeholders that are trying to do things to improve and preserve Boracay. I think all stakeholders, including tourists, should pause and realize that this small island can only take so much. Technically there is an index called “carrying capacity.” And we can see that for such a small place, perhaps it has been maxed out.

 

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Looking towards Caticlan, there are windmills. It’s good to see sustainable energy choices in the area. Wind power is renewable and non-polluting. By the way, my camera was set on auto. The sky just does crazy things like that during magic hour. Beautiful.

 

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In the shore fronting White Beach, they only allow eco-friendly recreational sports. I’m glad there are no more jet skis allowed there. (Yes, it has been that long since I visited white beach). Sophia and I loved the stand-up paddle board. I suck at every sport, but I’m very comfortable with anything with paddles and scuba diving. But I don’t know how to surf.

 

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David Goldberg is the owner of Heidiland, the Swiss deli located in D-Mall. David is my good old friend. We met in the 90’s when I was managing an environmental management program in the island. We helped set up Boracay Consortium, a group of multi-disciplinary stakeholders who started different programs to ensure the environmental stability of the island. It had lofty goals. Not all were met, obviously. But we started the communications and cooperation between different groups and communities. This eventually became Boracay Foundation.

 

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My family and my sister’s family stayed at Discovery Shores Boracay. More on that experience at a later post.

 

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We loved Discovery Shores. Facilities were beautiful and well-maintained. And the service was impeccable.

 

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As beautiful as our room was, we couldn’t wait to hit the beach every morning.

 

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The whitest and finest sand.

 

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I never got tired of looking out at the water. The light changes quickly. This was just after lunch. I love the silvery tones.

 

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From Discovery Shores, we were able to go anywhere in the island using their shuttle. But honestly we only went as far as D-Mall. Considering we were at the best part of the beach, I didn’t find the need to go to other places.

 

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I regret not buying these cute hand-painted creatures. They were made of seeds and husks from mangroves. No two creatures were alike. I am hating myself for not buying at least one.

 

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My daughters don’t stop drawing and painting. They carry their sketchbooks and markers everywhere they go. Scroll back up to the photo of Lily and Stella in the flight. Both had notebooks. At D-Mall, Lily drew some cute anime figures while I had my coffee.

 

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Sophia and sorbetes.

 

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Cheap lunch at D-Mall. I meant this panoramic shot for Facebook 360. Only I knew that I was taking the photo. Sorry Han!

 

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I always made sure we were back in our part of the beach during Happy Hour. This signals the start of the greatest show in Boracay, the sunset.

 

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Wearing my favourite caftan from India.

 

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Our kids created little ecosystems where crabs, snails and other creatures lived.

 

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Another folksy cover up.

 

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Me and my sister Johanna.

 

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Stella kept herself busy shuttling from beach to shore, carrying sand back and forth.

 

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Sunset usually brings down the tide. So the kids can lay down like its a big bathtub.

 

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No need for caption. Sigh.

 

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White beach at magic hour.

 

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Just when you think the sunset is over, the sky does this.

 

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Discovery Shores at night. Kudos to the lighting architects.

 

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On our third night, we took the kids to the busier part of the beach.

 

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Lily found it a bit loud, haha. I had to remind them that Boracay is many things to different people. If we found it serene and relaxing, there are others who come here to party. And that’s ok.

 

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Sophia and that fiery sky.

 

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Lily too.

 

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Stella couldn’t keep still long enough for me to capture her profile though. Here she is running around before it got completely dark.

 

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I was really pleased to see that Boracay is still all that. Yes, many of us look back at the past and think it was much better then. And it was. But Boracay is still really beautiful. I just hope that something will be done about the threats the island is facing. Before it’s too late.

 

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Seriously. No wonder we Filipinos are beach snobs… and sunset snobs. Just look at that! No filter. Oh, Boracay, you are still so beautiful.

 

Transportation:             Air Asia from Manila to Kalibo

Airport transfers:         c/o Discovery Shores Boracay

Accommodations:        Discovery Shores Boracay, Like them on Facebook,

 

 

SM Appliance Center

 

 

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I have written a few times about my dream kitchen. It took 10 years of living in our house before I renovated and got exactly what I wanted. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio, but I was in charge of how it looked and how it happened. I sourced most of the materials and appliances myself.

I started with photo inspirations from magazines and Pinterest. Then I assessed the condition of our old house — kitchen is on the second floor, practically on stilts above the garage. I wanted to maintain the character of the old “Bahay na Bato” but also needed the comforts of a farmhouse style kitchen. I ended up with exposed beams in my ceiling, wooden floor boards, white distressed cabinetry, cast iron sink, pendant lamps, and modern, technologically advanced fixtures and windows.

 

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The defining feature of my kitchen is the enamelled cast iron sink and goose-neck faucet which I had to import from the US from Kohler.

 

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My appliances were the first things I decided on because we had to measure the section where the gas range went. My Samsung fridge is so big we had to place it by its lonesome against one wall.

 

As the months and years went by (the kitchen is almost three years old), I would discover little things I needed – a new toaster oven, coffee machines, a juicer, a new water dispenser. I’m not really gung ho about buying kitchen gadgets because I like to keep my counters clear. I no longer use a microwave for reheating, instead I steam or broil. But there are things we cannot do without — appliances that we need to make our lives simpler.

Our usual first stop is SM Appliance Center for the simple reason that there is one conveniently located in a mall near our village. I like that no matter which branch I go to, I get similar level of service that ends with a convenient paying and efficient delivery system.

Check out the good deals in SM Appliance Center:

MOULINEX PANINI MAKER SANDWICH SM 1568

 

HANABISHI ELECTRIC KETTLE

 

SEVERIN MIXER HM 3822

 

There are 10 different payment methods: SM Gift Card, SODEXHO gift certificates, cheques, credit cards, debit cards, SM e-card, shopping card. AEON, Home Credit, or good old-fashioned cash.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

And because it is SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary, they have a promo giving 25% off for SMAC, BDO and Prestige members, plus a Frequent Shoppers Rewards Card.

 

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The Frequent Shoppers Card gives away shopping credits, Vikings vouchers and staycation to Taal Vista, Park Inn, or Radisson.

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For more information on SM Appliance Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Blowout, visit www.smappliance.com or SM Appliance Facebook.