Best liked, so far

08/04/2011 | By: Emil Jurado, Manila Standard Today

I must congratulate former Marcos Trade Minister Roberto Velayo Ongpin, of the Ongpin-owned ISM Communications Corp., in the acquisition of 97.28-percent stake in the Philippine Bank of Communications. RVO, as his associates and friends know him, is board chairman, while his nephew, former Finance Undersecretary Eric O. Recto, is vice chairman.

Bobby was my student at the Ateneo. He does not seem to know when to stop. He has put up Alphaland, relatively a new kid in the block as property developer, in partnership with London-based Ashmore, a fund manager with no less than US$50 billion in its pocket. With Alphaland as his flagship project, and with Mario Oreta as president, Bobby is going places in tourism. He is building a leisure sports complex cum residence and commercial establishments, with a shopping center ready for occupancy by year-end.

This is the Makati Place located at a premium one-hectare property along Ayala Avenue Extension corner Malugay Street, a Boy Scout property where Goodrich used to be.

Makati Place will house City Club aimed for those who long for a place for an integrated urban solution, and for those who need relaxation. It will have all the luxuries and amenities one can ask for. Shares are now priced at P900,000 each are going very fast. Oreta tells me that price per share may soon hit P1 million.

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With the Bobby Ongpin synergy with Oreta as Alphaland president, RVO is now developing Balesin Island as a tourist destination. I know Balesin Island, which was also the project of the late Trade Undersecretary Eddie Tordesillas, with more than seven kilometers of white sand beaches comparable to Boracay, 35 kilometers off the eastern coast of Luzon, and 25 minutes by plane from Manila.

It’s Ongpin’s favorite since its potentials are great. A modern 1.5-kilometer concrete runway is now being built. The runway can accommodate regional aircraft and private jets.

Balesin may be comparable to Phuket and Bali.

Alphaland has other projects on stream-the Alphaland Makati Tower along Ayala Avenue, the heart of Makati’s Central Business District aimed to be the high-end and premiere corporate office; Alphaland Bay City, off Mall of Asia, a 32-hectare community with the Marina Club as its centerpiece; the Alphaland Boracay Country Club in an island nearby the famous Boracay; a six-star Shangri-la Hotel at The Fort which is 20 percent owned by Alphaland.

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