04/18/2012 | By: Doris C. Dumlao, Philippine Daily Inquirer
The first of the six themed “villages” of Alphaland Corp.’s uber-upscale members-only island-resort project Balesin in Lamon Bay, Quezon—opened last April 1 in time for the long Lenten break. It was originally intended to finish in end-2013, opening one village at a time, but development was so fast-tracked that the entire development will be finished by July this year. “We’re ahead of schedule,” says Michelle Ongpin, assistant to (and daughter of) Alphaland chair Roberto V. Ongpin, a.k.a. RVO. Why so? “It’s the favorite project of the chairman,” she says. Her cousin Joanna Ongpin Duarte, director for sales and marketing at Alphaland, adds that RVO found it more economical to finish the six villages all at the same time instead of one at a time. “Plus he hangs out there a lot,” she says.
Balesin is a 409-hectare exclusive resort development subdivided into six villages that take inspiration from the most luxurious beachside destinations across the globe: St. Tropez (Cote d’ Azur in South of France); Phuket (Thailand); Costa Smeralda (Sardinia); Bali (Indonesia), Mykonos (Greece) and Balesin (Philippines). The “local” village was first to open.