Sta. Lucia enhances Silay landscape with La Alegria

TRUSTED property developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. is set to mark another milestone with the launching of its latest community lake development in the culture-rich and historic City of Silay.

La Alegria—a 67-hectare masterplanned lake residential community that will rise in what has been dubbed as the “Paris of Negros”—is poised to become another landmark project that is expected to seamlessly fit the lifestyle of the Negrenses.

“We, at Sta. Lucia, have been continuously creating communities that have improved the lives of many Filipinos for decades now and this time, we hope to bring our expertise in Silay City. We are aware of the Negrenses’ love for knowledge and appreciation for the arts and thus, what we aim to bring them is a development that would pay homage to the city’s rich heritage and culture,” explained Sta. Lucia President Exequiel Robles.

“There is a growing interest in Silay given the number of planned and ongoing infrastructure projects in the area such as the new airport and the proposed theme park. For our part, we are positive that through La Alegria, we are able to provide the market not only a wise, practical investment, but also one that would continue to appreciate in value overtime,” Robles added.

The La Alegria will break ground on September 8 and the development of the area—which will cover the road networks and utilities infrastructure—is seen to be completed within a year.

On offer are 1,101 residential lots with cuts ranging from 150 sqm to 300sqm, and 83 commercial lots, whose sizes will range from 500 sqm to 1,000 sqm. Prices of lots start at around P4,000 to P5,000 per sqm.

“We’re still affordable and are keeping it at mid-price, which is very comparable to our competitors. But our land has more value because it’s on a prime location, and it’s unique in a way that it has more amenities and a lake,” said Orchard Property Marketing Corp. (OPMC) President Ed Tirona.

Tirona noted that they wanted to “mix history with modern day innovation” which is why they’re offering a fully equipped clubhouse with a covered basketball and badminton courts, a gym, and outdoor swimming pool, among others. La Alegria is unique as it will feature a man made lake called Lake Aurora, a lighthouse, and the Paradise Island, which will have its own swimming pool, gazebo, and picnic area.

“We see La Alegria as a potential landmark for Silay and having a modern destination like Lake Aurora in the area definitely makes more people want to come, increasing the land value. For past projects, land values have appreciated by at least 20 percent in the areas,” Tirona added.

Sta. Lucia has meanwhile partnered with a homegrown developer from Negros, Claudio Lopez Inc. (CLI), which owns the land being developed as La Alegria.

“Sta. Lucia is the first development here in Negros Island that uniquely has the idea of putting a lake within a subdivision. We believe it will capture the attention of potential homeowners and would magnify the beauty of Silay,” said CLI general manager Michael Valderrama.

“This is a huge development, and it will bring a lot of employment to the people in Negros, especially in Silay. As this is the first lake development in the province, the people of Silay are excited as they will benefit directly from this development. Since we have experience from our past projects, we already know what the local market needs and wants,” Valderrama added.

Robles concluded: “Having this homegrown firm as our partner allowed us to create a project that could cater to the Negrenses, as this group knows exactly what is needed and wanted by the local market, and we will make sure to use this for the benefit of our buyers and investors. Things are looking up at Silay, given its booming economy and the growing interest of many businesses to locate in the area. Thus, we believe our entry came at a truly opportune time.”

Reference:       Evangeline Godoy

Contact #:       0917 5598064 / (02) 681 7332 Loc. 117




Inspiring teachers recognized as TMFT nominees


TEACHING is a multifaceted vocation that is not for the faint-hearted. Teachers often go to places where many dare not to go, crossing deep waters to reach the farthest of communities. They are not just knowledge keepers but rays of light who help others to see the way to a better future.

For their tireless dedication to uplift lives, teachers deserve recognition and more. A program that salutes exemplary educators is “The Many Faces of the Teacher (TMFT)” organized by Bato Balani Foundation, Inc. (BBFI) and Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (Diwa). It is an advocacy campaign that cites inspiring educators who have become movers and shakers in their respective schools, communities, and organizations.

The TMFT 2017 has a diverse range of nominees. Although they come from different fields, they were all chosen for their abiding sense of nationalism and commitment to teaching. Their creative and innovative initiatives have a higher purpose, benefitting communities and the nation.


Alternative learning implementers

Rowena Verdaluza Bagon wears many hats. She is a teacher, a regional Alternative Learning System coordinator, a Gender and Development (GAD) advocate, and a community leader.

Bagon creates programs that promote civic engagement of women, along with children, the elderly, the differently-abled, and the Indigenous People (IPs). One of her most notable works is helping the Indigenous People of Perez, Quezon to become registered voters. She also organizes a regular community assembly where the IPs express their concerns.

A seasoned educator, Bagon continues to touch more people by sharing life and knowledge. Her latest teaching challenge is educating adult learners through the alternative learning systems program, which she started in 2015.

In Balanga City, Bataan, one teacher is giving hope to a special set of learners. It has been seven years since Dr. Bernadeth Bernalte Gabor entered the Bataan District Jail (BDJ) to volunteer as an instructor.

She was the first Bataan Peninsula State University educator who helped at BDJ to establish its certification courses. Several years later, the number of instructors has ballooned to 50, which includes faculty members and students.

When she first came in, she offered a course on bread and pastry production, which gave birth to the pandesal business of BDJ. Currently, they have courses for refrigeration and air condition technology, automotive, dressmaking, food and beverage, housekeeping, candle-making, and welding, which are all recognized by the TESDA as National Certificate Level 2 (NC2) Programs.

To date, Gabor has helped over 2,200 male residents and 200 female residents. She says that some of her students are already working here and abroad.


History and culture preservers

Dr. Zeus Salazar is bent to change the perspective that history is boring and irrelevant. To do this, he rolled out a school of thought entitled, “Pantayong Pananaw” which focuses on the self-reflective view of a people’s history.

It has since become an established perspective in writing Philippine history and has spread to different academic areas in the country.

Crucial to this approach is the use of the local language, as it effectively conveys the message, ideas, symbols, definitions, and feelings of the Filipino psyche. Hence, historians identified with Pantayong Pananaw speak and write in dialects so that the discourse is always oriented toward local cultures and not to ‘outsiders’ and their interests.

With this approach, students easily understand history and are able to carry on an intellectual discourse, from which educators learn as well.

For Lord Jane Caballero Dordas, immortalizing their tribe’s history is her life’s work. She ensures its preservation by documenting it and keeps it alive by propagating it.

The Panay Bukidnon is a tribe of epic chanters and they have the second longest epic in the world.  They are known for their panuboks or embroidery, with each design symbolizing a part of their culture. They dance the Binanog, which mimics the flight of the Philippine eagle, accompanied by an agung (gong) ensemble.

Dordas documents Panay Bukidnon’s native games, songs, dances, instruments, tools, handicrafts, and food. She has recorded around a hundred of these stories that were passed on to them orally by their forefathers. One of her outputs is a big book for children entitled “The Boy and the Crab,” which is currently being used by the Department of Education and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples.


Biological science and chemistry upholders

Dr. Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo conserves and preserves the country’s biodiversity through her work as a scientist, as a teacher, and as a leader.

Barrion-Dupo is an expert on Philippine moths, spiders, and other arthropods. She has already identified well over a hundred endemic species.

As a teacher, she holds training programs to educate people and change their mindsets about the importance of wildlife. She is passionate in imparting the knowledge and experience she gathered from the field, not just to students, but to all stakeholders.

Her work as the chairperson of the University of the Philippines Bee Program allows her to help farmers and communities improve their livelihood with science.

Ronaldo Reyes is another educator who makes a difference in the lives of others through science. Through ChemConnect, a project that he founded in 2013, he has mobilized co-teachers and the students to promote science literacy to marginalized communities by teaching them the applications of chemistry concepts to improve their livelihood and help save the environment.

Reyes also initiated a research in 2012 on the production of bioethanol from a low-value crop called kaonayan. Adding kaonayan fuel to gasoline will half not only its harmful environmental effects, but also its price. Their work on kaonayan became the 2015 Bicol Regional Inventors’ Conference (Department of Science and Technology-BRICE) Champion, and later on as the first runner-up on the national level of the said conference.


Digital teaching champions

Dr. Iris Thiele Cua Tan believes that technology enables teachers to go beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Tan’s teaching philosophy is based on Connectivism, which believes that learning occurs through connections within networks. To do this, she requires her students to create their own personal online learning networks using various social media platforms where they share their work.

Her trailblazing work in using the internet and social media in healthcare education inspired her to create the ‘Manifesto on the Proper Use of Social Media’, which guides medical professionals on the ethics of professional online presence. The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine adopted the book as the basis of their social media policy.

Another innovator came in the person of Francis Tuscano. As a Religious and Values Education teacher at Xavier School since 2009, Tuscano started using technology to make the subject more immersive. One of his engaging activities include maximizing Google Maps to plot the journey of the Israelites.

Aside from his role as a classroom teacher, he pioneered Xavier School’s 1:1 iPad Program, which aimed to use the tablet as a primary teaching and learning tool. He also experimented with the 5D Framework for Holistic Learning, which eventually got adopted by Xavier School as its official technology integration framework for learning.


Peace builder

For Rejie Palmos, a professor from the West Visayas State University, propagating peace pedagogy is his contribution to nation building.

He pushed for the inclusion of peace education in the teacher education curriculum at the West Visayas State University. From being a special topic back in 2008, it is now an essential element of the teacher education curriculum. Aside from the main campus, peace education is now a major program in the other five campuses across the Visayas.

With the help of Palmos, the university was able to establish its own Center for Peace Education.


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