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‘Life at your Leisure’

October 28, 2015

by: Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan

Oftentimes, a weekend is not enough for the family to enjoy leisurely activities on a beach, with cool winds, dazzling sunlight and a sizzling barbecue.

Imagine having a second home away from the city, with the promise of longer weekends.

“Life at your leisure” is how Alfred “Alby” Xerez-Burgos, president and chief executive officer of Landco Pacific Corp. (Landco), sums up this blissful dream come true.

“Now, more than ever, leisure has become an essential part of our lives,” he notes. “It is no longer a want but a need.”

While there is always the option to unwind at the mall or limit oneself to amusement within the city, Xerez-Burgos extols the priceless benefits of spending precious free time with the family in a locale distant from the places that would remind people of weekday toil.

“Time has become very limited and there is a need to escape the clutter, pollution, traffic, noise and all other bombardments,” Xerez-Burgos explains. Parents wanting to enjoying quality time with the children “have to calendar it and work their schedules around the date just to make sure it happens,” he adds.

Finding time is one thing; having to look for the perfect getaway can bring more stress, especially if several families are eyeing the same venue for their bonding moments.

Leisure communities

For the past 25 years, Landco has been developing leisure communities, luxury home communities and resort-inspired condominiums. More than the air-conditioned-building-with-a-pool concept, Landco’s projects incorporate natural features like beaches and orchards.

Its flagship development Peninsula de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas, remains the country’s premiere seaside residential resort with world-class amenities.

Terrazas de Punta Fuego has the best swimming beach in Nasugbu. Amara en Terrazas is a luxury ocean-front condo with a cinematic view of the West Philippine Sea. “This time of the year, Terrazas is nice because the waves are big,” Xerez-Burgos points out. “My family stays by the shore but surfers love the big waves. The weather is cool but the water is warm. It’s perfect.”

Landco does not lack in upmarket, farm-style communities. Joining its award-winning Leisure Farms in Lemery, Batangas, are Ponderosa Farms in Silang, Cavite; Hacienda Escudero in Tiaong, Quezon; and the Playa series of developments—Playa Calatagan in Calatagan, Batangas; Playa Laiya in San Juan, Batangas; and Playa Azalea in Samal Island, Davao.

Landco also has what it calls signature, blue-label first homes like WoodGrove Park in San Fernando, Pampanga; Waterwood Park in Baliuag, Bulacan; MonteLago Nature Estates in San Pablo, Laguna; The Courtyard at Lakewood Golf Estates in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; and Woodridge Garden Village in Zamboanga City.

Xerez-Burgos says that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) constitute a significant market: “We’re happy that the OFWs have reaped the benefits of their hard-earned labor and are looking at buying their first ‘second homes.’ The bigger market is coming from Calabarzon. These are the new rich which is good because wealth is being created and we see that as a good sign.”

Having to drive a distance to get to one’s second home is part of the fun. “When you go out and take a drive, that’s already part of the experience,” says Xerez-Burgos. “With the recent growth in the economy, infrastructure developments make it more convenient and more accessible for our projects.”

He believes that quality time should not consist simply of routine that the family is used to, adding that Landco’s developments encourage a family to explore new traditions “and discover new things together for the first time. And children should be included in planning the agenda.”

Leisure Farms in Batangas and Ponderosa in Cavite, for example, encourage residents to engage in farming.

Back to basics

“The concept is so unique and novel,” he says, “clients would tell us they are glad because kids usually could not tell one vegetable from another. In these places, the children harvest vegetables for domestic consumption and they experience how to work using their hands and enjoy God’s gifts… It’s going back to basics, it’s a different experience. It’s elevating the quality of life.”

Xerez-Burgos points out that Landco’s projects incorporate a lot of open spaces that induce more reflection and activities with the family.

He remembers the time when his father, Alfred Xerez-Burgos Jr., established Landco: “In the 1990s, during the transition between the (Cory) Aquino and Ramos administrations, there was a real estate boom. That’s when we introduced the concept of a vacation home. A second home in a gated community where there is security, electricity, a steady water supply, cable TV and other amenities.”

The idea was a far more evolved concept than the usual vacation home in Baguio or Tagaytay. “Only a few people can do that during that time,” he notes. “And the problems usually were security, water and regular upkeep of the place. When we were growing up, my father worked for the Ayalas and we used to go to Ayala Cottage in Baguio and that was it.”

A second home allows families to plan ahead and plan far.

Xerez-Burgos relates his own family’s experience. One Monday, after a weekend well-spent at Peninsula de Punta Fuego, his wife prepared three dishes. “Usually, she cooks one or two,” he recounts. “I asked why she prepared too much. She said she wanted to thank me for the wonderful weekend.”

He adds that his son was also appreciative, thanking dad for playing football with him by the beach, “although nabutas ang football after I kicked it and it hit a tree full of thorns.” His youngest, a 5-year-old girl, then gave him a drawing of their family swimming on the beach. The handmade picture included the fish she saw while frolicking in the water. “That says it all for me,” he says. “I told them, ‘If you’re wondering what dad does for a living, this is what we do.’ These are the experiences we create,” Xerez-Burgos concludes.

http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/211228/life-at-your-leisure#ixzz3pr8sfMS1

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