JULY 6, 2008
(STAR) By Jojo C. Gamboa - This is usually the concern of hardworking people. After enduring the daily toil in the office for a week, the idea is to go a place for the weekend (not really that far from Manila, but still quite a distance away from its smog and traffic) and just chill. If there’s a beach somewhere, it’s even better.

I did just that one Saturday, after a particularly hellish Friday. After presswork, I headed to a place called Playa Laiya in Batangas and it was more than I expected.

Who says Manileños have to travel by sea or air for hours just to find a sanctuary of sorts? At Playa Laiya, we cityfolk can indulge in swimming, rafting or snorkeling.

We sat down with Landco Pacific Corporation business development manager for leisure and resort Alma Ferma who talked to us about one of Batangas’ best-kept secrets.

PHILIPPINE STAR: What is the concept behind Playa Laiya?

ALMA FERMA: Playa Laiya is one of Landco’s upcoming beach communities. It is a combined leisure-residential and tourism-commercial development located at the gateway of the seven-kilometer coast of Laiya in San Juan, Batangas.

Playa Laiya is envisioned to be the next tourism hub in Luzon with its diversified commercial, residential, institutional, and social services. It is a leisure community master-planned to elevate the experience of seaside living.

Why did Landco choose Laiya instead of other beach destinations in the Philippines?

Laiya is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. It boasts a majestic seven-kilometer white sand beach, diverse marine life and magnificent views of mountain ranges. Heritage structures and old houses that can be found around the town add to its rich cultural background.

Laiya is located at the eastern side of Batangas wherein developments are not yet as widespread compared to western Batangas. As of the moment, concentration on developments is at Calatagan and Nasugbu, which will soon saturate the western Batangas beachside area. Therefore, Landco sees the opportunity to be the first mover in the eastern side of Batangas, specifically in Laiya.

Is Playa Laiya a tourist destination or a beach community similar to Punta Fuego? What makes it different from other seaside developments of Landco?

Playa Laiya is a development that sprung from the success of the first master-planned leisure tourism estate called Playa Calatagan. However, the size of the Playa Laiya property, its extensive beach front and location set it apart from Playa Calatagan. Also, unlike Punta Fuego, which is an exclusive seaside community with amenities and facilities that only members can enjoy, Playa Laiya is a beach community integrated along a leisure tourism estate.

One can expect different hotels, condominiums, beach resorts, and dining/retail areas to be developed within the next 10 years in this 40-hectare leisure tourism estate. This will maximize the tourism potential of Laiya and will increase the value of Playa Laiya’s residential community.

This type of development brings a new concept wherein one can have the convenience of having his own beach house alongside a tourism estate. For tourists, the sheer size of the tourism estate will be more than enough to fulfill their desired leisure lifestyle, having numerous accommodations, dining and retail areas, and water sports activities.

What can the public expect from Playa Laiya in the next few years? When do you expect it to become an “active” property?

For the residential beach community, a lot owner can enjoy phase one of their exclusive beach clubhouse by the summer of 2009.

For the leisure tourism estate, a beach resort and hotel by Landco will be operational by 2010. Other condominiums/ hotels and a commercial strip that will be developed by third party locators are expected to come in within the next 10-15 years.

What makes Playa Laiya a better proposition compared to Boracay and other beach destinations?

First is Playa Laiya’s proximity to Metro Manila. Laiya is only 130 kilometers away from Metro Manila and will take 2.5 hours of driving time for one to enjoy breathtaking views and a beautiful beach. Second is the value for money. One does not have to pay expensive airplane fares or endure long hours on a boat to get to Laiya.

Lastly, Playa Laiya is a masterplanned beach community. When we see other Philippine beach destinations, cohesion and integration were not achieved due to the lack of planning. There is also environmental deterioration because of the lack of a planned sustainable development. In Playa Laiya, Landco is the central authority in developing this community. Location of the different developments are carefully quantified and qualified. Preservation of the quality of the beach and water is ensured with a well-planned sewerage treatment facility and drainage systems. Thus, Playa Laiya has sustainable development as its priority while improving the tourism potential of Laiya.

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For information, call 836-5000, 809-5628, SMS 0920-9383564, e-mail info@landcopacific.com or www.landcopacific.com, or visit the Landco office at the second floor of Centermall Bldg., 51 President's Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque City.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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