The beauty of condo living
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - April 24, 2009 - 12:00am

I have not lived in a condominium. I was raised believing that a house has to be situated on a piece of land. Besides, I truly cherish space and privacy. Despite the convenience, amenities and the popularity of condo living, I’ve never felt inclined to it. I feel there’s something weird about the fact that in a condo, the neighbor is just a wall away and that I can practically hear what he is up to, and vice-versa.

But my apprehensions disappeared when I talked with my long-time friend Gwen Ku Wong, president of LK Global Realty and Development Corporation, the company behind the Cherry Orchard Suites Condominium development in Congressional Village Quezon City. Gwen convinced me about the beauty, the benefits and the fun of condominium living. So much so that I am going to live in a condo soon!

I have known Gwen and her family for more than a decade. Their family is into garments and construction. They recently ventured into real estate and even education. She was with her mom when she talked to me about their plans of building Cherry Orchard Suites. I listened.

I got interested. And I got excited. Cherry Orchard Suites is located behind Cherry Foodarama supermarket along Congressional Avenue. It is a two-cluster building, each cluster only eight-stories high. The relaxing architectural design is inspired by nature, particularly the Cherry Blossom or Sakura, the national flower of Japan. As Gwen pointed out, “Cherry Blossoms evoke a light but very modern feel. The ambiance is relaxing, just like what you want in a home.”

The location is very accessible to government offices near the Quezon City circle, the MRT station on North Avenue, shopping malls like SM City and Trinoma, not to mention schools like UP, Miriam and Ateneo. Prospective buyers can choose from a one-bedroom, 22-sqm. unit equipped with a full kitchen and bathroom amenities designed like a five-star hotel suite, or a 40-sqm. two-bedroom unit or a 44-sqm. two-bedroom unit. The bigger spaces are comfortable and tailored to the needs of growing families (spacious living room, dining area for four, and master bedrooms with enough space for queen-sized beds and large closets).

LK Global is a unique realty company because its projects have concepts. To illustrate, the company’s development in Lipa Batangas combines education and residential needs in one complex. They’ve begun work on the LK Global University Condominium Hotel. Gwen and her family talked to the people from Ateneo Graduate School of Business, De La Salle Lipa, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and the Royal British College to set up campuses in the LK Global complex.

Gwen got the idea for this when they participated in a trade fair and met many Chinese nationals who were interested in studying in the Philippines because of the more affordable cost of education and the Filipinos’ proficiency in English. “It would be much cheaper for them to study in the Philippines and find work in the US and Europe, than in going directly to the US and Europe to study and then work,” said Gwen.

This early, I am planning to make my unit at Cherry Orchard very sparse and simple. In my other residences, I started with minimalist look, but after a few months, nagpipiko na ako sa dami ng naipon kong abubot! I want to keep my Cherry Orchard hideaway free from clutter. Heaven help me with this goal!

But more than the good family and the prestigious company behind it, the location, and the nice interiors, what ultimately got me sold on Cherry Orchard Suites was its affordability. Units can be availed of through Pag-Ibig and financing. I was really happy when I discovered that some ABS-CBN cameramen have bought units here. When I asked them why, their answer was simple: “Kasi kaya namin at gusto naming magkabahay.”  One lesson that the financial crisis is teaching us is the wisdom of identifying the truly important ones. And building a home comes ahead of everything else.

Tintin Babao’s summer bazaar

The Grand Summer Fiesta Bazaar, an entrepreneurial and public service endeavor of Tintin Babao and her mommy Ching, will be held at the World Trade Center starting today until April 26. Among the activities are seminars, concerts, medical consultations, etc. Some of the seminar speakers are Joy Lim, Chinkee Tan, Celso Soriano, Dr. Gary Sy, Stargazer, Cory Quirino, Jacqueline Robles, Fely Guy Ong, Mr. Ube, Gerry Chua, Abbygale Arenas, Arnold de Guzman, Dean Pax and other celebrity guests. Entertainment numbers will be provided by Jed Madela, Sheryn Regis, Sitti and other Star Records artists. Other activities include the bird and reptile show, treasure hunt game, indoor rock climbing challenge. There will also be free eye consultation by Dr. Jessica Dy and 100 pairs of reading glasses will be given away free to the early registrants courtesy of Ideal Vision. A grand raffle draw is scheduled with a summer trip to Cebu courtesy of Journeys of Faith and Travel Inc. as grand prize. Another highlight is the hourly auction of celebrity items. Media partner and beneficiaries are DZMM Teleradyo and Bantay Bata scholars and ABS-CBN Foundation. Entrance ticket for shoppers is P50 only and for a group of five ticket buyers, the sixth person enters for free.

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