Reminiscing Italpinas ’early years in PH with Oca Moreno

Gordon Hinckley, a renowned American spiritual leader and best-selling author, once said: “It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future.”

Indeed, it is good to pause occasionally and look back to appreciate your journey as you prepare for the future.

I had this opportunity when I recently guested in the online talk show hosted by public servant par excellence Atty. Oscar “Oca” Moreno and co-hosted by Mindanao-based journalist Maricel Rivera titled “Overtime with OCA Moreno.”

In his almost 25 years in politics, Moreno has served the people of Misamis Oriental well in various capacities. He’s been their congressman, governor, and – for the last nine years up until his return to private life in July 2022- the mayor of Cagayan de Oro City.

Unknown to many, Moreno was the sitting governor when Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) took a leap of faith and chose Misamis Oriental (MisOr) as the location of its very first real estate development project Primavera Residences. We always pride ourselves that our flagship project is the first eco-friendly building in Cagayan de Oro. As in our newer projects, the building was designed to be energy-efficient and sustainable, with features such as solar panels, cross ventilation, shading control.

Back in 2008, it was Moreno’s leadership and investor-friendly policies that made IDC choose Cagayan de Oro City. I thought then that if the governor and the capitol accepted us with open arms, then, maybe the other local government units (LGUs) in Misamis Oriental must also have this welcoming attitude.

And the rest, they say, is history.

During my live interview in his show, Oca and I had the chance to look back and celebrate the moment that somehow changed the face of real estate development in Northern Mindanao’s premier city. Yes, I am proud to say that IDC took the risk when we invested in CDO at a time when the region was still facing a lot of peace and security issues.

Some 15 years ago, we were among the first developers in the almost empty CDO Upland area. Now, the place is a booming commercial area and has become the city’s major business district.

Not only did we reminisce about the early years of Italpinas during the show, but we were likewise engaged in a very comprehensive discussion of the recent developments by the company.

I shared our future expansion plans, not just in CDO, but in other parts of the country as well. True to our mantra #LivingByDesign, we believe that the best way to predict the future is to create it. We are just getting started in our mission of building sustainable and green developments in the Philippines. I told Mayor Oca that Italpinas may have gone beyond Mindanao, but MisOr/Cagayan de Oro City will always be special. He welcomed us a decade and a half ago and through our venture in the province, I came to combine my advocacy for sustainable development and love for architecture.

When I was a newly-grad architect, designing buildings back in Italy, I felt a very deep contradiction within myself because I am pro-environment and yet, I was building structures that might have an effect on the sustainability of the environment.

Establishing Italpinas enabled me to pursue my passion in architecture while promoting sustainable designs by developing projects in accordance with nature. By building eco-friendly communities, we minimize the impact of our footprint, and when possible, we even enhance the environment.

Incidentally, a day after guesting on Atty. Oca’s show, we finally launched in CDO last May 24 the Verona Green Residences by IDC Homes. It is our very first economic, green residential estate, making it accessible to families in the middle-income bracket. Soon, we will be able to provide accessible homes to the Cagayanons and at the same time, help the government attain its vision of providing affordable houses to ordinary Filipinos.

Cagayan De Oro is my adoptive home and city. I am both Italiano and a Cagayanon at heart. I say, “Daghang Salamat” for making my dream come true. Shout out to the local government and the people of CDO. You welcomed us first and we will not forget that. I am still excited with the prospects of joining hands together to put the Northern Mindanao region at the forefront of economic development. There’s so much hope, so many opportunities.

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