People are changing the way they live — where they live — and I believe it will continue to happen across all social layers for many years to come.
As the population swells in major metropolises, such as Metro Manila, more and more people are deciding to escape the rush and settle in less congested places north or south of Manila. Today, this is made possible by the many things that can reduce distances: affordable travel, possibilities that open up because of the internet, technological advances, as well as more efficient infrastructure.
For many people, the pull of the suburbs or the countryside is all about the slowness of time, purer air, less busy roads, and affordable prices of basic commodities. The pandemic accelerated this trend as people started snatching up properties in the provinces to establish safer homes amid greener and healthier environments.
Many are looking for a place outside Metro Manila but close enough to the city to facilitate easy travel if it is necessary. The technology for smart working has been put in place because of COVID-19, but it’s a great benefit to workers and businessmen in the long run as it continues to open opportunities not just locally but also globally.
The trend is happening everywhere in the world. In Italy it is the same — people started to go outside of Rome, Milan, and the other big cities many years ago. People are changing the way they live — where they live — and I believe it will continue to happen across all social layers for many years to come. As a city gets bigger, the population gets denser, and prices start to increase. It is natural at that point for city people to turn their thoughts to better conditions and easier ways of living.
In a way, we at Italpinas anticipated this trend, although I wouldn’t say that we knew everything back then. Before we decided to build in Cagayan de Oro, we did exhaustive research, talked to many people, and ultimately trusted our instincts. We had a good feeling about the location, and we were very right to start there with our first project, Primavera Residences.
Mindanao is an extremely rich island; in fact, I believe it is one of the richest in the world in terms of talent and resources. At the same time, the infrastructure is good — this is very important. Internet access is not a problem, the peace and order situation is favorable, plus it’s home to big agricultural firms, multinational companies, universities, and so on.
If your business or place of work is in the city, but you are not required to be on-site every day, it would be ideal for getting a place outside Metro Manila. Batangas, for example, allows you to get close to nature but near enough to Manila for those days when you have to be there.
In the countryside, air quality is better, which is necessary for good health. Many locations offer picturesque views and easier access to the outdoors, like mountains, parks, and natural reserves. You may also be closer to food sources, in particular the suppliers of local, organic produce. The trend toward centrifugal migration started before 2020. I believe that one effect of the pandemic has been to add momentum to this trend. When the perimeters of our cities have so much to offer in terms of natural features as well as new infrastructure, I believe the trend will be a rewarding one.
Banner caption: During the pandemic, city dwellers look for homes outside big cities and into the countryside with better air quality and picturesque views.