by Homerun Nievera, Publisher of SouthOfMetro.com |
Hey, thanks for taking time to drop by!
It’s been awhile since I have planned to move my blog from its original blogspot home. It’s still there though no longer active.
In 2010, I opened my blog as an outlet for my writing urges. It then slowly became my personal news feed and timeline. By 2012, I got so busy with a lot of work that I decided to shelve writing on my blog. But since then, I have planned to move my blog into a more dynamic and mobile-friendly format to catch on with technology and the so called socialization of content.
I have coined the word “blogazine” when I launched my site for startups and techpreneurs, Negosentro.com. It meant a magazine-styled blog. I then planned of moving South of Metro into the same format, but not until I have launched 7 more blogazines after Negosentro.com.
Now as a group publisher of Heartshaper Asia Inc. — a joint venture with the Philippines’ biggest out-of-home advertising enterprise — where my 7 other niche blogazines are hosted, I decided to bring back South of Metro as my personal blogazine.
SouthOfMetro.com is envisioned to highlight the chill life of the southern estates of the Philippine mega capital Metro Manila. It immediately covers the core southern cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa while attached (by lifestyle and geography) to the fine cities of Makati, Taguig and Pasay. Going further south, the villages, towns and city-suburbs in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas will soon prove to be an extension of — if not the originator — of the laid-back southern lifestyle.
Why life in this part of the mega metropolis is laid-back, I really don’t know. Maybe it’s the geography. The southern towns and cities are surrounded by the sea of Manila Bay, the lake of Laguna De Bay and the vast plains of neighboring Laguna.
My guess is that since the highland playground of Tagaytay City, the beaches of Nasugbu in Batangas and parts of Cavite are nearby, people in these parts adapted the relaxing ambiance. Besides, getting on a road trip to the southern provinces on a whim is a snap. This is besides the fact that the southern part of Metro Manila is dotted with houses that mix the old and the new that add to the charm of the suburbs.
Most of the malls in the south exude the laid-back feel with sprawling areas surrounded by greens and water. The condominiums are not as high-rise as in Makati or Taguig, thanks to the location of the airport in Paranaque City. Oh, and this also explains why southerners are well-traveled. We seldom get late for our flights and love the idea that upon arrival at the airport, we’re 20-30 minutes away from our homes.
Looking for the best restaurants, cafes and diners? They are all in the south — and probably even originated from these parts.
The village enclave of B.F. Homes in Parañaque City is an example. Go anywhere there and you’ll see the main roads line-up with exciting food places. Even the gasoline stations such as Total get full on weekend nights.
Private resorts abound in the south. Many homes have their own swimming pools and even jacuzzis. Many have their places rented out either as an event place or a vacation area.
Traffic? No problem. We have quite a load of major roads that can get us anywhere in the metropolis. That’s from SLEX, C5, Roxas Boulevard and EDSA. The slew of alternative routes give southerners then privilege to work anywhere. And with the mobile app Waze, we are in control as we love to update traffic situations in our areas.
Peace and order is under control. We have gated villages. The bad peeps are actually not from the neighborhood so it’s easy to spot them. Thanks to the villages’ CCTV cameras, we got them on cam.
Local government services are rather efficient. Residents would notice that only a few families lead the city halls. In Las Piñas City, for example, the city is led by the Aguilar and Villar families. We define it as a welcome dynasty. They provide the right services, we elect them. The city’s Green Card is similar to that of Makati City’s Yellow Card. A constituent and his/her immediate family is covered for twenty five thousand pesos (P 25,000) yearly in hospitalization at the Las Piñas District Hospital, San Juan De Dios Hospital and PGH. Not bad, eh? The Ospital ng Muntinlupa is also considered as a modern medical facility and is right beside the world-class Asian Hospital. In Parañaque City, one shouldn’t miss to see the modern Barangay Halls that the family of Doc Olivarez has built. Mayor Edwin Olivarez is famous for this and the asphalting of major roads. His brother Congressman Eric Olivarez, meanwhile, is popular among the masses, as he reportedly attends to a lot of family gatherings in his district.
There is a lot more to discover south of the metro. Make the trip and experience the southern feel. If you’re a southerner already, keep the chill going!