Animal Welfare Advocates Get Support from Green Developer

A young property developer hasn’t only rapidly gained a reputation for leading the push for sustainable property development in the Philippines – it’s also advocating for compassion toward animals.


Charles de la Cruz and Nancy Cu Unjieng of CARA Welfare Philippines during the Halloween Purr-ty
Charles de la Cruz and Nancy Cu Unjieng of CARA Welfare Philippines during the Halloween Purr-ty

Since it was founded in 2009, Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation (ITPI Corp.) has quickly built a reputation for leading the sustainable property sector, after it built the first eco-friendly mixed-use condominium development in Mindanao and then announced plans to build more eco-friendly properties in secondary Philippine cities.

But few people know that ITPI’s advocacy for the environment and for sustainability doesn’t end with building or even urban planning issues, and even extends to issues of lifestyle, diet and even compassion for animals.

This is why ITPI generously sponsors fundraising events of Cara (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) Welfare Philippines, a dedicated group of animal lovers determined to help the plight of animals in the Philippines.

“ITPI nurtures partnerships with various groups with whom we share our principles of environmentalism, sustainability, responsibility, leadership, innovation and compassion, and CARA is among these groups,” explained ITPI President Atty. Jojo Leviste.

“We strongly believe that human technique is inseparable from nature and nature is our inspiration. Therefore, we aim to design and build properties and spaces where human development is in a balance with its environment,” said his partner, ITPI CEO and Executive Chairman, the Italian Architect Romolo V. Nati.

“That’s our corporate vision,” he said, adding, “Earlier versions, in fact, were more explicit, stating that we aim to design and build an environment where plants, animals, houses and cities will compose a natural habitat.”

“This is why we’ve tied up with CARA, a non-profit, non-government organization that relies solely on private donations,” the sustainability advocate and architect, who is also an animal advocate, said.

According to both Nati and Leviste, ITPI chose CARA Welfare as a partner because it was very efficient in the execution of its animal welfare work.

“Its activists even staged courageous animal rescues when needed,” Nati said, adding that because of this, all ITPI needed to do was help sponsor their events. ITPI also donates to CARA Welfare monthly.

So far, ITPI has sponsored the grand prizes of two CARA Welfare fundraisers last year, the Halloween Purr-ty held in October 31 and its Dog Tales held on November 30.

Both fundraising events included pet parades as well as contests, and the grand prizes of both events were two-night accommodations with breakfast, both for two, at the Primavera Residences, ITPI’s first eco-friendly property development in Cagayan de Oro City. For both events, the prize included free use of the pool.


Eco-friendly condominium

The first eco-friendly condominium complex in Mindanao, Primavera Residences isn’t only an elegant property with a beautiful Italian design, it also features the best principles of passive cooling technology: shadow and sunlight control, wind cooling and shape performance.

These features, combined with renewable energy that will be produced from solar panels found on the roof and walls of two 10-storey towers, will help reduce the overall energy consumption of its two towers— bringing long-term savings to its residents and making Primavera Residences even more desirable as an investment.

Located in uptown CdO’s masterplanned Pueblo de Oro Business & IT Park, where 24/7 security, power and transportation are guaranteed, the twin towers are accessible to virtually everything in CdO — schools, places of worship, airports, seaports, bus terminals — and even SM City CdO and other commercial establishments.

Primavera Residences can withstand strong typhoons and earthquakes because they were designed using state-of-the-art computer software to simulate how the structures would react to various strains and ground movement.

Dog Tales with CARA - Donate and Get a Book

Halloween Purr-ty

Co-presented by the National Geographic Channel, CARA’s Halloween Purr-ty was one of the NGOs major fundraising events for the year.

The fun-filled event included a costume contest for pets, a pet parade, trick-or-treat, face painting, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

“We were able to raise almost Php20,000 — and this went to CARA’s medical fund for the rescues, for our Spay/Neuter clinic, as well as our TNR Programs,” said Nancy Cu Unjieng, CARA President.

“While this isn’t a very big amount, it’s understandable in a developing country, beset by so many pressing problems where animal activism isn’t fully understood or appreciated yet,” Cu Unjieng said. “Which is why we’re grateful.

“But we hope our work will help make Philippine society one where there’s more compassion for animals,” she said. “When people are compassionate to animals, they also tend to be kind to their fellow humans and to nature,” she added.

Other sponsors of the Halloween fundraising were Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Dogs and the City, PetCentric, Doodles Paw Couture, Ovaltine,, Whole Pet Kitchen, J.Tan Art, Pinoy Dog Lover, Dog Fashionista and The Cookie Rack PH.

Dog Tales with CARA - Twinkle in the arm of a loving lady

Dog Tales: the night of pastries, books, shoes, and dogs

At the Dog Tales, the other CARA Welfare fundraising event held on the night of November 30, the NGO was able to sell hundreds of books and magazines, as well as baked goods.

The event was held at the Mercato Centrale, the to-go place for foodies in BonifacioGlobalCity.

Aside from ITPI, other groups that sponsored Dog Tales were Mercato Centrale, the venue sponsor; Cooper and Morgan, shoe sale; Franz Lasam; and Joanie’s Cupcakes, The Cookie Rack PH, and Family Favorites Bakery for the pastries.

Media partners WheninManila and also helped market the event to the Filipino online community, which in return gave CARA’s booth a flock of visitors who made it to Taguig entirely for the Dog Tales event.

Guests were entertained by rescued animals. Aspin “Siopao” and his “mother” made guests happy, while guests were allowed to walk Chippy, Narra and Bobby or cuddle Twinkle, a lovable white aspin.

Event partner, the Brotherhood of United Filipino Magicians also entertained the audience with magic tricks.

“The success of this first Dog Tales event brought almost P34,000 to CARA’s funds, which would be of much help considering the volume of rescues and spay/neuter programs its volunteers partake in almost every day,” said Michelle Ciriacruz, long-time CARA Welfare volunteer and animal lover. “However, more help – financially or in kind – is still needed,” she said. Also ITPI’s Vice President for Corporate Communications and Branding, Ciriacruz has rescued and raised dozens of animals. Right now, she has a dozen rescued cats and many dogs.

Many ITPI officers and staff members are also animal lovers.#

(Written by: DM)