The Debate Between Condo or House and Lot

condo house lot

This article originally appeared in BusinessWeek Mindanao March 2, 2015 issue in the business column Out of the Biz Box. 

When it comes to choosing where to live (buy or rent doesn’t matter) I keep on assisting an apparently eternal debate between Condo and/or House/Lot. In Metro Manila, this debate has already evolved to a clear understanding about the indisputable advantages condos have compared to house and lot.

My neighbours, when I used to live in Manila, were actually from Cagayan de Oro. They were living in a gorgeous 3 bedroom unit at a higher floor and were overall a very nice couple with 3 kids. During one of our food and wine tasting evenings we used to have from time to time they shared with me reasons why they decided to buy in a condo rather than a house/lot. They explained to me that as a family the main reason was safety followed by ease of maintenance of the unit, the modern amenities and a very convenient location near to work. I realised that, compared to other parts of the world, decisions about location and type of accommodation is based on considerations that go beyond practicalities.

Interested in knowing more about people’s motivations, I started asking other Filipinos about their experiences and thoughts and so I discovered that many of those who decide to go for condos do so because they fear burglars frequently present in sub-divisions, the inconvenience of needing a car at all times even for buying a litre of milk, the damages caused by typhoons, flooding or other adverse weather conditions.

Especially those who actually live abroad like foreigners married to Filipinas or OFWs often feel abused by the continuous repairs and maintenance fund requests by their caretakers or relatives. Understandably a house has much more maintenance needs than a condo. I could relate to that since I did own houses in the past and I understand that there are water pumps that break, air-conditioning that don’t work, leakages from the roof, pipes that burst, plants that need to be watered and many more things that need continuous care and maintenance.

There was one time when I had just rented my family house in Dubai to an Arab tenant, when he rang me up complaining about the air-conditioning not working. So I sent in some repair guys and they had to replace two pumps. A week later he called again for the water pump. A week later he called again for a leakage in the bathroom. This went on for 3 or 4 months after which he even refused to pay rent until it was all replaced and fixed. It all sounded crazy to me but as the owner I had the responsibility to repair and replace defective parts. I spent nearly as much money in repairs as this guy was paying in rent. This incident convinced me that, unless I was living in the house, I would never again want to own one to rent it out to someone else. But this is only my personal experience and could have been only bad luck.

In fact there is a bright side to a house/lot though. I do miss those times where I was inviting my friends over for an outdoor BBQ party in my garden or where I enjoyed sitting outside and work looking at the palm trees, my baby banana tree and all the rest of the planted greenery. It felt nice but now, years on, I just enjoy closing the door of my condo unit behind me and relax, being able to live worry free for all the time I want to stay away. If I come back after 6 months or 1 year at least I am sure that all my things are still there and that there is no repairs and maintenance works to do. That’s just peace of mind. Priceless. On top of that most condo developers offer a property management service which could take care about the rental of the unit in my absence shall I wish to make some money while I am abroad. This is probably most convenient for OFWs or pure investors. These units are then rented out fully furnished and are completely looked after by a professional team.

Understandably everyone has different needs and dreams in life so personally I don’t have a prejudice between house/lot, condo or even hotel apartment. I can only talk about my personal experiences. It is clear though that a condo lifestyle has certain advantages and it is spreading more and more into the Filipino countryside, out of the main hubs of Manila, Cebu and Davao. Fortunately there are now additional options developers in secondary offer to its clients including in cities like Cagayan de Oro.

Primavera Residences Invites You to The Pre-Halloween Open House This October

oct open house

Do you want to experience fun and excitement through a carnival-themed event in a multi-awarded eco-friendly condominium? This month, Primavera Residences offers guests with food, games, discounts and prizes in one exciting day.

As the Halloween season approaches, Primavera Residences will hold its pre-Halloween open house on October 25, Saturday, from 10am to 6pm. The green building invites guests to drop by and enjoy fun-filled activities and huge discount offerings for October.

Guests will also get a chance to avail of Primavera Residences’ OCTOBER FEVER promo that entitles buyers to get savings of up to P100,000. For a limited period, the few remaining units at Primavera Residences Towers 1 & 2 will be equipped with a FREE kitchen modular system.

Primavera Residences’ developer, Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-development Corporation (ITPI), an Italian-Filipino real estate firm, specializes in green architecture and design which brought the company’s CEO and architect to represent the Philippines in this year’s World Architecture Festival in Singapore.

The 10-storey twin towers are equipped with energy-saving features such as cantilevers that protect the units from direct sunlight, thereby reducing temperature inside the building, and an indoor courtyard that maximizes natural ventilation and lighting. Solar panels will also be installed at the roof deck by June 2015 to power the building’s common areas. The green building is also designed to withstand earthquakes and extreme weather conditions.

For inquiries about the Pre-Halloween Open House event and about Primavera Residences, visit  or call (088) 880-5002 or 0917-794-2221.

Where to Set Up Business in Cagayan de Oro?

Jeanette's Pizza Restaurant | Primavera Residences | Uptown Cagayan de Oro

Living in uptown Cagayan de Oro for two days really had a huge effect on me. Experiencing all that Primavera Residences had to offer for both the environment and the residents was an amazing experience.


I recall how everything at Primavera Residences was so well planned, structured,  and laid perfectly ready for each of the owners and future owners of the condo units. It made me think of how a family should plan its future.

After experiencing the life there, I can’t help but dream of getting a condo unit for myself and my family; or maybe even just rent one of the units.

There is at least a couple of good things at Primavera Residences to interest you. For me, the basic necessities are just within reach as one of the largest malls in Cagayan de Oro, SM CdO, is just across the street. The location is safe and flood-free, at 110 feet above sea level.  The good schools are just nearby. Access to restaurants and food places is not a problem, too–there are restaurants on the ground floor of Primavera Residences and, of course, there are many restaurants in the mall.

If you love where you live now, that’s fine. Consider opening a business at the ground floor of the building, a business catering to the needs of the building residents and neighbors. It could be food or laundry service or a shop or boutique. Your business would surely boom since there are a lot of big companies nearby, such as Concentrix, probably the largest call center in Cagayan de Oro City.

How different really is uptown living from downtown living? Well, for me, it is more peaceful, safer, and yet very exciting as uptown CdO is fast becoming a very busy lifestyle and business center–and Primavera Residences seems to be at the center of it.

I really recommend you try to experience uptown living as a renter, unit owner, or business owner. And make Primavera Residences your preferred location.

Building Facade of Primavera Residences

Barkadahan Restaurant | Primavera Residences | Uptown Cagayan de Oro

Primavera Residences has a weekly Wednesday Wellness that includes Zumba and other fun activities. Interested to join? Click here.



How Does Primavera Residences Keep Itself Cool and Save on Energy?

Italian Design and Architecture

The towers are also designed to have cantilevered edges, the part of the building painted a shade of brown, that produce shadows that minimize direct sunlight moderating the temperature inside the units.


For two days I experienced the benefits of living uptown at Primavera Residences, Cagayan de Oro’s only eco-friendly condo building that also happens to be recognized internationally for its sustainable and green architecture and construction. In February this year, the legendary National Geographic Magazine cited the developers of Primavera Residences, Italian architect Romolo V. Nati and Filipino lawyer Jojo Leviste as The New Philippine business leaders.

What an honor for our city to be renowned worldwide because we are the first city to host this pioneering real estate project, a building that is not only eco-friendly but also built to withstand extreme weather like typhoons and earthquakes.

Families that choose to make a life in this condo building are sure to have much peace of mind. It’s very safe and it is located very high at 110 meters above sea level, making it flood-free, and just beside the mall, the best schools in the city, multinational companies, shops, restaurants and spas.

I’d also like to cite a couple of good things at Primavera Residences that I know many people will find very interesting and exciting.

The building is designed not just with passive green features that leads to 20% energy savings and smaller carbon footprint, but soon will be installed with active energy-producing solar panels, which will increase the residents’ energy savings further.

Passive cooling techniques used at Primavera include an inner courtyard that combined with each units’ cross-ventilation layout, enhances natural airflow and optimizes natural light. This lessens air-conditioning use and reduces the need for artificial lights.

The towers are also designed to have cantilevered edges, the part of the building painted a shade of brown, that produce shadows that minimize direct sunlight moderating the temperature inside the units.

When I noticed the window shadings, I asked  about them and and I was informed by my tour guide that they weren’t just design elements to make the building look nice but a passive design feature to maximize cooling.

If you’ve noticed, each window-shading section is positioned somewhat differently from the others – this is because they are positioned for the different times of the day where the sun would shine at certain spots. The cantilevers were placed there to provide the shade needed so the sunlight will not hit the insides of the units directly.

Isn’t that cool?

The building will also use an active on-site energy generation from photovoltaic or solar cells which will soon be installed on the roofs of both towers. This will increase energy savings further.

You can experience the life at Primavera Residences as a condo unit renter, unit owner, or business owner. When I examined the rates I saw with surprise that the rates are practically the same, maybe even more affordable than the other condos in the city that are still just pre-selling. I was told by the building’s general manager that ITPI Corp. the developer, had actually absorbed a portion of the cost of development to keep costs down for buyers.

You can also drop by anytime and you will not regret it.  Many activities are now being hosted at Primavera Residences, organized by the property management as a way to engage and give back to the community.


Tired of losing electricity from power shortage? Tired of high electric bills? Want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle in CdO at a very affordable cost? Click here.


Where In Cagayan de Oro Can You Enjoy An Indoor Salt-Water Swimming Pool?

Swimming Pool experience at Primavera Residences

At Primavera Residences, we got a taste of a relaxing lifestyle. My mom and son totally had a fun time swimming. Who wouldn’t? It’s just awesome to have a pool in one’s home!


There are many health benefits from swimming. It improves the health of the heart, muscle tone and strength. It also keeps us fit. Once a body is submerged in water, it becomes lighter. This means the pool is an ideal place to work off stiff muscles and sore joints. The overweight or those with arthritis will find swimming a more ideal exercise.

In my 29 years of living in Cagayan de Oro City, I’ve never experienced living in a place with an indoor pool (not counting public pools hotel pools). Then last year, I heard about Primavera Residences –the country’s internationally-awarded green building. It is a two-tower 10-story residential and commercial building in the center of uptown Cagayan de Oro. With an Italian minimalist elegance, it has world-class amenities like a pool, gym, CCTV cameras, fire alarms and detectors, 24-7 security, and twin elevators. One of the amenities that caught my attention is the indoor salt-water pool.

Located on the third floor of Primavera Residences Tower 1, the 4 X 8 X 1.219 all-natural saltwater swimming pool produces its own chlorine through a salt chlorine generator, the most sought after system of alternative pool sanitation today. I read that this pool is the only one in Mindanao equipped with two hydrotherapy jets at the deep end to maximize the health benefits of the pool.

The jets produce the most lavish, softest sensation in the water, which has a minimal saline level (the equivalent of one teaspoon per gallon of water).

Says general manager Ms. Cheryll Bariga, with a chlorine generator, Primavera Residences does not then have to purchase, transport, or store chlorine, which is much safer for the residents. ” No need to add chlorine manually,” she says. 

She further explains that chlorine generators create a better, healthier swimming experience for most people, unlike in standard chlorinated pools where swimmers experience drying of the skin and reddening of the eyes. “Residual chlorine will always be present in the pool, eliminating algae. This makes it nearly impossible to get burning red eyes from chloramines, the usual culprit.”

What’s more, a Jacuzzi will soon be installed. A Jacuzzi is really good for physical and mental health. According to health studies, enjoying a Jacuzzi regularly can help reduce stress, relax the body, and release much needed natural happy-chemicals called endorphin allowing the person to detoxify naturally.

Ancient Greek physicians prescribed water therapy to their patients, and even now many doctors still prescribe hot baths, steams, hot springs, and saunas to improve health and cure ailments.

“It is more than just a luxury accessory for our unit owners. Jacuzzi also improves your flexibility, increase muscle endurance and slow down the effects of aging. It is also helpful to high blood pressure patients,” explains Ms. Bariga.

Imagine yourself after a long day’s work, sinking into and relaxing into the heated warm and bubbly water of a Jacuzzi. I know it would be just what I’d need!

At Primavera as guests, we were to get a taste of this relaxing lifestyle. My mom and son totally had a fun time swimming. Who wouldn’t? It’s just awesome to have a pool in one’s home! Whenever one would feel like taking a dip, there will be no need to head downtown to the big sports complex or head to a hotel for a swim. At Primavera Residences, the pool is just an elevator away, or just outside the door (for those amazingly fortunate ones whose units are also on the third floor).

Swimming Pool experience at Primavera Residences

My mom and son having such fun at the pool


Swimming Pool experience at Primavera Residences

Primavera Salt-water Pool Swimming


Swimming Pool experience at Primavera Residences

Swimming with the neighbors


Swimming Pool experience at Primavera Residences

Zaza swimming in the Kiddie Pool


Want to check out the pool at Primavera Residences? Click here.


How To Have Lunch at Primavera Residences, According to Blogger Sanna

 Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences

While hanging out by the Primavera Residences’ poolside, I explored the idea of acquiring a condo unit of my own. I realized that there were so many benefits. Aside from the awe-inspiring features and amenities of the building, benefits include living just a stone throw away from SM City Mall where I could so conveniently shop and buy groceries. Primavera Residences is just one-minute walk away from the mall.

My friend dropped by for a visit so we showed him around the condo building. He too was wowed by every spot that we showed him. He couldn’t stop himself from taking photos. After the quick tour, we decided to cook-in for lunch and experience being a true resident by buying groceries at SM and cooking a meal at our condo unit. Our unit had a wonderful kitchen with an exhaust. We opened the windows and we felt a gentle wind coming in from the bay. The wind carried the scent of cooking out to the other window. Now I know what cross-ventilation means!

Upon setting food and table, we said our grace and had a sumptuous lunch together with our guest. We talked about the possibility of making our dreams come true at the soonest. We also talked about how convenient and practical living at Primavera Residences is given as how the city’s top schools are just nearby. Restaurants like Jeanette’s Pizza and Barkadahan are also nearby.

Uptown also hosts many business offices . For sports, Pueblo de Oro’s golf course is nearby. To top it all off, downtown isn’t that far away. It’s just one ride away to and from uptown.

After our lunch we concluded that living our Primavera dream could be closer to reality than we think. The rates are basically the same or lower than offered by other condo developers in the city. The really nice thing about Primavera Residences is that it’s ready for occupancy. No need to wait for years until we can claim our investment.

Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences

Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences



Do you know that you can recover from your purchase of a condo unit and earn from it by renting it out? Find out more by clicking here.


What’s the View Like from Primavera Residences?

Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences

In the days I spent at Primavera Residences  I was able to enjoy wonderful views that took away our stress upon bedtime.

Zaza looks out through the window of our condo unit at Primavera Residences. 


When one decides to buy a place to stay for some time or for the rest of their lives – one should consider what they would see in each and every day of their waking and sleeping. Would it be something inspiring, soothing, or simply enjoyable, giving a nice start to the day.

In the days I spent at Primavera Residences  I was able to enjoy wonderful views that took away our stress upon bedtime. How can I forget that wonderful sunrise lighting our room the next morning and the beautiful lights of the nearby residences all around. The skies showing off the stars before we went to bed was also a very pretty sight.

The unit we stayed in had a wonderful view of the Macajalar Bay. The windows were beside the dining area. While at breakfast we opened the blinds to clearly see the view. We also slid open the windows so we can take a breath of the fresh air of uptown CdO.

Our bedroom windows opened to the view of the different subdivisions nearby. Each side of the building faced different views so when you decide to acquire a unit, consider checking out the different views from the building’s balcony and windows.

When choosing a unit – consider the views from the windows. How much natural light comes in during the day and what view that would inspire you throughout the day.

Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences

Bedroom of another unit with natural lighting

Testimonial: Rosanna Lim Experience at Primavera Residences

Breakfast by our unit window

Want to check out the views from Primavera Residences? Click here to arrange a free tour.





Why Do You Need A Green Inner Courtyard in Your Home?

Testimonial - Rosanna Lim experience at Primavera Residences

While on a tour at Primavera Residences,  my son, mother and I were brought to a green inner courtyard on the 3rd floor of the Tower A building just a few steps away from a gym and indoor salt-water pool. As our tour guide explained, the inner courtyard improves the building’s natural ventilation.

So, it got me asking. Why is ventilation so important? I figured, since ventilation is an abstract concept – many people do not consider it important. But, as our tour guide explained, good ventilation is very important anywhere we live or work. I did some research on this and what I found out made me admire Primavera Residences even more.

From what I’ve read, poor ventilation leads to an increased risk and/or is injurious to ones health as it forms allergens, bacteria, viruses, smoke, mold, mildew, fungus, and gases, in the atmosphere.So we wouldn’t want that, right?

Primavera Residences has got this planned out. If you hang out at the inner courtyard – you will notice that there is a cross-ventilation layout all the way to the roof top. Air passes through the sides and into the green inner courtyard, where warm air rises towards open space. Also helping to keep things cool is the greenery in the courtyard. Plus, the building’s facade has window shading which minimizes the amount of direct sunlight reaching the units.

What else is to love about the courtyard at Primavera Residences? Besides being cool, with fresh air, you can see the stars at night from there. Lie down on the grass, and make a wish on as many stars you can see.

Green Inner Courtyard at Primavera Residences

Interested to spend some time at the green inner courtyard of Primavera Residences? You’re very welcome! Click here.




Why is Uptown Cagayan de Oro an Ideal Place to Invest in a Home and Business?

View of Fireworks Show from rooftop of Primavera Residences 21 December 2013

Aside from being flood-free, pollution-free and the fact there is a great view, there are five more reasons Primavera Residences has a great location in Cagayan de Oro.


Primavera Residences, a green architecture landmark in Cagayan de Oro City, is picking up more and more residents and unit owners. Tower A is full and Tower B is almost sold-out even if the construction is still ongoing and the completion is not until third quarter of this year.

“Why?” you might ask. Because Primavera Residences – the first project designed and developed in Cagayan de Oro City by ITPI Corp. (ItalpinasEuroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation), an Italian-Filipino company that develops energy-saving and energy-producing properties in the Philippines, is now the talk of the town because of its green and eco-friendly features.

Executive Chairman and CEO of ITPI Corp., Italian architect Romolo V.  Nati, is an advocate of developing houses and buildings that can withstand typhoons, floods and other calamities due to climate change. He and his Filipino partner, Atty. Jojo Leviste were cited by National Geographic this year as “New Philippine Business Leaders.”

So, why is Primavera Residences situated in uptown Cagayan de Oro? Architect Nati said the company chose uptown Cagayan de Oro – located 110 meters above sea level – because of its good urban planning, better air quality and higher land area.

Aside from being flood-free and pollution-free , I can enumerate 5 more reasons Primavera Residences has a great location:

  1. Stone-throw away from SM City Mall – where you could shop, dine, or unwind.
  2. Restaurants are nearby – Prawn House, Anabel’s Restaurant, Blue Moon Café, Ambrosia Restaurant, Jeanette’s Pizza, Barkadahan Grill, and many more
  3. City’s top private schools – Xavier University High School and Corpus Christi School
  4. Recreational area – Pueblo de Oro Golf Course
  5. Companies – Concentrix, Hotels, and other soon to open companies in the IT Ecozone

Given these reasons, uptown now seems to be the ideal place to invest in a home and business establishment.

Do you want a tour of Primavera Residences? Click here.


A Personal Tour at the Breathtaking Primavera Residences

Testimonial - Rosanna Lim experience at Primavera Residences

The tour got me thinking that living in Primavera Residences is perfect and stress-free – a place where you could definitely rest after a long day at school or work in the city.


Before 2013 ended, I felt really privileged to experience the life of living in a modernly designed eco-friendly condominium uptown – Primavera Residences. It is the 1st green building in Mindanao with its structure designed and developed by an award-winning Italian-Filipino eco-development company recognized internationally for its expertise in green architecture – ITPI Corp.

ITPI Corp. (Italpinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corporation) aims to create a better environment to improve the quality of people’s lives. This project is headed by a multi-awarded Italian architect Arch. Romolo Valentino Nati and Filipino business leader and innovator Atty. Jojo Leviste.

When we arrived at Primavera Residences we were welcomed by the condo building’s accommodating staff. They brought us to our awesome and very spacious two-bedroom unit with an interior that is mixed modern and contemporary. The unit we were in had a fantastic view of the Macajalar Bay and an overlooking view Cagayan de Oro. It had ceiling-to-floor windows that gave us all the fresh air we could get. After we got settled, we took a tour of Primavera Residences.

During the tour we were able to see their green courtyard with natural lighting and ventilation. We got to experience how it cools down the place and how it is so pleasant to just hang out there.

Just a few steps from the courtyard are their indoor salt-water pool and gym. Next – we were then toured to each available unit for rent. There, we were able to check out different interiors each designed by the unit owners. We were told that almost all of the units in tower 1 are sold out – but tower 2 is almost done and will be ready for residents sometime in September. Some of the unit owners also rents out their units, with prices ranging from Php28,000-Php60,000/month.

There’s a rooftop if you would want to hang out and just check out the panoramic city view and breathe-in fresh air. Up there, there are laundry cages installed and I’m told it will also be where the solar panels will be set up. At the ground floor are shops and restaurants for the convenience of the residents. Plus, the building has round-the-clock security system.

The tour got me thinking that living in Primavera Residences is perfect and stress-free – a place where you could definitely rest after a long day at school or work in the city.

Inner Courtyard at Primavera Residences

Testimonial - Rosanna Lim experience at Primavera Residences

Inner Courtyard at Primavera Residences

Testimonial - Rosanna Lim experience at Primavera Residences

Want to arrange your own tour of Cagayan de Oro’s best kept secret? Click here to talk to a representative.