A new residential village in San Fernando, Pampanga, offers laid-back luxury living in a chic countryside setting.
WoodGrove Park in Barangay del Carmen, a project of Landco Pacific Corp. and Central Weyland Properties, was developed with the Kapampangans’ preference in mind. As CEO and president Alfred S. Xerez-Burgos III put it, this place is for “Kapampangans who enjoy the lavish lifestyle; they prefer a certain quality of life. Since the project rolled out in 2008, we were surprised they didn’t just buy one lot, they bought clusters.”
Landco is also the developer of Terrazas de Punta Fuego, Playa Laiya, Playa Calatagan in Batangas; Lakewood City in Nueva Ecija; Woodside Garden Village in Pangasinan; Playa Azalea in Davao.
At WoodGrove Park palm trees line the swimming pool area, and trees and shrubs are planted in front of model houses. Once completed in 2014, the 48-hectare property is expected to be a lush “hometown community.”
The clubhouse, a grand ballroom for parties, is already available for use, as is the swimming pool. To be added are the football field, jogging trail, basketball court and pocket gardens.
WoodGrove project head Catherine Yosnico, who is married to a Kapampangan, said cultural and family backgrounds influence their clients’ buying preferences.
“Kapampangans value their family. Those working in Manila, even abroad, make sure they spend time with their loved ones during holidays—Christmas, New Year, town fiesta, Holy Week—so they prefer a big house where they can celebrate reunions.”
Clients are mostly in their 40s and up, and buy units not just for themselves, but for their children and grandchildren, thus, the mass purchases. The most number of lots to date bought by a single person is eight. Since these are big families who love to party, staying in a cramped condo unit is unimaginable.
“A Kapampangan family is very patriarchal,” added Xeres-Burgos. “Unlike in other provinces where it’s usually the mom who coordinates, the dads are in charge here. They are the providers and decision-makers.”
WoodGrove Park is divided into four clusters, each with 250-500 lots: Cluster 1 is 80 percent sold and Cluster 3, 40-percent. Clusters 2 and 4 were recently opened to buyers.
Lot areas range from 250-532 sq m, and may be combined for bigger houses.
A typical WoodGrove house sports a modern American country design. Kapampangans were greatly influenced by the Americans, who had a military base in Clark for decades, Yosnico said. A lot of buyers are also OFWs who work in the US.
The model house has a 150-sq m floor area, and sits on a 430-sq m lot. There’s a porch with an inviting swing, and parking area for a car.
There’s no fence or gate. Residents may put one, but it should be no more than 2 meters high. The façade is painted cornflower blue and cream; the thatched roof is done in dark chocolate. Traditional American windows let lots of sunshine in.
Warm colors brighten up the receiving area. There are floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors that allow a view of the garden from the dining area.
The two-level house has four bedrooms—master’s bedroom, two rooms for the kids, and maid’s quarters.
WoodGrove Park is near malls such as Robinsons and SM Pampanga, and schools like St. Scholastica’s Academy, Don Bosco Academy and University of the Assumption. It is around an hour-and-a-half drive from Manila via NLEX. While clients are mostly Kapampangans, the location has also attracted buyers from Bulacan, Bataan and Baler.
“It has the comforts of a busy city, but the charm of a suburban area you can go home to and get some air,” Xerez-Burgos said. “The rates are admittedly pricey, but it’s a premiere location for your dream home.”