More and more families and individuals are thinking about moving to the South. There are many advantages for doing so, including less pollution, access to beaches, and appreciating property values.
People who have lived their whole life in Metro Manila may not be able to imagine living away from the hustle and bustle. The fast-paced environment and the close proximity to practically anything imaginable are just some of the characteristics that make living in Metro Manila the choice of millions of Filipinos.
However, living in such a situation may not be for everyone, and may even start taking its toll on people who initially wanted to live at the center of it all. Fortunately, developments to the South of Metro Manila have made the area a very viable option for families and individuals.
Whether it is on the edge of Metro Manila, such as in the cities of Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Las Piñas, or beyond it, such as in the adjacent provinces of Cavite and Laguna, here are 19 reasons why more people are considering living in the South of the Metro.
Lower population density
One of the most obvious differences after moving to the South is the experience of a lower population density. There are generally much fewer people around, compared to the cramped spaces of Metro Manila.
To illustrate, as of 2010, Metro Manila had a density of 19,000 people per square kilometer. In Cavite, that number is at just about 10 percent, at 1,950 people per square kilometer.
Less congested traffic
The Philippines’ traffic problem never really goes away wherever you decide to live, but it is less of an issue in the South. With access to SLEX, the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), and the upcoming Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), drivers and commuters have various options to quickly move around the South.
Accessibility to Metro Manila
People may think that it is difficult or time-consuming to work or study in Metro Manila if living in the South. However, the same roads that allow the area to have less congested traffic also enable quick travel to the business and education districts of Metro Manila.
It is possible to get from the South to Makati in 30 minutes. Proper timing to miss the toll gate rush may be required, but it is very possible to get to work or school from the South quicker than someone coming from within Metro Manila.
There may be no need to keep working in Metro Manila though, for people living in the South. The area is receiving heavy investments that have pushed forward economic development, such as in Filinvest City in Alabang, technoparks in Laguna and Batangas, and other economic zones.
With more investments pouring in, the South may offer career opportunities that are hard to come by in Metro Manila.
Schools heading south
In addition to businesses, schools are also heading south, so students have options in case they find it difficult to travel daily for their education.
Examples of prestigious universities that have established their presence in the South are De La Salle University in Canlubang, Far Eastern University in Alabang, and Ateneo de Manila in Sta. Rosa. The University of the Philippines is also planning to put up an Alabang campus.
Commercial establishments popping up
With more people moving to the South, more commercial establishments are being built to accommodate their shopping and lifestyle needs. The famous retailers and restaurants previously only found in Metro Manila have started occupying these locations.
Nuvali is one of the more popular commercial hubs in the South, while Vista City, which is at the crossroads of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Cavite, and Laguna, is slowly taking shape.
Environmentally conscious cities
Muntinlupa was the first local government unit in Metro Manila to ban the use of plastic and Styrofoam, setting an example for other cities such as Pasay, Makati, and Las Piñas. Muntinlupa has been plastic-free since January 1, 2011, so its residents have been on a clean-and-green mindset for a long time.
With Muntinlupa setting the example, people living in other places in the South have also started becoming more mindful of keeping their environment free from litter.
Relatively flood free
The environment-friendly mindset, which includes the proper management of waste, has allowed most places in the South of the Metro to remain safe from excessive flooding.
There are exceptions to this, but people living in the South are generally less affected by heavy rains that lead to floods that are waist-high, or even deeper, compared to those living in Metro Manila.
Less air pollution
The air quality in some places of highly congested Metro Manila is not ideal, partly due to the overwhelming number of vehicles. Meanwhile, in the South, there is less air pollution, due to wider roads, more trees and open spaces, and the lower population density.
Chance for stargazing
Stargazing is not a common activity in Metro Manila due to air pollution. People who love to look at the night sky and watch the various constellations and planets will love living in the South, as the clear sky makes it easier to observe the heavens.
There are several places in the South that host stargazer gatherings, but in some parts, setting up a telescope at home is already enough.
Easier access to NAIA
For travel junkies, living in the South provides easier access to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport through SLEX. Visiting other places, whether local or international, becomes a much more enjoyable experience when traveling to and from the airport does not take a long time.
The simpler route to NAIA also opens up options for people living in the South, as they can get to the airport through either private or public transportation.
Unique food crawls
Metro Manila has a lot to offer to foodies, but moving to the South opens up even more gastronomic opportunities. A multitude of food parks have opened in the area, and the ever-popular Aguirre Ave. of BF Homes is still one of the most preferred culinary destinations.
More adventurous foodies may even travel further to taste the likes of Tagaytay’s bulalo and Batangas’ lomi.
The South hosts several important cultural places of the Philippines, including the Aguinaldo Shrine, Corregidor Island, the Bonifacio Memorial Shrine, and the Bamboo Organ. People living in Metro Manila may have only visited these places back during field trips for school, but people living in the South visit these places regularly as there are lots of things to do around them.
Weekend R&R options
One of the biggest perks to relocating South is becoming closer to popular places for rest and recreation during the weekend, first and foremost would be Tagaytay. It is less than two hours drive away for most people living in the South, perfect for dropping by for a day trip just to enjoy the cool breeze.
It is normal for people living in the South to spontaneously visit the biggest attractions in the area, on days where there is nothing to do. The options do not disappoint, as two of the most popular destinations are Enchanted Kingdom and Splash Island.
When visiting Enchanted Kingdom or Splash Island, there are no worries of becoming too tired or getting too wet, as home is just a short distance away for South residents.
While on the topic of things to do, one major advantage of living in the South is the proximity to the amazing beaches of Batangas and Cavite.
There are many things to do on the beach, including snorkeling, watersports, and simply lounging in the sun. Weekend trips are more common, but day trips are also possible for beach lovers who could not wait to get kissed by the sun and sand.
Bigger and more cost-effective properties
Compared to the townhouses and condominiums of Metro Manila, the properties in the South offer much bigger space. Most open properties in the South are house and lots in residential subdivisions, which is a huge difference from, say, living in a two-bedroom apartment in Metro Manila.
A house and lot with a garden and garage will cost a pretty penny in Metro Manila. However, in the South, such a property will come at a fraction of the cost.
Appreciating property values
The properties in the South may be considered cheap, but in some areas, they will not be for long. With more families and individuals choosing to move south, the price of properties is quickly appreciating, especially in areas closer to Metro Manila.
Buying properties in the South will be good investments, as their values will steadily increase due to the demand.
Escaping Metro Manila
Arguably the biggest advantage of living in the South is the daily escape from the chaos of Metro Manila. When traveling or driving home, there is a sense of leaving behind all the stress in the center, so that the evening or the weekend may be enjoyed to the fullest.
Living in the South may not be for everyone. However, for some people who have been enjoying these advantages, there is no other place that they would rather call home.
Sources: DMCI Homes, Eton, Homify, South Yuppies
Read our previous journal for more real estate features.