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News Articles

To The Point

02/16/2012 | By: Emil Jurado, Manila Standard Today

I have been getting inquiries from my friends, mostly CEOs and owners of companies, about Balesin Island off the eastern coast of Luzon.

The island is a mere 25 minutes by plane from Manila. It has seven kilometers of white-sand beaches. It is being developed by Alphaland as a tourist destination.

Alphaland chairman and CEO Roberto Ongpin says, in a letter to friends:

“By July, the Bali, Phuket and Mykonos Villages will be complete and we should have about 150 villas operational. The aquatic sports center and the huge sports center with its three tennis courts, badminton courts, two basketball courts, and many other sports facilities will also be completed. The children’s facilities will also be fully staffed and operational by then. Thus, we plan to officially open the Balesin Island Club from July this year, a full year ahead of our original schedule. The last two villages (St. Tropez and Costa Smeralda) will be completed before yearend and Balesin Island Club will thus be fully operational by then, with some 250 villas and suites.

“We have acquired a second brand new Cessna Grand Caravan, which will be operational by next week....we have had direct mobile phone service since last year. We are now presently installing an internet system. By April all villas will have direct-to-home satellite TV service provided by Cignal. Also by April, we will have a completely equipped clinic, staffed by a full-time doctor and nurses...We are also constructing our own fisheries projects so that in addition to the fresh catch from the Balesin Sea everyday, we will also be growing our own lobsters, crabs, shrimps, oysters, clams and mussels in addition to fresh water fish, such as ‘hito’ and ‘dalag.’ Our organic vegetable farm is also fast taking shape.”

I’ve been to Balesin Island when it was still owned by my late friend, Marcos Deputy Trade Minister Ed Toredillas. My gulay, I’m hoping to be invited by my former Ateneo high school student, Bobby Ongpin, to see it again after its transformation as a tourist destination. It sounds like paradise to me.

Ongpin invites members and friends to contact Joanna Ongpin-Duarte, sales and marketing director. Today’s membership price is already P2 million, by April it will increase to P2.5 million, and will zoom to P3 million when it opens in July.