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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
THE CENTER of an Ilocano’s vision​


SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte—Almost two years and four months ago today, I had the rare chance of a whole night one-on-one with a young Ilocano business tycoon in their family house somewhere in Ilocos Norte. From midnight thru the wee morning hours, our conversation crisscrossed from personal sharing, business plans, views on governance and development, and other interest areas.

What struck me most was the ideology and principles that ran through each and every shared subject. He said, “Manong, I consider myself made as far as business ambitions are concerned… I am decided to bring whatever fruits of my success back to my homeplace …” The young tycoon added, “I have a vision …great plans for Ilocos and our folks.” Atty. Hilario P. Valdez, founder and head of the Venvi Group of Companies, had just turned forty(40) years old when he spoke his mind that could change the life of hundreds of thousands of fellow Ilocanos.

Today, as I watch men constructing a huge drainage canal at the periphery of a now-developed 20-hectare land at the boundary of Laoag City and San Nicolas town, the message of the young Ilocano registers more clearly in the mind.

“The Center”, as it is dubbed, may as well be a vital part of that vision. Many informed observers would easily say that this center, when finished, would be a one of its kind place in the region. The developer could rightly state that they are bringing a version of Ayala or Ortigas Center to the heart of the traditional and countryside Ilocos.

The marriage of the global class products, amenities and style of life into the rich historical and cultural Ilocano heritage surely tickles the mind.

But most interesting and definitely more varied and colourful would be the local folk’s answer to the question “What would life feel and look like when the world-class mall, high-rise business & condotel buildings, 24-hour convenience, services and amenities become part of your neighbourhood?” Or more precisely so, when you begin to live and enjoy what The Center brings?
 

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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CURRENT STATUS

At present, VDC has completed the following developments:

a. Phase 1 Land Development of THE CENTER
b. 365 PLAZA

Other On-going Developments:

a. Phase 2 Land Development of THE CENTER: Under Construction
b. Robinsons Mall
c. Call Center Building: Under Negotiation


IN THE PIPELINE


Other developments in the pipeline include a Contact Solutions Center or Call Center where expressions of interests have been received from SITEL and TELETECH; a 120 unit Residential Condominium Development which is envisioned to be sold entirely in Hawaii and Mainland USA.

Other pipeline developments that may be undertaken by others or jointly with others include the following:

a. 50-Room Microtel Boutique Hotel (Joint Undertaking)

b. Transport Terminal with Retail component that will rightfully complement the Mall (By Others)

c. A Manila-based Nursing College or University that will complement a planned Medical Care Facility (By Others)

d. An Office Building (Joint Undertaking)
source: VENVI
 

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Raucous
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THE CENTER of an Ilocano’s vision​


SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte—Almost two years and four months ago today, I had the rare chance of a whole night one-on-one with a young Ilocano business tycoon in their family house somewhere in Ilocos Norte. From midnight thru the wee morning hours, our conversation crisscrossed from personal sharing, business plans, views on governance and development, and other interest areas.

What struck me most was the ideology and principles that ran through each and every shared subject. He said, “Manong, I consider myself made as far as business ambitions are concerned… I am decided to bring whatever fruits of my success back to my homeplace …” The young tycoon added, “I have a vision …great plans for Ilocos and our folks.” Atty. Hilario P. Valdez, founder and head of the Venvi Group of Companies, had just turned forty(40) years old when he spoke his mind that could change the life of hundreds of thousands of fellow Ilocanos.

Today, as I watch men constructing a huge drainage canal at the periphery of a now-developed 20-hectare land at the boundary of Laoag City and San Nicolas town, the message of the young Ilocano registers more clearly in the mind.

“The Center”, as it is dubbed, may as well be a vital part of that vision. Many informed observers would easily say that this center, when finished, would be a one of its kind place in the region. The developer could rightly state that they are bringing a version of Ayala or Ortigas Center to the heart of the traditional and countryside Ilocos.

The marriage of the global class products, amenities and style of life into the rich historical and cultural Ilocano heritage surely tickles the mind.

But most interesting and definitely more varied and colourful would be the local folk’s answer to the question “What would life feel and look like when the world-class mall, high-rise business & condotel buildings, 24-hour convenience, services and amenities become part of your neighbourhood?” Or more precisely so, when you begin to live and enjoy what The Center brings?
Mauunahan na ang Laoag..:lol:
 

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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Casino business sees potential in SN

A group of investors from Macau paid a visit to the municipality on March 25, 2009 to assess the town’s potential for the establishment of a casino business particularly at the site of The Center in Barangay 1.

The group was accompanied by Atty. Hilario P. Valdez, President and CEO of Venvi Group of Companies, the mother company of Venvi Development Corporation, the developer of The Center.

With the ongoing and continuing developments being done at The Center, the plan of these investors to put up their business in the municipality is seen to be realized.
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SN website
 

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Nice project;)
 

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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
wow grabe naman ang San Nicolas town na to... ilang km ba from laoag city proper to san nicolas?
hi qwert_guy, about 2.5 or 3 kms south of Laoag's proper! the blurry part on the left side of that picture illustrates the territorial jurisdiction of Laoag:)

here's the aerial view of the two

photo by Storm Crypt
Yah..Nice..Very promising..Sana nga ma construct lahat ang mga buildings na nasa rendering..Para di ma disappoint ang mga tao..
100% tuloy na tuloy iyan...may tiwala ako sa Venvi:) "slowly but surely" nandyan na si Robinsons kaya parating na ang iba:lol: at bumisita na ang mga investors from Macau:banana: under negotiation na rin ang iba pa!:cheers:

Nice project;)
yes it is! a truly amazing project:)
 

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--=AiNoKeA=--
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·


These past weeks and months, I made casual visits to the VENVI complex in northern San Nicolas. Construction work goes on with obvious intent. A bustling troop of close to a hundred workers, drivers and equipment operators have been working overtime to erect the 3- storey 365 Plaza since April this year. This labor force is supported by the twenty-or-so lean, mean yet very friendly on-site staffs of the Venvi Realty Corporation (VRC), Venvi Development Corporation(VDC) and Venvi Holdings Construction Corporation(VVHC). The 365 Plaza will be the first vertical development to be completed within the 20-hectare property.

The VRC-VDC, owner and developer of this soon-to-be operational complex, is managed by COO Architect Ike Madamba. The construction firm is manned by Engr. Francisco Butay. At the helm of the Venvi Group of companies is the founder and President Atty. Hilario P. Valdez, whom I refer to as the young Ilocano with the vision.

In my interactions with the Venvi people, it occurred to me that it would be worth the while to provide the public a face and meaning to the men and women whose hands, minds and hearts are responsible to one of the single biggest development in this northwestern region of the country. Indeed, I have gathered a collection of facts and stories interesting enough to stand alone. The revelation is that these stories are sewn neatly into an unfolding tale of well-executed steps towards the “Ilocano vision”.

So here comes.

I. ENGINEER IKKO – The Venvi Scout, Groundman and Builder

He is a 42-year old Civil Engineer, and the typical hardworking Ilocano professional. Watching the construction work from a distance, you couldn’t tell Engineer Ikko from the rest of the workforce. He wears the blue Venvi working clothes, hardhat and boots, and gives his hands to the work while giving the necessary instructions to his men. You wouldn’t know that he is the Manager of the Venvi Holdings Construction Corp.

After months of talking him to sit down for an interview which he has always declined with a smile, I finally caught him in the middle of a short break time in front of the construction bunkhouse office. It wasn’t much of a structured interview than a conversational sharing of seemingly different stories. But it was enough to provide me the conclusion that I was talking to a key person of this Venvi story in Ilocos.

Engr. Ikko remembers around the year 1997, Venvi President Atty. Larry Valdez instructed him to scout for lots to buy in the area. It was also around that time that Venvi was buying land in the now-established 200 hectare Venvi Agri-Industrial village sitting on Mt. Simmilla of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.]

Though normally unquestioning, he admits now that he expressed apprehension on Atty. Larry’s choice of area. The place was then a low lying idle portion of San Nicolas, with only the roadside properties viable for residential and commercial purposes. He though then that the cost of development was too big a hindrance. Atty. Larry responded confidently, “Development requirements will be easier to solve in time. What’s more essential in the choice is good location. If you choose a bad location, business would be bad no matter how much easier it is to develop.”

Engr. Ikko must be one of the best witnesses to this piece of development foresight. After almost a decade of negotiating for Venvi land acquisition in the place, he is now at the head of the Venvi construction firm which transformed the ground to an enviable 20-hectare plain 23 meters above mean sea level, and starting a series of building constructions on it.

The first lot acquired was a 4,000 square meter roadside property of the Abadilla family. Acquisition continued, until 105 meters of frontage was achieved. Then purchases were made inwards. The experience was varied and difficult.

There were cases where lot was purchased from a seller, then other claimants enter and demand payment too. Venvi dealt reasonably with such cases, despite the obvious weight on capitalization. Here Engineer Ikko learned another lesson in business wisdom. Atty. Larry’s rationale – “We wouldn’t want to establish business in an area where certain local people, for reasons they were not satisfied, would wish our business ill (or in Ilocano ‘lunod’)” Aside from double compensation, Venvi gave additional benefits to the sellers and their families. There are at least twenty(20) workers from these families who are now gainfully employed at the 365 Plaza construction project.

Engineer Ikko tells of another case where the seller (or other interested parties) overstep the limits and unscrupulously present abusive demands. Venvi dealt with them squarely. He gives special mention to a recent case when a claimant to an already purchased lot fabricated documents and demanded P25 M from the purchaser. Venvi countercharged, and finally the claimants sued for a settlement of P50,000.

If I had my way, I would have sat down with Engr Ikko the whole day. But it just isn’t his way. As I watched him walk towards the 365 Center construction and blend into his working men, I wondered, “How could one be such a hardworking achiever, yet remain as silently humble and real?” Well, that the Ilocano way!

Then I feel the urge to further probe into this interesting community named Venvi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
II. Architect Ike—Venvi property development captain

I have always wrestled with the thought of doing serious interviews with someone at the head of a development outfit. Perhaps due to my social activist background which has turned me into a dyed-in-the wool person with hardened prejudices. Admittedly now, my interactions with the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Venvi Realty and Venvi Development Corporations have made me think a lot.

Architect Ike Madamba first struck me as a straightforward manager who means serious business, with potential clients and the Venvi personnel alike. He makes sure plans and drawings are done and refined to the smallest detail. He wants meetings brief but meaty. He transacts work obviously demanding high standards and output even with the Venvi construction people headed by Engineer Ikko. This must have instilled lots of awe and respect among the Venvi ranks.

In conversations, I gleaned that Architect Ike is a proponent of the latest global concept of establishing well-located and meticulously planned development sites that will evolve over a period of time into strong and permanent business districts with grids as opposed to the old linear type. Examples of long-established business centers are Ayala Center, Araneta Center and Ortigas Center. Architect Ike likens their present project to Rockwell Center in Makati, which is now maturing into that league after a decade of gradual development.

Architect Ike and his team also considered seriously the physical factors of flooding and water resources. He advocated the conduct, and serious subscription to the study and recommendations of the flood hazard assessment of San Nicolas, specifically the site of the planned development of VVH Realty Corporation. It was conducted to assess the susceptibility of the site to flood hazards, understand the causes of flooding and identify measures that can minimize flood hazard in the project site and the whole area. [I wish I could get more space and time to dwell on this in the future, for reasons of education and real-situation usefulness for this Laoag River basin area.]

These, and certainly more aspects of Architect Ike that I haven’t come to know, would illustrate his serious and business-meaning developer nature. And rightly so. Architect Ike Madamba is at the forefront of Venvi property development. The 20-hectare-or-so Venvi property in San Nicolas is now his focus. He says his team’s role is to translate the “Ilocano vision” into concrete development plans, drawings, and operations. Venvi President Attorney Larry Valdez would tell them of his intentions and decisions, and Architect Ike would lead his team to the drawing boards, project site, and the relevant environment and market, to turn these into living structures and action.

Observing closer, however, I have come to discover the lighter side of Architect Ike which puts his intentions in perspective. For me to realize that, a day with him at the site of the ongoing 365 Center construction in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte was enough.

In a morning meeting with local potters who will supply the brick finishing materials for the 365 Center, Architect Ike started with a critique of the sample bricks submitted. He wanted more strength and consistency. The brick makers, mostly veteran women potters of the association, explained that the San Nicolas clay is among the best quality in the country. They were approaching the point of being intimidated, harboring the fear of losing the contract opportunity. Suddenly, Architect Ike smiled and announced, “We are taking your bricks. To make your work faster and further improve quality, I am willing to help you acquire a clay kneading (mixing) machine.” The potters’ fear turned into relief, then into excitement when the Architect added, “This is just for a start. You will be needing kilns. We will assist you in getting other supply contracts in future bigger construction in this complex!”

Architect Ike next met with another local group bidding to contract specific steel works of the 365 Center building. As he went over the submitted quotation bid, he gave the bidders and me a lifetime piece of advice on business relations. “In dealing with a cow, you have two choices. You can slaughter it, and you enjoy the meat outright (in Tagalog, karnehin). But that ends there. Or you can milk the cow. And it will be there for years, always ready for the milking (gatas).” He went straight to the contract bid, pointing out details of steel material, uniformity and finish. Then surprised the bidding steel men when he volunteered that Venvi will provide them scaffolding materials, electricity for their weld works onsite, and pickup of assembled parts at their work place. The meeting concluded on a mutually happy note of agreement. The bidders opted for the long-term milk, and the cow will be happy to grow and provide that.

In between and after these meetings, the architect gave instructions to his staff on engineering, marketing and administrative matters. He would always stress this as no “…smiling matter, and you better make sure you do it right and give me the result on time.” Then he invited them to join us for lunch. I couldn’t help but appreciate his pleasant mix of serious business and educating broad perspective, with his way of avid interaction and cracking intelligent jokes. This probably explains how his onsite staff works efficiently and manages to enjoy it at their isolated bunk of an office.

Architect Ike describes his relationship with the visionary Attorney Larry Valdez as one with so much fruitful synergy. “Atty. Larry is so passionate with the place (and people), and I am passionate with my work.” The leader and the manager go through a process of dynamic discussions, sometimes disagreeing, but every time arriving at an enviably higher level of resolution.

Asked on his business views and forecasts of the project area, Architect Ike says that Venvi’s THE CENTER is where any investor cannot go wrong in coming in. “The location is ideal, the market is existing and very attractive. The Ilocanos are really very hardworking, and they can learn a lot more from their Ilocano counterparts in Hawaii.”

What are your intentions when you start business operations in the area? Architect Ike says, “When you enter an area, (in order to really succeed) you must come BIG and complete. We are doing just that in this future Ilocos metropolis.” As we view workers get up the 3rd floor of the 365 Center construction, the urge to hear and learn more from this developer rises.


III. Venvi Ilocos Staff — Shining Cogs of A Progressive Development Machine

Among my collection of stories about Atty. Larry’s Venvi people, that of the staff stands out to be quite inspiring. Organized for the company’s Ilocos operations, these people carry on their shoulders the pioneering staff work of development and operation of agro-industrial and commercial centers under the Venvi Group.

Human resource(HR) assistant Tezza Leeh Lorenzo describes their Ilocos staff organization as lean yet very efficient. (VVH Realty has 5, Venvi Devt has 9, Venvi Const ___., and Venvi Agro ___.) Except for the Venvi Agro which is based in their Mt. Simmilla agro-industrial village, they have been holding offices at the developing Venvi commercial and business center in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.

I got a few minutes of Ms. Tezza’s busy day as she made the rounds for voluntary aid contributions to a bereaved Venvi employee in Bulacan. Tasked primarily for internal company matters, this petite Ilocano professional surprised me with her open cordiality in an unscheduled interview. Plus a bonus of a promise she would e-mail me a couple of paragraphs on her views, which she made good and I am taking the liberty to include here in print.

Ms. Tezza candidly expresses the unwritten Venvi Ilocos rationale in hiring employees.

“There is no doubt that finding a job these days is really difficult. Hiring a good employee for that matter is just as difficult. Though we get flocks of applicants everyday, finding the right applicant for the job with the proper attitude and mindset is something that requires a lot of insight (and sometimes a bit of that gut feeling). Not everyone is willing to throw their gauntlet with a company that has yet to fully spread its wings and I would describe VENVI Ilocos as being this way. The hardships, the sacrifices, the pressure and that extra mile you always have to make is sometimes just a bit too much for some people to handle. Only a few take the challenge of building the foundations for the company here in Ilocos that’s why the workforce treats each other as family and friends…”

Then commends her fellow staff fittingly.

“So I would be the first to say that the staff behind the ropes of VENVI Ilocos,… the unidentified hands that labor over documents and papers, the nameless persons behind the success of each endeavor,… the anonymous individuals who spend hours getting things right for the company… are those people who had found enough glitter in the dust to know that this is only the beginning…that the flight of the company has yet to take off. They know that their seeds of wisdom, sacrifices and hard work now will eventually pay off when the company takes off to greater heights. “

Subsequent conversations with Venvi staff invariably confirms these generalizations. Realty legal assistant Melissa says there’s a lot of work, requirements to comply, problems to solve and lessons to learn. For a comparatively large-scale and complete process of real estate acquisition and development, it’s probably that, and more. Architect Ike Madamba advises local property owners to pay attention in processing their documents, especially land titles. This would matter a lot in the event of sale or development. In my view, this Venvi experience may as well be a major breakthrough in large-scale property development from which future Ilocos developers and local property owners can cull precious lessons.

Engineer Judy (geodetic and civil) of the VDC technical team admits “It’s a challenging and enriching experience. Engineering theories come to life in actual practice…” And quickly she adds, “We owe Venvi so much for the confidence bestowed on us. For that, and for the project’s lofty objectives, we are giving it everything we’ve got.”

The sales and marketing team of Joy, Miriam and Kristine gave me the final convincing lines as I caught them grabbing a quick lunch in the realty and development bunk office. As the marketing team, they say they meet potential investors — the aggressively decided, the interested but observing and calculating, as well as the mild to heavy skeptics – all invariably very interesting to deal with. Among all the support staffs, they consider themselves the most excited as the 365 Plaza and additional innovations near completion. They are aware of their role of providing the link between property development and business operation – that is staff work of bringing in the lucky investing and tenant businesses.

Marketing & Leasing Coordinator Joy says she always keeps in mind the quote “There is no future any job. The future lies in the one who holds the job”. Like Tezza , she considers their tasks are not for the weak of heart. “…This is not just the biggest project so far, but it is also pioneering in so many ways. Much is expected of the company in this part of the province therefore the pressure to deliver is rather significant… However, we never fail to infuse some fun to ease through our work. That is important, I think. The camaraderie in our team is something we take pride on as well. And let’s just say that we are doing our best to make possible every bit of the vision we had laid out for the company, for the project, for all the tenants and for the whole community.”

Speaking not just for the team but perhaps for the whole Venvi ilocos staff as well, Joy says “Atty Larry’s vision inspires us. The idea of our native Ilocos transforming from a sleeping economy to a prosperous and globally abreast one just brings out the best in us. Its countryside multiplying production with modernized agriculture and agro-industry, its metropolis established with vigorous commercial and business activity. We realize all this will raise the local people’s quality of life, and that (future) life is ours!”

Nobody can blame them, not even our generations who have contented ourselves with individual, uneven, sporadic and at best linear brand of development. Their youth makes them more enthusiastic to embrace the Ilocano vision. They yearn to have the things in life and environment that other people have enjoyed for long in other places of the country and the world. They obviously see that this Venvi project is a microcosm that provides these progressive elements, and that this will spearhead a broader trend.

So brace yourselves, fellow Ilocano conservatives. In these Venvi Ilocos personnel, I see the whole Ilocano youth come to life. They are excited to be part of this big step towards a qualitatively new way of life and style. I positively fear they are making that move here and now.


IV. Big step towards a new way of life and style

Let me take off from where I concluded the third article of this series. Pardon me for becoming evidently social in my conclusion. I really can’t help it, and I hope this piece of mind comes across.

The Ilocano youth yearn to have the (new) things in life and environment that other people have enjoyed for long in other places of the country and the world. We might wonder what makes them so excited to be part of this big step, and what makes this a qualitatively new way of life and style. Anticipating the opening of the 365 Plaza which marks the birth the 20-hectare The Center commercial and business complex makes them so.

They want convenient access to the state-of-the-art products and services.

Ilocanos know and have seen how life is made easier in places where commercial and business centers exist. Think of Hawaii and mainland U.S.A., the cities of Asia and Europe, and Australia. Then consider Araneta Center, Ayala Commercial & Business Center, Ortigas Center in Metro Manila. Imagine how much time and energy one saves in doing the shopping for groceries, medicine and special school or trade products, surfing the internet or having a computer upgrade, visiting the salon, have a photograph taken, buy your bread and order a cake for an occasion, having fun at an amusement joint, and a quick snack or lunch all in one.

How we have lived thru the hassles of trying unsuccessfully to accomplish these tasks in a day by shuttling back and forth from one town center to another boggles the mind. Development in all Ilocos towns and even cities have been largely linear, uneven and sporadic. One can never find a place in Ilocandia where most, if not all, of his personal, commercial and business needs can be satisfied. Yet even the Ilocano patience has its limits. When the provision of a need or want is postponed by an hour or day, that is a form of inconvenience bordering on deprivation. Generations of Ilocanos have suffered from this condition for quite a while. Happily now, just around the bend (or across the bridge), local folk and their visitors can enjoy the convenience of the city.

Imagine further, in the near future, a complete mall with a supermarket, branded product stores, hardware, food centers and restaurants, and state-of-the-art movie theaters in just one entrance. This will be accessible both to the commuting public and private motorists with spacious parking and a well-organized transportation block for jeepneys, buses, and tricycles.

And within the same yard, one can do banking and business transactions. The wiser business persons or companies can set up office in the institutional section of the complex. And the more affluent Ilocanos, resident or overseas, can acquire their own condotel units in the high-rise buildings of the complex.

The Center, when realized, is truly a brilliant spearhead of the future progressive Ilocos metropolis. No wonder it is the youth who are so excited of the prospect. They, among all others, are the first to welcome and embrace the Ilocano vision fostered by Venvi founder and business leader Atty. Hilario P. Valdez. Again I quote from Joy, Miriam and Joanne of the Venvi marketing team:

“Atty Larry’s vision inspires us. The idea of our native Ilocos transforming from a sleeping economy to a prosperous and globally abreast one just brings out the best in us. Its countryside multiplying production with modernized agriculture and agro-industry, its metropolis established with vigorous commercial and business activity. We realize all this will raise the local people’s quality of life, and that (future) life is ours!”

The inspirations I get doing my job in the “Center”

By Miriam dela Cruz

I am inspired by those who give back to the society what they have gained from it. I have learned that success is not about taking and winning but is about giving too. I have met with so many successful people whom I learned from and what I have discovered so far about successful persons is that they do not work harder but smarter does because when you work hard you might fail but smart people don’t.

I am also inspired by positive people who make every day count. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere

- Rei M. Guillermo
ILOCOS TIMES
 

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I pity Laoag for not having such a project like this kind of rapid development:eek:hno:
we have the "traditional politicians" to blame. haha
though the center's location is truly very ideal, serving the general population of laoag. placing it exactly outside the city's boundaries gives it advantages of paying less taxes and the enjoyment of the city's popularity. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
we have the "traditional politicians" to blame. haha
though the center's location is truly very ideal, serving the general population of laoag. placing it exactly outside the city's boundaries gives it advantages of paying less taxes and the enjoyment of the city's popularity. :)
the location is truly a perfect setting to do business and investment:) this town is on its way to greatness... it would eventually surpass laoag as the heart of Ilocos Norte... if my meager memory serves me correctly, this is the biggest project in the northwestern part of luzon:banana:
 
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