By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – Pretty soon, real estate broker and appraiser Wilma Villanueva will begin to sell properties that are a breakthrough in the frontier of real estate development. A beach forest resort of sorts will rise in the garden city of Samal Island in Davao, in southern Philippines this year, known as Basanvilla.
The developer Villanueva responds to the broader niche market which can afford to own property on a practical budget. There’s her genius, there’s the catch. Ensuring environmental protection, comfort, and economic viability is the reason for Villanueva’s thriving success.
Basanvilla, coined from Villanueva’s parental names Basan and Villanueva, is only 10 minutes by ferry to Samal from mainland Davao. Samal is a verdant land and marine environment in southern Philippines (at least in Cebu, Davao, Siquijor) where the world famous butanding (plankton-eating whale shark) and sea turtles inhabit.
Her company, the Holiday Rest Houses, will embark this project that embodies her philosophy of respect for individuals, adherence to global standards, value for money and luxury, and enjoyment of guests.
As a trusted property manager, writer, traveler and businesswoman rolled into one, Villanueva knows the value of living in style and comfort, and understands the value of hard-earned money.
Her many years of working in Dubai, the City of Gold, has taught her that people want to vacation stress-free. And her travels to some of the most exciting cities in Asia, America and Europe have brought her a deeper insight into diverse cultures that requires no less than utmost respect and care for their well-being.
While in Dubai, Villanueva founded an organization of OFW professionals in the city called Trainings & Opportunities for Pinoys Abroad (TROPA)–Dubai. IN 2011, TROPA’s achievements were noticed and the group was nominated in ABS CBN’s “Search for Outstanding Global Organizations.”
Excerpts of our interview:
- What is your cutting edge as developer and real estate expert?
I got a sharp edge, and I think that’s my cutting edge (laughs). My philosophy in realty is to get the widest reach—globally— and break the financial barriers, by offering a low budget income generating housing, a Condotel-Kubotel, which can generate added revenues for anyone anywhere in the world.
Kubotel is the Philippines’ rural and native residences, the kubo or the nipa hut, which I will elevate in artistry and comfort and size right inside Basanvilla.
2. How different and unique are you compared to others
I am different from everyone in the industry in the sense that although I think big, and most of the time act big, the truth is I am but a small voice— a small time real estate broker, now a start-up developer—who dreams of converting idle lands in the Philippines’ 7101 islands into tourist friendly zones that are affordable enough for Juan and Juana.
My basic instinct tells me that I’m on the right track, so far.
And thank God for the virtue of being small, people tend to navigate and listen to what I have to say and they take me seriously. Somehow it’s because they can relate more to me than bigwigs Andrew Tan or Andres Soriano.
But hey, I love Andrew Tan’s mega world satellite city concepts and the Ayala’s brand of luxury. But I offer something different.
3.What does the resort in Samal have to offer to guests?
Our mini beach forest resort project in Samal has nothing to promise but the excitement and generosity of mother nature. The steep slopes will give every hut a generous site of the sea.
We will use solar power to light up our beach kubo (huts). Water will come from the underground and powered by solar energy.
There are huge boulders of limestones around the site and these will make for a natural aquarium for some wandering fish as well as culture site for king crabs and clams.
On your lucky days, you may get a glimpse of giant sea turtles —this resort is blessed to be a part of the Green Turtles sanctuary. Or be joyful at the sight of frolicking dolphins that abound in the Davao oriental seas or some sharks as the island is also along the whale shark sanctuary in the gulf.
Basanvilla beach lot is selling at a startup price of Php 500,000, with each lot shall rise one Kubo for hotel operation. This is a limited offering, for family and friends are given priority. But just inquire, you may be lucky to own a spot in this lovely island. Go to www.holidayresthouses.com