Design Hubs for Every Space

Mention Pasig City and you’ll immediately think of office high-rises, call centers, and malls. But if you look beyond the buzz of the commercial-business district, you’ll find growing developments that provide a relaxing respite for its residents that still exude the energy and design of a dynamic and prosperous city.

It’s an ideal city to live in. Appropriately, there are many specialized design hubs and depots in and around the area, so decorating your own space won’t be difficult. Here are a few choices:

Space encounters

Space Encounters

Interior designer Wilmer Lopez opened this store back in 2010, and he hasn’t stopped expanding since. He started out with Space Encounters, which carries a line of midcentury furniture and décor with fun, timely themes. They also recently launched their Space Encounters Gallery with its collection of Filipino art; Lopez’s design firm, incidentally, is housed in the same building.

Mezzanine and 7th floor, Padilla Bldg., F. Ortigas Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


CW Home Depot

CW Home Depot Ortigas

This flagship branch of the CW Home Depot group is one of the most complete home depots in Metro Manila, with stores selling specialty items like customized lights (Keystone Lamps), ultra-modern furnishings (Décor), and vintage-style toilet fixtures. Aside from the depot, the complex houses several restaurants and bars (such as Rue Bourbon), a KTV lounge (Music Match), and a sports center. “CW Home Depot is great because you can couple furniture hunting with sourcing other home improvement services and materials,” says Michael Magturo of Urban Abode, one of the stores in the depot.

1 Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig City. Tel. no.: 636 0772; email: Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Urban Abode

Urban Abode

Located within the CW Home Depot Ortigas complex, Urban Abode offers furniture and accessories designed by interior designer Kristine Neri. All her pieces are housed in a beautifully curated shop with industrial-modern interiors and murals washed in natural light. Business operations manager Michael Magturo recommends their chesterfield sofas. “They exude a casual elegance and are surprisingly comfy.”

Shops at CW Home Depot. Tel. no. (+632) 570 4663. Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Furniture Anthology

Furniture Anthology

Also located within the CW Home Depot Ortigas compound, this store carries elegant furnishings for urban homes. Their collection ranges from upholstered sofas to midcentury-style consoles and accent lighting pieces. One look inside the Furniture Anthology showroom and you could be transported back to the 1950s, with its sleek and nostalgic pieces.

Technopoint Bldg., CW Home Depot Complex. Tel. no. (02) 721 5874. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

MC Home Depot

MC Home Depot

This home depot is located in a no-frills, warehouse-type setting, but it has become popular with both designers and homeowners because you can get everything here—from granite to wallpaper and furniture (and everything in between). Don’t forget to stop by Ricad Trading, which customizes mosaic tile designs, and carries the trendy Machuka-style patterned tile.

168 Ortigas cor. Meralco Aves., Pasig City. Open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Robins Design Center

Robins Design Center

If you’re a homeowner or designer with discerning taste, this is the hub to head to. Robins Design is a two-story center filled with the stores you need to complete your home. These homegrown shops all have a certain sophisticated flair about them. There is La Europa Ceramica, which carries the on-trend large-scale ceramic tiles from Europe; Alno, the premier line of modular kitchens; the delightful De Adorna showroom, which features beautiful designer décor from Pampanga; and Schema showroom, with its award-winning metal lamps. If you’re a condo dweller, drop by Perch Furnishings, with its affordable but stylish collection of sofa-beds, chairs, tables, and more.

31 Meralco Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Telas de Mercato

Brgy. Kapitolyo

This formerly quiet residential neighborhood has been transformed into a foodie paradise, but there are also many interesting lifestyle stores within its winding streets. A new player in the area is Telas de Mercato, a warehouse filled with hundreds of fabric and soft furnishings for the home. Take your pick from damask, cotton chintz, satin, tassels, and other trimmings for upholstery, curtains, and pillows, sold by the meter or yard and organized by type and color.

749 Pioneer St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City


One of its hippest home stores in the hood is Heima, owned by husband-and-wife team Rossy and Bong Rojales. Rossy—an interior designer—creates Scandinavian-modern pieces with an offbeat touch. The store also sells stationery items, decorating books, and small accessories.

No. 103, Three Brixton St., Brgy Kapitolyo, Pasig City

The Green Company

Just a few steps away from Heima is eco-living store The Green Company. The charming shop not only sells organic personal care items, but it also all-natural detergents, household cleaners, and they even run an earth-friendly laundry service.

G/F Ace Water Spa Bldg., United cor. Brixton Sts., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Cevio Art Haus

Hidden in the depths of Kapitolyo is Cevio Art Haus, a gallery within an old house. They support up-and-coming contemporary Pinoy painters and sculptors like Froilan Pastrana, Catherine Salazar, and Siefred Guilaran with regular exhibits.

60 San Isidro St., Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City

West Elm

West Elm

This famous US brand’s first Philippine store is located right in the heart of Pasig City. West Elm is known for their laidback, finely made contemporary furniture. More than that, though, one of the reasons why most homeowners like West Elm is that a majority of their pieces are designed to fit condo living and urban spaces. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in West Elm, though, drop by their sister brand Pottery Barn, which is in the same mall.

G/F Estancia Mall, Meralco Ave., Pasig City

With so many choices, get to decorate your home the way you want it. The units in Alveo Land’s Portico, for example, are spacious and well-planned to encourage residents to personalize their spaces. How Portico is designed also inspires in its future residents an appreciation for art and design, perfectly complementing the artsy vibe of Ortigas.

For more information on Portico, go to or visit their onsite showroom located along Capt. Henry Javier St., Brgy. Oranbo, Pasig City.

Soon to Rise: New Property Hotspots for Investments

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

“Location, location, location” is the key advice for real estate investments. Proximity to commercial and medical centers, access to major roads, and cost of living all figure into this important decision.

It helps to narrow down the list. While not as seemingly in-demand as top condominiums in BGC or Makati (be it both in terms of pre-selling and RFO), here are some locations that still show great potential for a good ROI. If you’re looking to invest in Philippine real estate, snap up these locations before their prices peak.

Quezon City Memorial Circle

1. Quezon City

As the largest city in Metro Manila with a population of 3 million people, Quezon City richly deserves a place on this list of prime real estate investments. Its latest CBD was touted by a World Bank study to be “the center of gravity of all commercial activities in the coming years.” This district has it all: major shopping centers such as Trinoma Mall, your choice of internationally accredited hospitals, three major transit stations along main thoroughfares, golf courses, and parks. Once the MRT-7 train line is completed by 2019, Quezon City will see even higher foot-traffic and an uptick to its already considerable asset value of P31.92B. Small wonder that QC ranks second only to Makati as the richest city in the country.

Top pick: Take a look at Alveo’s Orean Place in Vertis North, an address master-planned for centrality, connectivity, and efficiency as QC’s new city center. Currently, Seda Vertis hotel and Vertis mall is fully operational for everyone to enjoy.

Also located near recreation centers like Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife, one of the last lungs of a densely-populated metro.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

2. Pasig City

Pasig has plenty to offer. For decades, Ortigas Center was the target commercial district and site of prime real estate investments for small businesses and large corporations alike. With the rise of BPOs, residential demand has shot up as well.

Pasig boasts of a perfect blend of residential and commercial spaces, with neighborhoods just minutes away from the business district. Given that, Zipmatch has rated Pasig residences in Maybunga, Kapitolyo, and Ortigas Center with high rental yields of 9.37 to 10.29%, beating the national average of 7%. Expect these figures to skyrocket as the P1.6B road project linking Ortigas Center to BGC nears its 2020 completion date.

Top pick: Portico in Pasig is the top pick on the investment list because of its access to the Pasig CBD, Kapitolyo, and the aforementioned Ortigas-BGC link.

3. Pampanga

Manila proving too crowded? It may be time to look elsewhere, and the relatively nearby province of Pampanga makes for a prime candidate. Located at the heart of Central Luzon, Pampanga straddles both the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SLEX). It also has its own airport—Clark Airport—as a gateway to the rest of the world. And given its lower cost of living compared to Manila, Pampanga provides excellent real estate investments in the Philippines.

Apart from ease of travel, Pampanga is seeing robust growth in its population of 2.6 million, its agricultural and manufacturing industries (9.5% GDP; the rest of the nation’s GDP averages at 6.5%), and its BPO sector in the Clark Free Zone area. Angeles City and San Fernando in particular have seen a rise in shopping malls, resorts, and hotels.

The most exciting recent development, however, is the P12.55B expansion of Clark Airport slated for 2019, which may turn that area into Asia’s next aerotropolis. It’s little wonder, then, that Pampanga is seeing an enormous demand for real estate, with Ayala Land developing Alviera, a sustainable community in the municipality of Porac.

Top pick: Buy a lot in Alveo Land’s Montala, located in a key location within Alviera.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

4. Laguna

Those looking for peace and quiet outside the bustling city can consider the province of Laguna. The province is seeing an influx of housing projects as the demand for space heats up, particularly from OFWs looking for living spaces in the suburbs. Along with the manufacturing hubs and BPO offices, this has contributed to Laguna’s rank as the 8th richest province in the country. With the extension of the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (TR-4), this will mean easier access to and from southern provinces like Quezon and Batangas, contributing to the province’s wealth.

Arguably, Laguna’s greatest draw is its lush green countryside, relatively free from the traffic and air pollution that perennially plague Metro Manila. With a density of only 1,081.8 persons per sq. km., lots for sale in Laguna are found in naturally peaceful communities, a perfect fit for those looking to live in a quieter environment. It’s also close to popular tourist and vacation spots such as Tagaytay and Batangas, where a host of places for leisure and relaxation are just a few hours away.

Top pick: Aveia, in particular, offers a quaint community strategically close to both the Laguna Techno Park and Laguna International Industrial Park, while being only 15 km away from the Alabang CBD.

5. Davao

If your tastes run farther south, you can look into Mindanao’s industrial, commercial and financial center: Davao. Davao City boasts of a phenomenal 9.4% GDP, while its cost of living and doing business are 20% lower than that of Manila, according to Despite its 1.6M growing population, Davao City is also among the safest cities in Southeast Asia, with High Numbeo ranking in terms of Quality of Life and Low in terms of crime. This makes Davao a sound choice for real estate investments.

Davao City is a prime target of the current administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program. Already home to five top universities, an abundance of national banks, shopping centers, churches, park areas, and commercial districts, the city is also working with Japan to develop a P19.81B by-pass road that will cut travel time along major roads by nearly half. Along with other projects in the works, this will doubtless push up Davao City’s current asset value of P9.89B.

Top pick: Located in the Abreeza district, Patio Suites is a prime investment choice given its easy accessibility to the Abreeza mall, Seda hotel, and the Abreeza Corporate Center.

To learn more about Alveo Land projects in these locations, visit

Photos are for illustrative purposes only.


With a fusion of conscious aesthetics, programmed engineering and functionality, technology is becoming indispensable in today’s ecosystem.

Design in technology continues to push beyond the extremes, and exploring boundaries that were previously unimaginable. The market’s discerning taste continues to evolve, and as years go by, design is no longer just about how a product looks but also about how it is made relevant and useful in diversifying environments.

Here are some creations from companies that manifest this new norm in the world of technology.


Fairphone 2 is a smartphone that has carefully melded ingenious design with social and ethical values. A modular mobile device, the phone is made from reused materials and conflict-free minerals. With a streamlined hardware look and feel, it is designed for long-lasting use and can easily be repaired with handy, household tools.


Sonos, a smart network of wireless speakers, continues to break barriers with its surround sound system technology. Their biggest speaker yet is the PLAY:5. With over a thousand microscopic holes, six separate amplifiers, and three woofers, custom tuning ensures high-quality sound in any area it reaches. The PLAY:5’s uncompromising quality, superior technology, and understated design guarantee a remarkable sound encounter with each tune played.


Go Wheelchair was developed with the goal to improve quality of life through human-centric mobility devices. It is an ultra-modern upgrade to the typical wheelchair—customizable and tailor-made to a user’s needs and biometric information. Details like textured push rims and high-grip gloves curtail the use of extra energy while reducing strain on the muscles. A user-friendly app allows additional personal preferences that make each wheelchair unique from one another.


Made from premium waterproof and breathable fabric, it is a reinvention of the regular shower cap that promises functionality, form, and above all, style. Aside from a snug, flexible elastic band, each cap is lined with an antibacterial coating for added protection.The Shhhowercap is a total hair game changer with its turban silhouette, making it a chic and timeless bath time necessity.


Athletic performance is boosted as the Futurecraft vision brings a more personalized touch to running shoes. Through a simple treadmill test, the exact contours and pressure points of one’s feet are registered, then crafted into a pair of shoes that is practically the mirror image of the wearer’s feet. This type of technology results in fully flexible footwear with the perfect cushion to support dynamic and performance-driven activities.


Known for his innovative cooking and presentation techniques, Chef AJ Ramos of Privatus Private Dining showcases his signature dishes as a rather unexpected spectacle.


Crispy Lapu-Lapu with modern Filipino condiments.


This edible garden with squid ink bread, edible soil, and bacon aioli is a best-selling signature dish that you won’t find anywhere else.


Crudo means “raw” in Spanish. This adventurous salad includes fresh seafood, radish, pickled onions, white corn, and coconut embryo.


A local version of Kitayama Wagyu, it’s a play on Bistek Tagalog with pickled petchay and fried garlic.


A mimic of Filipino rice cake suman, this dish uses actual banana peel as its wrapper in place of banana leaves. The banana filling is intentionally overripe for sweeter satisfaction.