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Friday, December 16, 2011

Building our dream home in the Philippines

In my experiences of donating in the Philippines I had come to love the culture and people so much that in 2006 I decided to make my dream home there. I found a gorgeous property in Tarlac province that had it's own creek and several thousand mahogany trees. A spectacular property.

http://youtu.be/iv6Z7nuzyE4
A youtube video with gorgeous pics
See link above


An aerial pic of our paradise taken in December 2007
My original intention had always been to develop a nice place as an investment and later on sell it. When I first bought the property there was not much there. Just a couple of buildings and some run down development. It was definitely a challenge to put it all together. Fortunately I was able to be there most of the time and could really make decisions on the spot.

Workers planting blue grass near the big pool


It took a lot of hard work on the part of everyone involved. The project was a Godsend for the local community as we were able to employ during the project  over 300 people and most of them really appreciated the opportunity and additional income. And they did a great job too.  It is amazing to see the talents that people have when you give them the opportunity to be creative.
The early stages of the mansion house








It took nearly two years to complete the property and the opportunity to develop it brought many rewarding experiences to me and my wife.  Filipino's are amazing in their creativity when given the chance they really excel in all aspects of a project. It was amazing to see how they improvised and made their work as efficient as possible.




Here I am planting rice in the farm portion of the property

 I was told more than once that I did not fit the mold of expectation for a person who could afford such a property. I have never been the lazy type or one who thinks that I am too high to get my hands dirty. So during the course o the project I was right in there working side by side with the workers. It was a good experience for me too. And a good workout! I personally feel that the higher you get in life, the more you must humble yourself to stay grounded. That's why I am like that. Even Jesus said "the greatest will be the servant of all". I learned much during the course of the project. After all it was my very first development. My dad was a developer and we both figured he passed it on to me in the genes. It turned out remarkably well.

Our gorgeous 35 meter pool
Here are some more pics. Enjoy.
With swimming  as my favorite form of exercise I could not resist to make the gorgeous 35 meter lap pool. It is surrounded by gardens and kubo's. This was the place where I would do my morning laps before hitting the gym in the Japanese garden.

I never really used it as much as I should of but we estimated over 5000 people have had a chance to swim in this pool since it was first constructed.
Both my wife and I loved to share our home with others.
The main mansion house on the property

Here is a pic of our 7 bedroom mansion house. I decided after it was constructed that I wanted to keep it brand new for the future buyer so we did not stay in this house. Instead we stayed in a quaint 1 room guest house on the property.

This big house has the most incredible sunset views from the large terrace as a back drop to the 35m pool. There is also a nice balcony on the back side that overlooks the blue lagoon. It took almost a year to construct this house.


A picture of our gym located in the Japanese garden
                                                                         This unique building located in the Japanese style garden is our gym. I wanted to make it go with the motif so I had the roof corners made like a temple style. In the front is a koi pond.

The inside of the gym is wall to wall glass and even the ceiling is glass. I wanted to see the pain on my face when doing sit ups! It's very cool in there because it is located under the big mahogany trees.

I had always dreamed the maybe I could have Manny Pacquio work out there. I even bought a punching bag just in case I got the occasion to meet him.

Nice walking path along the creek
One of the best things about the property is all the room to walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds. Since most of the outside properties are rice fields the birds come to take refuge in our trees inside. At times the sounds of chirping are so loud it is incredible. Especially in the evening,

This walking path has several park benches to sit down and admire the beauty of the creek and blue lagoon. There is also large areas of blue grass to run and play on. Our dogs love it there!

Many people ask me how did I develop such a beautiful property. I simply told them I prayed about it. Truthfully I really had no experience in it. But I have a heart and creative mind. That coupled with faith in divine wisdom led to the creation of our property. 

              
Original color of the lake with view of butterfly bridge
NOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. HOW DID I TURN THE COLOR OF MY LAKE FROM THIS ....
                                                                                          TO THIS???
Beautiful turquoise after coloring the lake
First let me tell you why I decided to turn my lake from a ugly muddy brown color into a beautiful turquoise.                                         

 a youtube video with many pics of our blue lagoon
                                                         http://youtu.be/wANsVZ6GHIc

I was planning to do some marketing photos for the property and planned to rent an air plane so I could get some aerial shots. In thinking out of the box I asked my self how could I make the place look more attractive from the air?

I had remembered how food coloring was used in drinks to make them more attractive. So I went to the store and bought a small bottle of it for experimenting. After mixing the muddy water with it I was astonished. It came out turquoise! So the next challenge was to see where I could get my hands on some serious quantity of food coloring to do my 3 hectare lake. I was worried about our fish in the lake so I had taken a few tilapia out and put them in a fish tank with the food coloring. Not only did they not die, they became more aggressive to eat because they could see the food easier in the colored water! After coloring the lake all of our fish increase in size faster. No change in taste.

It took 75 kilos of blue food coloring to get the lake that color. And it stayed blue for 7 months until the rains overflowed the lake and washed it away. We still color it on special occasions usually after December when the rainy season is over.

We had an amazing increase in air traffic over our property after coloring the lake. We were told that it had spread in the circles of pilots and they were coming from all over to take a look at it. It was even said that they could see the blue lake from 10 miles away at 5000 feet. I believe it. When I flew over it was visible from very far away.

As much as we are fond of this property our heart desire is to move back to the States to be with my parents. Therefore we have made this property available. If you or someone are interested to speak to us about it please leave a comment with your contact info below. Thanks.

Many of you have requested more pics of our property. Here are some more. Enjoy!

My love of swimming inspired me to make this 35 meter lap pool




This was our favorite place on the property. Our guest house. We lived there.
The guest house was our favorite building on the property. We loved it so much we lived there instead of the mansion house. This one is super private and has it's own pool with gorgeous views of the back pasture area.



The terrace of the guest house had spectacular views of the lake and horse pasture
This is the view from the terrace of the guest house. It sits under the shade of the many mahogany trees that surrounds it.  And yes the wine was good! Beyond the blue lagoon is a horse pasture where we spent many hours watching the horses run. For sure this terrace was my favorite place on the property.



This is a view from the Japanese garden. Our gardeners are very talented to maintain our property well. Not one detail was overlooked.




Isn't it amazing what 75 kilos of blue food coloring can do to a brown mud color lake!



There are so many beautiful walkways to stroll around under the mahogany trees. This one leads to the butterfly bridge and then up to our mahogany forest guest house.


This is the cool shaded side of the big mansion house. We used to love to lay on the soft blue grass and play with our daughter and dogs there.


When I rented the plane to take these aerial photos it was not too hard to find our property. I could see from like 10 miles away with that incredible blue lagoon. It became quite an attraction to other pilots too. Many came to fly over it and enjoy this blue dot in the middle of central luzon.


We miss this place a lot. If any of you are interested in this place please contact us at jdgclg2@comcast.net

17 comments:

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  3. Wow, it my pleasure to drop by here in your blog and read your experiences. As I've read your blog I must say that you are lovable and your wife is blessed to have you. I also love your place it is wonderful and I am wishing to visit your place to see your beautiful dream house. Thanks for letting us know about your wonderful experience in life.

    Gaile | Philippines properties

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  4. hi there,

    your property looks so amazing. have you already sold this property or have you converted is as holiday destination for people looking for a place to stay...

    alecx

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  5. If you are wondering to buy a property or building own home but short of finance is the hang-up for you, than don't get upset because there is a plausible solution for it. That is: Commercial Real Estate Loans.

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  6. Wow! Wonderful place. I hope I can have like yours. It is like the houses featured in the television. All thehouses constructed well.

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    1. I mean, I hope I can have like your house.

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  7. Wew! Breath taking views! hahaha! I've been amazed with the idea that you colored the lake! Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures of your property! The prices of construction supplies you bought maybe reached millions because of that elegant property!

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  8. I'm so delighted when I saw what you did with your house. :) Thank you so much for loving the Philippines! By the way, maybe you'd want to try visiting this site if you're planning to create a new house: http://www.topnotchconstructionph.com/.

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  9. I'm interested in your place. I really loved it a lot! But I don't how much it costs/ By the way, I also consider buying camella homes.

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  10. i would say....more than gorgeous!!!

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  11. Well, all I can say is that it's so amazing! I really loved how the blue lagoon was done! By the way, do you know what is the best building maintenance supplies in the philippines
    ?

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  12. Well, all I can say is that it's so amazing! I really loved how the blue lagoon was done! By the way, do you know what is the best building maintenance supplies in the philippines
    ?

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  13. Permission to post here, Hi! I'm Nerry From Berkwil Construction Inc. For Contractor, Interior Design, Construction Service And Supply just visit our website at www.facebook.com/berkwilconstruction or if you want to contact us just dial 455-1621. Thank you :)

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  14. What a beautiful place to live. Very creative. Thank you for showing it off.

    A home is where the heart dwells, with warmth and love within.

    Find more house and lot for sale in Tarlac here.

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  15. What a great house in the Philippines! I am really into buying a Bacolod house and lot

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