Ok, by now it’s really no secret to readers that I’ve got this strong affinity thing going on with Bonifacio Global City (BGC), located in Metro Manila, Philippines. The short and long of it is that for early FI, I absolutely want to own a property in BGC that I can call my own.
For one, I always thought it would be so awesome to own real estate in Asia because let’s face it, a flight back and forth from the good ol’ United States of America is a looooooooooong journey (like 14+ hours one way). So yeah, after awhile, it does get very old traveling out of a suitcase all the time.
In other words, I really just want a place somewhere in Asia where I can just leave my stuff so that I can travel more care-free, to other nearby countries (e.g. Hong Kong, Japan ,Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, etc.).
Not to mention opening up a gateway to less stressful (and tedious) island hopping!
Anyway, prior to late 2017, I had no idea a world class metropolitan city even existed in Manila… So, you could say I was shocked (in a good way) when I discovered just how: shiny, clean, modern, safe, fun, etc. a place like BGC actually is.
Not to mention, everyone in Metro Manila reads/writes/speaks perfect English and it totally feels like western civilization here (e.g. movies, music, sports, food, slang, jokes, etc.). I forget I’m NOT in America, like all the time…
Ok, Although I realize that I’m totally pumping the virtues of BGC (and have been for awhile now), let’s face it, straight up — There’s no such thing as a “perfect” location.
If you scrutinize long and hard enough, with any place on God’s green earth (yes, even California, contrary to popular belief and what the tech nerds might be telling you), you’re bound to find something there you don’t particularly like. Moreover, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, anyway, so yeah, I think instead of spinning our wheels endlessly trying to find nirvana, we just need to try and find a place that simply makes us feel at home.
Now, moving on to a clear negative associated with BGC.
With BGC, no question, the traffic is horrible (but that’s more a reflection of the overall current state of transportation infrastructure in Metro Manila/Philippines). I mean, c’mon now, when you’ve got a densely populated region (Metro Manila) that over 13 million people call home, you’re going to have a lot of bottlenecks and inefficiencies on the roads/highways/lightrails/etc. if you don’t even have a proper (i.e. modern and blazingly fast) subway station the people have ready access to.
Nope, the Philippines is really behind the times when it comes to public transportation; they are working hard on it with the help of those super efficient Japanese, but it’s still gonna be like another half-decade (likely longer due to inevitable delays) before a modern subway system will be ready for prime time use here.
Still, despite the fact that it’s exceptionally tough to get around Metro Manila during peak hours (i.e. rush hour traffic), when you’ve got a most shiny and glitzy place like BGC, hey, for the most part, you’ve got all the accommodations/amenities you need in one world class “bubble” city.
I mean, just speaking for myself, as someone who doesn’t have to commute to and from somewhere else for work, I wouldn’t really have a good reason to have to leave BGC, if I was living here permanently, outside of just wanting to go island hopping, or to visit other countries.
Pollution in Manila, in general, is REALLY FREEKIN BAD, but within BGC, it’s much better/more tolerable (since jeepneys are confined to very specific routes within the city). Unfortunately, there are next to zero electric vehicles (EVs) to be found, but hey, I never said BGC/Manila/Philippines was on the bleeding edge of adopting the latest (greatest) innovations in technology; no doubt, EVs are just too pricey to be a realistic solution for most people at this time, but eventually once battery costs decay enough to where a standard EV model is on parity with the price of conventional gasoline vehicles, or even cheaper, then it will be game on.
In regards to wi-fi and internet speeds, yeah, BGC is NOT on par with Silicon Valley (by a long shot), but they’ve now got fiber optic in many places (like BGC), so incremental progress is being made. I guess I’ll know soon enough, once I get my own place and can test drive one of the faster internet packages available (hah).
Anyway, they say in life (especially in early FI) you’re supposed to chase your true passions/interests, so yeah, in a nutshell that’s what I’m trying to do with you all here; I’m most genuinely excited to share this “obscure and hidden gem” with the rest of the world, especially those folks who haven’t had the chance to visit BGC just yet.
Somehow, someway, it’s still possible to locate studios/1 bedroom units (~36 square meters or slightly larger) in BGC for not much more than $100,000 USD; for something a little higher end, even below $150,000 USD is definitely possible.
It’s total sticker shock (in a good way), especially if you’re used to living in a (much) higher Cost of Living (CoL) environment, like say Hong Kong (where a 50 year old plus, dilapidated condo can easily set you back over $1 million USD).
Something like this…
In contrast to places like HK, you can easily pick up something BRAND NEW in BGC for say 1/5 the price (conservatively speaking), or maybe even something as crazy as 1/10 the price.
Purely speculation on my own part, but over time, I really can’t fathom how/why a place like BGC wouldn’t continue steadily rising in value (for comparison sake, just check out how much new construction condos in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam go for today; it’s quite surprising how pricey things have gotten, at least to me). As it pertains to “emerging markets” there’s probably no place I would prefer anywhere in the world over BGC.
Alright, enough of the love fest, let’s get to the latest pics now!
For your viewing pleasure, here’s some up-to-date images of some of the construction activity that’s going on in BGC.
Avida Towers Verte Residential Condos.
Avida The Montane Residential Condos.
Avida The Montane Residential Condos (Uptown Mall view).
Federal Land Central Park West (LHS) and Times Square West (RHS) Residential Condos.
Federal Land Grand Hyatt South Residences (front).
The above tower will complement the already completed:Federal Land Grand Hyatt Hotel (LHS) and Grand Hyatt North Residences.
Megaworld Uptown Ritz (LHS), Uptown Park Suites Tower 1 (Center), and Uptown Park Suites Tower 2 (RHS) Residential Condos.
Avida Towers Turf 1 (LHS) and Avida Towers Turf 2 (RHS) Residential Condos.
Ayala Land Premier The Suites (RHS).
BGC is almost tapped out (maybe another decade of aggressive development left, mostly focused in the Uptown region), but there’s still some exciting projects currently under construction and slated to start soon.
I’ll continue following construction progress in BGC with the utmost interest.
Thanks for tuning in!