My first time in Cebu City was spent with family. I was then 8 years old, and we stayed at the Montebello Villa Hotel. We toured the city, and I visited Magellan’s Cross and the Gaisano Mall.

It took 21 years for me to return to Cebu. Covering the 2015 Apec ministerial and financial meetings was the perfect chance for me to see the city again—and it was full of promise.

Progress was evident in a number of locations—high-rise buildings dotting the cityscape, all the big shopping malls having their respective branches, and traffic almost akin to that of Metro Manila.

The Cebu Action Plan, ratified by Apec delegates on September 2015, formally recognized the Queen City of the South as a global destination at par with international standards.

Cebu is alive with history, as Spanish colonial buildings stand side by side with contemporary high-rise structures. It’s easy to imagine a period from the distant past: Spanish galleons arriving at the Mactan Channel, the harbor strewn with lively markets filled with traders plying their wares.

Two-bedroom loft model unit inMandani Bay’s newly opened showroom at Mandaue City

 Culture and creativity

It’s in this historic area that Hong Kong Land and Taft Properties chose to build Mandani Bay—its latest development in Cebu.

Located along the Mactan Channel, the 20-ha waterfront property was launched last May with an event that celebrated Cebuano culture and creativity.

Jack Gaisano, chair of Taft Properties, formally opened the ceremony, announcing plans for the new development.

The Mandani Bay development plan seeks to transform Mandaue into a contemporary lifestyle destination with amenities and services along with residential buildings and offices.

“Seeing the rapid economic and population boom in Cebu, residential demands remain robust across different sectors,” said Christopher Narciso, Taft Properties chief operating officer. “Mandani Bay is also a personal dream and vision to bring to Cebu a world-class development it deserves.”

Mandani Bay will be built around a lifestyle of connectivity, a premium, mixed-use community with a series of expansive podium blocks linked by footbridges.

Residential towers will rise from each of the podiums’ amenity roof decks, while street-front retail will thrive along the wide boulevard.

At the base, the buildings will be connected by a streamlined system of exclusive parking spaces weaving throughout the property.

For strolling above ground or driving and parking underground, Mandani Bay will provide complete convenience.

The program was capped with fireworks and a ceremony to formally open the doors to Mandani Bay’s 1,500-sq m show gallery, said to be the finest in the country.

With economic activity leaning heavily toward the south, Cebu, along with other cities like Davao and General Santos, is poised to undergo increased development in the next several years.

By Feliciano Rodriguez III | Philippine Daily Inquirer | January 05, 2017