Laguna Business: Expansive technoparks and enchanted kingdoms


A STORY was told about three businessmen who had wanted to buy a thousand hectare each from the owners. As it happened, the Zobels developed what is today the Nuvali-Solenad complex, the Tans have their Asia Brewery Inc. and more, and the Villars own what is now Crown Asia.

A kilometer or so from Nuvali-Solenad is Laguna BelAir, a subdivision which is also home to a school. As is known to travelers from Metro Manila, businessman Andrew Tan  used to sell a house-and-lot package in Laguna BelAir at Php1.75 million more than two decades ago. Today, he is selling at twice, or maybe more, than his original asking price. 

A story is told, too, that the University of Santo Tomas is also moving to Santa Rosa City. Like its campus in Manila along the often-flooded España Avenue, it would be home to the UST Hospital, which would compete with two other hospitals in the area.

Again, as another story goes, the site used by Coca-Cola Bottlers was once a colony of so-called squatters, who moved only across it. Like the Zobels, the owners of the lots across Coca-Cola would not tolerate the presence of squatters. They reportedly sued the illegal setters and won their case against them.

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Soaring house-and-lot prices

If one peruses the advertisements put up by subdivision developers, he or she may find the prices of condominium units beyond their expectations. The asking prices have been going up that city folk from Metro Manila may find them today to be very prohibitive. Why relocate to Santa Rosa City? Is Enchanted Kingdom enough attraction to leave their Metro Manila homes?

Enchanted Kingdom is only one of the city’s main attractions. City folk from Metro Manila would have to turn left from Coca-Cola plant and again turn right at a street near Walter Mart. Their destination, which is Enchanted Kingdom, is only a few meters away. 

How attractive is Enchanted Kingdom that private companies sometimes rent it for their employees? Again, a story was related by a bus passenger who is a native of Santa Rosa. She said she was once asked by a fellow bus passenger about Enchanted Kingdom. Her response: “I don’t know. Our house and the gate to Enchanted Kingdom face each other. But I have not been there.”

The Technopark

Laguna Technopark did not die despite the departure of Ford Philippines many years ago to relocate the company’s plants somewhere in another country in Asia. Did it find Vietnam more attractive than Santa Rosa’s Laguna Technopark?

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When Ford left, it did not totally abandon Santa Rosa. It still sells cars. If  one Googles “Ford Philippines,” he or she would find a number of entries such as the company even  making it to the cars and trucks bestsellers list a number of times.

Laguna Technopark describes itself as “one of the Philippines’ first privately owned industrial parks.  It is located in one of the most dynamic regions in the country.”

The description “one of the most dynamic regions” refers to Southern Tagalog, which happens to be Region 4 where Laguna Technopark is located.

Incidentally, Laguna Technopark is not a monopoly of Santa Rosa City. Its history dates back to 1989 and its “initial venture covered only 224 hectares that straddled the cities of Santa Rosa and Biñan in Laguna.”

“Today,” Laguna Technopark’s story goes, “the industrial estate now has eight phases which covers 460 hectares that cater to light and medium, non-polluting enterprises from both global and local markets.” 

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