In the past decades, we’ve witnessed faster progression and extension of the Metro down south as more business districts were created south of Metro Manila — Makati, Ortigas, then Alabang, then Global City. Subdivisions and residential areas are also spreading as far as Cavite (plus LRT extension), Sta Rosa Laguna, and further down.
When we moved to northeast of Metro Manila, part of me was thinking (and wishing) that development up north will soon (or slowly) catch up. So what developments have been making some noise up north?
With the enhanced NLEX and the creation of SCTEx, business activity up north was revitalized. Sure there are many residential areas sprouting in Bulacan, Valenzuela and even QC and Montalban but in terms of business districts, not as much until recently. Condominiums up north have also been sprouting but then again not as much as in the south since people are still mostly employed in business districts down south and center.
Ayala (PSE: AC @493/sh; PSE: ALI @25.05/sh)
UP TechnoHub in Commonwealth gave businesses an alternative address even if they also have offices down south. Ayala is also starting the development of Vertis North, a planned business district in a controversial sprawling field beside Trinoma which displaced thousands of informal settlers. Will this match Ayala’s Makati and BGC? Hopefully. Knowing Ayala, chances are it will be. But worsened traffic will have to be addressed as well.
San Miguel (PSE: SMC @105.90/sh; PSE: PAL @ 5/sh)
San Miguel is now ready to construct MRT 7, a railway mass transport that will connect Bulacan to North Ave in QC. With easier efficient transport system, business and local economy will surely be improved. San Miguel and PAL are also planning to build the country’s biggest airport with parallel runways (instead of intersecting like that of NAIA) and move PAL operations there. There’s a loud buzz that this will also be situated up north, with Bulacan as the rumored area being looked at. With a domestic and international gateway up north but closer to Metro Manila than Clark, faster movements, urbanization and economic activity can be expected. Exciting times for Bulacan. San Miguel has indeed gone far from being a well-known beer and consumer goods company to a much diversified company.
Exciting times up north. How about northeast? Well in Montalban, on top of the last update, a provincial hospital is now being constructed, the Municipal Hall and Gymnasium are being renovated, health centers and cemetery are to be constructed. Many houses are being expanded, renovated and improved. Basically upbeat construction and infrastructure, continued investments.
More good brands have also moved in to Montalban Town Center, such as Globe (PSE: GLO @ 1,109/sh), Abensons, Red Ribbon, Dunkin Donuts, Emilio S Lim appliance store (familiar?) and soon Watson’s. Allied Bank branch, PSBank and additional BDO ATMs, and a Shell station are also now present in the town. MWC (PSE: MWC @ 31.55/sh) is also almost done with connecting Montalban’s water supply to La Mesa dam. Road widenings in Litex, improvements of flood control systems. UV Express line straight to Trinoma which provides more options than just a Cubao line. I wish though there will be more to come, such as more banks for better cash flow and liquidity, good stores and of course my SM Rodriguez wish.
One small step at a time. It’s good to see these small steps of progression for a humble town. Even north of Metro Manila had to wait for its turn, but hopefully cityhood for Montalban is not a lifetime away.