Why Traveling to the South Is about to Get Easier

By: Martin Luigi Lagustan
Why Traveling to the South Is about to Get Easier

Buying a house and lot for sale in southern Luzon may be your best choice this year. During the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Marcos last July 26, 2022, he said that the Build, Build, Build (BBB) program will continue in his administration. 

Hence, we can expect most of the promised transportation infrastructure projects to continue in the next six years, a lot of which will cover the south.

Key Transportation Economic Infrastructure Projects 


While some of these projects may not be available in the near future, you can enjoy most of them as soon as the end of the year. These projects include the Metro Manila Subway, North-South Commuter Railway, LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, CALAX Silang Interchange, SLEX Toll Road 4, and SLEX Toll Road 5.

Metro Manila Subway

The best thing about the Metro Manila Subway project is that the majority of the funds being used to construct and implement it is from Japan. Hence, no matter who sits as president, you can expect that this project will indefinitely happen in the future.

As of July 26, 2022, the Philippine News Agency reported that the Metro Manila Subway project is about 60% complete on procurement. This means the discovering, negotiating, and purchasing of all the necessary goods, services, and properties are more than halfway complete.

Meanwhile, construction-wise, ABS-CBN News reported last July 26, 2022, that phase 1 of the Metro Manila Subway Project is underway at the corner of Mindanao Avenue and Quirino Highway in Quezon City. 


Photo from southeastasiainfra.com

This project was initially expected to be fully operational by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term. However, because of some delays, they moved the expected date of partial operations to 2025.

Once completed, the Metro Manila Subway will be a 33-kilometer railway system, connecting Valenzuela and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with 17 stations. It will also have two connecting stations, going further down to FTI and Bicutan. This project will help improve the transportation of up to 800,000 commuters per day. 

Infrastructure projects like subways can increase the value of a property by 3.88% of its original value. So, investing in a house and lot for sale or apartment near the stations may be a long-term investment you should be thinking about.

North-South Commuter Railway

One of the biggest projects in the BBB program is the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project. As of writing, the Tutuban to Malolos and Malolos to Clark segments are currently at 93% completion in terms of procurement. Meanwhile, the Manila to Tutuban to Calamba segment is now at 61% completion in terms of procurement.


This 147-kilometer railway project is expected to be operational by 2027 and will connect Clark and Calamba with 35 stations. Up to 700,000 passengers can use this railway system per day. 

In recent news, as China withdrew some of its funding for the Subic-Clark Railway Project, South Long-Haul Project, and the Mindanao Railway Project, Japan provided the Philippines trains to use for the NSCR project. According to Albay Representative Jose Ma. Clemente “Joey” Salceda, he believes Japan would also be happy to take over the financing that China left.

LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension

The LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension is probably the most convenient project that we can expect soon because a lot of the workforce working in Metro Manila is from Cavite. This project will extend the current LRT Line 1, starting from the Baclaran Station, and connecting it to Niyog, Bacoor, Cavite. This 11.7-kilometer extension will expand the length of LRT 1 to approximately 32.4 kilometers.


Photo By User:Philippinerailways – Self-photographed, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16277496

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Railways, Cesar B. Chavez, said that the LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension is now at 69% completion in terms of construction. He said that station developments are already in place, with 122 trains and around 24 rolling stocks.

The project will add eight more stations to the existing LRT Line 1. From the Baclaran Station, phase 1 of the railway system extension project will cover Redemptorist, MIA, Asiaworld, Ninoy Aquino, and Dr. Santos. The final phase will then run across Las Piñas, Zapote, and, finally, Bacoor.

CALAX Silang Interchange

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the country’s shift in administration, and the upcoming rainy season, MPCALA Holdings Inc. continues to complete the remaining parts of the Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

In its latest update last July 18, 2022, you can expect CALAX to open its Silang Interchange section before the year ends. As of writing, this section is 56% complete, as workers continue to complete drainage, bridges, excavation, and roadways. 


Photo from inqmobility.com

Currently, some parts of CALAX are operational, including Silang East, Santa Rosa Tagaytay, Laguna Boulevard, Laguna Technopark, and Greenfield-Mamplasan.

Once complete, the CALAX Silang Interchange can help decongest the Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, which is one of the busiest highways in the province of Cavite. On top of that, if you’re coming from Metro Manila, you can use the CALAX to reach Silang and Tagaytay more easily, as the expressway can cut travel time to around 20 minutes from the city proper of Tagaytay. Moreover, this 45-kilometer expressway will connect to the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) in Kawit, Cavite, making your travel through the province even more accessible.

South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4

The South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 (SLEX TR4) aims to improve the transportation of goods and services from the southern provinces of Luzon to Manila. This can also shorten travel time, decongest, and significantly reduce traffic that currently plagues the Pan Philippine Highway. As Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon provinces continue to be developed, this will support the rapid population and urbanization of these areas.


According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), they expect the project to reduce travel time between the local governments of Santo Tomas, Batangas to Lucena City, Quezon from 4 hours down to 1 hour. They also promised motorists more convenient and modern tollway facilities, including CCTVs, fiber optics, and well-lit toll plazas.

As of July 26, 2022, the 13.10-billion peso project is scheduled to finish in 2023. This is relatively fast, considering that construction only started in 2019. Once completed, the project will have exits in Makban, San Pablo, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, and Lucena City, the capital of Quezon Province.

South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5

With the completion of the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4, the Toll Road 5 project will then connect Quezon province to Bicol.

Last June 6, 2022, the DOTr and other government agencies approved the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 from Lucena City, Quezon to Matnog, Sorsogon. The agreements were signed last June 3, with San Miguel Corporation spearheading the toll road project. The South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 will be a 420-kilometer road that San Miguel Corporation believes to be a game-changing project that could help the country’s economic growth bounce back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also said that they complete the project in 46 months.


Once complete, this extension will provide safer access to tourist destinations, fish ports, and roll-on roll-off ports in the other parts of the Bicol region. The four-lane toll road will be composed of eight segments that will be parallel to the existing Maharlika Highway, Philippine National Railways, and the Padre Burgos National Road.

The first segment will be an expressway from Lucena City to Gumaca, Quezon, which is expected to be completed within 24 months. This will improve the city’s ability to transport goods and services faster across the province.

Places to Visit When Transportation Projects Complete

Travel time with your family is probably the first thing in your mind when you heard about these transportation projects. So, when everything is complete (or at least, part of it), you can visit these three destinations with your partner or family:

Gourmet Farms – Silang, Cavite

Coffee lovers, you’re going to love this.

Gourmet Farms is a 12-hectare facility where you can witness the processing of coffee beans — from their germination until they reach your morning cup. The farm has a Gourmet Cafe that is also a mini grocery where you can taste some of their best brews and other pasalubong.

They also feature an ISO-certified roasting facility where they started the commercial coffee roasting in the country. With their top-of-the-line roasting machines, they have the capacity to make as much as 124 metric tons of coffee in a month. . We are ISO-certified by SGS for quality systems.


Photo from gourmetfarms.com.ph

The Dining Room is the restaurant in Gourmet Farms, where they showcase their best in-house produce through Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. They also have an events area for wedding receptions, parties, and other celebrations.

The Dining Room is open daily, from 7 AM to 5 PM on the weekdays and 7 AM to 8 PM on the weekends. They also offer farm tours from Monday to Thursday at 10 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM, and Friday to Sunday at 10 AM and 3 PM. However, they don’t offer farm tours during bad weather conditions and holidays. Check out their website here.

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort – Tiaong, Quezon

Villa Escudero is one of the best places to visit in Quezon Province. It’s home to the famous Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant where you dine beside a literal waterfall in your bare feet.

They offer numerous activities that you can enjoy on a day tour. However, if you want to bask in the provincial beauty of this resort, they have riverside hotel rooms entirely made out of indigenous materials.


Photo from villaescudero.com/amenities-activities

Some of their featured activities include bamboo rafting, where you’ll paddle along Labasin Lake. They also have three swimming pools, including a kiddie pool so you don’t have to worry about your kids. 

They also have a regular Philippine Experience Show, where they showcase the country’s traditional dances and music. This is one of the most culturally-accurate performances you’ll ever see, so if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of your Filipino heritage and culture, this show is one for the books. For more information, visit their website here.

MJD Urban Escape Farm – Lucena City, Quezon

MJD Urban Escape Farm is one of the best escapes from city life. If you’re looking for something no one in Metro Manila has heard of, this is the spot for you. It’s a hidden gem located in Lucena City, Quezon Province, which is probably why you won’t see much of it if you look at Google.

Be that as it may, MJD Urban Escape Farm offers a relaxing nature ambiance where you can enjoy Filipino dishes made from fresh, locally produced ingredients. After dining, you can stroll around the farm and see Instagramable rows of trees, fresh produce, and a kiddie play area for your kids.

You can contact them through their Facebook page for more information. When the South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 4 is finished, you can easily access the farm because it’s near the exit.

Premium Properties in the Progressing Economic Development of the South


Aside from accessible trips, transportation infrastructure also increases the value of properties. You can even buy a house and lot for sale before prices go up, then sell when the market value is attractive. So before property prices skyrocket, you might want to invest in premium properties in the south, including the following:

Valenza Mansions, Laguna

Valenza Mansions is a 22-2.5-hectare enclave within a 22-hectare Valenza community. This is one of the most luxurious mid-rise condos in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and the only one that has a gated, highly secured community.

The condo is easily accessible via CALAX. It’s also near four SLEX exit points and only 30 minutes away from Tagaytay. They currently offer RFO and pre-selling units, including studio units, 1 bedroom, 2 bedrooms, and 3 bedrooms.

Vivace, Cavite

Vivace Main Entrance

Vivace is an Italian-inspired premium subdivision in Cavite. The 3-hectare development is an exclusive gated community with parks and playgrounds perfect for your kids.

They offer RFO house and lot for sale properties called Amber and Amethyst. The village is located between Imus and Bacoor and is only 30 minutes away from Las Piñas.

Amici, Cavite

Amici is another premium gated community with easy access to Daang-Hari Road, making Metro Manila easily accessible. 

It has easy access to malls like Evia Lifestyle Center, and schools like De La Salle Zobel and Southville International School and Colleges. They offer house and lot for sale and lot only for sale at Amici. 

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