Flourishing Pampanga

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    The Senate never stops investigating one or two issues at any given time. Few of the hottest issues right now are the infomercials of several senators and cabinet members, and of course the alleged unfair telecommunications sms service. No wonder Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile are always in a bad mood. They are confronted with an ironic truth that such investigations will definitely end up less successful because of the underlying power struggle and influence-peddling not only at the Senate House itself but also in Malacanang. 

    And in all the issues being highlighted in public such as the lavish dinners of President Arroyo and her whole entourage in the United States, the numerous party list accommodated by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) waiting accreditation and more, there is always a common denominator – corruption.

    And each time someone in the Philippines talk about corruption, the reality sets in that the rich becomes even richer and the poor becomes even poorer. And while imperial Manila is plagued with controversies, the countryside is surprisingly doing fine, except for some areas in Mindanao.

    In Pampanga alone, the effect and impact of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to industries and investments is gradually seen. Inside the Clark Freeport Zone for example, Dennis Wright, president of Peregrine Development International – the site developer for Kuwait Gulf Link (KGL) Company, said KGL’s multi-billion investment is expected to generate some 70,000 jobs.

    In the next months the company will start laying out foundations for the first vertical construction work. The investors are happy with Clark’s readiness in terms of utilities and infrastructure that are available to future investors.

    The billion-dollar Texas Instruments is also set to operate providing at least 20,000 jobs for the people of Tarlac and Pampanga.

    And while all of these are happening inside the Freeport zone, Angeles City welcomes the Ayala Group in a multi-million real estate investment adjacent to the North Luzon Expressway.

    By the end of September, the Ayala Group will open MarQuee Mall, Ayala Land ’s first venture in the region. MarQuee Mall brings a special fusion of the traditional and the novel, a feature distinctively identified with the Ayala Malls.

    MarQuee Mall is a project of North Beacon Commercial Corporation, a 100 % wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Land, Inc. It houses the Metro Department Store and Supermarket, four (4) digital cinemas, an activity center, children’s playground, civic park and transport terminal.

    The first of its kind in Central Luzon, MarQuee Mall offers more than 300 popular and specialty stores of local and affordable international brands, fast food outlets, casual-dining restaurants, grills, four (4) digital cinemas, cafés and an amusement center with a mixture of the new trends and concepts such as flagship stores, food showcase from known restaurateurs and highly-pronounced zones for kids, teens, sports, IT, home and wellness.

    It is indeed heartwarming to learn that the Ayala Group gave a special interest to Pampanga and the Kapampangan people. They made MarQuee Mall worth-waiting for we will surely expect beautiful landscapes and sculptures that are distinct to Ayala Malls.

    There is a half-hectare garden, facing the Angeles City Hall that will serve as the mall’s civic park, a street level park that will provide a venue for get-togethers, meetings and social activities. It has a festive indoor-outdoor feel for unique and compelling events that promote bonding with families and friends. The civic park also has an interactive fountain which features a playful choreography of lights and a water display. This alfresco experience is further heightened by beautiful art installations and lush landscaping.

    So while Manila is in chaos, everything falls in place for Pampanga and Central Luzon. This is the next economic hub seen outside the capital city. The first is Cebu which already made big waves in terms of development and following. Cebu is now reaping investments after investments due to their consistent and persistent marketing in the past. And I believe Pampanga is not very far. Given these new ventures and good news, we will definitely make it big in the next five years.


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