President lauds investment in Bacolod

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Bacolod City – First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos was honored in a tree-planting ceremony inside upscale lifestyle hub, The Upper East, in Bacolod City recently.

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Developer Megaworld dedicated the native Bitaog tree (scientific name: Calophyllum inophyllum) to the First Lady, according to a news release from Malacañang.

The Bitaog tree is the first of its kind to be planted inside the 34-hectare township development.

Endemic to the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia, the Bitaog tree is revered for its strength, beauty, and fragrant flowers.

It acts as a natural barrier along coastal areas because of its ability to withstand typhoons and other calamities.

“The tree symbolizes the vibrant spirit of the Negrenses, who have had their shares of crises and calamities but exhibited steadfastness and resiliency,” the news release said.

Kevin Tan, Megaworld’s chief strategy officer, said the township’s location is “close to the heart” of Mrs. Marcos as it was the former site of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company (BMMC), which her father used to manage as head of operations.

“Dedicating this tree to the First Lady is very symbolic for us as it will soon witness the rise of Bacolod’s modern central business district, just like how the century-old trees preserved inside the township witnessed the history of BMMC together with Mr. Araneta himself,” Tan said.

Mrs. Marcos was accompanied by her youngest son, William Vincent, and joined by local officials, including Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Jose Francis Benitez, and Bacolod City Lone District Rep. Greg Gasataya.

Megaworld is preserving at least 100 native trees in its township developments across the country to highlight sustainability and care for the environment.

It is also planning to develop The Upper East into a “smart development” where residents and guests of the township can enjoy free WiFi in select locations or explore the entire development either by riding e-vehicles or traveling from one point to another on foot with smart crosswalks.

Bacolod City’s The Upper East is inspired by the affluent Upper East Side district of New York City in New York, United States.

It is Bacolod’s first master-planned and mixed-use community that will host the city’s newest and most modern central business district.

The township will be the city’s own version of an upscale lifestyle hub with residential condominiums, lifestyle malls, commercial centers, business process outsourcing offices, tourism and leisure facilities, a transport hub, recreational parks, and open spaces. (News & photo courtesy of Malacañang Press Release)

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