Suburban Is in: The Rising Neighborhoods Outside Metro Manila

Think Metro Manila is overcrowded? Check out these upcoming neighborhoods outside the National Capital Region

There is no stopping the congestion in Metro Manila, as local and foreign investors alike flock the country’s capital to set up shop in the city. Office buildings, malls, and condos towers rise here and there, each with their own unique selling points that attract throngs of people from all walks of life.

No doubt, Metro Manila is the perfect place to live in. However, others just don’t find it attractive anymore to snap up a living space in the metro. The metro is becoming crowded, to say the least. Aside from the skyrocketing prices, the relentless hustle and bustle in Metro Manila just won’t do it for others. Add to that the shrinking sizes of living spaces, the unbearable traffic, and the pollution. According to Lamudi Philippines, while the National Capital Region is home to 12 percent of the Philippine population, it occupies only a mere 0.21 percent of the country’s total land area. This has introduced the current trend where vertical developments are mostly what is built in the metro, as they do not require a large parcel of land. While it is an efficient way to utilizing small spaces, this trend will not cater to everyone, as Filipinos still prefer to own houses than condo units.

This has shifted the focus of homebuyers to the budding neighborhoods and towns beyond the fringes of Metro Manila, especially in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Pampanga. There is one common trend in these developments: that is the marriage of nature and suburban living—one thing that Metro Manila would never be able to do because of lack of space.


One development that has been getting a lot of attention lately is Ayala Land’s Vermosa in Imus, Cavite. Sprawling across a 700-hectare estate, Vermosa takes inspiration from its sister developments Ayala Alabang, Bonifacio Global City, and Nuvali. This mixed-development project is the fourth largest estate development of Ayala Land. Being in the bosom of the province of Cavite, the suburban development is just a 15-minute drive away from Alabang and 30 minutes away from the Makati’s central business district via the Muntinlupa–Cavite Expressway and the South Luzon Expressway.

Within the town are three residential communities, each with their own unique offering. For instance, Ayala Land Premier’s The Courtyard is for people who are in search of a private sanctuary that perfectly blends the convenience of urban life and the tranquil of suburban living. It overlooks the Cavite lowlands, and has the perfect view of the Metro Manila skyline. Lots in The Courtyards are now available up for grabs.

Much like The Courtyards, Alveo’s Ardia envisions the laid-back, leisurely paced lifestyle, complementing Vermosa’s active nature. It is perfect for families, and for those who wanted to build one. There will never be a dull moment with its large open spaces, lap pools, and bike trails. Avida is also set to develop the third residential community within Vermosa. That and Ardia are currently in the works, and is expected to be fully realized in the next few years.

Perhaps, one thing that makes Vermosa stand out is its focus on building a health and wellness hub. Its main centerpiece is the Vermosa Sports & Lifestyle Complex, which features a number of sports facilities. The sports site eyes to be the first of its kind in the country, boasting facilities like an Olympic-size pool, an oval track, a bike skills park, a sports science laboratory, and a motocross park. It could very well host a mini-Olympics as it will also have an archery range and a wall-climbing area.

Vermosa is a melting pot of both the active and laid-back lifestyle. Future residents of this burgeoning town will surely experience a redefined suburban living.


There is a similar development up north, in the center of Pampanga. A joint venture between Ayala Land and Leonio Land, Alviera is a 1,100-hectare mixed-use development in Porac, Pampanga. It is accessible to major road networks comprising of TPLEX, SCTEX, and NLEX. It is also near Subic Freeport and Clark Airport, and is surrounded by the thriving business centers of Pampanga in Clark, Angeles, and San Fernando. Within the town are residential developments by Ayala Land Premier, Alveo and Avida.

Alviera aims to be a town of learning, and two institutions have already expressed intent to setting up a campus inside the site—Holy Angel University and Miriam College.

SandBox is Alviera’s main charm. It features several outdoor activities that would definitely be a great bonding experience for families and friends alike. There is the Giant Swing, Philippines tallest swing that sways riders 10 meters above the ground. There is also the Aerial walk, an adventure course of nets and rope walkways. Imagine combining roller coaster and zip line, that’s Avatar One for you. SandBox also has a five-story tower that offers activities such as rappelling and wall climbing. Thrilling ATV and UTV rides that pass-through Pasig–Potrero River can also be enjoyed in it.

Azure North

Another blossoming township is the Oasis-inspired Azure North in San Fernando, Pampanga. Being developed by Century Properties, the Azure North project comprises of seven residential high-rises, offices, retail establishment, and a business hotel circling a beach oasis.

The strategic location of Azure North gives it access to provinces like Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, and Bulacan. It can easily connect to Manila through NLEX.

Azure wields the power of water, as it is accentuated by several water attractions. It has an artificial island perfect for private functions and a pool bar that boasts water slides, cascading waterfalls, and an expansive beach-fringed lagoon for sunbathing. It has four types of pools, each with a different function: the wave pool, the lap pool, the reflecting pool and the kiddie pool.

Promenade, Sta. Elena City

Meanwhile, an English-inspired town is about to transform Laguna’s Sta. Rosa City. Vista Land’s real estate arm Brittany is developing a prime forested 29-hectare property called Promenade.

Inspired by the rustic English and French architecture, Promenade stands out as it pays tribute to the classic charm of Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square. Based on the masterplan, the residential homes in the community will resemble English manors and will be in the style of cozy countryside cottages.

Promenade is one among the different themed enclaves and communities in the 300-hectare Sta. Elena City development. Sta. Elena City will house two golf courses and two prestigious educational institutions.


Last but not the least is the Altaraza Town Center in Bulacan. The 109-hectare urban community in San Jose del Monte set against the stellar backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains. It is Ayala Land’s first township development in the province.

Two residential villages are included in the project, one of which is the Avida Settings Altaraza. It will occupy 12.5 hectares of the project, with houses spread across the greenery and the rolling terrain of the site. This residential project is accessible from Quirino Highway. The other residential component of the project is the Amaia Steps, Altaraza Town Center’s first mid-rise residential property.

The development takes pride in its planned 100-bed general hospital QualiMed Altaraza, which will be offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient healthcare services.

These are but some of the neighborhoods to watch out for in the next few years. As developers jump on the train away from Manila to its nearby provinces, this modern suburban living trend will surely be the next big thing in the real estate industry.

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

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