“Lifestyle Homes” by Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid (Manila Bulletin)

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By: Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid

A concept of a residential community described by author and real estate developer, Grace Eleazar as a “new lifestyle perspective” will soon open in Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City. The first phase of this project which is situated in a 3.8 hectare development consists of a hotel, fully furnished affordable condominiums, a wellness center, and organic garden will be operational at the end of the year. It is the first of its kind – a mixed-use residential development which integrates lifestyle service and a wholistic approach to health. Over the past year, a monthly open house organic market/ art exhibit is held for the public and future residents.

What is remarkable is that the development of the area was designed in accordance with the philosophy of the developer, a passionate environmentalist and practitioner of the wholistic life. Ms Eleazar had devoted twenty years of her life to the study of consciousness and how to bring about harmony between the two planes – the inner and the outer self. Since 1989, she has been an advocate of alternative medicine. But it is in the area of real estate development where she has been able to put into practice her philosophy of community development. The architecture of La Bella Tagaytay has been purposely designed around the natural terrain without cutting down 30-60 year old pine trees. Thus, one is able to enjoy the lushness of nature since all the structures are laid out against open gardens. The rustic Greek-Mediterranean design of the buildings provides an ideal backdrop for a relaxed and laid back environment. A unit owner is co-owner of the Hotel and will enjoy hotel amenities while earning from his investment.

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We look forward to 2019 when the Lifestyle Homes which are especially intended for retirees and “actively living seniors” will be turned over to the owners. The Project will offer various homecare services including proper nutrition which is focused on preventive healthcare as well as programs and activities tailor-made to the needs of seniors. The Project encourages “inter-generational” occupancy where ownership is open to senior citizens, professionals and entrepreneurs, and retirees from other countries. Thus, recreational facilities and program activities are organized in such a way that residents from various age groups and interests are encouraged to interact, and share talents and skills.

At another real estate project, – a condormitel development – the “El Pueblo in Manila and Quezon City, Grace likewise adheres to her concept of wholism and integration. The Project offers affordable housing under the LIKAS (Lifestyle Integration of Well Kept Affordable Shelter) housing project.

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In one of her books, The Soul Speaks (2002), Eleazar shares in the 10 chapters (The Nature of Mind; The Absolute Reality (Mind as Matter); On Transcending; On Solitude; On Love; On Nature; On the Nature of God; On Freedom; The Now Moment; On Unity of Life, and Whose Way?), and mainly through poetry, her understanding of the principles, the purposes, and the means – the physics- of inner change.

She notes in the Foreword that “a new age is approaching – one where all modalities of learning – science, art, religion, philosophy, the healing profession, astronomy, and mysticism are all merging and are recognizing that underneath all these doctrines, discoveries, and dogmas, certain values and principles interconnect all of them. The increasing awareness of the common truths will hasten the shift to the new age idea of the oneness of life, to alternative medicine, to abstract concept of art..and to all studies that emanate from the innate intelligence….and will give us greater insights and comprehension of the world that confronts us…which will lead us to greater understanding of ourselves and our fellowmen… This will herald what has been called the Golden Age of Man…where man will reach his greatest heights of involution and evolution. Man will not anymore be limited to what the senses can perceive, but will have the conscious use of the inner senses and when he does, he not only reaches for the stars…He becomes the star.

This book and her other publications are endorsed by several critics who suggest that it is a must reading for everyone. Indeed, it inspires, stimulates, and enlightens.

My email, Florangel.braid@gmail.com

Source: Manila Bulletin Online

A Retirement Home Like No Other

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My dear friend Grace Eleazar has always been a maverick of sorts, having pioneered a number of innovative concepts in the country. Over a decade ago, she started Wholesome, the first natural food store in Pasig, with wooden shelves, fresh bread, and lots of natural produce. Following the store’s success, she decided to expand. However, the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis forced her to discontinue the venture.

Her newest baby is her retirement home in Tagaytay, known as La Bella, which I have had the privilege of exploring firsthand. It is beautifully and artistically appointed amidst the lushness of the environment, with each unit having a feel of nature. The soft programs that go with it are what make her “offering” unique. We have always been kindred spirits in terms of health. Like me, she is a staunch believer in exercise and a largely non-chemical approach towards well-being.

Our country has so much to give. Our greatest strength is our resources and our people. Grace’s concept maximizes these strengths to benefit the more senior members of our society.
I particularly like the concept because of the services such as health and fitness, medical practitioners specializing in alternative medicine… even community service! The development also includes a hotel for tourists or visiting family members, as well as residences for the younger market. Entertainment and necessities are abundant thanks to La Bella’s multi-faceted commercial cluster, restaurant cottages, heritage center and kid’s hub. The big attraction here is the cost. The area looks very upscale and one can access the environment with all its services for a mere P5,400 a month! Well, there are payment levels — so for more luxurious settings, one would pay more. But I went around and even the least expensive setting looked nicely comfortable.

Grace’s conviction is that the Philippines can be the premier retirement capital in Asia because of the intelligence and temperament of the Filipino caregiver, our tropical climate and our largely inexpensive medical services. Here, the elderly or even the Filipino expatriate can bask in a quality lifestyle that feels truly like home because of the gentility of the Filipino temperament and the comfort of our climate (we don’t have the severity and dryness of winter). In Tagaytay, even the summer is comfortable.

Source: www.philstar.com/sunday-life/2014/03/23/1303917/retirement-home-no-other