Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good Morning, Manila! (and Good Evening, Chicago)

Magandang Umaga! It is mid-morning Monday in the Philippines and Sunday evening in Chicago, and I just learned the Bears lost, blowing any chance they had of the playoffs. I never expected them to be even close, so I am not bummed out. Now I pin my hopes on a Rose Bowl victory by USC against Penn State.

I am still astounded by the amount of dirt being pushed here in the Philippines. We had a terrific visit yesterday to Tagaytay Highlands, an upscale, private real estate development about 60 minutes from Manila. The facilities, security and dirt were all nothing short of magnificent. The views are among the most beautiful I have seen. Gichael de Leon was kind enough to give us a grand tour of the facility, and his boss was good enough to give us a guest pass to the club facilities, which allowed us to eat at one of the many restaurants on site. We chose the American style steakhouse, and my US-imported ribeye was a touch of home 800 miles away. Many of the buildings are constructed with logs imported from Canada. Great attention to detail. We have some serious considering to do about investing for the future.

On the real estate front back home, I have a few tidbits for your consideration.

First it was the developers, who are concerned about short term debt expiring. Now retailers want a piece of the bailout action too. What next? How about real estate lawyers, title companies and bloggers? We did not even do anything wrong.

Here's the latest on CMBS delinquencies in commercial real estate. Is 0.64% really that bad? Or even the 2% being predicted? Would someone care to tell me what I am missing here? Is the sample skewed? Maybe the heat and humidity are getting to me.

Frustration department: interest rates are crazy low for residential real estate right now and leading many to want to refi, but credit is still tight to the point that the market is stagnant. The mid-2009 predictions, or about 150ish days after Obama takes the oath, are making sense for the beginnings of a turnaround. Let's hope we don't print too much money and/or drive ourselves deeper in a hole.

I am going back into the city tomorrow where I will havve a more reliable high-speed connection, not to mention air conditioning and a 40" flat screen TV. Comforts of home and all that. But I am really having a terrific time so far away from home. I miss my family, yes, but I am happy to be with my in-laws and enjoying the comforts and cultual awakenings of this place.


Tax lawyer manila said...

I'm glad that you'd still enjoy your staying here at Manila. Tagaytay is a really beautiful place where you can relax and feel free. Not only that, the people are very kind.