Philippine developer planning fifth golf course community

One of the best-known golf developers in the Philippines has begun to master-plan “a world-class, tourism-oriented community” that will take shape in Cavite Province, a 35-mile drive from Manila.

Fil-Estate Group of Companies owns at least four high-profile golf properties in the Philippines, every one of which features courses designed by a brand-name architect. The company enlisted Jack Nicklaus to design a pair of 18-hole “signature” layouts for one of the nation’s first golf communities, Manila Southwoods in Carmona, Cavite. It also hired Nicklaus to design one of the two 18-hole courses at Forest Hills Golf & Country Club in Antipolo City, overlooking Manila Bay, and to redesign its course at Camp John Hay in Baguio City.

Fil-Estate has also used Arnold Palmer twice, for the second 18 track at Forest Hills and for 18 holes at Caliraya Springs Golf Club in Lumban, Laguna Province. Caliraya Springs also has an 18-hole course designed by Graham Marsh, a prominent Australian architect.

Fil-Estate is now turning its attention to a 2,875-acre parcel in Tagaytay, a high-altitude (2,100 feet about sea level) resort town, where it plans to build a resort community called Twin Lakes. The initial phases of Twin Lakes will include various types of housing – estate houses, villas, and condos – along with a hotel, a shopping center, and botanical gardens. Later, the community will get housing for retirees, a medical center, more hotels, and an 18-hole golf course.

“The project’s vast land size opens up a lot of possibilities for development,” said Sylvia Hondrade, Fil-Estate’s vice president of business development, in a press statement.

Fil-Estate is developing Twin Lakes with Makati City-based Megaworld Corporation. The owner of Megaworld, a big Philippine conglomerate called Alliance Global Group, acquired a 60 percent stake in Fil-Estate earlier this year. Forbes says that AGG’s CEO, Andrew Tan, is worth $1.2 billion.

AGG, a publicly traded company, hopes to become the biggest developer of tourist-related real estate in the Philippines. It already operates the nation’s McDonald’s restaurants as a well as Travellers International Hotel Group, a liquor distribution firm (it distributes Gallo wines in the Philippines), and a glass-manufacturing company.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to

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