V.V. Soliven Group Says Marikina is the “Cradle” of Bigger Projects Ahead
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At the heart of Marikina’s bustling residential and commercial areas will soon rise an oasis for those seeking to heal body and soul in Windsor Gardens Pavilion.
Surrounded by thick foliage and trees, the events place currently serves as a venue for holding special family and corporate events.
But its owner, Ms. Purita Soliven, chair and chief executive officer of V.V.Soliven Group of Companies, says the two-hectare property will be soon converted into a mixed-use development with single-detached homes, a hotel, a resort like complex, a spa and various facilities for relaxation and healing using organic medicines.
“Marikina is the cradle of my business,” says Ms. Soliven. “Windsor Gardens will be the start of bigger projects with the same mixed-use type of development combining the amenities of a residential, tourism, commercial properties. This is only two hectares, we have bigger raw land that we are planning to develop.”
Ms. Earth Event
For now, Windsor Gardens has three function rooms for holding special family occasions such as birthdays (especially debuts), weddings and baptisms. It also welcomes corporate clients who want to hold their Christmas parties, team building seminars and other events in a quiet, secluded place away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The three function rooms can each hold up to 200 people, with the third one, a pavilion having a swimming pool and cabanas.
Depending on the wishes of the clients, Windsor Gardens can convert any of the function rooms into a winter wonder land complete with snow, a palace fit for a princess, or a solemn and romantic place for weddings. Rates start at 45,000 and up to P66,000 for 100 guests. The packages include the use of the venue for five hours, buffet catering, well-decorated tables and chairs, cakes and more.
“Windsor Gardens became famous for its affordable all-in packages. We create your dream event according to your budget,” says Gladys De Vera, a dentist by profession, who manages the place.
“We always tell our clients that the best thing about holding an event here is that they no longer have to worry about it. We do everything from decorating the venue, preparing the food, coordinating the guests when they come in, taking care of the program flow and providing an in-house host that will entertain their guests,” Gladys adds.
Windsor Gardens has also hosted one of the events for Ms. Earth competition in 2017, a testament to its rising reputation as the most preferred venue for holding special events.
It’s not only the Marikenos who love holding their events at Windsor Gardens, but people from other places in Metro Manila such as Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Manila, and as far as Bulacan, all lured by its value-for-money offerings.
“We are very affordable. We want to install in the minds of our customers that you can have the event that you want without spending a fortune,” Gladys says. “In other places, you already pay P160,000 just for the venue alone.”
With the sun still sizzling at the tail-end of the long, hot summer, Windsor Gardens also accepts bookings for the use of its swimming pool and cabanas -- whether groups of friends, families or employees who want the whole place exclusively; or individuals who come in to beat the summer heat.
First Foray Into Events Place Biz
Windsor Gardens is the first foray of V.V. Soliven outside of its usual residential developments. The company, founded by Ms. Soliven and her late husband Victorio in 1965 as V.V. Realty and Associates, used to sell properties developed by reputable companies. Later on, it decided to build and develop its own projects.
Its housing projects ranged from low cost to high-end represented by what it considers as its “crowning glory” Loyola Gand Villas, a millionaire’s row totalling 120 hectares located at the back of Ateneo de Manila University. It is bounded by Marikina and Quezon cities.
Other projects followed such as the gated community in Marikina Greenheights, Pasig Green Park Village, among others. It is currently developing the Greenheights Executive Homes and the Windsor Place, both located in Marikina.
Going back to Windsor Gardens, the place got its name from the famous Windsor Castle in England, one of the three official homes of the Queen.
“That’s (Windsor Castle) where the inspiration came from. I love that place. We held four housing fairs in London and during those times, I went to see Windsor Castle. It’s a nice name,” says Ms. Soliven, smiling as she reminisced about those days when they hold fairs abroad to market their projects in the Philippines to Filipinos based overseas.
To complete the resort feel of Windsor Gardens, four more swimming pools will be built, two of them for kids. It will be surrounded by residential homes. A hotel is also being planned for those who want to stay overnight. There will be spaces for a spa, ballroom dancing, a healing center. The houses will be sold to Filipinos here and abroad.
Before finishing the interview, Ms. Soliven recalls her first time to manage a business. She was 13 then and her parents told her they could no longer afford to pay for her tuition in an exclusive all-girls school in Tagbilaran City in Bohol. Rather than stop her schooling, her father put up a poultry for her to manage and earn money for her schooling.
Looking at her now -- in her 70’s, still looking younger and full of zest, with seven accomplished children and eleven grandchildren and the head of one of the country’s busiest and most dependable home developers -- one could not help but wonder why does she still have to work? And work so hard?
“I don’t need to work na,” she says, comfortably seated in a sofa inside her office, as if reading our minds.
“But what will I do with my life? I have to do something. I have to leave a legacy. And that’s the source of my excitement these days – figuring out how to best leave a legacy,” Ms. Soliven says, ending the interview.
She then invites us to check out the function rooms and the poolside, where a few guests are swimming in the inviting crystal clear water, taking advantage of the remaining days of the sweltering summer.
St. Mary's Ave., Provident Village, Marikina City
635 0193/369 7852/477 248
For more information about the place, please visit its Facebook page:
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