BY ALBERT CASTRO
[ Malaya.com.ph ] August 2, 2010
San Miguel Corp., in an initial venture in tourism, is converting the 125-hectare Magnolia dairy and poultry farm in Cavite into a religious mecca.
The company has committed 30 hectares to the healing ministry of Companions of the Cross priest Fernando Suarez.
The project, tentatively called Monte Maria, will anchor succeeding projects on the property in Amuyong in Alfonso town.
"We will talk with Fr. Suarez on his vision for the place, and what can be done to complement it. We will start from there on how to proceed with the development," said Allan Cruz, San Miguel Properties head for real estate development. "What is important is synergy," said Cruz, adding the master plan may be ready in six months to one year.
San Miguel Properties sales manager Karen V. Ramos said partner investors are welcome to join the project.
Given the religious focus, complementary projects that may be put up are hotels, hospitals and commercial and residential properties.
Cruz estimates that laying the groundwork of the project may cost P1.5 billion.
San Miguel Properties said the project is a "multi-faceted development envisioned to serve as the country’s hub for ‘spiritual tourism.’"
"A collaborative brainchild of Fr. Fernando Suarez and San Miguel Properties chairman Ramon S. Ang, Monte Maria is envisioned as San Miguel Properties’ initial venture into building up the country into a ‘spiritual mecca’... A refuge shall be made available for tired sours to withdraw, to find peace, spiritual healing, and solace," it said.
"This in line with the Department of Tourism’s objective to provide quality over quantity when it comes to tourism spots in the country," San Miguel Properties added.
The place will have spacious venues for weddings, baptisms, and other religious ceremonies, several retreat houses, and the world’s largest statue of the Virgin Mary.