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The American Dream
by Lorien Fernandez
Photo by Jorem Catilo (www.spoonmarks.com)
Published in The Philippine Star, 23 September 2006
FIL-AM Farley Anunciacion and his wife Desiree have intriguing bedtime stories to tell their future children � real-life stories on planning, rewards, adventure, and serendipity.
First, there's their love story and wedding. Farley met Desiree in a restaurant in Manila in 1999. Besotted, the California resident wanted to see more of this lady from Nueva Ecija. Luckily, Farley was already working for Northwest Airlines at the time. If he wanted to, he could fly for free � which he often did. He would work 16 hours a day for two weeks straight to meet the required number of working hours per month, then he would dash to Manila to spend the next two weeks with Desiree. Call it a case of �he's just that into you.�
After a few years of hustling back and forth, Farley successfully got her a fianc�e visa in 2003. However, they had to get married within 90 days. The couple was hoping that Desiree's family could make it, but unfortunately, none of them was granted a visa. Finally, on the night of the 90th day, Farley and Desiree got married Las Vegas style. They beat the deadline and proclaimed their lifetime vows in a chapel � at 11:00 pm. None of their relatives was present, except for a cousin of Farley who acted as photographer and witness.
�We arrived in a limousine naman, and we chose a wedding package,� explains Farley with amusement. �Medyo organized naman. Others come and get married on motorcycles � drive through.� The bridge gushes, �And I brought my own gown.�
Since the wedding, the couple has tasted a fulfilling life in the U.S., with Farley still a staff of Northwest and Desiree a computer programmer. But they have longed for their native land, which is why the couple has been scouting for a property near Metro Manila on which to build their dream home. They have had one place in mind � the booming city of Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
�I first passed by Sta. Rosa in 2000 with some friends,� recalls Desiree. �I instantly fell in love with the area, but it wasn't as developed as it is today. I like the environment � fresh air, maaliwalas, cool climate... My dream really came true when we returned here for a visit last year. We passed by South Forbes and saw their signboards.�
South Forbes Golf City is a premier residential development in Metro Sta. Rosa complete with themed communities, clubhouses, commercial establishments, and a world-class 18-hole golf course.
�We became curious at what South Forbes looked like inside. Mukhang maganda,� observed Farley. �We had a tour, and we saw the different themed communities.� During their next visit the couple snapped up one of the last lots at Bali Mansions Phase 1.
�The initial attractions for me were that it's gated and there's free golf membership. This will be my retirement place,� declares Farley. �Hopefully, 10 years from now, pa-golf-golf na lang ako.�
Minutes away from Bali Mansions is the all-weather South Forbes Golf Club designed by the International Management Group (IMG) and to which every South Forbes lot and condo unit owner gets a free membership, plus play and relaxation discounts in 42 world-class golf courses at different points of the globe through IMG.
Farley has been very pleased with his purchase, so he intends to buy a property as well at Tokyo Mansions, and he started being an accredited broker this year. �I'm forming groups of agents in the States. We're networking,� he says. �Our target market is the whole States, not only LA.�
Thus far, the reception of U.S.-based Filipinos has been promising. �I have toured a few friends. They say it's nice,� Farley shares. �Before, you had to buy membership to be able to play golf. Now, if you buy a property, it comes with a free membership. They really like the Golf View Terraces development and the fact that South Forbes is near to a commercial area and to cinemas� Most of my friends play golf in a lot of places, like Singapore and Thailand. They were very impressed [with] the partnership with IMG, which gives them options. They don't need to pay much.�
Farley notes one more South Forbes advantage: �Pag nagkaanak kami, our child can go to a nearby school � La Salle, Brent International, or St. Scholastica� We'll have many options,� notes Farley.
The couple plans to build their house in two to three years' time with a professional at the helm of designing the interiors. They want to pattern their house after the Nusa Dua model mansion because of its high ceilings, gold color scheme, beautiful landscaping, two-door entryway, and abundance of windows.
Almost every time the couple visits the Philippines, they drop by their future home. One wonders: Why the Philippines, when they can pass on the so-called American dream to their children? �We were born here,� reasons Farley, who has nine siblings and whose entire family migrated to California in 1985. �We're traditional. Even after my family migrated, my heart has been here. I told myself early on that I would be back after 20 to 30 years. I would retire in the Philippines. Heto nga, our dreams have come true so far.�
They also have other grand plans: a cathedral wedding in Manila is in the works about two years from now, with all of their relatives present. By then, who knows? God could probably bless them with a toddler who could act as flower girl or ring bearer, someone to whom they can narrate wonderful, real-life bedtime stories.