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A Story of Firsts at 32 Sanson by Rockwell

After successfully creating admired communities in Metro Manila, Rockwell Land embarked on its first regional expansion back in 2013. The province of choice was Cebu, the Queen City of the South, in the serene Lahug neighborhood. Amidst old and new dwelling places on its Sanson Road, one will find that where the Aboitiz ancestral home once stood is where 32 Sanson by Rockwell stands now.

Architect Jacko Zialcita, AVP of Rockwell’s Project Development team, reminisces on how the project came to be. “Several years ago, I was frequenting Cebu and Rockwell was looking for properties to develop outside in the South. At that time, traffic in Manila was already terrible. You had to plan on going to the airport a couple of hours early so as to be on time for your flight, which would still often end up delayed. And sure enough, that day was no different,” he shares. “I was in the departure lounge and I could see that our plane was being worked on. I then noticed a woman speaking to the ground stewardess regarding our flight, and realized that I knew her. She was an Aboitiz. I casually walked up to her and as we chatted, I decided to ask her if they had properties for sale in Cebu. That started the conversation and we agreed to meet the following morning as she and her dad, Luis Aboitiz, took me to the factory site of Mehitabel, the family owned furniture plant. They were closing that plant and decided to continue operations in another factory they had in the outskirts of the city. I took pictures and they gave me some plans which I brought to Rockwell… That’s what started the ball rolling for Rockwell Land to buy and develop what Sanson is.”

Soon after this serendipitous encounter, Rockwell began planning for the 3.2-hectare estate that was to be 32 Sanson. “The first time we drove into the site, we could already feel it’s charm,” recalls Vienn Tionglico-Guzman, General Manager of Rockwell Cebu. “It was envisioned to be unique—an oasis within a busy concrete jungle, a safe place for children to play, for the athlete to run, and for neighbors to comfortably get to know each other and eventually form a Rockwell Community.” Architect Ed Gallego of Gallego Architects was then tasked with the property’s design. “As with all of our projects, we took inspiration from nature and the local culture, and kept in mind what future residents would look for,” he says. “Our goal was to transform an urban property into an oasis where residents are sheltered from the chaos of a big city. This was achieved by providing large, open spaces with walking paths and strategically located amenities.” 

This resulted in mid-rise residential buildings that blend seamlessly with the lush landscapes making up 70% of the property. Instead of doing away with the old, Mehatibel’s beautiful showroom was re-equipped to house Rockwell Cebu’s Sales Office. Its classical elements were retained to exude a sense of comfort and ease, and reflects the distinct personality of the property. 

To properly introduce 32 Sanson to the locals, the first Rockwell event in Cebu was curated to suit their tastes and offer more. “We could have easily just put together good food and good music. Instead, we went the extra mile to work with two renowned chefs, one based in Manila and one in Cebu, and they fused an exemplary spread!” says Vienn. “Our guests were also floored by the charm of the Aboitiz property. It just felt so private and serene, where everyone just comfortably mingled with each other amidst lovely tunes flowing from a string quartet. It was a warm welcome for Rockwell into the Cebuano culture and community.”

“[32 Sanson] was refreshing when we first saw it. It has a great layout and we appreciated the open spaces and pathways that I could take my dogs for a walk in,” says Tim Cusi, one of the property’s first residents. “The experience has so far been good. The staff is always hospitable and nice. Any concerns we may have had were addressed quickly, and it is a lot better than the other options for condominiums in the city!”

Javier Marcalain and Ayla Gomez feel similar about their time in Sanson. “We’ve been living here for over three years and are happy about the decision. We’ve always been outdoorsy and wanted a place that complimented that lifestyle; a home surrounded with nature and generous breathing spaces to allow for outdoor activities, especially with our dog. Living in 32 Sanson has afforded us that lifestyle.” The couple has also decided to move into a bigger unit in the recently turned-over Solihiya Building. “It being a pet-friendly community, we’ve also gotten to know our neighbors more through our pet encounters. It’s really a great community to grow in, raise a family and ultimately build a future in,” Javier adds.

The community fostered within 32 Sanson extends to the Rockwell team as well. “People here patronize each other’s businesses and when someone is sick they would really give their support to whoever it is. I am even close with most of the residents here as they are so warm and friendly to everyone,” Building Manager Ara Tamondong expresses. “Everyone is truly treated like family.”

This sense of community was especially important when quarantine mandates were made. “We felt very safe living in Rockwell because protocols were properly implemented, updates from the admin were constant, and the residents were generally very cooperative,” says Javier.

With three of its buildings already occupied by residents and the fourth currently being turned-over, 32 Sanson proved successful in introducing to Cebuanos the brand’s signature big unit cuts, wide-open spaces, and master-planned communities. Now, Rockwell Land introduces a welcome addition to the thriving 32 Sanson community— the Sillion Building. 

The Sillion Building creates utmost privacy with only five residential floors and about 50 spacious units ranging from 56 to 149 square meters. With one- to three-bedroom units, starting families and professionals alike will find that these spaces cater to their needs, even as they grow, while those looking to settle down will have more than enough breathing room to call home. “Expansive unit layouts that feature floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors are perfect for you to welcome the sunrise over a cup of coffee, or sit back and sip into your glass of wine at the end of a day,” notes Vienn. “The Garden Units at Sillion will also feel more special with tree-lined canopies surrounding them and a piece of nature to call their own.”    

Residents of Sillion Building will be able to enjoy the exclusive lifestyle amenities at the heart of 32 Sanson. A well-ventilated gym and a long and winding jogging path cater to one’s fitness needs, while one may bask in the sunlight or take a refreshing dip in one of the property’s two swimming pools. Children can find enjoyment in the playhouse made for them, as well as play in the expansive lawn. The clubhouse and the Sillion function room are also available for intimate events with loved ones, and residents will also soon enjoy offerings from the upcoming retail pavilions.

Apart from living spaces and amenities, Sillion Building offers peace of mind with its own Property Management Office that ensures not just the property’s upkeep but also the residents’ safety. Investors looking to place their units for rent are also ready to be assisted by the in-house Secondary Sales and Leasing team. 32 Sanson’s prime location allows for convenience as well—found at the heart of Cebu’s Lahug neighborhood, the property is in close proximity to central business districts, prominent schools, and essential establishments like shopping centers. 

“There’s definitely nothing comparable to 32 Sanson that I have experienced so far, and I’m definitely proud to be a part of this project,” Vienn excitedly shares. “One can expect more harmony between the indoor and outdoor experience here.” The addition of Sillion offers a chance for new homeowners to experience what current residents now enjoy in this garden community, while creating a home that’s built to last them a lifetime. With touches of its storied past blending seamlessly with what it is today, the story of 32 Sanson by Rockwell grows and thrives as it continues on.