Espina: From the academe, stage to life

·3 min read

Where have my University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Dramatics and Cultural (Drac) Ensemble and Allef (Amparito L. Lhuillier Educational Foundation) alumni gone after graduation? How has life been after the classroom and stage? After graduation, these alumni took separate roads to trials and success, from Cebu to Manila, then across the globe.

Social media has been very useful in sharing information. I learned that most of my alumni are raising their families here in Cebu City, while many are in their hometowns busy with their small businesses, serving their barangays as elected officials or volunteers.

A good number are married to Filipinos or to foreign nationals and are residing in the United States, Canada, Europe, Thailand, Singapore, Beijing. Hong Kong, Dubai and so many other places. I have written about some of them in my past articles.

Some weeks ago, Jenny Te Valentine and Life Geniston visited me and shared their productive entrepreneurial projects in Cebu. Both have ventured into real estate, like buying, then renting out condominium units and exploring tourism and ecology inspired sites.

Jenny used to be a high school scholar of Punla Inc., a scholarship project I had with the late Dr. Norberto Quisumbing Jr. She then joined the USJ-R Drac and Allef scholarship which I organized for Dr. Amparito Lhuillier.

She is happily married to Mark Valentine, residing in Scotland. They have three children: Hamish, Alistair, Iona and Crisdean. Jenny treated her fellow USJ-R Drac Allef alumni with a visit to her Treehouse de Valentine located in Hingatmonan Balamban, Cebu, Philippines. The place has natural ambiance and facilities matched with convenient places for dining, resting or sleeping.

The Josenian Allef group had fun interacting with one another, relaxing with fresh air and nature at its best.

The photos on this page show a wonderful respite from the pandemic stress we all have been experiencing. Soon, I hope to visit this place with my family, special friends and close media lifestyle colleagues. What do you say, Ramon Sebastian?

Treehouse de Valentine

Treehouse de Valentine started as an eco-friendly vacation home. Treehouse 1 was built in 2018 and was open for bookings via AirBnb in October 2019. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and another shower on the riverside patio. It can accommodate up to eight guests. Treehouse 2 is a smaller treehouse and was completed in 2020. This is very popular among honeymooners. It has one bedroom and one outdoor bathroom. It has a double jacuzzi and can accommodate up to five guests.

The treehouses were built using mainly bamboo and locally sourced wood by architect/engineer Archilus Piodos, and his team of workers who are all locals of Balamban. In addition to the Treehouse 1 & 2, there is one dome. This is to try to make the glamping experience popular among local tourists. It’s a 78 square-meter dome with four bedrooms, a living room and dining area (all open plan), with an indoor and outdoor toilet and shower. It also has an outdoor kitchen area and its own pool.

The property sits on an eight-hectare piece of land with a spring, river, mini forest, fruit trees and caves nearby. There is a restaurant on-site with an in-house staff to assist guests.

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