Utzurrum: Casa Mira, Int’l Women’s Day

Chinggay V. Utzurrum
·4 min read

It’s the first time that the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. marked International Women’s Day last March 8, with a virtual program entitled “A Panel Discussion with Filipino and Fil-Am Women Writers” featuring Cecilia Manguerra Brainard, Luisa A. Igloria, Migs Bravo Dutt and Gayle Romasanta.

Moderator was Aileen Cassinetto, poet laureate from San Mateo County, California.

According to the Embassy’s Chief of Mission Renato Pedro O. Villa in his opening remarks: “It’s the first time that the spotlight is on Filipino writers, whose works have been neither popular nor accessible, especially in a foreign country. Fortunately, we have noted an increase in the number of Filipinos making a name for themselves in the global publishing scene and making their mark on the printed page.”

Excerpts were read by the speakers from their published works, mentioning experiences as Filipino and Fil-Am writers, citing influences and inspirations along the way.

My good friend, Cecilia is a fiction writer from Cebu, whose three novels, “When the Rainbow Goddess Wept,” “Magdalena” and “The Newspaper Widow,” were all set in Ubec, which is Cebu spelled backward.

She said: “I have many homes. One in Cebu, Manila and California. Sometimes, I don’t feel like I really belong in one place, like a misfit. But that’s okay, because as a misfit, I can have an objective eye.”

Miggs, author of the contemporary novel “The Rosales House,” has contributed to many anthologies and journals in Asia, Croatia and the United States, and describes her writing prowess as an exercise in consistency.

“I get inspired by nature. So whenever I go out for a walk, I try to observe what’s happening around me. Tiny flowers, color of the birds, kinds of trees etc.”

On the other hand, Dr. Luisa was appointed as the Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia (2020-2022) and is one of two co-winners of the 2019 Crab Orchard Poetry Prize for her work, “Maps for Migrants” and “Ghosts.”

”I don’t think it’s possible to separate life from art and vice-versa, so the idea of balance and the idea of successful blending is beguiling.”

Writer and artist Gayle, whose work focused on social issues, underscored the still relatively small number of authors of color being published in the United States. She co-authored the first book about Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong entitled “Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong” with the late and great historian Dr. Dawn Mabalon.

“‘The downfall of the Filipino is tribalism,’ according to Itliong. The only way to unify in the United States, is to come together, to fight together,” she said as she shared her personal journey of letting go of the classism typically embraced by previous generations of Filipino-Americans.


Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) is set to launch its flagship economic housing brand to four more cities in the Visayas and Mindanao this year. The brand name: Casa Mira.

A study from Leechiu Property Consultants disclosed that by 2022, the housing backlog will reach 6.8 million units, 44 percent of which is from the economic segment of the Casa Mira brand.

CLI chief executive officer/chairman Jose Soberano lll observed that the housing backlog became very evident in 2020 as infections from Covid-19 surged, highlighting a need for economic housing in well-planned and secure communities.

As the demand for this type of housing grew in the region, CLI decided to roll out more Casa Mira projects. Ten Casa Mira communities with a development cost of P10.24 billion and a total of 10,000 housing units are currently in Cebu, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Sibulan, Negros Oriental. New developments will be launched in Dumaguete this month.

What makes Casa Mira a unique and well-planned community?

Casa Mira communities have offered buyers full-value packages by providing more amenities and open spaces such as a cozy clubhouse with multi-purpose halls, chapel, swimming pool, basketball court and children’s playground.

Casa Mira has thought of everything, including retail spaces inside the subdivision, where families can purchase much-needed household supplies.

The homes have been warmly received in every city, even in Dumaguete where it was recently launched. Casa Mira Homes Dumaguete offers a private, gated community, near a transport hub, churches and schools etc.

As much as 60 percent of the development’s 6.1 hectares in Phase One has been earmarked as open space, where residents can breathe fresh air, and engage in leisurely walks, and recreation etc. Moreover, the community enjoys 24-hour security service and is managed by a professional property team.

Is it any wonder then that Casa Mira has been honored with various real estate awards?