Home is where the art is for a group of painting enthusiasts living in Ayala Westgrove Heights.

There is something about Ayala Westgrove Heights that draws out the creativity in people. This enclave in the South has been attracting a diverse group of residents: professionals and students, athletes and artists, young and old, bound together by a special sense of kinship.

This is happily evident among an informal group of artists that found themselves living here. Led by Peter Sutcliffe, an Englishman and former journalist who chose to retire in Westgrove, they draw inspiration from the environs of the place and from each other Sutcliffe has painted all his life, and Westgrove’s orchard atmosphere is an endless source of inspiration. “First of all, the landscape around here is quite v fantastic. The interior of the estate is manicured, like an English park,” he says. “I love painting trees, and I have no shortage of beautiful trees and green space.”

Built around a former orchard, Westgrove is home to thousands of mature mango trees. They flourish all over the 400 hectares of the property, dotting rolling hills, offering shade in parks, adding beauty to homes and bearing fruit for the community to harvest during the summer.

Sutcliffe generously lends his time and talent in mentoring Westgrove’s budding artists. Gabby Santos, 14, discovered that there was a painter in-her. “I didn’t know anything about brushes and mixing colors, much less painting on canvas! Before I knew it, I was looking at gray clouds, cobalt blue skies, burnt sienna mountains and trees… maybe living in this place can make you see yourself in another light, giving you more room for introspection.”

Claudia Morada, another resident, offers, “When I got here, Peter introduced. me to watercolor and oil… When I’m home, I find that it’s easier to paint, it’s like therapy for me.”

Sutcliffe and company encourage one another to improve their art, discovering new subjects and exploring new techniques and styles. It is this reciprocity and generosity of spirit that create a warm and genuine camaraderie among Westgrove residents.

It is a common sight to see neighbors painting al fresco or simply taking in the spectacular sights of Westgrove. The Orchard Hill, one of the more recently developed areas in the neighborhood, is a particularly good vantage point because of its elevation and quiet atmosphere. Sitting on an elongated hill, it gives residents panoramic views of ridges, forests and mango groves. It is surrounded by Orchard Park, a large open space with walking trails and gazebos.

On the south side of the park is a meadow-like spread with more mango trees and low grass. A small valley with a mini-forest rooted on the slopes marks the north side. At the bottom of the valley is a wide clearing for biking kite flying jogging, and of course, painting and sketching.

One might think a neighborhood this charming would have to be far from the city, but Westgrove is quite close to top-quality schools, hospitals, and retail and dining establishments. Everyday conveniences are well within reach of residents, and driving to Makati usually takes no more than an hour even with moderate traffic.

As the urban development of Metro-Manila continues to head south, the areas surrounding Westgrove have been marked for major investment by the country’s largest corporations. An early mover in the booming Silang/Sta. Rosa area, Westgrove is an already well-established neighborhood that is set to become one of the most prized locations in the very near future.

Source: Ayala Land Inc. Article Listing

With a cool breeze blowing and the sun shining brightly, it was a perfect day for the Ayala Westgrove Heights Kiddie Triathlon held at the Kidsgrove Clubhouse.

Open to children ages fifteen and below, the triathlon welcomed athletes from Ayala Westgrove Heights, neighboring areas in Laguna, and even participants from as far as Makati, Quezon City and Antipolo. The swimming competition jumpstarted the race, followed by the biking and running competitions – with the distances varying according to the age group.

The Ayala Westgrove Heights Kiddie Triathlon began as a means for Team Westgrove to share their love of the sport. A group of fifteen young athletes composed of Ayala Westgrove Heights residents, students, friends from St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove and neighboring schools, Team Westgrove was a constant participant in triathlon events since 2001.

The group eventually decided to make this exciting sport a regular activity in the Ayala Westgrove Heights Community. “The triathlon is a good sport for friendly and healthy competition, and I’ve seen first-hand how it helped in building the children’s character,” said Joel Santos, one of triathlon organizers. “That was why, when we heard that the races will be discontinued, we approached Pol Tanco, Project Manager of Ayala Westgrove Heights and asked for their help in making the kiddie triathlon a regular event in the village.”

“Ayala Land Premier and the Ayala Westgrove Heights homeowners’ association have been very supportive of the kiddie triathlon; so far we’ve had two events last year, while this is the second race for 2006,” added Santos.

The Ayala Westgrove Heights Kiddie Triathlon was a fun event not only for the kids, but for the adults as well. “We want the event to be a fun, family affair,” said Santos. “We have parents cheering on their kids, as well older children volunteering as race marshals.” This last event proved to be such a hit, with eighty-four young athletes joining. “We even had a three-year-old participant who finished his distance, it was pretty exciting,” said Santos.

All participants received medals, a specially designed Finisher’s t-shirt[ALI1]  and loot bags given as they cross the finish line.  “We’ve done away with the traditional first, second and third place awarding, because we wanted to emphasize that each finisher is a winner,” shared Santos. “Our goal is to help all participants strive to do their best and improve their performance every year.”

Even this early, Santos and his co-organizers are already planning next year’s triathlon events. “We do hope to continue seeing new faces, get more people involved in organizing the event,” said Santos. “The best time to develop the athletes is when they’re young, so we do hope that their interest in the sport is sustained – and that our involvement in this event will help us live long, healthy, happy and simple lives.”

The picturesque Ayala Westgrove Heights community is also a perfect venue for the triathlon events, with its wide and safe roads, topnotch sports center amenities and breathtaking scenery. Located in Silang, Cavite, Ayala Westgrove Heights is a fully integrated and masterplanned community that promises a quiet suburban lifestyle while giving access to modern life’s conveniences. A development of Ayala Land Premier, this exclusive and innovative residential subdivision offers a natural beauty provided by its environmental attractions, and further enhanced by exciting amenities.

Source: Ayala Land Inc. Article Listing