Finding Beauty in the Community

SMDC resident grateful for a community that supports her passion  

With a lot of things going on, life can often feel like a blur. Nowadays, it is rare to see beauty amid all the adversities. Not for this creative soul, though.

“We are surrounded by beauty. Everything God has created is good and is beautiful,” said Dara Plan, a professional hair and makeup artist, and beauty guru.

“The synergy that radiates in our community is unbelievable. I love our community. Everyone is fun-loving, active, and great friends. I never thought I’d enjoy living here as much as I do right now. Maybe it’s the atmosphere here or the activities we do together. Nonetheless, I am and will always be proud to say that SMDC is my home.”

– Dara Plan, a homeowner at SMDC’s Jazz Residences 

To be in the business of beauty has always been Dara’s dream. Ever since she was young, Dara has been fascinated with all things pretty and chic. “When I saw my mom putting on makeup, I fell in love with the idea of helping other people be beautiful and [feel] confident. She’s influenced me from dressing up to doing my hair and make up, and thanks to her, I appreciated beauty even more,” said Dara, a hairstyling trainer at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.

Growing up, Dara was surrounded by people who supported her love for hair and makeup. Until today, Dara is fortunate enough to have a community that helps her develop her craft — and that community is SMDC’s Jazz Residences.


Living in Jazz Residences is a blessing in disguise for Dara. During the pandemic, her SMDC community has been her refuge.

“I felt safe here. I don’t need to go far to get my essentials. I just have to go down to get what I need!” Dara exclaimed.

Jazz Mall at Jazz Residences (actual photo): Having restaurants, coffee shops, personal care establishments, and an SM Hypermarket within the community offers much convenience, and allows residents to live a low-carbon footprint lifestyle.

SMDC, the country’s largest & fastest growing real estate developer, takes integrated living to the next level. Where Dara lives, everything is at an arm’s length—a complete list of resort-style amenities; health and wellness facilities; and a Jazz Mall that houses restaurants, coffee shops, service establishments, and its very own SM Hypermarket.

“If I need to meet with my clients, I just go to the nearest coffee shop, which is right within my community. If I need to run some errands, the mall is right there. All my essentials are here,” she said.

Dara also feels she is well taken care of, especially that concierge services like reception and doorman services elevate her living experience, and the strict security makes her feel very safe.

She also shared that the proximity of her SMDC community to places that matter, made her love her address even more. Situated in the Makati business district, SMDC’s Jazz Residences offers unmatched accessibility for a busy person like Dara.

But more than the security, accessibility, and convenience, Dara feels very connected to her community.

The hotel-like lobbies and concierge services at SMDC offer residents a grand and warm welcome each day.

“SMDC is my sanctuary. I feel happy going home to my unit after a long day. My community takes care of me, and I feel safe and assured. And also, they help my business grow,” the beauty guru added.

Because of the pandemic, the residents of Jazz Residences could not go to the salon. This is where Dara’s expertise has been essential to the community.

“My neighbors here are helping me fulfill one of my dreams. I may not have a salon yet, but it already feels like I have one. I feel challenged and excited at the same time whenever my neighbors ask me to do their hair and makeup,” said Dara.


Beauty guru Dara Plan’s passion is helping others feel confident about themselves.

Dara has always been fond of motivating people to be the best version of themselves. “I want to leave a legacy—to teach the young ones and share with them my knowledge.”

Dara regularly conducts workshops for the GlamBox Beauty Studio and Suesh Studio. She also does seminars for corporate clients, and is a beauty consultant for brands like Watsons and Rustan’s.

“I could be a makeup artist for celebrities, yet I chose to teach people. I want to help those who have the desire to uplift their status in life through hair and makeup,” Dara explained.

She also shared that she would tell her students not to give up on their dreams and to stay driven no matter what. “There will be naysayers who will let us down. But once you’ve found your passion, it becomes your purpose in life. Nothing and no one can ever bring you down,” she said.

SMDC: A beautiful place to live in 

But stress and negativities are inevitable in life. So to help herself not to be overwhelmed by these, Dara would take meditation walks in the lush gardens of SMDC’s Jazz Residences two to three times a week to feel refreshed and at peace.

“I love taking walks. I think this has helped me a lot as a creative person. Not only does this help me push my creativity, but it has also become very therapeutic. Slowing down and noticing the beauty around me has given me lots of opportunities to expand every possibility there is,” added Dara.

The resort-like amenities at Jazz Residences provide safe spaces for the residents to unwind, get fit, and be surrounded by nature.

One of the most crucial things for Dara as a creative soul is being in touch with nature and the environment. “This is super important for me because it recharges me. I don’t need to travel to feel rejuvenated. I can go to the poolside to clear my mind. I can also work out here because we have ample space to move and an actual indoor gym. And yes, even if we’re in the middle of a bustling city, I get to breathe fresh air because we have nature here,” she added.

There are so many wonderful things that make Jazz Residences a great place to live. But being in a place where Dara has found and can fulfill her purpose in life makes SMDC an even more beautiful community to settle down in.

Dara Plan is part of SMDC’s growing community of talented and enterprising residents. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communication from the Assumption College San Lorenzo, Makati. She became a newscaster for GMA 7’s Business Today, a radio newscaster for 99.5 RT, and a commercial model before pursuing her love for hair and makeup. She was a scholar at the Melbourne Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty.

To know more about SMDC, visit the SMDC website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Written by Village Connect

In a world where free quarterly print and online publications rule, Concept and Beyond Publishing (formerly, Tesmarias Publishing) a publisher of Village Connect (VC) stands out as a pillar and a trailblazer, raising the bar for complimentary magazines with quality reads that are tailored to discriminating Filipino urbanites.

As a print and digital publication, VC strives to provide readers an insightful glimpse into the ever-changing business landscape through relevant dialogue and inclusive coverage of trending news, information, and lifestyle tidbits within (and outside) the metropolis.

On a bigger scale, VC identifies and promotes Philippine innovations in various industries and connects them with Manila’s young and upbeat populace.

Since its founding in 2011, VC emerged as a household and business name, with a monthly circulation of 50,000 copies distributed FREE in Metro Manila, VC is targeted toward select villages, multi-dwelling outfits (condominiums, serviced apartments), banks, and lifestyle facilities including salons, wellness institutes, and beauty and fitness centers. It is also exclusively carried by Figaro Coffee Shops in Metro Manila – truly living up to its goal of connecting villages and businesses.

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