Advocacy, Batangas

Hamilo Coast & WWF: partners in eco-tourism and sustainability

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​Hamilo Coast
, the premier beach resort town in Nasugbu, Batangas, may be the weekend haven of the country’s affluent set, yet it is on track as a thriving model of sustainable eco-tourism practices. 

Touting 5,800 hectares of prime seaside development, Hamilo Coast is a project of SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo, Inc. (CDHI), which carefully integrates residential, resort, leisure, commercial, and institutional land uses in the sprawling estate. But beyond its vast scope and stunning vistas, Hamilo Coast embraces sustainable tourism at the core of its philosophy and shows how beautiful beachfront homes can harmonize with nature and the environment.

2022 marks Hamilo Coast’s 15th year of productive partnership with the conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF). Hamilo Coast and WWF have been working together on key areas for sustainability—coastal resource management, ridge-to-reef management, solid waste management, mangrove reforestation, the use of renewable energy sources, and environmental awareness.

This long-standing collaboration with WWF signifies Hamilo Coast’s determination to pursue eco-tourism and sustainability while upholding international standards for leisure property development. 

Ms. Imee G. Francisco, Vice President and Head of CDHI Projects and Operations, takes pride in the partnership’s objectives. “More than building and maintaining a beautiful community, we seek to create and sustain a world that future generations can enjoy. To help serve this end, CDHI continues to develop Hamilo Coast without compromising the quality of wildlife living around it.” 

This year, Hamilo Coast and WWF will focus on addressing the major components on waste management, which include assessment of solid waste, water and wastewater management practices, formulation of environmental management plan, and the promotion of food shed farming systems. Apart from these, Hamilo Coast and WWF will continuously work on programs that will help conserve, protect, and nurture the environment.

For one, Hamilo Coast and WWF’s Ridge to Reef program declared three of Hamilo Coast’s 13 coves–Pico de Loro, Etayo, and Santelmo–as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These are coastal zones where human activities are strictly regulated to ensure their long-term conservation. Declaring more MPAs would also mean expanding Hamilo Coast’s scope in safeguarding more marine ecosystem and resources. 

Hamilo Coast also continues to implement a mangrove reforestation program in its 24-hectare mangrove belt—one of the largest in Nasugbu. Here, Hamilo has planted 50,000 propagules hand-in-hand with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Mangroves are the first line of defense for coastal communities, stabilizing shorelines by averting erosion and providing natural barriers to storm surges, flooding, and hurricanes. As an effective carbon storage, mangroves absorb six times more carbon than mature tropical forests, making it all the more vital in slowing down the effects of climate change. 

Finally, Hamilo Coast and WWF will further push for environmental awareness by celebrating occasions that show respect for biodiversity. One is the annually held Earth Hour, during which time people are urged to shut down electricity to make a substantial difference in energy consumption. Individuals, organizations, and establishments also come together on Coral Triangle Day to shed light on ocean conservation and the ways we can protect and preserve the world’s epicenter of marine biodiversity. 

Likewise, the development boasts the largest volunteer effort for the ocean’s health, made possible with the International Coastal Cleanup, where people gather on the Pico and Santelmo beaches to collect trash and record information on the collected debris. 

For all these sustained efforts, WWF has awarded Hamilo Coast with the Longest Sustainability Partner Award, recognizing the development’s commitment to sustainable tourism and its positive impact on the Philippine tourism industry.

Francisco affirms, “CDHI is proud of how far we have come at Hamilo Coast with the help of WWF. This inspires us to do even more, in the hopes that our efforts will make it possible for future generations to witness the beauty of nature as we see it today.” 

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Advocacy, Batangas

Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change. Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak. That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on. Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature. Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development.

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said.

Disaster risk reduction

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting in damages to properties and loss of life. Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality. The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Biodiversity conservation

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide. This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species.

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna. Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity. There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project. Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area.

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

Green buildings development

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices. For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function. Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

Sustainable living

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment. As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea.

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite. It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community.

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Batangas, Travel

Club Balai Isabel’s First Lakeside Pool Party

Last month, we came back to Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas to experience their first ever lakeside pool party. There were DJs, dizzying lights, foam machine, beer pong & more.

The Club Balai Isabel Aqua Park looks much better now guarded with more staffs. This is my third time at the hotel and park but I still want to go back. See you soon CBI!

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