June 24, 2022

 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.

April 3, 2022

 Planning a trip to Thailand? Airbnb is launching the ultimate designer getaway in Phuket’s 

  • To welcome the world back to Thailand, the palatial Governor’s Mansion on the tropical island of Phuket will open its doors for an overnight Airbnb stay for the first time in 50 years
  • The luxurious stay pays homage to Thailand’s rich architectural heritage and design sensibility, including never-before-seen pieces by renowned Bangkok-based furniture designers and classic Phuketian antiques
  • One lucky group of four will get to celebrate Songkran - the Thai New Year - in style, hosted by Thai superstar Patricia Tanchanok Good and master chef Nooror Somany Steppe

Filipinos planning their first overseas trip in two years after borders reopen on April 1 can now snag themselves the perfect holiday, as Airbnb launches the ultimate designer stay in Phuket’s palatial Governor’s Mansion - the island’s largest icon of Sino-Portuguese baroque architecture. 

As the country gears up for its biggest cultural festival, Songkran, one group of four lucky guests will get to soak up the vibrant festivities with an island getaway of a lifetime, only on Airbnb. The majestic Governor’s Mansion will be bookable on airbnb.com/governorsmansion for only Php2,500* for a two night stay from 15-17 April 2022, welcoming overnight guests for the first time in more than 50 years. Bookings open at 9AM PHT on April 5, 2022. Travelers from Thailand or any of the countries that currently allow international travel to and from Thailand can apply — the Philippines included!**

Guests will be hosted by popular Phuket-born model-actress Patricia Tanchanok Good who rose to fame in one of Netflix’s most popular Thai dramas last year, Girl From Nowhere 2, and national ambassador for royal Thai cuisine and Blue Elephant founder, master chef Nooror Somany Steppe. Programming for this special stay is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The 119-year-old Governor’s Mansion welcomed many out-of-town dignitaries and remains one of several neoclassical heritage mansions on Phuket today. The sprawling white and mustard heritage home is located in the historic heart of Old Phuket Town, and has been exquisitely restored to preserve its original fixtures, including richly patterned tiles and teakwood floors. Its first floor is now home to the Blue Elephant Restaurant – a Michelin Plate awardee and long-running stalwart of Thailand’s culinary industry. 

On the second floor, renowned Thai designer Saran Yen Panya has created a memorable, visually stunning space that pays homage to Thailand’s rich heritage and buzzing contemporary design scene. The stay features statement pieces by Yothaka – widely revered as Thailand’s master of design – in addition to bespoke handcrafted items by up-and-coming designers Kitt Ta Khon, Masaya, Sumphat Gallery, Thaniya and Mo Jirachaisakul, paired with Phuketian antiques from some of the island's most distinguished homes and museums. 

Guests will be immersed in a quintessentially Phuketian experience, including:

A personal welcome at check-in by Thai superstar Patricia ‘Good’ Tanchanok, who will share her favourite hidden gems in Phuket and tips for exploring the island

Exclusive access to a two-bedroom suite on the Mansion’s expansive second floor, including a private reception lounge and living room

A bespoke, multi-course ‘Songkran’ tasting menu prepared and hosted by master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe

A scuba diving and snorkeling adventure around the sparkling reefs and islands that dot the Andaman Sea

A gibbon rehabilitation social impact experience in Phuket’s last rainforest

“Thailand is an extraordinary country with unparalleled warmth and hospitality, and some of the most beautiful destinations. As more of us begin to travel further from home and for longer durations, we are working with our Host community to welcome the world back to Thailand safely. We are delighted to add the majestic Governor’s Mansion to our collection of unique stays throughout the Kingdom,” said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“Songkran is a special moment for all Thais, as we give thanks and celebrate the dawn of a new year. As Thailand reopens, we are incredibly thrilled to partner with Airbnb to warmly welcome the world back to our country. We invite travellers from around the world to experience the “Amazing New Chapters” of Thailand under ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022’, with this iconic stay that shines a light on some of our finest Thai designers; as well as Phuket’s natural wonders, unique heritage and architecture, and delicious local cuisine,” shared Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

For more reasons to book that flight to the Land of Smiles, check out Airbnb’s first-ever Travel Guide to Thailand — spotlighting the hottest and most underrated destinations across the country, delicious gastronomic specialties and the most extraordinary Airbnb Stays for an incredible overseas getaway! 

October 25, 2021

Discover the island sanctuary, be your own artist and create your holiday masterpiece.

Banwa Private Island can be entirely and exclusively yours… it’s the perfect blank canvas to design your own private holiday and off-site business experience.  There are endless possibilities of reconnecting and rediscovering in the intimate all-villa luxury destination with pockets of lush garden and stretches of pristine beach within a marine reserve in north-eastern Palawan.

Charter the whole island exclusively, and let life imitate art.  Banwa Private Island can take your holiday to an exceptional level from family and friends’ reunions, social celebrations to corporate planning sessions, and select incentives.

With the island completely yours, you have the artistic freedom to create deeper connections and be completely at one with family, friends and colleagues.  Extraordinary moments can be enjoyed in various natural locations within the enchanting garden island featuring private chefs and unscripted menus made of freshly-grown ingredients from the organic farm.  

Let the tropical shade in the Coconut Grove be the perfect scene for cocktails or intimate wedding receptions.  The dynamic atmosphere of the Compass Room can spark strategic ideas and future directions.  Under a starry night, the Latitude Terrace is the ideal spot toasting to milestone birthdays or anniversaries.  Swim, dive, snorkel, go fishing or take a sunset cruise.  

With each brush stroke from your own colour palette, the entire island is exclusively yours at Banwa Private Island. 

For enquiries and charter bookings, please contact the Reservations team through mobile/WhatsApp: +63 917 888 2864, send email to reservations@banwaprivateisland.com or visit the website www.banwaprivateisland.com

Banwa Private Island - ‘Exclusively Yours’ For The Ultimate

Banwa Private Island is an intimate all-villa destination for discerning guests wanting to experience in luxury, privacy and designer services in a marine protected and nature preserve.

Located in north-eastern Palawan in the Sulu Sea, Philippines, the island’s lush landscaping provide a perfect environment for nature to thrive. Guests can prefer to be accommodated in one of six beachfront villas or decide on an exclusive island charter giving that privacy that guests may need. 

The garden island offers “Destination Dining” experiences in various locations within the island, providing private chefs and an array of choice ingredients. All of these while privately soaking in nature.

Committed to preserving and protecting the nature and biodiversity, Aquos Foundation, Banwa Private Island’s sister company was conceived to support, nurture and protect the island’s delicate ecosystem and its richness of flora and fauna that provides habitat for.

October 30, 2019

The proximity of Laguna to the Metro has made it the top choice for travelers and weekend warriors for a quick getaway and also for companies in their outings and team building activities.

And Laguna does not fall short of expectations. There’s no running of options here with the tremendous list of interesting resorts it has to offer. But with these long list of resorts, it could be difficultto decide which are the ones worth visiting.

So, if you’re looking for a quick escape from the roaring city life, and eyeing the beautiful province of Laguna, here are the top resorts you could give a try.

Sol Y Viento Pansol

Sol Y Viento is a Spanish phrase for sun and wind. And its name perfectly depicts the refreshing ambiance that this resort provides their guest.

Remarkably nestled in the breathtaking mountains of Calamba City, Sol Y Viento is a resort that gives the perfect balance of warmth from the sun and the cool winds of the mountaintops.

This resort stands above the rest since it offers a spectacular view of the stunning Mt. Makiling. With its unique pools in different sizes and temperature variations, you can surely find the perfect spot for a relaxing day.

They offer air-conditioned accommodations if you plan on staying overnight. They have Cabanas with an excitingly indoor hot spring Jacuzzi all for you! For bigger groups, dormitory type rooms called Team rooms are also available. Perfect for big families, company outings or simply bonding with friends. All these rooms are overlooking the beautiful Laguna De Bay and a lush backdrop of the mountains.

In Sol Y Viento, you’re also in for a gastronomic treat in their Cafe Sabroso, which serves scrumptious local and foreign dishes. If you want to chill around, the Fabero bar offers house-blend cocktails and wines while you enjoy a scenic treat of Laguna De Bay and lovely mountainscapes.

If you are craving for a simply refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the serene ambiance in Sol Y Viento will absolutely appease your need for relaxation.

Laresio Lakeside Resort and Spa

Laresio offers a fascinating dip and an array of compelling activities. Perfect for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts! Situated in the town of Los Banos, Laresio is a fun-filled getaway packed with thrilling sports and water activities for those seeking a dose of adventure.

They offer a multitude of riveting activities such as Kayak riding, Cliff Diving, Aquabike, Vine Swing, Rafting, Wall Climbing, Slip n’Fly, and a Zipline! You can also try more subtle but equally delightful activities such as Camping, or watch a movie in their awesome outdoor cinema, and even have a free Zumba session in the morning!

In Laresio, there’s so much you can do in a day! You may opt to do a day tour and try all their activities in one whole day. They have pools and nipa huts just like any other resort amenities. Or you can stay overnight as they also offer rooms at an affordable price. You can also bring your own food without the usual corkage fee.

Splash Mountain Resort

The Splash Mountain is a sprawling resort complex located in the town of Los Banos.

Having a staggering nineteen (19) natural pools and crowd luring Giant slides, this resort is sure to bring you a delightful time of recreation with friends or family. They also have 3-feet activity pools fit for children, and plenty of accommodations for your stay in their Splash Hotel. If you wish for a time of tranquility, a lazy pool is also available where you can relax and recharge after a day filled with excitement and fun.

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort

Villa Escudero is an impressive showcase of Filipino culture at its best.

Experience the richness of our culture while enjoying a rejuvenating atmosphere in this mesmerizing coconut plantation and resort. There’s an array of amusing activities you could do, such as bamboo rafting along the Labasin lake, eating a delectable Filipino buffet lunch beside the Labasin falls, or simply taking a plunge in their swimming pools.

They also offer various accommodations for every type of visitor. So whether its a family staycation, a barkada reunion, or a company outing, Villa Escudero offers a range of enticing facilities for your retreat.

Caliraya Ecoville Recreation Farm and Resort

Caliraya Ecoville Recreation Farm and Resort is more than just a fishing destination and resort. Originally, this 7-hectare property is designed to be a haven for anglers since Caligaya was given a good stream of water resources. It is subdivided to fish ponds, camp sites, nature trails, and various kinds of accommodation like tents, native huts, dormitory rooms, a 20-room hotel, a function room and dining and indoor game area.

Also, it offers a wide selection of amenities and activities such as swimming pool with cottages, lounges and hammocks with pillow, Kawayan fishing platforms, and billiard, air hockey indoor tables. It caters Filipino comfort dishes cooked using naturally cultivated ingredients from their productive farm.

Caliraya aims to be the premier agri-tourism center in Laguna by promoting their organic farming platforms, integration of amenities and activities which leads to relationship building and quality time. The good climate conditions add up to the nature-loving experience of guests.

Aligned in creating worthy relationships, Caliraya is a complete package to ease relaxation while cultivating nature. It is a perfect place to escape while doing nothing for quite some time, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Hannah’s Garden Resort

Hannah’s Garden Resort has enhanced its nearby countryside to develop a special getaway place to experience. The garden resort is situated in Brgy. Bunggo Silangan of Calamba Laguna and is accessible via SLEX from Manila, just an hour proximity.

Hannah’s Garden shows love to their guests by giving an ambiance au naturel (natural atmosphere), to unwind themselves, and to have a perfect dining during their stay. Hannah’s Garden Resort has named their ten (10) exclusive rooms to native flowers of the country as called: ylang-ylang, rosal, sampaguita, daisy, and orchid rooms. Aside from these, they also offer one (1) dormitory room. Likewise, it has garden, pool, dining, obstacle, function and reception to cater weddings, seminars, team buildings, birthdays, and other festivities to celebrate. Indeed, a perfect place to have intimate gatherings.

The resort serves enticing organic food which guests would love to eat for a reasonable price. After indulging yourselves with great taste of food, why not say yes to a body massage available. If you have a pet, the resort is a pet-friendly too. You may bring it during your break and let your pet also enjoy the open areas to play and run around. Then if you want some indoor activities, they got you billiards and table tennis room to hang out.

Overall, Hannah’s garden is cool vacation getaway break. Save some time to have a very peaceful ambiance to freshen up your soul and mind in this lush tropical garden.

Casa San Pablo B&B

Casa San Pablo Bed and Breakfast aspires guests to pull back from hectic pace.

The owners of the property says, “We aim to rediscover the joy and wonder of life lived on an intimate scale.” The property is created as a cozy place to relish simple joys and rekindle things in life, to feel you are at home while having your comfort “lutong bahay” delicious foods. Continuously adapting the way their grandmother prepare and cook meals, while sharing stories like old friends. Casa San Pablo is bed and breakfast, events venue, and art space in one. It bears a creative approach for guests by providing art activities to devour. These activities transform one relationship to strengthen when in group, or relish hidden talents to you. It has various rooms to offer that brings nostalgia because of its different indoor set-ups. Yes, no two rooms are alike here. Best thing to experience having a unique, classy, and exclusive room all for you and your company. The interior designs are well-maintained reviving styles and color from time to time.

This bed and breakfast offers packages for company meetings or teambuilding, weddings or prenuptial venue, parties or celebrations, tours, and café dining. The greenery environment features allows you to rejuvenate and relax.

Another thing to look forward to is their art space of craft exhibits and a room for clay storytellers which will be much appreciated if you kids companion. This area serves as a learning environment that can be associated for friends, families, or even for a company.

Laguna is truly blessed with the incredible beauty of nature. It’s one of the best places near the Metro where you can unwind and free yourself up away from the busy time of the city. So if you’re looking for your next escape, head down south to Laguna and discover its hidden gems!

September 10, 2013

First time to see this landmark. :)

September 9, 2013


September 8, 2013

MELBA'S FARM is located in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

here's my window's view en route to Cebu.

September 7, 2013

It's my second time at Boracay! This was taken at the top of "Willy's Rock" kinda high tide that time.

first time at Corregidor Island! :)

September 6, 2013

View of Metro Manila from Antipolo City ( Zero Degrees Manila)


September 5, 2013

At first I thought this was the Arzobispado de Nueva Segovia but not. One of the best looking church/cathedral I've seen in a long time!

view from One Pacific Place Residence

September 4, 2013

Found a hidden gem at Batangas!

Snapped a nice sunset view from QC. I'm at the 17th Floor of GMA-7 when I took this.

September 2, 2013

Hidden Sanctuary Hotel & Resort in Marilao, Bulacan

September 1, 2013

One morning in Olongapo City.

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