Anvaya Cove: Coming home to paradise
By Ching M. Alano (The Philippine Star) Updated April 10, 2010 12:00 AM

SOURCE:

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=564991&publicationSubCategoryId=85

MANILA, Philippines – On a clear day, you can see the mountaintops touching the heavens. You can hear the water gurgling over the rocks. Or listen to the birds as they burst into song. You can feel the warm caress of the bracing breeze. You can watch the most picturesque sunset as it fades into the horizon. At night, you can wish upon a star or count the gazillion stars from your window. And be lulled to sweet slumber by the humming of the wind.

Welcome to paradise! Welcome home. Welcome to Anvaya Cove.

Like a masterpiece leaping out of nature’s canvas, Anvaya Cove is a precious 320-hectare seaside residential community masterplanned by Ayala Land Premier. And for all ye city denizens out there, the welcome news is that this humongous paradise in Morong, Bataan is within reach. Accessible via North Luzon Expressway through San Fernando Exit, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Angeles Exit, Anvaya is only a two-and-a-half-hour smooth drive from Manila and just 25 minutes away from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Carving A Haven

Masterfully crafting a niche in leisure development, Ayala Land Premier has combined nature’s pristine offerings — think bird sanctuary, lush terrain, pawikan’s (sea turtles) nesting refuge, and nature camp — with modern-day creature comforts to create Anvaya Cove.

Certainly, in carving this haven that we can call home, environmental sensitivity was in the details. “Anvaya was envisioned to be an environmentally sensitive community,” says Tom Mirasol, assistant vice president of Ayala Land and head of sales and marketing of Ayala Land Premier. “Sensitive in the sense that we wanted to create a community that was very strongly affiliated with nature so that when people come here for their vacation or their weekends, it’s an opportunity for them to experience things they don’t normally experience because they live in the city.”

How green is Anvaya? “When Ayala sells people a subdivision lot, only 35 percent of that is actually buildable,” describes Mirasol, himself a passionate green advocate who gushes about the scenic view on the way to Anvaya. “So 65 percent of your lot remains green. Another thing is the way the structures have been designed and built. They’re designed to be friendly to the landscape. They almost look natural — earth colors, very low-rise, not very dense. Another example is when you go to the beach at night, you’ll notice that the lights are more controlled. Even our restrictions prevent a lot of lights as this will disturb the hatching of the pawikan. Our experts told us it’s not ideal for the wild life. We have property owners who didn’t understand at first as they’d say, ‘We want our gardens lit up at night.’ But when you explain it to them that this is the reason, they understand and they conform.”

Taking Crs A Step Further

Mirasol relates, “Late last year, we planted 78 giant clams just offshore. They used to be endemic to the waters of Bataan, but they were virtually wiped out and became extinct. Because they were delicious, the fishermen would get them and turn them into kilawin. This giant clam is beneficial to the water. We have a foreshore lease that prevents fishing or any kind of activity that’s harmful to Anvaya.”

Giant clam seeding is just one of the many projects of the Anvaya Environmental Foundation, which takes corporate social responsibility a step further.

Its commitment to the environment didn’t go unnoticed. Anvaya Cove made it as a finalist in the 2009 Hospitality Design Awards and was hailed as one of the greenest and most sustainable residential projects in the world.

Mirasol talks of two ways of looking at development: “One kind prioritizes the human comforts of living. But there’s another kind of development which we hope becomes the norm, one which is more sensitive to species other than human beings; for example, working with endemic flora. I told this story before, it didn’t happen here but in another country. A gentleman had developed an area, the landscaping was fantastic and all. He asked a guest what he could hear. The guest said he could not hear anything. He said that’s precisely the problem, there are no birds. Because all of the trees that are there in the development are not endemic, they are foreign species brought in, they are not natural. So the birds have no idea what these things are. It’s not the stuff they’re used to living in, so they avoid it.”

Mirasol stresses, “Working with endemic species is the best way to ensure there’s a healthy eco system in the area.”

Whenever possible, even the materials used in construction at Anvaya were sourced locally. Local labor was also used. “That’s being environmentally sensitive because you’re not just talking about land, you’re talking about the human side. Take Angie (Vigo), for example, she was born and bred in Bataan,” Mirasol points out.

The very friendly and knowledgeable Angie Vigo served as our tour guide during our visit to Anvaya. Why, she knows the plants (herbal and medicinal) around Anvaya like the palm of her hand!

BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR

Mirasol notes, “One of the things Ayala Land always wants to be is like a good neighbor. Whenever we come into an area, we make sure that whatever we do has value not only to our customers but to the community as a whole. And that kind of involvement actually inspires so many things: infrastructure, building roads, employment; we even have outreach programs. Especially when we’re doing something of a large scale like Anvaya.”

Construction goes on all year round, but there are certain works that can’t be done (like moving the earth) during the rainy season because it might cause the soil to erode, run off into the sea, and turn the ocean brown.

Mirasol remarks, “Suspending moving the earth during the rainy season is more expensive. But I guess that’s our point from the very beginning. When people are conscious about the things that we do and how they impact, they are willing to pay more for what this environmentalism entails. It’s really getting that education, getting people to accept it, that’s the stage I think we’re still in. Will we ever be there 100 percent? I’m not sure if it will happen in our lifetime. But hopefully, people will learn to do that before it becomes absolutely necessary.”

Mirasol is happy to note, “Anvaya Cove is located at the edge of a protective forest and that helps preserve the sort of ambience around us.”

A Permanent Home

Says Angie Vigo, “We get a lot of retirees who are still active working as consultants. We get quite a mix of residents — empty nesters, balikbayans and young families who make Anvaya their permanent home and not just a second or vacation home.”

If you stand at Anvaya Cove’s peak elevation (130 meters above sea level), the awesome greenery around you will take your breath away. Better yet, take the zipline (like the courageous souls among us did) and take in Anvaya’s raw and rugged beauty. Or feel the adrenaline rush as Kerry Asuncion, Extreme Adventures, Inc. managing director/head consultant, gives you a heads up on the pulse-racing adventures that lie ahead.

Truly a place for the family (Anvaya is Sanskrit for “family”), there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy at Anvaya Cove. Even the kids have their own ziplines.

Food For The Sole

Yes, there’s something to feed the soul as well as the stomach at Anvaya. Chef Vladimir Lorilla makes sure guests get their fill of the best in Asian and Filipino food at Anvaya’s food outlets.

And now, there’s something for the tired soles and bodies, too. After all that nature trekking and tripping, you can use a massage at the Veda Spa, one of Anvaya’s latest amenities launched last December. Shiatsu, Swedish, aromatherapy, couple’s massage, anyone?

Surely, coming home has never felt this good!

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For Anvaya Cove inquiries:

COCO MIDEL

Ayala Land Premier

Mobile +63-917-50-29252 (+63-917-50-AYALA)

Email midel.jerico@ayalaland.com.ph / coco.ayala@gmail.com