Sailing the Eastern Shore

Published on 03/23/12 by Rhoel Fernandez

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Give me a fast ship. For I intend to sail into fun’s way.
(With profound apologies to American naval hero John Paul Jones).

To an average landlubber like your writer, sailing is as peaceful a way as any to spend one’s weekend. It isn’t hard to imagine the winds gently guiding the sailboats as their hulls quietly part the waves, the sailor lost in the moment.

It was in the first weekend of February during the Philippine Hobie 16 National Championship held at Anvaya Cove Beach & Nature Club that I found myself looking at sailing in a whole new light.

The Event

Surrounded by lush forest of the type that beckoned seafarers from centuries past, the idyllic Anvaya Cove in the western side of the Bataan peninsula is shaping up to become THE next location for sailing enthusiasts.

Peter Capotosto of the Taal Lake Yacht Club, one of the most avid and active sailing enthusiasts in the country, has nothing but praises on the conditions the sailors found at the eastern coast of the Bataan Peninsula.

“The guys love this place! The winds are perfect, the sea is perfect. We used to race inside Subic Bay but it was difficult to set up”, said Peter, pointing out difficulties such as coordination with different officials and the perils posed by water traffic within the former US Navy base.

On race day, the Hobie Cats were all lined up on Anvaya’s secluded beach as their two-man crew and their support staff made last-minute preparations for the regatta. It was an impressive collection of international competitors that counted the Philippine National Team composed of sailors from the Navy, a pair of newlyweds, a Portuguese Olympian and veterans from the Asian and SEA Games among their number.

Peter said the twin-hulled Hobie Cat 16 is a vessel well-suited for the “Asian anatomy” and can be a promising platform for Filipinos to excel as a waterborne sport. It is made from light yet sturdy materials, easy to assemble and disassemble and could be transported by a pick up truck. Two persons can crew the catamaran even out in the open seas.

Onboard the larger catamaran “Tutu Tango” that was serving as the committee boat for the regatta, the invited media people were provided with an up-close and personal take on the action with much help from media relations official John-john Torres, whose cheery ebullience disguised a veteran sailor who has battled with the best during the Asian and SEA Games.

It was a real hoot listening to John-John, cold beer in hand, as he patiently described and explained the nature of the race which although physically demanding is more cerebral than it seems. From his delightfully colorful input I pictured a sailing race as a three- dimensional chessboard where everything around you comes into play- the waves; the wind; your crew; the rules of the sea; race regulations are all crucial factors a sailor has to take into account in order to gain that necessary advantage.

Spice the above-mentioned factors up with a sheer competitive spirit that results in a slew of maneuvers resulting in capsized boats and near-collisions that would make a jeepney driver blush. I guess there is more than a touch of truth in the term “swears like a sailor” after seeing them out in the South China Sea.

The sun was up, the clouds a perfect backdrop and the waters a perfect azure. What more could one ask for? A Cessna light plane even buzzed the catamarans! How can you not enjoy sailing?

From the 13 competitors of the Nationals, the Philippine National Team emerged victorious at the end of the two-day event. After the hustling and bustling that went on at the mouth of Subic Bay the past two days I was personally glad the Hobie community is such a tight-knit group since there weren’t any bad feelings during the awarding ceremonies.

The Place

Enjoying a break from the action, I got a chance to also do a brief tour ofAnvaya which incidentally means “family” in Sanskrit. The casitas and residences in their “contemporary Asian” designs blended well with seaside community look the place was aiming for. Standing on top of the highest ridge (120 meters above sea level) I had a panoramic view of the Bataan and Zambales Mountain Ranges, Ilingin Cove and the South China Sea.

One thing I noticed was the emphasis of open spaces and the amount of greenery between the houses and the layout of the resort- a result of careful planning and development that respects the natural lay out of the land- a harmony of man and nature.

I learned this private residential community took “luxury” tag seriously with its 3.5 kilometer coast line encompassing two private coves that has a recreational beach area and three types of swimming pools. It also has a spa, an honest-to-God restaurant and a nature camp that has several forest adventure trails with a 70 feet tall zipline.

The nights in Anvaya Cove are treats in themselves as well. The evening socials with the Hobie sailors held outside the Welcome Pavilion was literally and figuratively “cool” with the Baguio-type weather providing a very chilled out atmosphere for the participants. Dinner poolside with my photographer could be described as “romantic” if he didn’t turn out to be a guy. The menu selection more than made up for my dinner companion with the Thai Pomelo Salad and the Grilled Cajun-style Pork Chopsbeing SUPERB-ilicious in my book! Listening to the sounds of the forest from the balcony of my well- furnished casita lent a feeling that you ARE part of the woods and not just a mere illusion.

Mornings at the impressive accommodations left I me with an “I-am-so-rich-or-simply-lucky” view of the lagoon and the grove of trees beyond. Since the residences were spread apart, motorized golf carts driven by helpful and cheery staff chauffeured residents and visitors around the well manicured paths to their destinations. Easy living indeed!

As a writer whose roots are rooted in terra firma, I had a notion that sailing can bring you to faraway places. I was pleasantly surprised it brought me to Anvaya Cove.

How to get there:
Anvaya Cove is accessible via the North Luzon Expressway through San Fernando Exit, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and Angeles Exit.

It is approximately 2.5 hours from Manila by car. It is 25 minutes away from the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.


For inquiries on Anvaya Cove and for assistance in site visits, you may coordinate with me. 🙂

Thank you.

Your Ayala Land Guide,

M: +63.917.502.9252
T: (02)577.27.12

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