BY THE EDITION
ILLUSTRATION BY GICA TAM
There’s something wholly uncomplicated about living by the sea. Far from the busy city, the seaside as a home is one where adventure beckons and time becomes an afterthought. Idyllic and quaint, like treating yourself to an eternal summer—it’s a dream and a half.
At the residential leisure community Anvaya Cove, located on the coast of Morong, Bataan, that dream is a tangible possibility. Families and individuals have found worry-free sanctuaries amidst natural landscapes and lush terrain. Serving as a sprawling playground for both leisure and learning, Anvaya Cove offers its members and their guests events that are as fun and engaging as they are productive. Uniquely immersive activities are routinely conceptualized with the hope that the impact on its participants is a lasting one. “Anvaya Cove has crafted local engagement activities from the start to allow members and guests to experience the local culture,” says Isay Navarro, sustainability officer of Anvaya Environmental Foundation. Ways of the Jungle, held on all Sundays of January, is a child-friendly forest event that allows guests to learn how to build fires and cook outdoors with guides from the local Aeta community. Mandaragat for a Day, held on all Sundays of February, invites guests to experience firsthand the lives of local fisher folk on a boating and fishing activity. While every March, in celebration of World Wildlife Day, professional guides from the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines leads an exploration of exquisite birding spots at Anvaya Cove and Subic Bay.
As part of Ayala Land Premier’s sustainable commitment to environmentally friendly leisure living, developments on Anvaya Cove follow the lay of the land, where migratory birds, sea turtles, and endemic wildlife, are able to roam free and live undisturbed. At the heart of Anvaya Cove’s dedication to sustainability is a promise to care for its pawikans. At the tail end of every year, the shoreline of Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club becomes home to the nests of Olive Ridley sea turtles. Some 45 to 70 days later, the hatchlings are aided in their passage to the open waters in Anvaya Cove’s Ceremonial Sea Turtle Release.
Every year, February marks the Anvaya Cove Pawikan Festival, which kicks off with a series of informative talks: “Sea Turtle Talks,” encouraging awareness on pawikan conservation, and “Pawikans of Anvaya Cove,” discussing the property’s conservation work throughout the years. “The festival, which used to be called the Ceremonial Release, has become a tradition,” Navarro adds. “Anvaya Cove partners with relevant government agencies and various environmental organizations, and they show their support by becoming resource speakers for the activities.” This year marked another milestone for the event, during which 120 pawikans made their way to the ocean, watched from afar by over 300 Anvaya Cove members and guests. Organized in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as the Bantay Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan, the support of both the government and the community has proven instrumental in the endeavor’s success.
“Marine turtles have existed over a hundred million years, and much can be studied of our past and possible future because of their existence,” says Kate Lim, program director of Anvaya Environmental Foundation. “We’ve been releasing baby Olive Ridley turtles in the hopes that even if their survival rate is only 1 percent, those will come back to our beach and propagate more.”
Lim adds that the event is continued “to highlight Ayala Land’s sustainable commitment to resource management and conservation that respects our surroundings; it’s to be educated about this threatened animal and why we and the coming generations need to protect it; and it’s to celebrate with our families the gift of life and learning with this fascinating occurrence of turtle hatchlings.”
In this day and age where concern for the environment has become part and parcel of our social conscience, it sometimes takes baby steps to learn what it truly means to live sustainably. More than improving our environmental footprint, identifying the many ways in which we can make a difference for the greater community—whether that’s through the smallest of changes, or the biggest of leaps—can also bring people together. And Anvaya Cove aims to lead the way.