They cluster along the coastlines where east meets west – to the east, the spectacular panorama of green majestic mountain ranges; to the west, the West Philippine Sea with its blue waters and rejuvenating breezes. The heartland of this premier sustainable seaside community where reforestation efforts continue to safeguard one of its most vital ecosystems is Hamilo Coast’s mangrove forest.
One of nature’s essential habitats at Hamilo Coast is a 10-hectare mangrove forest, the largest of its kind in Nasugbu, Batangas. Together with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines), Hamilo Coast continues to preserve over 10,000 mangrove trees in this lush coastal paradise that is at rhythmic pace with the tides.
Mangrove trees play an essential part in nurturing the very ground they stand on. Mangrove roots filter the silt and sediment that tides carry in and rivers carry out towards the sea. They lodge themselves in the soft soil of tidal mudflats while holding it in place to stabilize the shoreline against erosion, storm surges and hurricanes. Conservationists also believe that of all coastal ecosystems, mangrove preservation is a sound investment due to its high adaptive capacity to climate change.
Mangroves act as marine sanctuaries for a massive diversity of fish and underwater creatures. These habitat-forming species take refuge in this protective nursery where they often thrive at the interface of open water and the terrestrial environment.
Our responsibility to Nature
One learns more of its interesting role in the marine ecosystem as Hamilo Coast’s mangrove forest becomes an enlightening on-site adventure. Those who come to visit the thickets of mangroves at Hamilo Coast begin their tour with a short 200-meter trek through the forest. Along the path are posters that explain the crucial role of mangrove trees in reforestation. At the end of the trail, guests are taken on a canoe ride through the reforested area. Ensuring that everyone’s life vest is secured, tour guides will share the inspiring story of how the once empty and gray plot of land was transformed into the lush mangrove forest it is now. Paddling through the cove’s salty shallow waters, they also point to endemic species of plants and birds who help keep the delicate balance in its ecology.
With mangrove trees growing up to a towering 50 feet, visitors have a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring effects of Hamilo Coast’s dedicated stewardship towards the environment. As they cruise beneath the canopy of leaves that block out the sun, one feels the crisp, clean air in the forest and surrounding areas. This can be attributed to the fact that mangrove trees are carbon powerhouses. Mangrove trees absorb up to four times more carbon dioxide by area than upland terrestrial trees. The constant hum and buzz of wildlife also serve as a reminder that reforestation efforts encourage whole ecosystems to reform.
These underwater havens aid in the proliferation of fish in Nasugbu’s waters as well. This in turn contributes to the livelihood of the local fishing community that makes its home at Papaya Cove where this tour ends.
This profound journey through the serene beauty of both land and sea exemplifies Hamilo Coast’s concern, respect and commitment to environmental and social sustainability.
Responsible stewardship towards the environment does not only mean helping nature survive; it also creates opportunities for nature to thrive. The mangrove forest at Hamilo Coast remains an inspiring reminder of how a well-planned and well-executed development and nature can co-exist in harmony – to provide a most wholesome beach resort living and an excellent lifestyle choice.