Condo Apartment in Pico de Loro Cove --Freia (Frea)
Underwater discoveries at Hamilo Coast Updated November 8, 2009 - 12:00am
Did you know that the Longfin Batfish (Platax teira), touted as a wraith-like and ghostly-looking fish, is quite personable, almost pet-like and is remarkably clever?
Just like other batfish varieties, the Longfin is an unusual and engaging animal characterized by wide vertical alternate bands of black and a pale yellow or tan on its body and fins. It has greatly elongated dorsal and anal fins and can grow to an impressive size of 24 inches! This species can become very tame, sometimes eager to feed from divers’ fingers. The Longfin Batfish is just one of the surprising finds that divers can discover in the waters of SM Land’s premier sustainable leisure destination Hamilo Coast.
In this seaside leisure development by SM Land, diving and snorkelling are popular activities for the whole family. Sprawled along the coastline of idyllic Nasugbu in Batangas, the 5,800-hectare development is home to coves that have been declared marine-protected areas (MPA) dedicated to the preservation and protection of various aquatic and terrestrial creatures. These are Pico de Loro, Santelmo, and Etayo coves. Jose Angelo M. Palma, vice president for Programmes of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Philippines, said they conducted an initial baseline study two years ago to check on the health of reefs and quality of marine life in the area and found out that these three coves have the most potential for being declared as MPAs because of their biological attributes.
Water creatures Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1Aside from the Longfin Batfish, residents and club members can meet other interesting “neighbors” that are thriving inhabitants of Hamilo Coast’s vibrant marine environment. A remarkable species often sighted around the area is the Spotfin Lionfish (Pterois antennata)– a solitary predator known for its venomous sting which it uses to hunt prey. This fish species related to the Common Lionfish (Pterois volitans) and Soldier Lionfish (Pterois miles) can be identified by the dark spots on its long pectoral fins. The Melon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifasciatus)on the other hand is a dainty reef resident that feeds on coral polyps and is covered in pastel hues. This small and secretive variety of butterflyfish swims in pairs and may be territorial and aggressive. A shy, slow-moving armoured fish, the Yellow boxfish (Ostracion cubicus) gets its name from the shape that its body mimics. It can expela type of poison that makes it highly toxic as it feeds on algae, sponges, crustaceans and mollusks. Juveniles have a very bright yellow color which fades into blue-grey as they age. Deeper explorations in Etayo Cove can yield chance encounters with a variety of interesting sea inhabitants such as the Blue-green Chromis (Chromis viridis) – gregarious turquoise gems of fish that feed on free-flowing phytoplankton; the Reticulated Damselfish (Dascyllus reticulatus) – scrappy and aggressive little jewels with vertical bars crisscrossing their flanks; Clark’s Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii) – Hamilo Coast’s most frequently encountered clownfish often found within a few meters of their host anemone; Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga) – which resembles a fluttering underwater butterfly; Domino Damselfish (Dascyllus trimaculatus) – one of the few fish able to live within and around the stinging tentacles of sea anemones; and the Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) – one of the most recognizable of marine fish and popularized in the movie “Finding Nemo.” Aside from these schools of fish, other popular species in the area are the endangered Olive Ridley and Green Sea Turtles or “pawikan”, which visit the place occasionally to lay their eggs on the shore. Giant clams or “taklobos” along with a diverse variety of sea creatures likewise make Santelmo and Pico de Loro Coves an ideal spot for snorkeling or diving.
An active leisure lifestyle These magnificent sea creatures are just a few of the countless species that inhabit the waters of Hamilo Coast’s 13 coves. The immense natural wealth and beauty is a unique milieu for the leisure community of Pico de Loro, where Hamilo Coast’s maiden development is contained—nine residential condominium clusters surrounding a man-made lagoon, designed with low impact to the environment. The centerpiece amenity of the community is the Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club, an exclusive members-only club that provides various watersports, underwater adventures and eco-friendly activities. Wesley Caballa, senior manager for sports and recreation at Hamilo Coast, shares that the Pico de Loro Beach Club is now fully operational for residents and club owners. The Country Club component on the other hand is set for operationalization by first quarter of 2010. Likewise, the first condominium building, Jacana, is set to progressively turn over units to residents. Other developments soon to rise at Pico de Loro includes Carola and Miranda clusters, Azurea Hotel, and a four-hectare man made lagoon. Pico de Loro Cove also boasts of land-based adventures such as trail-biking, mountain trekking, and soon, bird-watching which families can try as bonding and de-stressing activities. Upon completion, residents and their guests can expect a wide array of recreational and active nature pursuits, whether on land or at sea in this veritable Eden, located less than three hours from Manila. “Hamilo is dedicated to the preservation of the environment, and it is this type of setting that we aim to provide as a community for our residents. In fact, the municipal council of Nasugbu has just declared Pico de Loro, Santelmo and Etayo as Marine Protected Areas which can help us safeguard these areas from destructive fishing and other environmental threats. We are also actively engaging WWF-Philippines in the areas of coastal resource management, solid waste management, and renewable energy sources,” said Caballa. Through effective coastal resources management, Hamilo Coast can sustain, manage and conserve its biological attributes, both marine and terrestrial. The area is also part of the Verde Passage, which is known as the center of marine biodiversity in the world. This means that the area contains the most number of fish species globally within the coral triangle. Palma further adds: “We are confident that with the commitment of stakeholders, the LGU and the community, Hamilo Coast can be protected thereby preserving the rich biodiversity of the area. We also commend SM Land as a private entity that is making sure that the benefit of coastal resources management redounds not only to the company but also more importantly, result in increased economic viability in terms of fishing and livelihood, and food security for the immediate host community.” These measures will likewise ensure that residents and club members will fully experience a distinctive leisure lifestyle at Pico de Loro Cove—one that brings humans closer to nature.