If you like nature, you’ll fall in love with this laid-back island home
July 24, 2018
This island home perfectly blends in with its pristine environment
Embraced by sea and sky, this island home sits amidst the lush vegetation of Boayan Island in Palawan. It was built to seamlessly blend in with nature by its original owners Philippe Girardeau and Ditchay Roxas.
“The house was inspired by their desire to build something that would leave as little carbon footprint as possible and maximize what nature has to offer. They used to rent it out to couples and honeymooners who shared the same mindset when it came to eco-friendly vacations,” explains property manager William Magsino. The couple, who are commitment to environmental conservation and reef rehabilitation, has since passed on ownership to a like-minded family of five.
The location of this island home offers unobstructed views of Daplac Bay up front and the West Philippine Sea out back. “The location takes advantage of the wind that blows in between the hills on both sides of the house, from the open sea into the bay,” William says.
Philippe and Ditchay shuttled back and forth the Philippines and France when the house was being built. Completed around 25 years ago, the structure is surprisingly in great condition. Staff from the South Seas Rehab, a group that aims to revive the coral reefs of Daplac Bay, occupy the back room occasionally. The house remains in the state it is in perhaps because of the eco-conscious individuals that maintain it.
The hills around the house are also being revived. “We have planted vetiver grass to help prevent soil erosion in strategic areas around the property,” says William. Coral reefs in the bay fronting the house are being rehabilitated and efforts to have the bay declared a marine-protected area is also underway.
It is no surprise that guests staying at the house will appreciate the island’s wildlife with all these programs underway. “About 80m to the right of the house is a cluster of big holes in the sand that Tabon birds, an endangered species, use as nests. Eagles, parrots, Palawan hornbills, herons, and a host of other birds can also be found within the property,” William relates. The marine life around the island is equally diverse with seasonal sightings of sea otters, dugongs, sea turtles, and reef sharks.
The presence of wildlife within the property is indicative of the kind of refuge it is. This island home, with its simple construction, lack of trappings, and laid-back ambiance is something nature lovers can dream of.