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Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Today is Christmas Day and I just got some pictures from Nanay Jo, who is still at Isla.  Jo will write a post for the blog when she is back from the island, but for now, here are some pictures from the Fishing Event.

 Special shirts were printed..

It doesn't matter if you are older..

 Or younger..

As long as you enjoy fishing!!


Monday, 23 December 2013

 It started as an idea and a drawing on paper.

 Then came sand and cement.

 The blocks, every one of them, made by hand.

 To build The Cafe.

 And now it has windows.

And pretty flowers are growing.

And it is Christmas Time at Isla Verde Eco-Friendly Resort!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

by Nanay Jo

As we are building the café, which we expect to be completed before Christmas, we have started decorating the resort. We placed 2 christmas trees. One big Christmas tree, was placed near the seawall, while the other one, was placed on the way near the kubo. We put some gold decorative balls and bells, that when the sun shines on them, glitters like Christmas light. We have 3 angels and a big Santa Claus, and the kids love posing with him.

The flowers in the resort, bloom a lot. Angge, who was one of our helpers, patiently watered the plants, everyday. When Yolanda, came last month, some of our fruit bearing trees, where damaged. Some of the stones, scattered, which hit the citrus trees. And when I came back 2 weeks ago, some local people gave us more trees to plant and more plants. In the near future, we expect more shade for us, which will cool our guests, during summer.

On Dec., 24-25,2013, we going to have an event in the resort. THE FIRST ISLA
VERDE SPEAR FISHING AND FISH HOOKING CONTEST. We have tarpaulins done, and they should be placed in each baranggay, and on the boats travelling to isla. All are invited to come and have fun with us. On Christmas day, which is our finals, we’re giving a party to everyone. Mr. and Mrs. Sakuma, sponspored some bottles of sake (rice wine), and some pica-pica for pulutan.

All the fishes caught from the event will be served. I will cook fish head curry for them, grilled some tulingan, samaral and tambakol. We will have miso soup, as the participants will feel cold, catching fish as its cold in Isla at this time. We are going to give gifts, for the kids too and some consolation prizes for the losers.

Viva Isla Verde!!!
Season's greetings with all good wishes for the new year!!!! 

Thursday, 19 September 2013


by Jo

Time flies so fast, and now we’re starting to have Tess’ Café built. We have repainted those cottages with swing, and the new tourou, which proudly stands in front of the beach. 

Recently we started building shelters for the animals. These have been placed at back end of the lot. We placed a fence, so they cant not mingle with the people who will come to the place. 
  The new Tourou even has a light at night.

There is a new look for the bridge, we’ve put more stones…. Now you can have a picture taking at the bridge, and can sit while watching the sunset or the flow of water from the mountain to the sea.

In the coming months, we can show a picture of Tess’ Café…. So watch here for news of the 'grand opening' of her café.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Visiting an island is just like visiting a new territory-- Isla Verde, Batangas!

by Reyboy.

Back pack: check.  Wallet: check. Mobile phone: check.
The unplanned visit to the island is quite a promising trip experience for me, to a friend and a cousin.  The seas may not be a good to traverse then due to tropical depression "Maring" but we pushed through with the sojourn.  We woke up around 4AM to beat the first trip going to the island (1 trip per day) -- a 45-minute travel time if the sea is calm.

Approaching the island in full green scenery on top of the banca is a plus.  Navigating the whole island was an exponential experience too while playing classic hits from Eraserheads, Alanis Morisette and Coldplay.

Surprise trekking was part of the activity due to bad weather since the "cold crib solar panel equipped resort" will be billeting is not good idea for docking.  It's fun but I choose to ride in habal habal (single motor) instead.

Day 1 -  "Dating with nature"
We choose to lay down for a while in a cabana-inspired hut while you can only hear the sounds of the waves from the bay and the humming of the wind.  An hour after, the table is ready for late lunch, Japanese rice and cold cuts are served.

Next activity is bird watching, counting crows and herd of herons at that, while it's still at low tide. Counting ships is fun too! Since the wind's blow is suffocating, burning pack of cigarettes is inevitable.
The night time moment is truly a date with nature ... crickets sound and frogs croaking in early fashion!  But the nocturnal activity will not end up without Emperador Lights on the table and with some pica-pica, a soothing sound trip for the ears and some chikahan ("small talk")... and a little "FB" (Guess!).

Day 2 - "White sand swimming"
Swimming gear is up, SF60 sunblock is on, and everybody is ready to rumble with school of fish at Mahabang Buhangin, the reverse side of the Island.  Fishing under the heat of the sun is magical, unknowingly that you will catch a small fish is fun but enduring and need extra effort and lucky to get one! Sipping vodka gin at the bay is a necessity since the water is cold while the weather is sunny.  Air gun pellets shooting after swimming is refreshing although I missed some shots!  Boating was also a soft adventure to experience at the white sand area of Isla Verde.

Green Island-- a new dimension to unload the stress of the city hassle.  Promise, I'll be back the soonest time with a large group to try snorkeling, mounting biking, diving and the swimming spa next year!

Ciao for now!

Sunday, 15 September 2013


by Nanay Jo

Landscaping is progressing at the resort now.  New places for the kubos, places for gardens.  It has been a busy time on Isla.

As we have been developing the resort, we planted more plants and flowers.  We have some fruit bearing trees bought, and have planted them.   We have more flowers, which bloom, even in the rainy season.  We even planted flowers, along the side of the creek with santan, as we called them and more of birds of paradise. 
Around our kubos, we planted some ornamental plants, and some fruit bearing trees like, mangoes, avocado and guyabano.  In a year or two we expect them to bear fruits for us.


Dieter bought 2 pairs of goats.  One pair is imported, and was new to us.  The workers built a shelter for them.   Luckily, we have no problem for grass cutting as they eat the weeds around. Dieter raised up some chickens too, called 45 days.

He also has a pair of imported doves, which were housed in one of our mango trees.  After the storm, a lot of butterflies could be seen around, with beautiful colors.  Since, we had the doves, a lot of sparrows can be seen on the ground.  Crows are normally flying in the resort.

Last July, the kubos were moved to higher ground, and, we decided to make steps and place more sand and coral around the area.   We built another tourou in front of the beach.  Patrick has organized for the blessing of the tourous this weekend,

Friday, 30 August 2013


On July 13, a solar power system was installed at the resort. Now the night is not as dark as before and even the tourous look like small light houses because they have their own light.

This small solar installation means we can watch a favourite film on a DVD player or have a videoke party to pass the time. Visitors that have internet access can get online using the solar power. They can take photos and post them online to FaceBook on the same day, showing friends how much they are enjoying their stay.
With the help of solar power we now have no problem recharging out gadgets and communicating with family and friends, or keeping up to date with the latest news and weather information.
The kubos too benefit from the solar installation because now they have their own light and on the hottest days, even an electric fan. For now though, the weather here is cool, the breezes are refreshing and electric fans are the last thing we think about.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Good things are happening at Isla

On the last trip to Isla Verde the camera's memory card was faulty.  Nanay Jo is on the island again and will write three small stories for the blog when she returns.

One will be about the new Solar Panel installation.  Another is about landscaping work.  At the moment I have forgotten what will be in the third story.  I have seen a few pictures sent by phone and it looks exciting. 

The work is progressing and everything looks so different from what I saw last year.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Following the recent solar distillation project, to bring some pure water to the resort development, July had another step forward.  The installation of solar electric power for lights.

There was a problem with the camera on this trip, but as soon as the pictures and story are available the blog will be updated.

It is an exciting time at Isla Verde :-)

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Isla Verde - through an Aussie tourist's eyes.

I have only been to Isla Verde once.  In November 2012 I visited and stayed at the block that is now being developed into a small resort.  Facilities were basic, rural living, as the old house was still functioning.  We slept outside on a bamboo bed, under a mango tree until it began to rain a little.  That sent us indoors, but someone actually had to wake me to tell me it was raining.  The night was so peaceful and the light rain was not cold.

The trip from Manila was by coach, and from a small beach we were taken by small banca, to a bigger banca - the St Paul.  I am an Aussie.  I am also a sailor, with my own yachts in the Whitsunday Islands.  But I have never seen anything quite like a large banca ferry.  In any other country a banca would be called an outrigger canoe.  St Paul was simply a huge canoe, with a house on top, and bamboo outriggers, tied on with fishing line.  This was our transport from Batangas across the Verde Island Passage.

The trip surprised me.  The design of the banca makes it very good in choppy seas, and in a couple of hours we were approaching our destination.

Once at Isla Verde, the first surprise is that there is not much wheeled transport.  I saw one small motorbike.  Everywhere else, people walked.  The walk from the landing place to where the resort is now being built was pleasant. 

My first impression was that I had simply arrived at one of Queensland's beautiful Whitsunday Islands.  In fact, that is exactly what it felt like after a couple of days.  Same, beaches, same vegetation.  I think the only difference was that on Isla Verde, the water is clearer, and there are people.  Happy, smiling people to whom nothing is too much trouble.  Everywhere I went i was greeted with smiles.  Nobody looked at me as if I was a foreigner, the way it happens on some other countries.  I was just encouraged to blend in, and join in.  I immediately felt I could live here.

Isla Verde is a pretty place and has beautiful views from many points on and around the island.  There are walking paths connecting much of the island and walking over the island from one side to another is pleasant.  The visitor passes through farm land, small settlements, and light forest.  There is always something beautiful to see. 

The beaches are different on either side of the island.  On one side the beaches are mostly made up of corral rubble, because there is so much beautiful coral reef, so close to the shore.  Isla Verde has probably got similar coral and fish to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, but it is easier to dive and fish at Isla.  On the other side of the island, the beaches are mostly normal sand.

Local fishing boats can be hired to take the visitor around various beaches, and fishermen can be hired to take a visitor out on a fishing trip.  I believe there is also a local dive operator.

There have been many changes at Isla Verde since I was there, and I am looking forward to my next trip.  Isla Verde is so easy to get to from Manila, and is so much more peaceful and relaxing than some other Philippine resort areas.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Drinking Water on Isla

Posted By Nanay Jo

Fresh drinking water is always a problem on islands, here and in other parts of the world.  At present it is necessary to bring bottled water with us when we visit, so in early June I went to Isla Verde to supervise the installation of a small water distillation system.  

The well water on that part of the island is brackish, and this new equipment will mean we can now have some water without the salty taste.  We will no longer have to bring mineral water with us on every trip.

Some of my pals from my old high school decided to come with me to see the new resort development.  We only had a couple of days on the island and my friends enjoyed the food and the tranquility of Isla Verde and said the refreshing sea breeze put them to sleep.  

Sadly, some of my friends had to leave after only one night but Edith stayed another day.  After the work was organised we tried to fit as much fun as possible into the time we had, so before she left we went for a boat ride around the island. She also enjoyed swimming with the kids, eating lots of fruits like mangoes, plums and coconut, and of course taking pictures.

It was only a short visit, but all of them promise, they will be back on isla verde.