WITH the onset of COVID-19, Filipinos and the rest of the world have had to deal with an unprecedented upheaval in their lives: lockdown. Being confined in one’s home for an uncertain duration, with limited movement and access, required drastic adjustment, with some people inevitably experiencing higher levels of anxiety.
Mechanisms for survival took many forms, including preserving as much of a sense of normalcy as strict quarantines allowed. For many, this meant relocating out of the city, away from urban congestion and higher risks of COVID-19 infection, to more open spaces. Communities like Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas, a mere 90-minute drive from Manila, cradled between mountain ridges and the sea, provided ideal locations close to what has proven to be the most powerful antidote to modern chaos: nature itself.
For many Hamilo Coast residents like human resources manager Jessica Clara Belardo, relocating for the time being was not a difficult decision. “Due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, we decided to look for a secure and less crowded place nearby where we could stay for at least a year and avoid exposure. We found out that Hamilo Coast was the perfect fit for our family.”
Hamilo Coast is obviously on to something. In a February 2021 article on the website PositivePsychology.com, Madhuleena Roy Chaudhury wrote about “The Positive Effects of Nature on Your Mental Well-Being.” where she also cited that “staying close to nature improves physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; it makes us feel alive from the inside, and we should not compromise it for recent developments like urbanization, technology, or social media.”
Chaudhury, a psychologist, mentioned a host of other benefits of being close to nature, including emotional regulation and memory, fighting depression, reducing the stress hormone cortisol, and improving focus and creativity.
This is validated by people who now live and work in their Pico De Loro Cove homes in Hamilo Coast after work-from-home arrangements became the norm. With the stress of traffic and commuting eliminated and the option to hold virtual meetings with a view now available, productivity and well-being have increased significantly. “As a working mom, one of the best benefits I have experienced and am still enjoying is the perfect work-life balance,” says Belardo. “I can do my work remotely and take care of my child and family while enjoying the beach and other facilities. Plus, my son is really having a great time here.”
“The free strong WiFi and internet connection are among the benefits,” says finance executive and general manager Willard Mosquito. “Then there are lots of places to work even outside the unit, such as the Beach Club. You can bike and swim during free time on weekends, enjoying the beauty of nature. There’s also a very nice chapel where you can pray, reflect, and meditate.”
Developed by SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo, Inc., Hamilo Coast is considered the first premiere sustainable community in Nasugbu, combining nature and man-made excellence in residential properties and amenities. Many homeowners had, in fact, chosen to settle here even before the lockdowns. When the pandemic came, extra safety and security measures adopted by the Property Management Team on a 24/7 basis, including seeing to homeowners’ needs, made life much easier.
“The ambience of the place is relaxing, the security is tight, the place is less crowded, safety protocols are being strictly implemented, and the staff is very helpful,” says Belardo. “More important, the guards, receptionists, and maintenance guys are very respectful, friendly, and firm on the rules and guidelines,” agrees Mosquito.
Indeed, despite all the chaos in the city, some people have fortunately found an ideal pandemic cocoon.
Hamilo Coast is a master-planned seaside residential community in Nasugbu, Batangas, developed and managed by Costa del Hamilo, Inc., a subsidiary of SM Prime. For inquiries, call (632) 7945-8000, check out www.hamilocoast.com, or follow them on www.facebook.com/hamilocoastph or Instagram @hamilocoastph.