By Michael Angelo S. Murillo,
BLESSED with an ideal beach and well-manicured landscape, Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas is a “paradise” for people looking to do outdoor activities and at the same time relax and enjoy themselves with family and friends.
It is a condition that the people behind the development of Pico de Loro Cove are tapping into as they promote the area as a prime destination for “race-cation.”
Only a two-hour drive away from Manila, Pico de Loro Beach and Country Club and Pico Sands Hotel are angling to entice more active people looking to get a good workout and have a fun time and let them see for themselves what they have to offer.
To complement their race-cation push, Pico de Loro has, for the last seven years, been staging its annual triathlon to highlight its natural beauty and its stature as a place fully equipped to host vacationers and/or athletes and weekend warriors.
“Pico de Loro Cove is very well-developed. It has a 1.5 kilometer-long beach shoreline, mountainous terrain, and well-manicured landscape that make it ideal for an event of such nature (a triathlon) or any nature that would involve the use of the beach primarily, and the terrain,” said Maggie M. Garcia, Pico Sands Hotel general manager, in an interview with BusinessWorld during this year’s edition of their triathlon — the Aboitiz Tri — done in partnership with the Aboitiz Group early this month.
“This area is known for its beaches and seascape. It focuses on our core strengths in terms of location and surrounding environment. It is a very good opportunity for us to expose or promote Pico de Loro to budding athletes and enthusiasts that there is a place near Manila where they can do sports and relax and enjoy with the family,” she added.
Apart from the triathlon, Pico de Loro hosted a Hobie race which was participated in by international racers early this year.
NOT JUST THE NATURAL FACILITY
But Pico de Loro is not only touting its natural facilities as the main draw for its race-cation push as the resort community, which also includes condominiums along with the country club and the hotel, has also made sure to provide the right amenities to make the area conducive for such kinds of vacation, in line with the vision of its developer, Costa del Hamilo, Inc., which is part of the SM Group.
“We have a good relationship with the local government unit of Nasugbu. It is very important for the development of the area as it buys into the whole concept of promoting it as a tourism and sports tourism destination. So they make sure everything is taken care of, including the road condition leading to the place,” said Ms. Garcia.
“The place has its own helipad and harbor for people or racers to use if they don’t want to travel by road. We have a ready emergency team. We have generators and our own water supply. So the resort is ready and [is] a sporting event organizer’s dream place,” the Pico Sands Hotel official added.
It is an assertion supported by Ruel Cuevas, chief executive officer of Bike King Philippines, organizer of the annual Aboitiz Tri, known previously as the Pico Tri. “Pico de Loro is very suited for triathlon events and for race-cation for the challenging possibilities of the course and for the entire family to enjoy what the place has to offer without not necessarily going too far or too long a time,” he said in a separate interview.
As far as the amenities of the community resort, the selection is wide range and of international standards, Ms. Garcia said.
While their loved ones or friends are out on a race, guests can use the resort’s beach, pool, and spa as well as activity areas for basketball, badminton, bowling, video games, videoke, tennis, and various water sports, among others.
There is also a play area for young children and restaurants which offer a wide selection of cuisines.
Recognizing that a vacation is a time for family bonding, Pico Sands Hotel, in particular, is offering various packages, including on rooms, for those on a race-cation.
“We really make an effort to accommodate guests and give them the best experience possible. So we have various packages from rooms to spa to sports packages,” Ms. Garcia said.
With everything the place has to offer, Ms. Garcia said it makes sense to tap into the race-cation potential of Pico de Loro.
“The area is very ideal as a race-cation destination. It is a good platform to step on as it plays to our strengths and highlights the whole area and the community surrounding it. It will be part of the club and the hotel’s thrust moving forward,” Ms. Garcia said.
“The annual triathlon has been up for seven years now and we have to say that it has complemented what Pico de Loro is all about. Over the years the race has grown significantly and has become a marked event in the triathlon community, not only for the challenge it presents but also for the whole atmosphere that participants and their entourage experience while here. We have had racers coming back and even new ones trying it out,” added Ms. Garcia, even as she said that down the line other events like mountain-climbing, trail running, and even surfing are being considered by the group as possible race-cation offerings.