IF you ask Roger what goes best with his morning coffee, you’d be surprised that it’s not something you can add to any cup of brew.
These days, Roger thinks that the best part about drinking his coffee in the morning is enjoying a view of the verdant mountains of Mount Batulao in his home in Sandari Batulao. The peace and quiet, as well as an occasional double rainbow over the mountains, usually make his mornings something to look forward to.
“In the morning, I come out here to drink coffee and sit in that [swivel] chair right there on the raised platform and survey my valley,” Roger said. “I like what we have here, it’s nice. It’s beautiful, its quiet, the weather’s perfect and there’s a lot of security.”
After living in the United States for over two decades with his Filipina wife, Risa, Roger decided to move to the Philippines. Risa admitted that she thought moving to the country would not be a good idea. She was concerned that the tropical weather may prove to be too hot for Roger. But since he was so adamant, they decided to make the move a reality.
The couple admitted that the lower cost of living in the Philippines was the primary selling point of the move. But they could never have guessed what would greet them here. They just knew it would be best to stay in a quiet place outside of congested Metro Manila.
They initially decided to stay in a place in Lian, Batangas. Despite its rustic charm and promise of quiet and simple living, it turned out to be a bad move. Their home was near a montessori school filled with boisterous children and loud early morning ceremonies. On weekends or at night, bad karaoke singing filled the air. Suffice it to say, the situation was less than ideal for the couple. So, they soon decided to make a change when Risa’s nephew told them about a new place in Batangas, which turned out to be the retreat they have been looking for.
Sandari Batulao has the peace and quiet of mountain living, as well as a priceless view. It also offers them some urban conveniences since they are only minutes away from Tagaytay City, where they can shop, dine and do occasional errands.
“We have a beautiful sunset and sunrise. Just a week ago we had a big rainbow from one end to another,” Risa said.
“We had a double rainbow this morning and it was unbelievable. It had every hue, like from purple to purple again. It was just amazing,” Roger added.
Roger and Risa are now just some of the current residents of Sandari Batulao, an ecocentric, high-end mountainside community at the foot of Mount Batulao and Mount Talamitam in Nasugbu, Batangas. It’s location allows residents to enjoy cool weather all year-round as temperatures drop to as low as 16 degrees Celsius in the cooler months and 24 degrees Celsius in the warmer months.
Sandari Batulao residents like Roger and Risa are treated to various facilities such as a 25-meter infinity lap pool, lounge spa pools, a man-made river pool and trekking facilities that allow them to scale the surrounding mountains. Children can also enjoy a kiddie island with white sand and a children’s playground.
Residents are provided with 24-hour security; tree-lined concrete roadways; abundant water supply; themed pocket gardens; and the development’s own sewerage plant.
A friend to the environment
The initial premier offering of 41 hectares has been dedicated to a residential exclusive community called Nalé. The development was named after Idianale, the Tagalog goddess of good actions and cultivated lands.
The residential community is divided into three garden enclaves: Bamboo, Fern and Palm. These garden enclaves represent the three most prized plants in Asian gardens.
The Bamboo Garden lots are the perfect locations for those looking for a quiet neighborhood. The enclave is filled with pocket gardens of bamboo, as well as herbs and tea plants, for the use of the community. The enclave is also the nearest to the famous Club Ananda clubhouse amenity.
The Fern enclave, on the other hand, offers residents pocket gardens of water features and planted with herbs and greeneries for the entire community. Set closest to the main entrance to Nalé, the Fern Garden lots provide an easy access to the main road. It also offers a view of Mount Talamitam, the sister mountain of Mount Batulao, and uninterrupted view of both the mountain and the West Philippine Sea. Among the enclaves, the Palm is the most nature friendly since residents are advised to allocate 60 percent of their land dedicated to greens and open spaces.
The Palm lots are divided into four: the Palm’s Courtyard lots, Perimeter lots, Parkview lots and River lots. All the lots have spectacular views of the natural wonders of Sandari Batulao.
The courtyard lots feature a 3-meter-wide orchard in the backyard of your home with a variety of fruit-bearing trees for an all year-round fruit-picking activity with the family. It is ideal for big families wanting plenty of space for their children with various outdoor activities to keep them busy.
Perimeter lots, on the other hand, offer a 1.5-meter setback from the perimeter fence that allows for a generous nature trail without fear of cars passing at speed. Jogging, or simply walking your pets around the village has never been safer, with a private walkway also leading to the village clubhouse.
River ridge lots overlooking the Calamias River can experience the soothing sound of water running through the riverbed, which is ideal for those who find serenity, relaxation and pleasure.The Park View lots, meanwhile, feature a slopping terrain with one lot perched on top of the other with plenty of open spaces between houses—perfect for an infinity pool or terrace overlooking Mount Batulao.
Sandari Batulao also promises to provide residents the option to build an eco-friendly home. Homeowners are advised to adopt Southeast Asian designs for their homes. Further, since Sandari Batulao’s streets are lined with solar-power streetlights, homeowners have the option to plug off the grid and generate their own power from renewable resources.
Weddings and other adventures
Apart from being a home, Sandari Batulao also promises couples a chance to start forever in a garden-themed wedding venue made especially for Sandari Batulao. The open-air wedding venue offers a breathtaking view of Mount Batulao.
The residential-resort development can even accommodate the wedding party in a model home that can be used as living quarters for the bride or the groom. Currently, a two-story, three-bedroom model home is being offered to the bride. It has a small pond, a huge kitchen and dining area, and a spacious living room. It also has a master bedroom that opens to a terrace that goes around the property.
Some residents, like Roger, have also capitalized on this by building a separate living space in his basement. His basement is fitted with its own kitchen, sleeping and living quarters. It also has its own entrance from the parking lot, giving guests privacy. Roger intends to offer this facility for rent to a groom or members of the wedding party.
Sandari Batulao also has the famous Club Ananda that can serve as a venue for the wedding receptions. Not to mention debuts, corporate events and private parties. Club Ananda offers a wide choice of caterers and various suppliers for all kinds of events and needs.
Apart from weddings, Sandari Batulao’s natural landscape has also attracted eco-adventurers from nearby places in Batangas and in Metro Manila. Sandari’s Eco Active Zone offers a wide range of activities from horseback riding in an open terrain to romantic weekends camping under a dome of stars.
Sandari can cater 10 to 20 eco-adventurers at a time. It can provide them an on-call trek master and use of some facilities in their trek packages. Each package includes lunch, use of the swimming pool, and shower and changing rooms at Club Ananda. The best time to go trekking is at 6w a.m. The first leg of the trek will take four hours. By around 12 noon, trekkers can have lunch in a campsite.
The future awaits
Retirees like Roger and Risa, a family with growing children, or a simple homeowner wanting to get the most of his or her investment, would find that Sandari Batulao offers endless possibilities.
This is not only because of the location, which is near Tagaytay, or a location that has the perfect weather and eco-friendly community, but also the priceless details you will never find in the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. After all, you can never put a price on an occasional rainbow, verdant views, peace and quiet, and simple living.