The Vision

El Rio Bamboo (as part of Anna’s Trees) is envisioned to be a 100% off-grid bamboo plantation, resort-observatory, and low-density and low carbon footprint villas* bordering the clean and beautiful Diaman River in Barangay Debucao, Maria Aurora, in the province of Aurora.

The first stage of development had been originally targeted in 2020 but COVID-19 (among other things), delayed it so we’re moving it to 2021. 

It is envisioned to be primarily a bamboo plantation and production hub, aimed to push for Aurora’s prominence as a key bamboo province in the Philippines. The nature resort and villas are part of a medium- to long-term development.

It will take about 5-8 years to grow bamboo fully into harvestable materials so there needs to be an income-generating option as we wait. Therefore, production of bamboo-based products will still be undertaken by procuring raw materials from other locations/provinces first.

Subject to a feasibility analysis, it will operate five (5) private villas and suites/rooms (in the main wing) while the low-density villas (maximum of 12 only) will be sold to investors (with the potential of being operated thru a 50-50 sharing scheme). While the villas will follow distinct design and architectural inspirations from different cultures and principles (e.g., Japanese, Asian-Balinese, modern-contemporary, and Greek), Filipino/Filipiniana (bamboo) will be the unifying theme.

In a nutshell, El Rio BAMBOO shall offer the following features and amenities, offering a distinct niche:
 
  • Resilience (Bamboo Grove) – a 7-hectare bamboo plantation & park where visitors can commune with nature (and reflect on inspirational quotes/verses while listening to the sounds of the bamboo)
  • Medium to long term development, The Bamboo Grove Villas – 5 private villas near the main wing (Hiraya)
  • Medium to long term development, The Bamboo Grove Residences – 12 exclusive villas (for sale to investors).  
  • Spice & Stars Restaurant & Observatory – a Filipino-Asian fusion restaurant with an observatory deck. It will host viewing during special cosmic and astronomical events like lunar eclipses, meteor showers, etc. (as far as we know only 1 hotel does this in the Philippines); secondly, this offers an alternative as Aurora is synonymous to surfing only. This way Aurora can offer other things aside from surfing!
  • Kalinangan Bamboo Hub – manufacturing arm, art center and workshop (e.g., for bamboo products, etc.);  exhibit/show area for artists;  events place for big groups.
  • Kasaganaan – organic/natural farm, which will practice sustainable and free-range farming and livestock methods to produce fruits, vegetables, and meat that may be sold in local and international markets. The production of stevia and oil-producing plants is currently under feasibility study.
  • Serenity – at the center of the plantation is a very beautiful and tranquil Japanese and zen garden (again, to differentiate El Rio Bamboo from other developments); scattered in it are gazebos where guests can contemplate, pray, meditate, write, etc.

100% love, 100% off-grid

As the site is not yet connected to the grid and because we love Gaia, the  bamboo plantation and nature resort will run from a renewable energy system and be the 1st-ever bamboo plantation and nature resort (of this type) in the Philippines to rely on it 100%. This will also ensure sustainability, cutting down costs on electric bills. It shall also adapt green principles and energy-efficient design in all its buildings and facilities.

Bringing up future leaders: INTEGRITY Institute for Law and Science

At the core of Anna’s Trees is nurturing future leaders who will embody not just positive values but also deep commitment to honor Gaia and the Spirit. As such, we intend to establish a foundation (eventually, learning institute) that will train children into adulthood through scholarships and innovative curriculum that integrates ecology (Gaia) and the Spirit (positive values).

To know more about the vision for Integrity Institute, please go here.

Support for Filipino artists

Anna’s Trees intends to build an art center called, Kalinangan (“Culture”) Bamboo Hub, and turn this into an art and cultural space for Filipino artists. Filipino painters, sculptors, and photographers shall be invited to run shows/exhibits here. An annual El Rio Wellness Retreat and Arts Festival is envisioned to gather local and international healers, artists, students, and professionals. This annual retreat and arts fest shall be Anna’s Trees contribution in the promotion of holistic healing, arts, culture, history, and nationalism.

Where we are

We are now undertaking a feasibility study and will share our journey through this  blog initially as we go along the path of building this world-class bamboo plantation, nature resort, and observatory. (Business registration was targeted to be done in Quarter 1 of 2020 but COVID-19 has moved the timeline to January 2021.)

Meanwhile, we have just began the development of the website of Anna’s Trees, which will become the corporation vehicle (via a one-person-corporation or OPC first) of our initiatives.

Who we are

We are a husband and wife team, doing our best to make a difference. We are not first-time entrepreneurs and had been quite ‘scarred’ in the past by challenges but those experiences are our stepping stones that are making us wiser. We know there will still be challenges ahead but we have reached this point where we are more confident than ever of God’s continuing graces and light. If the lands will not be sold this year, then, it is God’s answer to our question, “Shall we do this?”!

Professionally, I am an environmental and social development specialist with a Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management and BA Development Studies degrees. Meanwhile, JR completed BS Management Accounting and Commercial Cooking NC II (TESDA-certified). I will manage design, environmental, and human resources requirements while JR will be in-charge of financial planning, operations, and culinary requirements.

Community solidarity

All supplies and materials will be sourced from local and sustainable sources (to the extent possible). For example, Inabel blankets and textile from the Ilocos region shall be used in the future villas and guest rooms.

Anna’s Trees is also for the people of Aurora, Mom’s birthplace and where she spent all her adult years as a public school teacher. After establishment (or even before operations!), we intend to develop livelihood projects for the people, aside from hiring local talents for the operations. We envision creating world-class bamboo-based products and furniture with most if not all raw materials to be sourced on-site and locally and for which I will be the lead designer.

Aurora – the north’s jewel and surfing paradise

We are confident about the viability as Aurora is fast becoming a popular tourist destination with it great surf and pristine environment. As mentioned earlier, the Diaman River bordering the site is still crystal-clean. It also offers other natural and historical sites including the popular Ditumabo Falls in San Luis and the Millenium Tree, which is incidentally, just about 10 minutes by car from the site! The site is about 30 minutes from Baler (where the great surfs are).

It also offers tourists and travelers an alternative destination particularly that it is in the inner (quieter) part of Aurora—but still not so far from the more crowded beach front resorts. In El Rio, guests are guaranteed a quiet and restful stay.

More importantly, the project will put a climate risk mitigation model in place especially for communities near rivers. Ultimately, we hope to support other LGUs in land development and climate adaption, mitigation, and resilience.

Partner with us!

We are now entertaining queries from potential partners, investors, and earth-nurturers. (The business model is a perfect fit for innovative and passionate visionaries!) Architecture and engineering graduates are also welcome to send us a pitch on the design work.

Please drop us an email through the form below or Contact page (“Say Hello“). Please include your full name, office/organization, website, and social media pages in your email.

May the spirit of JOYS, LOVE, PEACE, and ABUNDANCE always accompany you!

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