Nuvali is a sustainable community development located at the cities of Santa Rosa, Calamba, and Cabuyao, Laguna. Parts of it were under Friar Lands in the 1800s, then it became a sugar plantation, and in the late 1940’s it was turned into an agro-industrial estate.
A collaboration between top developer Ayala Land and the Yulo family, Nuvali aims to remain a wholly sustainable community.
Admittedly for me, it took a while to see the real beauty of this place. I’ve been going back and forth here for daytrips to attend events, or birdwatch at their wildlife sanctuary. But the bigger picture Nuvali is after did not really register much. I’m more into wild spaces than manicured gardens and assisted sanctuaries, more for quiet, breathtaking views than polished structures, more for off-the-beaten routes than crowded towns, but it took me only one night of sleeping in the area to fully appreciate the effort that sets Nuvali apart from the other developments. As someone who tries to make a balance between natural human consumption and the preservation of our environment, I must say, had I known its full potential and had enough money to actually purchase a place here, I would have done it.
It really is, after all, building a community that’s ideal (at least for me). Every structure and/or man-made features put there coincides with two things: beauty and purpose. It’s impressive how Nuvali has achieved a whole community where people can move more, and explore more, and yet has overall less impact on the destruction of the environment. One step at their mini-museum and I am at awe with how much they try to recycle and upcycle, and how things like electric rides are made to lessen noise and pollution, and keep the neighbourhood at peace. One walk around their picnic grounds made me say I wish I had a home here. The picnic grounds is not really huge, yet spacious, and is perfect for a pleasant walk. To do so on a Sunday morning, when families are out on a picnic, reading, or just bonding with everyone is pleasant for the mind as well – good vibes all over.
Nuvali takes less than an hour from Makati City, Metro Manila via private transportation. You can also take a bus or a jeep going here. Click THIS to see their schedule.
So, what can do there for the weekend? Apparently, LOTS.
1. Visit The Evoliving Center.
To learn more about what Nuvali does, head here to learn more about how they try to do the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principle in their own backyard, along with other interesting applications like Waste Management, Energy Efficiency, etc. Located at the heart of the community, this center houses their corporate office, and interactive exhibits. Even the design of the building is something worth seeing.
2. Go Art-Hopping.
Walk around the Nuvali Picnic Grounds and you’ll surely see installations by well-respected artists like Mario Mallari, JR., Juan Carlo Calma, Eduardo Castrillo, and one of my husband’s favorites: Michael Cacnio. Go inside Seda Nuvali (for an overnight stay or to eat) and you’ll find works of local artists everywhere – from Ann Pamintuan’s furniture to Paco Guerrero’s photography. Well, what can you expect from an Ayala development? Support on local artists and beautiful artworks, of course. Take advantage of it.
3. Visit The Lakeside.
You can try boating (PHP 30/head, 08:00AM-05:00PM everyday, minimum 6 persons, maximum 12 persons per ride) here. If not, you can walk or bike (PHP 60/hour) around the area, or pick a spot from the picnic grounds for a chill afternoon with family and friends.
4. Try Birdwatching. You can visit the Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary and try spotting different species of birds in the wild. It’s a nice spot for a walk, too. If you want to spot birds, it’s best to go early in the morning (06:00-07:30 AM), or late afternoon. You might just spot a wild junglefowl. It may look like the regular chicken at first, but you’ll see how it’s smaller, and a lot more shy! To get here, you need a private vehicle, and you need to register at the Evoliving Center first.
5. Engage in Sports.
Whether it’s offroad biking, wakeboarding, field sports, or trekking, Nuvali has something to offer. Click THIS to see their list of available outdoor activities.
6. Shop, Shop, Shop.
Nuvali has Solenad 1 and 2, a cluster of buildings filled with shops, weekend/ seasonal stalls, and restaurants for you. I personally like venturing out of Nuvali and heading towards the nearby outlets of Paseo, too. My favorite season is Christmas, because the whole area just brightens up and everything is so lively!
7. Have An Outdoor Movie Date – FOR FREE!
I’ve always wanted a place in the Philippines where outdoor movies can be enjoyed by everyone, and now, we certainly can, with Nuvali’s special outdoor movie nights! Their next one, is, you guessed it right, on Valentines Day (for those who are looking for an awesome date without spending much – this may be it!)! To see when they do this, you can take a peek at their calendar of events!
8. Go Green.
You can volunteer for tree planting, or visit their 3-hectare tree nursery and demo farm to learn more about the different tree and plant species and their roles in the environment. Finish it off with some vegetable and/or fruit picking!
9. Stay At Seda Hotel Nuvali
Like I said, it took me awhile to realize the bigger picture Nuvali is after, which is eco-living, but one night of staying here made me appreciate all the efforts of this whole community. Seda Nuvali is set right by the lake, in the middle of everything. It’s the perfect place to stay at if you want to experience Nuvali. Apart from really good food, inviting pool, and comfortable beds, their Ann Pamintuan chairs are worth mentioning, too. One should not leave Seda without having tried them – they work well for outdoors, they’re beautiful, and most importantly, they are comfortable! To see more photos and learn more about Seda Nuvali, wait for my blog about it. =)
To book a room at Seda Nuvali, you can book through the following:
Lakeside Evozone, NUVALI, Sta. Rosa
City, Laguna, 4026 Philippines
Phone Numbers: (63) 2558888 or (6349) 5433788
Fax Number: (6349) 2558891
NOTE: Photo of Solenad and Outdoor Movie from Nuvali’s Facebook and Website. Photo of Nuvali Farm from Avida Developments Weebly Site. The rest are mine.