At La Casita de Baclayon, we do not take our “eco” label lightly. We are committed to responsible tourism practices and work hard to limit the negative aspects of our operations while supporting conservation initiatives, environmental education and community development.
Throughout the whole design process of building La Casita, climate consciousness, energy efficiency and preservation of the natural environment was paramount. La Casita’s design features include:
– An absence of walls around the main lounge and dining area, kitchen and private living area, in order to utilise the prevailing sea winds to create cross-ventilation, negating the need for air conditioning.
– Two large indoor ponds with circulating water provide passive, low energy cooling with the evaporating water further cools the seabreeze that is funneled through the house.
– The high, steeply pitched, thick cogon thatch roof provides a substantial interior ceiling space providing natural insulation and allowing for maximum dissipation of heat during the hottest part of the day. The large air vents in the roof not only bring the cooler air into the house, but enable the warm air to escape.
– All bedrooms feature large sliding doors opening onto the balcony to maximize airflow, while native Filipino calado (perforated wood ventilation panels) provide added bedroom airflow.
– Use of sustainable building resources, including indigenous and easily regenerable resources such as cogon grass, bamboo and gemelina wood to minimise the carbon footprint of the property.
– The positioning of the house on the property allowed the mature trees to be retained and the natural landscape to be undisturbed.
Energy Efficiency & Water Usage
– All of our bedrooms utilize overhead ceiling fans in place of air-conditioning units.
– We encourage our guests to turn off their lights and fans when they are not in use.
– We are in the process of converting all of our lightbulbs to energy saving LED bulbs.
– There are no bath tubs in bedroom ensuites to conserve water.
– Bath towels are changed only upon the request from guests.
La Casita has adopted a thorough reducing, reusing and recycling program for productive waste management, with:
– All organic waste and biodegradable matter is turned into fertilizer for the garden through vermi-composting.
– All plastic, glass bottles and aluminium cans are recycled where possible.
– All unnecessary plastic and one-time-use packaging, such as plastic straws and polystyrene packaging, is forbidden.
Local Food Sourcing
– It is our policy to buy as much of our produce and products locally as possible so as to benefit local producers, suppliers and commerce in Baclayon and Bohol.
– Our menus are based around produce that can be sourced from the Philippines rather than imported products, to limit our carbon footprint.
– We continually plant an extensive range of tropical fruit trees, including mango, banana, papaya, mangosteen, guyabano (soursop), cacao, citrus and coconut.
Maintaining healthy ecosystems both on-site and in our surrounding communities is a key focus of our initiatives at La Casita:
– We support local dolphin, whale and whale shark protection initiatives on Pamilacan Island, and only align ourselves with tour operators that actively share our conservation values.
– Only organic fertilizers and natural non-toxic insecticides are used in the garden.
– Guests are encouraged to take part in our on-site ‘Plant A Tree Program’, using native species that assist in the restoration of natural forest on the property and enable guests to carbon offset their travels.
At La Casita, as a not-for-profit enterprise, our primary ambition is to support social development and livelihood creation in our surrounding communities through:
– Employment opportunities are provided to the community, especially women and youth, with all of our staff coming from within the local barangay.
– Our staff, who often have limited formal school education, are equipped with on-the job skills training and development.
– We actively contribute to local barangay and municipal events, sports teams and youth groups through sponsorship of their programs.
– As part of giving back to the community, we have conducted free environmental education programs, focusing on waste management and conservation, within the local elementary and high schools.
– A portion of all revenue from La Casita is put back into the community through funding of livelihood development initiatives.