Finca Granja Cauayan is a new naturist resort in the Philippines and the first on the main island of the country only a short flight from the capital Manila.
The owner, Dominga “Cherry” Elmes, (see her NAT-profile here) a young Filipina, presented this spring her plans to the local City Council of Cauayan.
“I was standing there at a big table in City Hall presenting my proposals to the Board,” Cherry says.
“It was so scary, but they were all very lovely and the Vice-Mayor who is a relation of my Grand Mother has offered any help and assistance with the project and building permits, as long as he gets a discount when he and the City Mayor and their families come to stay with us at the resort,” Cherry laughs.
Cherry was encouraged by friends after visiting several of the naturist resorts in Thailand to realize the dream.
Finca Granja Cauayan will be located within Cherry’s own farm situated in Barangay Cabugao, on the outskirts of the City of Cauayan.
The farm covers a total area of 2.5 Hectares so the neighbor on all four sides of the resort will be Cherry herself.
On the screenshot from Google Earth the area is highlighted in yellow. The Resort itself will be constructed within the pink lines highlighted. When you zoom out, you will find the resort located a bit to the East of the City and Airport.
The Resort is approximately 15 minutes’ drive from Cauayan Airport which is served daily by flights from Manila on Cebu Pacific. Currently the flight from Manila to Cauayan is an early morning departure but there has historically been a seasonal midday departure from Manila.
Resort Design and Features
The Resort will initially consist of 12-14 studio bungalows, built on the upper level of the land with a row of bungalows looking directly over the farm and the local countryside. One or two of the bungalows might be fitted with a separate bedroom. There will be a swimming pool and Jacuzzi behind these bungalows with another row of bungalows the other side of the pool.
“The basic layout is the same as Eden Bungalow Resort in Patong, Phuket, where we have stayed before and where I lived while at Thai Language school in Patong in 2014,” Cherry explains.
“The size is small - 5.5m x 3.6m - but big enough I think,” she adds.
The Resort will also have a restaurant specializing in Thai food, as Cherry is a trained Thai cook, having spent a lot of time attending different Thai Catering schools as well as one-to-one sessions with the Head Chef of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok.
“We will provide other food varieties on the menu, both Asian and Western. We will also construct a Sunset Bar above the pool directly above a swim-up pool-bar. The Sunset Bar will be elevated with views over the pool, resort, farm and surrounding countryside into the distance looking over open farm land, facing the sunset,” Cherry elaborates on the plans.
Next year, there are already plans to start expand immediately behind the resort with a further cluster of bungalows. They will be build in a courtyard setting for longer term guests who may wish to stay at a cheaper rate, but slightly removed from the bungalows that have direct access to the pool or enjoy panoramic rural views.
The majority of the farm will continue to be as it is now, a working farm but with additional features including areas set aside for:
- Small scale Market Gardening for the growing of vegetables to be used primarily for the resort restaurant. Excess production will be sold at local markets.
- Ducks, chickens and geese which will be kept for onsite or outside catering but not for commercial farming.
- A large fish pond where we will farm tilapia fish for restaurant use and for selling at the market.
- A hydroponics project for growing such as tomatoes, lettuce and other salad vegetables in addition to flower growing via hydroponics, all for use for the benefit of the Resort.
- The rest of the land will remain as it is currently used, as open corn or cassava fields or used for further production of market garden food.
- All the above areas and the small copse featuring a variety of trees will all be accessible to Resort guests for Nature rambling. It is the intention to place some Nipa-huts around the farmland on what would effectively be an in-house Nature Trail.
"We will also be 100% Eco-friendly as we will be entirely solar-powered. We are in discussion with several Solar Power providers in The Philippines for this feature of the Resort. Water supply will be by a deep well which will employ a solar powered pumping system to provide fresh well water to the resort areas, future residences and for farm and garden irrigation and to refill the tilapia pond and duck pools," Cherry explains.
Planned Activities outside of the Resort
“Finca Granja Cauayan will attract Western and Asian tourists to the area, therefore we will be organizing tours to local attractions and to the beautiful beaches in Isabela. It is also our hope to increase the profile of the City of Cauayan and to work with the owners of local attractions via an increase in the number of overseas tourists,” Cherry explains.
“We have such attractions in the area and can offer river tours, waterfalls and local Historic Buildings from the Spanish Colonial period, including the Hacienda de San Luis Eco-Tourism Park in Cauayan City.”
There is currently under construction a road from Cauayan to an area called Palanan which is to the east of Cauayan and is home to Palanan Bay, an as-yet almost un-inhabited beach which can be seen in Google Images as being of great natural beauty. Cherry will meet with local area officials in due course with a view to opening a small villa directly adjacent to the beach. While beach Naturism is not permitted in The Philippines, this would give guests access to some beach time during their visit to Finca Granja.
“We also plan to promote smaller businesses within Cauayan City by aiming to sponsor local music bands and create or upgrade a potential venue for Live Music to promote and aid the future of promising musicians and vocalists from Cauayan.”
It is also the intention of Finca Granja Cauayan to use its farming facilities to benefit the opening of Cherry’s own Thai Restaurant in Cauayan City, in addition to providing local outside catering services.
Resort Publicity, Promotion and Contact
Finca Granja does as of April 2018 not yet have a Website or promotional activity via Social Media. But several friends of Cherry are willing to help her and working on this for her.
A Skype profile is already open, named Finca Granja Cauayan.
“We have also contacted INF-FNI – the International Naturist Federations - and hope that our membership of the Naturist Association of Thailand will help in promoting the resort,” Cherry says.
Corporate logos, artwork and design themes are currently under development.
- The perimeter of the farm will be made up of 3-meter-wide cassava shrubs grown to a height of approximately 2.5 meters with a low-level fence outside of the cassava to prevent stray animals from entering the Resort.
- The Resort area itself will not be visible externally to people passing by or by local farm workers. There are no residential areas within direct vision range that would be affected by our Resort from the standpoint of disturbing our neighbors’ existing views.
- All staff will be issued with a cellphone with no photographic capability and will be required to leave their own cellphones at the Resort reception area while on duty for the benefit of privacy to our customers
Deliveries or collections to the Resort will be via an external Reception office such that the inside of the Resort and also the Farm’s land would not be visible to outsiders.
It is the intention that Finca Granja Cauayan provides its staff with salaries and benefits higher than the average offered in the fields of cooking, waitressing and housekeeping within the Province of Isabela.
Our expected staff will include a Receptionist/Duty Manager, housekeeping, kitchen and waitressing staff, a barman and Resort green-keeping and Market Gardening staff.
Staff will be issued with a Company Uniform to consist of a polo shirt and shorts or trousers. Although Finca Granja Cauayan will be a naturist/clothing-optional Resort, the staff while on duty will be expected to be fully clothed in Company workwear with no variation of this policy permitted or expected.
All staff will be offered the full benefits of The Philippine Social Security System. They will also be offered on-site housing in bungalows located immediately outside of the resort area.
All staff working hours, conditions and privileges will be similar to those found in European countries.
All potential staff candidates who apply to work at Finca Granja Cauayan will be fully informed of the Resort’s ‘clothing-optional’ policy prior to interview.