By Jules Matabuena
San Vicente in Palawan exudes a unique charm compared to the more popular destinations in this world-class island destination. A first class, coastal municipality of over 33,000 residents located on the northwestern side of Palawan, San Vicente is steadily gaining buzz as one of the island’s hidden gems, not only for leisure travel but even for business as well.
A short flight from Manila brings you to this beachside paradise that some have been calling “heaven on Earth.” Here, well-paved roads, hospitable locals, a pleasant climate, a unique mountain-meets-the-sea terrain, and the country’s longest beach line — the town’s most popular tourist draw — greets you to lend the warmth of home and the excitement of Palawan’s best-kept secret.
Boasting of a huge tourism upside that can easily rival some of the best coastal destinations in Asia, this picturesque destination is also home to property giant Megaworld’s first-ever ecotourism township development, the 462-hectare Paragua Coastown. To be developed in the next 10 to 15 years, this township straddles several barangays, including Kemdeng where the project’s first pair of developments will rise soon: the Mercato Shophouse District and the Porto Hotel District.
“San Vicente appeals to us in so many ways, primarily because of its laid-back charm and the fact that it has the longest beach line in the entire Philippines, which is actually five times longer than that of Boracay. What makes San Vicente an ideal destination for us and for those wanting to enjoy the island life is because it’s also home to Port Barton, one of the most popular tourist attractions in northern Palawan, and the fact that it has its own domestic airport that hosts regular flights to and from Manila,” says Javier Romeo Abustan, head of sales and marketing, Megaworld Palawan.
Nurturing a master-planned, sustainable community
As Megaworld continues to grow its portfolio of sustainable developments, Paragua Coastown will be created to become a sprawling “eco-tourism community” that will showcase the best of sustainable tourism and green living.
More than just championing sustainable tourism, Megaworld’s vision for Paragua Coastown is to be able to provide an opportunity to those who want to enjoy living amidst the gifts of nature and even raise their families or invest and expand their businesses in this part of Palawan. Paragua Coastown will be highlighted by hotels and resorts, health and wellness sanctuaries, cultural center, educational institutions, as well as residential developments such as private villas, serviced apartments, themed residential villages, and a mangrove reserve park.
“While we transform it into a world-class development, we also commit to the preservation of the island’s biodiversity. We envision to start building a cross-generational community in Paragua Coastown that will thrive and appeal to people and families with varied lifestyles,” adds Abustan.
Investing in sustainable architecture
While the company transforms this piece of San Vicente into a world-class development, Megaworld also commits to the preservation of the island’s biodiversity. “Our vision for Paragua Coastown is to be able to provide an opportunity to those who want to enjoy everything that San Vicente has to offer, or even raise their families or grow their businesses in this part of Palawan. We envision to start building a cross-generational community in Paragua Coastown that will thrive and appeal to people and families with varied lifestyles,” explains Abustan.
In fact, San Vicente’s Long Beach Area has already been designated as a Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). This means those within TEZs enjoy special incentives for tourism-related businesses, such as tax holidays, which, essentially, allow such ventures to thrive.
Through Paragua Coastown, Megaworld envisions delivering long- term value to San Vicente as it attracts more tourists and generates income and jobs, particularly for the locals of the beachside town. This initiative is perfectly aligned with Megaworld’s overall vision of uplifting lives, impacting society, and helping shape the nation.
“What we are building here in Paragua Coastown will hopefully help San Vicente become the most popular eco-tourism spot in Palawan and the entire country. We give utmost importance to sustainable real estate because this is what everyone will be looking for when they decide to live or invest in Palawan,” Abustan shares.
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By Jules Matabuena