Kembali’s Nature Secrets
By Jojie Alcantara (Published in SunStar Davao)
Beyond the beautiful landscape of Kembali Coast in Island Garden City of Samal, lies a tropical cradle for one of nature’s many delightful secrets.
Kembali Coast is a high class leisure residential development in the Davao Region and a potential tourist destination in Brgy. San Isidro, Kaputian District of Samal Island. With Filinvest as its land developer, this exclusive and secured area is a property located within the Agro-Tourism Zone of Samal, and categorized as a farm land subdivision. It is not open to the public.
A tropical beachfront paradise, it is equipped with the essentials for a peaceful, relaxing and ultimate luxury island living, Balinese style. Along its palm-fringed 1.8 kilometer stretch of white sand shoreline, developments are still taking place for more first class amenities facing a panoramic view of Talikud Island and tranquil waters great for aqua sport activities. Beside its clubhouse, an infinity pool is almost done. Huge trees provide good shade and shelter for several bird species belting out musically.
We went with good friend Gerry Evangelista, one of early homeowners whose cliff lots are atop the highest elevation (200 feet above sea level), affording a breathtaking view of the sea but conveniently accessible to the beach promenade for morning exercises. An invitation was extended to us by Project Development Consultant Hitoshi Onozawa to experience what he and his staff were lucky to have witnessed in the past five years.
It turns out that the attractive sea front is home to several green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) that crawl in at night and dig in the sands to bury their eggs. Commonly known in Filipino as the pawikan, an adult green sea turtle can grow up to 4 feet, and are the largest hard-shelled sea turtles found. These herbivores eat algae and sea grasses, which are thought to account for its green fat in the body. Native to the Philippines, the biggest protected area and major nesting ground is in Tawi-Tawi, co-protected by neighboring Malaysia.
Sadly, it is listed in CITES as Endangered in the Philippine List of Threatened Wildlife Species.
Together with few other guests from Filinvest, we witnessed in delight the release of twenty hatchlings that awkwardly scampered for survival towards the sea. Many of them will brave predators and a few lucky ones will survive to live for years. A few will come back on this shore to leave their offspring behind, another fresh batch that strives to continue with the propagation of its beautiful, gentle species.
After a relaxing day in the clubhouse, we finally walked towards the dock, ready to go home to mainland Davao in a matter of 10 minutes by speed boat. We now know how these turtles regard Kembali – a Balinese word that means both “welcome and come back with love.” It is a safe haven to call home.
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