Cool summer thrills at Island Cove

Tinnie P. Esguerra (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – You don’t need to travel far to bring your family to an idyllic summer destination.

There’s one 15 minutes away from the SM Mall of Asia, and it’s a one-stop recreational haven with several amenities that guarantee endless hours of fun and leisure.

Island Cove, located in Kawit, Cavite, is the perfect getaway for tired and weary urbanites raring to escape the city’s sweltering heat.

You can immediately take a dip in the 3,000 sq. m. Oceania Swim and Splash Park, which features giant slides and inflatables, as well as a kid-friendly splash zone manned by highly-trained lifeguards.

Nature lovers will enjoy the wildlife sanctuary, which houses various species of birds, mammals and reptiles. Aside from feeding monkeys and crocodiles, kids can also take their selfies with ostriches, Bengal tigers, Philippine deer and a 15-foot python (if they’re brave enough, that is).

The Adventure Zone is touted as one of the largest paintball arenas in the country and also features an airsoft game site. Regular sports buffs can sweat it out at the basketball and tennis courts, a jogging path, several playgrounds for kids and a giant chess set. There are also bikes available for rent.

Adults can unwind over a leisurely game of billiards or ping-pong, techie teeners can indulge in Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox consoles, while the more musically-inclined can sing their hearts out in any of the nine private karaoke rooms.

Overworked moms and dads can de-stress in the Island Spa, which offers Western and Oriental massage treatments.

Island Cove also boasts of four food and beverage outlets, the largest of which is The Fishing Village, a Filipino-themed restaurant with 21 bamboo huts atop the water facing Manila Bay. Diners can go fishing and may have their catch cooked, or just partake of the locale’s predominantly Caviteño dishes, including mussels and oysters.

In more recent years, the 36-hectare leisure park has also hosted several major concerts, including those of David Pomeranz, Sharon Cuneta, Side A Band, Sarah Geronimo, Bamboo, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and many others. And because of its rustic ambience, the resort has also become a favorite venue for major corporate events, food festivals, location shoots for movies, soap operas and out-of-studio sorties for regular TV shows like ASAP, Umagang Kay Ganda and Unang Hirit.

Aside from its commitment to topnotch customer service and safety, Island Cove also takes great pride in its environmental directives.

Island Cove managing director Gilbert Remulla asserts, “We are conscious about our impact on Mother Earth. The shuttle service around the island is comprised of electric vehicles. We practice the three R’s — reuse, reduce and recycle. We’ve done away with plastic bottles.”

“The wildlife sanctuary that we established is a home for unwanted animals and pets (like snakes, birds and tigers) and animals displaced by the rapid urbanization of Cavite. The mangrove area at the back portion of Island Cove is also a breeding and resting ground for migratory birds.”

Here’s a bit of trivia for baby boomers: Island Cove was once known as Covelandia, the popular tourist destination during the ‘80s. After closing down for 12 years, the island was redeveloped and reopened to the public in 1997 as Island Cove. The animal sanctuary became an added attraction in 2003.

In keeping with the times, Gilbert also takes pride in ensuring the area’s Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and sprucing up the interiors a bit, while still maintaining its old world, Mediterranean vibe.

They also recently installed their King Crawler theme playground, and added their signature slow-cooked Lechon sa Pugon to its menu.

So, as summer continues to sizzle, it’s never too late to beat the heat. Pack your bags and bring the entire family for a memorable weekend staycation at this tranquil and verdant island paradise.

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