This Soon-to-Open Beach Town in Panglao Wants You to Come Back to Nature

It's a P25-billion project.
by Christa I. De La Cruz
January 13, 2023
Courtesy of Panglao Shores

( With Metro Manila becoming more congested than ever, most city dwellers dream about moving to the beach, near vast farms, or—really—anywhere where you can wake up to fresh air. Panglao Shores, a P25-billion mixed-use project, hopes to be one of the top options for people moving or returning to the island of Bohol. It has a 10-year timeline with its first international hotel expected to open in the first quarter of 2024.

PHOTO Courtesy of Panglao Shores
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

"Something we learned from COVID-19 is we see people now coming back to nature, we see people coming out of the city. That's very important. Here in Panglao Shores, we say come back to Bohol, create commercial complexes, and create spaces for start-up businesses. You should not actually be going away from the provinces, you should be coming back to the province. That's what is being done here," said C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett during the press launch on January 12 at South Palms Resort.

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A Vibrant Bohol Beach Town in Panglao

PHOTO Courtesy of Panglao Shores

The 50-hectare Panglao Shores is a low-density, mixed-use development that's expected to have six hotels and resorts, 37,000 square meters of retail and commercial space, over 1,000 residential units, and an international medical facility. Much like South Palms Resort, which is part of the vast property, two of the soon-to-open resorts will be located along the one-kilometer white-sand beach—said to be the longest in Bohol.


"I envision this to be an integrated community where people would like to live in," said Hope Uy, CEO of Panglao Shores, during the launch.

At the heart of the project is the Town Square, a social hub that will showcase retail brands, restaurants, and the culture of Bohol. Expect to see high-end boutiques as well as local handicrafts, garden walkways and large courtyards, a night market, and indoor and outdoor shopping spaces.

PHOTO Courtesy of Panglao Shores

"Boholanos love fiesta. It is inspired by our fiesta culture, our hospitality culture. We get surrounded by people 24/7," Uy said about the inspiration behind the Town Center.

Living By the Beach

PHOTO Courtesy of Panglao Shores

Over 1,000 residential units are expected to rise at Panglao Shores. Barnett explained that these are not box-type condominium units commonly purchased as investments or timeshares, but rather residential spaces where families will actually move into.


"I envision this to be an integrated community where people would like to live in," added Uy.

The pocket gardens, community spaces, medical facilities, and other services are expected to make living at Panglao Shores a tempting option.

Panglao Shores' Principle of Sustainability

PHOTO Courtesy of Panglao Shores

Panglao Shores' three guiding principles are local culture, community, and sustainability. This was inspired by the success of their South Farm, a nine-hectare organic farm that's a few minutes away from South Palms Resort. It was built at the height of the pandemic in 2020 to make sure that the hotel staff will still be able to work and provide for their family. Instead of resorting to retrenchment, Alturas Group shifted gears and reorganized their employees to unfamiliar roles as farmers.


South Farm now provides produce to two resorts South Palms Resort and North Zen Villas and two in-farm restaurants Uma and Little Uma. They grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs on land; raise cows, chickens, pigs, and other farm animals; and prawns and shrimps in man-made ponds. The farm uses recycled wood and other local products to ensure a circular economy. For example, their recycling shed produces rich soil for their farms, which can be quite a challenge as most of Bohol's lands are covered in limestone.

"It was an epiphany for us, a real moment of awakening. The realization was that here was an opportunity to create a generational product, inspired by Bohol, on a scale that would enable a fully-integrated community to flourish with sustainability at its core," Uy said in a statement about South Farm as a sustainability incubator that led to the masterplan of Panglao Shores.

"There is an engagement with an environmental specialist from day one," Barnett explained during the conference.


Environmental design solutions for Panglao Shores start with its layout, which means to say that the lowest density of structures is at the beachfront. Even the facade of the buildings should face the east and west, rather than north and south, to lessen the disruption of sunlight vis-a-vis shade on surrounding vegetation. This is also entwined with solar and temperature control.

Panglao Shores will also champion natural ventilation, efficient internal lighting, and solar power. At present, South Farms already uses almost 100% solar power.

Innovative technologies are also to be employed to maintain environmental efficiency standards. This includes the use of green roofs and walls to minimize urban heat, a rainwater harvesting system, and growing own food and distributing it to the local community (as seen at South Farm and other commercial farms of Alturas Group).

Landscaping of the residential spaces is also carefully planned. Villas have sufficient green buffers and limitations on fencing, while the streets will have a comprehensive footpath system to make Panglao Shores truly walkable and bike-friendly. Even the selection of tree species is rooted in Bohol's ecosystem, where endemic flora is used.


Panglao Shores' master plan was developed with the help of London-based sustainability experts, XCO2, and Singapore-based master planner SCSY. The project is conceived by Panglao Bay Premiere Parks & Resorts Corp, a subsidiary of Alturas Group of Companies; and is a flagship project under the Tourism Infrastructure & Enterprise Zone Authority.

Can't wait for Panglao Shores' official opening? Check out South Palms Resort as a sneak peek: