Dedon Island

SIARGAO ISLAND, PHILLIPINES

Reef-ringed Siargao is an island surrounded by 222,000 acres of ancient mangrove forests and natural waterways. Occupying the south-eastern tip of the island is Dedon luxury resort, which plays an important part in protecting the mangroves, ocean and wildlife unique to this part of the Philippines.  Crocodiles, monitor lizards, wild civet cats, and the Philippine cockatoo roam the land while three species of endangered turtle and 106 species of fish reside in protected waters surrounding the resort.

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Planting 50,000 mangroves, protecting 19,700 acres of land and establishing the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape sanctuary, are just some of the conservation projects Dedon Island has been involved in. A close relationship with the Dekeyser & Friends foundation has helped to cement Dedon’s community outreach; making a positive change through sustainability-led community projects. In 2016, a medical mission led by the resort allowed 1800 children to see a paediatrician for the first time.

 

Dedon Island is all about barefoot living and founder, Bobby Dekeyser, wants guests to be able to experience nature with loved ones. The resort was designed by Daniel Pouzet, who wanted to create a hotel that sits in harmony with the wild surroundings and culture of Siargao. A sustainable ethos runs throughout the guest experience; Filipino design, traditional spa treatments, gifts ‘made with love in Compostela’, organic farming and seasonal menus.

 

www.dedonisland.com

The 4Cs

Dedon Island joined The Long Run in 2016, committing to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture, and Commerce – in order to support the biodiversity and the people of their local region.

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CONSERVATION

Siargao is an island surrounded by over 900 km2 of mangroves. Located on the southeastern tip of the island, the resort faces 6 km2 of ancient mangrove forests and natural waterways. Crocodiles, monitor lizards, wild civet cats, three endangered turtle species, megabats and the Philippine cockatoo can be found on the island, not to mention 106 species of fish, 137 species of mollusc, eight species of seagrass and fifty-four species of seaweed.

 

Dedon Island supports local conservation by protecting the mangroves and oceans around the retreat, as well as supporting the local government when mangroves need to be replanted.

 

In 2011, 12-13% of the island (8000ha) became a protected reserve as part of an attempt to reduce illegal mangrove cutting and the number of fines incurred for this illegal activity. Over 50,000 mangroves have been planted, some with the help of locals who had previously harvested mangroves. Dedon Island is working to implement further measures that will help rehabilitate these “rainforests of the sea”.

 

The marine area in front of the property was turned into a sanctuary in 2009 as part of the Siargao Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (SIPLAS). A key challenge to marine conservation is the diminishing of flora and fauna linked to illegal dynamite fishing and overfishing. Climatic conditions, such as increasing siltation around the island’s coasts, have also taken their toll on Siargao’s seas in recent decades. The Congress of the Philippines has recommended that the island and surrounding regions be officially declared a protected ecological reserve, which will create additional opportunities for conservation.

 

COMMUNITY

Dedon Island has a close relationship with Dekeyser&Friends, a family-run foundation working to make a positive change in the world. Dedon Island supports Dekeyser&Friends’ Compostela Village Project in Cebu, the Philippines, which helps scavenger families break the cycle of poverty and create sustainable livelihoods through education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship.

 

Fresh produce items grown in the resort’s thriving organic kitchen garden are used daily by the chef, who serves delicious local cuisine with an international touch.

 

Dedon Island actively seeks to improve the lives of the communities who help make the resort what it is. For instance, the resort took the lead in organizing a medical mission, which launched in the summer of 2016. The mission addressed a critical need for access to basic healthcare for children, and 1,800 children were seen by pediatricians for the first time.

 

CULTURE

Dedon promotes local weavers and craftsmen, whose work can be seen in the resort’s furnishings and architecture. Sustainable materials are used whenever possible. For instance, banana leaf fibre is used in the resort’s cushions.

 

Dedon Island’s Barefoot Living philosophy, which encompasses the aesthetics, culture and activities at the resort, creates a unique opportunity for guests of all ages (many of whom live in big cities like Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, NY, LA, London or Paris) to reconnect with the basics: nature, culture and community.  Their positive experiences with Barefoot Living, as reflected in the resort’s reviews, have meant that the resort has been able to play a key role in positioning the island in the Philippines and the world, and there is great potential to further spread this philosophy.

 

COMMERCE

This boutique resort with nine private villas is designed and operated with Siargao in mind. Dedon Island has built strong relationships with the local community and is a responsible steward of the rich ecosystems their guests and the islanders enjoy.

 

Designed in harmony with its wild, natural surroundings, the resort itself was built by locals using materials sourced from the region wherever possible. The craftsmanship and style of Filipino architectural traditions, woodworkers, and weavers can be seen from the peaks of each villa’s roof to the woven outdoor bar.

 

The chef works closely with local fishermen and foragers, creating seasonal menus where as many ingredients as possible are sourced from the island. The spa offers Hilot massage, a treatment that is carried out by local practitioners and based on Filipino wellness traditions.

 

When outside vendors are needed, Dedon Island supports local businesses who offer the hospitality and quality guests expect from the resort.

 

The resort shop carries a range of products that are “Made with Love in Compostela,” a sustainable village project managed by the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation.

 

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