FIRST CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE SURF RESORT IN PHILIPPINES
Harana Surf Resort Becomes STOKE Certified
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2019 Contact: email@example.com
SIARGAO ISLAND, SURIGAO DEL NORTE, PHILIPPINES – Named Best Island by Conde Nast Traveler in 2018, Siargao is home to world-class surf breaks, including Cloud 9, making the island and Harana Surf Resort—first in the Philippines to be STOKE Certified—a premier surf destination.
STOKE—Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation—is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and mountain destinations and events. After an assessment against the STOKE Surf standard by independent evaluator, Ellie Lovett, Harana Surf Resort achieved an overall compliance score of 79% across all four categories of sustainability performance making it the eighth STOKE Certified surf hotel and thirteenth STOKE Certified Member in the world.
Ian Sermonia, Co-Founder of Harana Surf, discovered the STOKE program in 2014 before his team even had blueprints for the new resort and has been using the STOKE standard ever since. “We recognized the opportunity to integrate sustainability and our cultural heritage from square one thanks to the STOKE standard,” said Sermonia. “By commissioning a Filipino heritage architect to weave traditional Mindanao folk architecture and passive solar design features together—while preserving all of the coconut trees on the property—our guests can enjoy vaulted views with natural light and ocean breezes to rest easy without harming the environment.”
Besides seeking to minimize their development footprint, Harana Surf recognizes the threat of climate change to their island home and is searching for an economical renewable energy solution for their remote location. In the meantime, Harana continues to track their generator, grid energy, guest shuttle, and staff travel emissions with the STOKE carbon footprint calculator. For 2018, the resort offset their carbon footprint of 103 tons with a peatlands project in Indonesia—Katingan Mentaya—which combats deforestation threats from mining and palm oil plantations and benefits 34 communities with 45,000 people.
Further contributing to a better future for generations to come, Harana Surf also sponsors teachers who help local students with homework and English lessons through a nonprofit called Grom Nation Siargao that incentivizes children to attend school by providing boards and teaching them to surf. Resort guests can support local causes through Harana’s impact network including Siargao Masaya, which is a scholarship program for over 200 students on the island. In 2017, Harana Surf raised and donated over ₱155K Philippine pesos to several education and health-based causes throughout the country. The resort also supports POPI which benefits local wildlife and communities through the sale of Filipino-made plush toys of native animals featuring indigenous weaves.
“When Harana first reached out to us about their plans five years ago, Siargao was just starting to emerge as a new premier surf destination and Ian’s team were committed to making Harana lead by example,” said STOKE Certified Co-Founder, Carl Kish. “We’re immensely proud to have Harana as part of the STOKE family. It has been quite amazing to watch them manifest their dreams from the ground up. With Harana and the island’s network of surfers, NGOs, and locals all dedicated to sustainable development—Siargao is in good hands.”
As a firm believer in surfing’s power to change lives, the resort supports seven riders on the Harana surf team. Support includes the use of sustainable surfboards from Firewire, through the STOKE Affiliate Program. Suppliers of surfing hardware who are aligned with STOKE’s mission, including Firewire, have joined the STOKE Affiliate Program and provide significant discounts to STOKE members. In additional to Firewire surfboards, Harana surf team members also receive training in the water and on land. Only those surfers who demonstrate great promise in the surf and good community standing on the island are able to wear the Harana flag in the local lineup and abroad. Members of the Harana staff and surf team are also on the board of SEA Movement (Siargao Environmental Awareness), which helped pass a plastic-free ordinance on the island. Together, Harana Surf Resort and SEA Movement lead beach cleanups on a bimonthly basis. Their latest joint initiative includes planting mangroves in habitat restoration zones to sequester carbon, support marine habitats, and protect the island from storm surges.
Sustainable supply chain management has its challenges when you’re on an island, but Harana Surf doesn’t use that as an excuse. Enjoy natural bathroom products from Manila and savor Filipino cuisine with ingredients grown within 200km of the island. A mix of local and imported coffee, wine, and craft beer can be sampled from reusable cups, bottles, and metal straws—nothing disposable here.
With the Harana Surf School on-site and access to local boat operators, beginners and experienced surfers can find their wave of choice no problem. Harana has been instrumental in bringing the International Surf Association’s surf instruction standards to Siargao to train the Siargao Island Surfers Association (SISA) in strengthening the quality of surf schools and surf etiquette around the island.
Harana offers access to 32 surf breaks that can accommodate all levels of surfing; island hopping to Guyam, Daku or Pansukian; diving near Sohoton Caves; relaxing near the crystal blue Magpopongko rock pools; paddle boarding in the largest mangrove reserve in the Philippines; or just hanging with locals. Nature has blessed Siargao Island with astounding natural beauty. Harana Surf Resort is dedicated to ensuring that nothing they do will harm the places where they play.
For a detailed list of their best practices with photographs, please visit their STOKE Certified profile at https://www.stokecertified.com/members/harana-surf-resort/ or visit http://haranasurf.com/ to book your next surf trip to Siargao.
STOKE (Sustainable Tourism & Outdoors Kit for Evaluation), a California Social Purpose Corporation, is the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and mountain tourism operators, destinations, and affiliated events. Through its network of independent evaluators, STOKE verifies the legitimacy of sustainability claims and provides transparency for the outdoor community through its certification programs—STOKE Surf, STOKE Snow, and STOKE Events. Since 2013, STOKE has grown to 27 members in 11 countries across all of its certification programs. For more information on STOKE’s members, sector-specific tools and templates, and certification process, go to http://www.stokecertified.com/.