The Birdhouse El Nido is one of few examples for eco-hotels in El Nido. To further its eco-credentials this hotel will be used as a business case for solar energy. To leverage the influence of The Birdhouse, ESTEL Magazine will be used as a platform to market the business case for solar energy and will create other campaigns using the solar case as a model. ESTEL seeks to be a voice for Eco-Sustainable Tourism in El Nido but given the current status of El Nido sits as Eat, Sleep Tour El Nido.

Courtesy of The Birdhouse

Implemented in

  • Asia / Pacific
  • Philippines

Sectors of activity
Education, Food & Beverage, Tourism

Type of initiative
Education & Awareness Raising

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

10000 US$

Start date

End date

Shared by

Mark-Anthony Villaflor

Social Entrepreneur

The Birdhouse El Nido & ESTEL Magazine

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- Create a model for campaigns related to eco-tourism, eco-sustainability, and climate resiliency.
- Create a business case for transition into solar renewable energy (using this as the first example for campaigns)
- Measure GHG reductions comparing hotel and restaurant operations reliant on diesel generators versus solar renewable energy.
- Organize a workshop and provide a venue for solar renewable energy education for business owners
- Connect local business owners to solar renewable energy providers
- Educate local citizens, business owners, and tourists of on-going concerns and consequences of tourism


The Birdhouse El Nido is in its second year of operation and has experiences the challenges of living in the Philippines (one of the most affected countries of climate change). It has hired an environmental consultant to help create environmental cost mitigation on the property. In reaction to land erosion issues we created permaculture structures, swales, to prevent further erosion. Using the same structures, we captured water during the rainy season, increasing our water table for when the dry season hit. The Birdhouse is moving towards more in-house produce for its restaurant and are in the process of creating gardens.

After finishing all major construction at The Birdhouse I created ESTEL Magazine as a way to promote eco-sustainable tourism in El Nido. The magazine is now in it's third issue and getting out more information on environmental issues from water scarcity, turtle conservation, and plastic bans.

The specific project with the Asia-Pacific low-carbon lifestyles grant is to create the business case for transitioning to solar renewable energy. The use of the funds for solar energy in The Birdhouse will further enhance the business case for eco-hotels being both profitable and socially and environmentally responsible. We believe eco can be both economical and ecological. The marketing and public relations angle give businesses, especially small and medium enterprises. We combine both the hotel business and the magazine business to prove this. In the process we are connecting local business owners, the community, and global citizens (tourists) together. Educating travelers and local citizens is one way to alleviate the consequences of climate change.

Impact and Results

Currently, the initiative for transitioning into solar is in its first phase finding a partner for the installation of a solar energy system and has been narrowed down. Meetings will be happen in the following two weeks. Data shared from energy audits and data loggers will give us estimations on our energy use and give us a comparison of the GHG reductions. Currently the entire hotel and restaurant operation are on diesel generators. There will be large amounts of GHG reductions as a result.

Next steps and how to get involved

If you are interested in getting involved with initiative there are many ways to do so.

- Media exposure- connecting us to local and international publications and media outlets gives us more leverage to showcase our hotel;
- Financial- increased funding would be used to get us closer to 100% solar energy as well as increase our infrastructure to be more climate resilient;
- Government agencies- partnership with local, regional, national, and international agencies go further in creating an eco-sustainable model for El Nido
- Education- any organizations that have experience in eco-tourism and/or climate resiliency have much to offer us in the form of education;
- Volunteer- we currently have volunteer opportunities for those interested in hospitality and sustainability.