Real Estate

Mam-On Island in the Philippines is as authentic as island life gets. White sand beaches, turquoise waters, coral reefs, secret surf spots—and little else—make its Pacific Ocean setting a natural standout. What more could anyone want? Maybe an $11 million pristine property with 2,300 feet of shoreline in the country’s prime surf zone.

“It is undoubtedly a perfect location for a sustainable and green luxury resort with a gym and spa on the hill,” says listing agent Mary Anne Meily. “Or it could also be a large private luxury home” on the remote island with about 300 residents.

The potential for a private villa or an exclusive resort to be built on the 538,200-square-foot property would be a one-of-a-kind venture. The land faces west, perfect for sunrise and sunset views and includes a hill offering 360-degree views of surrounding islands.

Although Mam-On is located in the surfing capital of the Philippines, it is lightly visited by tourists. “Surfers rarely come to the island,” Meily says. “Its unique wave is almost exclusively surfed by a few locals and connoisseurs. The owner tried to keep the place very private.” Those who do visit value the quiet local lifestyle without commercial clutter.

The island is located about 15 minutes by boat from Siargao Island, one of the most popular surfing spots in the country and the world. It rose to prominence in 1980 after two foreigners—American Tony Arruza and Australian Steve Jones—came to find the “perfect wave” and wound up liking the new venue. In the early 1990s, photographer John Callahan’s images of surfers riding big waves put Siargao on the map.

The surf boom sparked the development of local tourism and other activities, such as snorkeling, diving, sailing, parasailing and kite surfing. The sport became so popular that the government hosts an annual surf competition open to locals and foreigners.

Even so, Siargao retains an authentic vibe and remains a beloved travel destination. In 2021, Siargao was voted best island in Asia by readers of the magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

Mam-On also remains remote and private, perfect for anyone seeking an island hideaway.


Mary Anne Meily is an advertising partner with Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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