For the last couple of years, I’ve been going to Pandin Lake, a quiet, out-of-the-way rural community just outside San Pablo City that comes straight out of an Amorsolo painting. It’s a place where time has stood still. Here there are no cars or trucks or industrial smokestacks which belch pollutants into the sky. Instead of jeepneys there are horses which tread the narrow paths. There are no jet skis or speedboats, just bamboo rafts which glide through the still water.

Pandin Lake is a model for sustainable eco-tourism, run mainly by the women of the lakeshore community. What they offer is simple: a couple of hours on the lake on a bamboo raft, and simple home-cooked meals of lake-grown tilapia and shrimp, a fern salad and fresh coconut milk right out of a coconut.  They tie the raft under an ancient tree at the far end of the lake where you can enjoy your lunch afloat in the shade.

Here’s a scene. More to come (I seem to keep making that promise but usually forget to deliver ha!), after I have my 120 roll developed.