Our visit to  Balanan Lake
Siaton City, Negros Oriental Province, Philippines
February  2010
In this photo L to R:  San Jose City Mayor Angelo Teves and his wife, my friend Dr Kwaak
Young-hoon and his wife Kim Chung
(Member of the Korean National Assembly), Governor
(center), our kind hosts Micheal and Polly Richter, myself and my wife Lourdes.
The hotel from across, with the windows & balcony of our room visible.
Manager & an Aunt,                                           balcony,                                    and relaxin'
lakeside walkway
Open-Air Restaurant
Lunch on the final day:  Lou's long-lost aunt-cousin and her Mom, me, Lou and niece Bealuz
The Tree-house
The Brochure
So we're out for a round-the-lake walk on the 2nd morning, and i shoot this nice scene of the main area, and note a
lone woman approaching on a
banca;  she comes up near us on the shore, and unexpectedly starts a conversation...
...and it turns out that she's one of Lou's maternal aunt-cousins!  Just never before
known-to-us...  one of the poor locals helped by this resort projects, she has a part-
time gig there.  Not that shocking -- Lou has relatives all over this entire region.  
BUT when she gets out to greet us, she's wearing a T-shirt that says
"Kyunghee Univ"
on it (below bigger "Peking University") -- that's where i work!!  Apparently, the shirt is from an exchange of students between
my place and Beijing some years ago, found its way into the global used-clothing market, became part of a charity-gift to this
area, she got this and just happened to put it on this morning --- WOW what a billion-to-one
co-incidence!!!   So we invited her
to lunch the next day, as her sister Lou's mom would be coming up...  (photo above)
the view from up there, down to the south coast
Balanan Lake was created by a 6.8 earthquake that devastated the small city of Siaton, on
the south coast of
Negros Oriental Province, Philippines, in 1926 -- falling boulders blocked a steep ravine
10 km up from town, at 285 meters-above-sea-level.  Transforming this remote impoverished area into a very
pleasant tourist resort was the idea and personal passion of Provincial Governor Emilio Macias (M.D.).  The
local native people were provided new housing a few hundred meters away from the lake and jobs building
and operating the sustainable resort.  Anti-pollution measures were so successful that the lake-water is
almost perfectly clean and drinkable.   
We visited it for a few peaceful days in February 2010.