Two of our group members went to San Pablo, Laguna to look for prospective social enterprises that are interested in partnering with the group. The members went to the Municipal Hall of San Pablo to gather related pertinent information such as directories and contact details of social enterprises.
The two members went to the office handling cooperatives in San Pablo. There they met Conception Biglele, the City Cooperative Officer.She holds the list of cooperatives operating in the area. A list was shown to us. There we found cooperatives which are both active and inactive. Other details such as point person of the cooperative and their contact details and addresses were also disclosed.
Although given the number of cooperatives in San Pablo, most of them are re-lending and consumer cooperatives. We also asked if they have livelihood projects anchored to tourism initiatives of the seven lakes. They directed us to the Office for Tourism.
Across that office, we went next to the Municipal Planning and Development Office of San Pablo. There we inquired if they have a list of livelihood projects for community members such as women, youth, etc. Unfortunately, they did not have any. So we asked if they know an office who handles such. They suggested that we check and inquire at the office for the cooperatives (which we have already visited) for information.
We went next to the Office for Tourism. There we met Malu Migrino, the Museum Curator of the San Pablo Museum located at the top-floor of the municipal hall. She shared to us the different livelihood opportunities found near the seven lakes most especially in Pandin.
According to her, most lakes offer fishing opportunities except for Pandin lake. Pandin is special since the waters are serene and free-flowing. Fishes are rare to live there. Hence, communities near the area established floating restaurants and other recreational activities (i.e. rafting, swimming, etc.) as livelihood in Pandin.
Moreover, she said that there is a women’s association in-charge of all those activities. For the rest of the lakes, the local government of San Pablo has already planned tourism development for each. In Sampaloc Lake, she shared that there are plans of building floating stages and other eco-adventure activities near the lake. Since Sampaloc lake is the nearest lake to the municipal hall, she told us that if we are interested in looking for citizens selling products, there are stalls near the lake.
After hearing the suggestion, we went to Sampaloc lake. We were told that most businesses there are coconut-based accessories and food. But when we got there, we only saw one stall. It crossed in our minds that maybe it is not the season for coconuts that is why there were only a few stalls in the area. We roamed around the neighborhood near Sampaloc lake and found no stalls or establishments related to what our informant said.
The field work ends after we decided that we will push through with the livelihood near Pandin lake. We thought that we shall focus on the women’s association handling the lake activities there. We thought that it would be good to highlight the social enterprise of those women, and how it affected the women’s perception on themselves.