11 – 15 May 2009
N11 08.170 E119 39.287
When we saw mariculture listed amongst the subjects WWF wished us to document, my first thought was Jewelmer. For many years, we have longed to photograph a pearl farm to see how the famed South Sea Pearls came to be. An organic jewel made by a living organism and fed by the ocean’s plankton is too precious to miss. With open arms, the Jewelmer team welcomed us to their Farm 4 in Malotamban Island, Taytay, Palawan.
We felt overwhelmed, as no less than Jacques Branellec, Jewelmer’s charismatic French managing director, brought us around, first to his quaint resort Flower Island, then to the pearl farm. We saw the farm’s full operation from land, sea, and air.
Jewelmer has an extensive website which tells the story of nature’s miraculous pearls. I shall only hope to scratch the surface, showing the complex pearl story through pictures.
Jewelmer’s commitment to the protection of the environment is crucial to the survival of their multi-million dollar business, not to mention the thousands of people who work for them. Each worker and leader of the different departments of the pearl farm see their work more as a vocation than a job, as the care of nature brings in return a magnificent jewel only a clean environment can make possible.