In the mid-1990s, a group of developers in search of a place to build a golf resort cast their gaze upon the 7,000 islands that form the Philippines. Golf course development had thrived under then-President Fidel Ramos, an enthusiastic player who saw the game as an integral part of tourism, and when the developers located a place called Hacienda Looc — a pristine coastal village whose wide plain separated pastoral hills — they thought they’d hit pay dirt.

The plains could be flooded to create a yacht marina. A luxury beach resort would include residential subdivisions. The surrounding hills would be fashioned into four championship courses. Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus were on board. Hacienda Looc would be the next hot spot. Everyone loved the plans.

Everyone, anyway, who didn’t already live in Hacienda Looc.

No one had bothered… More…