...a work of such genuine commitment, balanced perception and responsive passion that it will certainly be condemned to become a classic. The New York Times A classic travel book...entirely original: at once astringently and gorgeously written... Andrew Harvey Unforgetable. The Philippine landscape and these remote islanders are crystalline and at the same time mysterious; the writing itself supurb. Ronald Blythe
James Hamilton-Paterson spends a third of each year on an otherwise uninhabited Philippine island, spear-fishing for survival. Playing with Water tells us why he does. Beyond that, it gives an account of life in that class-bound country as a whole. For it is in places like this rather than Manila of the international news reports that the underlying political and cultural reality of the Philippines may be seen.