The Great Escape

dreaming of a simple life in Palawan

Always Be Thankful for the Amazing Moments in Your Life


There are alway people who cross your path for a brief moment in your lifetime who make an imprint in your mind. This is Hover. He was the cook on our boat expedition the first time we were in Palawan. For five days as we cruised over the South China Sea, he slaved on a tiny stove in an incredibly small space to make sure we were well fed.

Not surprisingly he and ‘the Chef’ got along wonderfully. ‘The Chef’ even surprised him one night by taking over the stove to do the cooking. It was during this trip that we got the original idea to move to Palawan and open a resort. Half jokingly we asked Hover if he would work for us. With a big smile he didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Two years later we found out he was one of the casualties of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Never take for granted the moments that pass by.

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

From Chef… Farmer?!


Pigs = Bacon

Something funny happened on the path to our future island paradise. Our dream of turquoise waters and swaying coconut trees has surprisingly given way to visions of earthworms, leafy greens and plump pigs.

Originally, we wanted to be resort owners. It only makes sense. ‘The Chef’ has been in the hospitality business for over three decades so serving guests comes naturally, but meditation and introspection over the past few months has changed the game plan. By delving deep into ourselves we brought to light ideas that had been veiled by fear, a fear of starting something completely new.

'The Chef' likes to experiment

‘The Chef’ likes to experiment

‘The Chef’ is not keen about his current job prospects. He doesn’t want to go back into a kitchen especially if it’s run by another flaky restaurant owner. He’s tired of always missing out on family events and special occasions. I’m tired of never seeing him. Will running a resort be any better? Since our idea is a very small scale development we will have to be directly involved in all aspects of running the place. Sure, it would be all ours but we will need to be available 24/7 to fulfil the whims of our guests. The idea doesn’t sound as appealing as the first time we thought about it.

Have you ever had a crazy idea? We started toying with the thought of becoming farmers. I’ve always had romantic notions of living off the land and being self-sufficient and even living off the grid. While ‘The Chef’ doesn’t quite share my extreme vision we do share a love of being outdoors and nature. We’re not afraid of working hard or getting our hands dirty. Over time our thinking evolved into the idea of running a small organic farm.


The hunt is on

The biggest obstacle we face now is finding the right piece of land at the right price. Palawan is hot and there’s a scramble to buy land. We’ll be flying to Coron again at the end of May 2015. Hopefully, we aren’t priced out of the market and we find what we’re looking for.

The future is full of hope and uncertainty. It’s both exciting and terrifying but whether we succeed or fail, don’t you think it’s better to try than to live a life full of regrets? Now is the time for us to grow.

Shopping for Dinner at the Coron Market


When you’re in a place where there are brown-outs almost every day and refrigeration is pretty unreliable you start to think differently about food. In the late afternoons we would join the many Coron locals and make our way to the market in search for some dinner. This became our daily routine.


We could never bring ourselves to buy meat. We are so conditioned to see our meat neatly wrapped in plastic and styrofoam we become disconnected to the animal it came from. Here, heads, snouts and guts hang beside the more common cuts of meat. It was a shock to see a pile of meat laying on a bare counter with pesky flies landing every once in a while. Ironically, it’s probably the freshest you will find.


Turning our attention to the very wet fish aisle, ‘The Chef’ would cruise up and down until something got his attention. He would take his time as the variety of fish was amazing and confusing. After paying for his pick we would make our way to the vegetable section then pick up some bread at the bakery on the way back.


At home, our friend ‘King’ always had the dubious honour of being sous chef, meaning he got to do all the dirty work like cleaning and filleting the fish. I probably had the best role – happy eater and dishwasher!

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.

WPC: Orange




A happy mind. A happy heart. A happy stomach. The joy of orange.

To see how others interpret the word ‘orange’ visit the Weekly Photo Challenge.

WPC: Symmetry


Something magical happens when the air becomes still and the sun shines brightly above. Sky becomes water and water becomes sky. The forest becomes two and we are left to gasp in wonder.

To see how others interpret the word ‘symmetry’ visit the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I’m Canadian, Eh? 019

Random photos and thoughts about Canada.

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about Canada, the country I grew up in.

Northern Lights, Yukon, Canada

Northern Lights

The skies across the country will light up with the breathtaking colours of the aurora borealis during the solar maximum this year. Here are some of the best spots to catch the view. ~ The best places in Canada to view the northern lights, Canadian Geographic

"Love you forever and always"

Locked in love

Many places in Canada have been hit by this strange lovesickness. On Vancouver Island, the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet is full of love locks, as is the Humber Bridge in Toronto. The debate has just begun. Should we be thinking of environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing alternatives? Are the hanging locks more like artwork or graffiti? And if the authorities decided to get rid of them, would they keep on returning… just like an old love? ~ A love too heavy to bear?, Gazette, July 9, 2014

Ice Hotel Québec City

Cool Hotel

We went up to Quebec City especially to visit the Ice Hotel. We stayed on a Sunday night and managed to pick a quiet weekend – only 25 guests so there was plenty of solitude which added to the charm. Sophie gave us the talk on how to survive the night and she was fantastic. We slept through the night there – a little cold at first and then got used to the feeling of the sleeping bags and we both settled. ~ “Wow – this was an amazing experience,” John P., TripAdvisor Review


The Land Where I Was Born 018

Random photos and thoughts about the Philippines

Our environment, our experiences, and the people we choose to surround us shapes us into who we are. In this series I search the web for thought-provoking images about the Philippines, the country I was born in and which I am now rediscovering.


Twin Beaches

That’s a tough one. Do I really have to pick? Just one? Does it really have to be just one? And who could blame them? With 7,107 islands, the Philippines has more than its share of spectacular beaches! And choosing just one is not an easy task at all. There are a lot of things to consider: the sand, the landscape, their personal experiences. Still, after a long time of bugging, pushing, and — sometimes — blackmailing begging, they were able to give an answer. Here’s a list of 30 best beaches in the Philippines as chosen by some of your favorite Pinoy travel bloggers. ~


…..a few still think Filipinos all live in slums or in the jungle. WRONG.

To be honest, I asked many, many people (locals and foreigners) what they like about Manila, and over and over, I was met with head-scratching and silence. They all told me they would think about it and get back to me. I’m still waiting. You see, Manila is a city that people love to hate. ~ Surviving Manila – A Foreigner’s Guide to the City People Love To Hate


Cool Banaue

In its provincial boondocks, the Philippines has the ultimate paradox: the cool tropical town. Lower temps, however, aren’t the only things that make these towns cool. ~ 11 coolest towns in the Philippines, CNN, May 22, 2014


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