The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

The Other Side of Paradise

Perfect picture postcard photos. That’s what we almost always see when researching a place to travel and visit. We create an image in our mind that has been conveniently edited of some of it’s reality.


Black Island

Black Island off Busuanga has been described as the most beautiful island in Palawan. I’m not sure about that but the jagged limestone cliffs towering over the beach are impressive. As our bangka slowly approached the white sand beach I was so overcome with excitement I jumped off without thinking and almost lost my camera to the sea. The water was deep. I just wanted to get in and feel it’s soothing warmth once again.


Exploring Black Island Cave

We hiked to a cave then went back to the beach and frolicked in the water. The day was perfect. To get here though was a bit of work. From Coron we rented motorbikes and met up early morning with local friends to make the 60 kilometres journey.

Getting ready for the 60 kilometer road trip.

Getting ready for the 60 kilometer road trip.

We were told the road was cemented. Wrong. There was short and long stretches of cement alternating with long swaths of loose gravel and dirt on winding, sloping roads.


Road Rash

Our poor, inexperienced friend “King” wiped out three times. Our hearts stopped when he somersaulted down an embankment on the side of a bridge. I thought for sure he was a goner. From then on the ride went from enjoyable to worrisome.


Poor “King” keeps getting it.

Are you like us and enjoy nature or adventure shows? Don’t they look beautiful from your couch? Well, that shot in the cave cost me 10 mosquito bites. The white powder beach was home to sand fleas. Our cottage in town nestled in the jungle and surrounded by beautiful birds and butterflies is also home to biting ants, mosquitos, and a plethora of other bugs and insects.

Don't forget even beautiful geckos takes craps

Don’t forget even beautiful geckos take craps.

No one told us a very large gecko would crap in our washroom in the same spot everyday. We expected power outages but didn’t realize the crankiness and irritation that would accompany the oppressive heat from the loss of a simple fan.



I don’t know how but the image of the perfect island has the magic to fade away those annoyances. Not totally but just enough.

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2 thoughts on “The Other Side of Paradise

  1. One has to learn to live with those bugs and lizards and once you decide you want to live there, you can ignore most of them. I have lived in the US more than half of my life but I have many happy memories of living in the Phils. so am willing to give up comfort and luxury to going back to the basics. I have invested in a house in Baguio though but I still want to live in the province to get away from the city whenever I want to. Maybe it’ll take a little longer for you to adjust but the payback will be tremendous.

    • There needs to be the realization you’re in the tropics in a rural environment so ofcourse there will be annoyances like ants and such. It’s only natural! It’s a good thing we’re outdoors people so it doesn’t bother us as much as it would for others I think. Baguio sounds nice. When we finally are living in the Philippines I can see us going there for a reprieve when we want to take a break from the heat. I haven’t been there for many, many years. There’s so many more places in the Philippines I’d love to visit and discover.

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