The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

Amazing Grace

We were greeted with an enthusiastic hello. Grace came out and I first noticed her long flowing hair. She was nothing like what I had imagined. Actually I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew this English guy and his Filipina girl were running Kaba Kaba Cottages. From what I gathered from their website they seemed like the stereotypical older caucasian guy with young Filipina girl.


Getting Water

She ushered us into the office/lounge and proceeded to tell us there was a problem with our booking. Kevin was in England and there was some sort of miscommunication between them. Oh, this can’t be good. I had made reservations two months in advance and now she told me they had double booked and the cottage wasn’t available until tomorrow. There was another large cottage but it had been overrun by geckos and birds.


Native Style Cottages

If we wanted she had two unoccupied native cottages. After the long 250 metre trek uphill on the dirt path to the cottages, “the Chef” hoisting and me dragging our luggage, we felt we had too much invested and decided to accept the situation. I don’t think we were quite prepared for the rustic nature of these cottages. There were bugs everywhere and the cottage itself was tiny. No shower or sink. Just a tap, a bucket and funny little toilet.

Kaba Kaba

“The Chef” and “King” on the Balcony of The Large Cottage

Moving to the large large cottage alleviated the space situation but it was still pretty rustic. There were almost daily blackouts and water shortages. We spent seven days at the edge of the jungle getting eaten alive by mosquitos and bugs. “The Chef’s” ankles swelled up and became painful because of all his bites.


The VIew From our Balcony

This was the price we had to pay to experience the amazing rainforest and it’s abundance of birds and butterflies. Each day came waves of buzzing cicadas. Their buzzing becoming louder and louder until it was almost deafening. Amazing.



In the end it was Grace who had made the stay enjoyable. Each day we would gather in the lounge or at our balcony and chat. We learned a lot about Coron. More interestingly we learned a lot about Grace. Little by little her life story unfolded. Our conversations were always surprising and honest and peppered with laughter. There was talk about adoption, Ohio, divorce, and ghosts. On one of our last days she told us she was in Phuket when the devastating 2004 Tsunami hit. Two of her friends perished. There was sadness in her voice but also an enthusiasm for life.


To find out more about Kaba Kaba Cottages visit their website at

I wrote a review of our week’s stay in August 2014 on TripAdvisor here.


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3 thoughts on “Amazing Grace

  1. A niece and goddaughter is named Grace. I’m going to share this post with her. There’s something about a woman with this name. Grace, indeed! Glad you enjoyed your visit.

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