The Great Escape

Rediscovering life in Palawan Philippines

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.

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21 thoughts on “From Chef… Farmer?!

  1. Congrats on your adventure!! May you be blessed beyond what you can imagine.

  2. Have you thought about a Bed and Breakfast? Guests have a breakfast provided, but provide their own entertainment and other meals. Very popular in USA. Gives you much more freedom, especially if you require bookings in advance. Just a thought.

  3. I wish you a great success . Greetings.

  4. When we actually arrived in Austria we had to change a lot of our dream and plans! You may find as farmers you are more tied down than before. It is also quite a challenge when you are together 24/7, it took me quite a while to adjust!!!!!!! You may also find that when you arrive, something completely unplanned arrives on your doorstep that covers all your dreams. Happy land hunting!

    • We’re anticipating lots of changes depending on the conditions when we get there. One thing we’ve discovered is that we have to be flexible and nothing is ever as it seems. The journey so far has been a series up and downs, of disappointment and excitement. I feel like we’re on a rollercoaster and we’re not even there yet!

      ‘The Chef’ hasn’t been working for awhile so I’m already getting to experience being together 24/7. You’re absolutely right about having to adjust. I think we’ve managed pretty good so far! We’ve been able to resolve ‘issues’ as they come up.

      Who knows exactly where we’ll end up or what we’ll do but we’re open to whatever is thrown at us.

  5. Similar to your original resort idea, I felt that a hostel will be a good option to merge career and passion together 🙂 After running the hostel for close to a year, I realised its a 24/7 commitment (like you anticipated) and I do not have much times for travel now!

    All the best for your new venture and in navigating a future of “hope and uncertainty”!

    • Thanks Yidian for sharing your experience. Even though you don not have the time to travel as much as you hoped you followed your dream. I’m sure in the future you’ll be able to figure out a way to continue your explorations 🙂 It’s taken us time to get to this point which I think is good. It’s given us the chance to really think about what we’re doing.

  6. I grew up in a farm and my dad was an occasional farmer. In the Philippines, landowners can always hire farm help and they don’t cost a lot. We had fruit trees aside from farming vegetables and rice and we bartered the fruits with what we need. Aside from the pigs and cows, we also had a poultry and when we don’t have other proteins, all we did was grab something from the poultry. It was a life we all enjoyed and which we still remember fondly even now that most of us live in the West. I think you should follow your heart, you won’t regret it.

    • Salamat! It seems we are doing things in the opposite direction than you did. A friend was visiting the other night and when we told him of our plan he smiled and I could tell he was thinking about fond memories of growing up in Dumaguete.

  7. No reason for you to fear to tread crazy ideas — chefs are supreme beings

  8. Farming is a physically hard life, but there are many rewards in working with your hands and your heart to provide for your family and others. I’ll be hoping you find just what you are looking for in your price range. 🙂

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