The Great Escape

living a simple life in Palawan Philippines

Don’t Go Looking For Land With Shorts On

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Renting bikes is the best way to get around the island.

We never knew what the next day would bring and that made our search all the more exciting. We weren’t expecting to see so many properties but each day brought us more leads, contacts and potential. Today, ‘the Fisherman’s Son’ had something lined up for us. He sent us a screenshot of a farm from Google Earth. I love anything visual so I studied it intently and fantasized what it would look like in person.

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The carabao is familiar sight in the countryside.

We rented motorbikes and sped off to the countryside. After doing a little round-a-bout through a small village and maneuvering through a tight, overgrown trail we arrived at a small stream. We got off the bikes. Two water buffalos cooling off in the water barely acknowledged our presence.

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It was a hot hike to the property.

‘The Fisherman’s Son’ was really excited and led the way. We crossed the stream, hiked up a small incline to a simple wooden fence that spanned about 100 metres wide. We were impressed by its length. We passed through an opening and noticed the property was overgrown. Apparently the owner no longer farmed the land since typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) destroyed it.

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An untended property is now up for sale.

We crisscrossed through wild grasses, struggling banana trees and charred remnants from fire used to clear overgrowth. I was astonished to see hardy pineapple plants still alive and red from having just bloomed. The land was on a slight incline at the bottom of a hillside. On the other side there was supposed to be a river but it was barely there because of dry season.

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An abandoned hut left after Typhoon Haiyan.

We came a upon the carcass of the farmer’s simple bamboo house and stopped to take a break at a very dry clump of bamboo that provided much appreciated shade. As ‘the Chef’ mopped his sweaty forehead flying cicadas buzzed his head. I looked down at ‘the Chef’s’ legs and they were streaked with charcoal smudges. I looked down at my own and we were a matching pair.

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Legs smudged with charcoal from land cleared by fire.

Wearing shorts and flip-flops was probably not the best attire for exploring land. Picturesque, bucolic fields of green are not as harmless as they seem. Nasty surprises laid in wait for unsuspecting innocents like us. A few days later an itch would slowly turn into oozing blisters. It would be another lesson learned and another story to tell from our Coron adventures.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Go Looking For Land With Shorts On

  1. That seems promising.

    • It was. There were a few issues but it was in our budget, it was the right size, in an area we wanted but something was missing. You know that feeling you get when you’re searching for a house and it just feels right to you? I wanted to like this property so much but we didn’t get that feeling.

  2. Your land quest always amazes me including looking for property already defined by typhoons. I continue to hope your dreams come true. 🙂

    • Thanks Judy. After Typhoon Haiyan hit it and talking to people who lived through it we changed the way we thought about things. We’re really grateful for the friends we’ve made there. They’ve been instrumental in understanding about the culture, the land and the processes (bureaucracy) involved. We’ve learned so much in our journey so far and there’s so much more to discover.

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