Tao Philippines, Day Four

Day Four. By now I’m thinking, I could get used to this way of life. Laying on a boat all day long, with short breaks to go snorkelling, swimming or eating fresh food already prepared and served for us. Although there is usually no electricity, no hot water, only simple accommodation, no fast food, none of the comforts of ‘home’ in the westernised sense, it is kinda nice. It’s a way of life so far removed from my own, but does not feel alien. It feels normal. Our lives in first-world countries are the abnormal ones – hyper-stimulation, traffic, pollution, stress, long hours at work, with no time to relax, being caught up in climbing the corporate ladder, saving for a mortgage that ties you down for the next 30 years, trying to be better, earn more money, have the better relationship, house, car, children, pets, holidays, etc, etc, etc. The way of life in the remote islands in northern Palawan is vastly different from this strange existence we all live in the first-world. And although the people who live in these remote islands do not even have a fraction of what we have, seem much more content and happy than we do. They appreciate the simple things in life. It makes you question whether or not we are really living life the way it should be lived.

After a game of basketball with the locals and a quick stop at the local school (the children again were absolutely adorable), we set off on our boat for another day relaxing on the sea. Not far from shore, we had our dinner delivered. Not in the usual sense of delivery. Sorry for all those animal rights people out there, but we had a live squealing pig delivered to our boat. Yes, he was dinner. So we had the chance of experiencing how pork was killed and prepared on one side of the boat, whilst on the other side we had a lesson in killing and preparing crabs – which were to be our lunch today. Coconut curry crabs went down rather nicely actually. The pig was later roasted, but I wasn’t able to eat much – the squeals were still fresh in my mind.

That night was spend in Patsy Camp, on Lechon island. This was a first time seeing and visiting a typhoon affected area. I had the opportunity to visit the village close to the camp to meet the people and witness the destruction. Many people were living in make-shift houses, many of which were tilted and looked as though they were about to collapse. Many houses had tarpaulins in place of roofs (which had been donated by Tao Philippines). Many of the people’s fishing boats were destroyed, which meant that they had difficulties selling fresh and dried fish, as they greatly rely on their boats as a source of income. But despite these hardships, the people of the village were incredibly friendly and welcoming. And happy, despite their circumstance. All the children of the village were so excited to see us and just wanted to have their photos taken. I am actually planning to print a lot of the photos and post them to our ‘expedition leader’ to distribute among the village.

At the end of the day, we witness another spectacular sunset and day four unfortunately came to an end. I felt as though I never wanted these days to end. But, all great things must eventually come to an end – after a few glasses of rum and pineapple juice that is.

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