The third day of our Tao Philippines trip began like any other – waking up to a superb sunrise and fresh fruit served by Edrian (one of the crew members). There were a few weary faces that morning, due to a bit too much alcohol being consumed (the rum and pineapple juice was a little on the strong side) and a little too much kareoke being sung the previous evening. Thankfully the seas were a lot calmer today (particularly for those nursing a hangover), which made our day more pleasurable. Not that the two previous days were at all bad – we had plenty of entertainment from the crew and we spent a lot of time getting to know our fellow travellers. But it was just nice to be able to relax and not be constantly bumped around on the boat.
The highlight to this day was definitely a stop to visit Alaua village. Here we were surrounded by nearly every child in the town, who were initially wary, yet curious about us, but once they became comfortable, they were more than eager to have their photos taken and were keen to follow us as we explored the village. The people of the northern Palawan islands live very simply, without many of the comforts we take for granted. The live in small, usually thatched houses, many villages do not have electricity, yet alone televisions, computers and other electronic items. People do not have cars, wardrobes full of clothes, comfortable furniture, etc. Most people live from their own agricultural produce and from fishing. Although they don’t have much, they seem so happy and are extremely welcoming and friendly.
Today we also made a stop at Royog village to collect some ice to keep our food and supply of beer cold in the heat of the Philippine sun. It was interesting to see Ging and Edrian kayak over to the village and bring back one enormous block of ice – it was about the length and width of the kayak, which they later hacked at with meat cleavers to break it up into smaller, more manageable pieces. We also stopped to purchase fresh fish from a local fishermen in the village for our dinner that night.
The day ended with a view of the sunsetting over Alaua Twin Towers and a BBQ-ed fish dinner at Kuring Camp.