Slow Adventure: Palawan

Slow Adventure

Every now and then, we’d like to take you on Slow Adventures.

These are experiences, spaces, objects, or people that

inspire us to hit the brakes on our hectic everyday pace.

Slow is not just how we make our products, it is also a way of life.

 

Hi! This is Apol, founder of Good Luck, Humans. I’d like to start off Slow Adventures by telling you about that time, some two years ago, when I boarded a boat in Palawan for five of the best days of my life. It was for a journey from El Nido, to further up north to Linapacan, an archipelago of about 52 mostly deserted islands.

I was accompanying a photographer, taking photos for a tour operator. There were reports that pirates were lurking in the area, so we were not taking on anybody with a foreign passport. That meant the rest of my family. And that meant that I was, for the first time in a very long while, travelling alone.

 

 
One of the 52 Linapacan islands

 

We spent hours and hours on that boat, seeing nothing but the sky and the sea. When we threw anchor, it would be to swim to an island, often deserted. The photographer would do his work. We would explore. Then off we would go again. To see nothing but the sky and the sea for hours on end.

We only managed to get a cell signal once. Just a few bars, between two coconut trees. I remember it so well because I thought it was funny, how the old woman we met told us to go right between those two trees if we needed to send a text message out. And she was right. We couldn’t get a signal anywhere else.

 

Delicious pasyak

 

We had brought provisions, but one time our guide made a dish of shellfish he had gone diving for. It was called “pasyak,” delicious cooked in nothing more than ginger and onions. Another day we came upon a grove of siniguelas trees growing in the wild. We picked some of the tart fruit for merienda.

As of the 2015 census, Linapacan had less than 16,000 people. That’s not a lot of people for a whole lot of islands. We did get to see some locals when we visited an isolated barangay. For some reason, I’m a kid magnet. I took a walk around the village surrounded by children with hair bleached by the sun.

 

Children of the sun

 

When we could, we washed in cold water kept in big plastic drums, stored in outhouses for travellers.  At night, we would sleep in tents set up on the sand. I would wake up at dawn, cold and covered in dew. My phone died, perhaps due to all that humidity. I didn’t mind. 

Every now and then, a delicious thought would pass through my head: Nobody but the people on this boat knows exactly where I am right now. I have nowhere to be and nothing to do. I am here, that is all. And that is enough.

 

Where I slept