Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Part 3 of the video on the way!

Either I am lazy (of course) or don't have time (not really true) or just don't want to edit the video as it reminds me about really good times and I miss it, but, I will soon finish the third part of it, After The Island.

We went to Port Barton after El Nido and spent few days there, then Puerto, so there is still some material to be used. Just need to sit down and start doing it! :)

See you soon!

Another article in SEA Backpacker

I seems they like my story. Published another article about my trip, this time not in the printed version, but online here:

Surviving on deserted island

Must say SEA Backpacker Magazine editors are really good, nice looking article.

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

DO'S and DON'TS on deserted tropical island.

Do’s and Don’t’s on deserted tropical island.

Here we go, without unnecessary intro:

  1. Don’t place your hammock or walk under the coconuts which can fall on you. Falling coconuts are probably the biggest danger for you when on the island. So, be careful when walking under the palm trees. A coconut which is falling from 80 feet can reach the speed of 50 miles per hour. No joke. Around 150 people die each year from being hit by falling coconut…
  2. Don’t worry about the sharks. Most of the sharks are not dangerous to people. Most dangerous areas in the world are South Pacific and Australian coast. Well, if you have a bloody wound and in the water where sharks are- that’s different story…
  3. Don’t boil your meal in only sea water- it will be way too salty. Tried it. You can mix it with fresh water to get salty rice if you don’t have salt.
  4. Don’t worry, be happy! You are on deserted Tropical Island!
  5. Don’t think you will find yourself in a tropical paradise with plenty of food. Take food with you, even if you think you can catch some fish or find coconuts. First thing is that, sadly, our Oceans are overfished nowadays, so it is not so easy to catch a fish. Also it is not so easy to catch a fish in general. Regarding coconuts and fruits- you will be lucky if you will find some.


  1. Make sure you will have drinking water. If you are going to deserted Tropical Island it means that there is no source of fresh water. If there would be a source of fresh water the island would not be deserted, trust me.
  2. Take food. As mentioned before. Take some rice as an emergency. See point 5 in “DON’T’S”
  3. Make sure you can be rescued in emergency. Take first aid kit. Let your family and friends know where you are going. Make sure there is mobile phone coverage on the island. Let the local people know where you are etc. Be careful. It is easy to harm yourself on the tropical deserted island. Simple cut and you can get a nasty infection…
  4. Take a hammock, mosquito net and tarpaulin rather than a tent. Tried it. It works perfectly. You are going to tropical island right? Tropical means HOT and humid. You don’t want to live in the tent in hot and humid weather. Also, there are less chances that you will find some uninvited guest in the hammock which hangs above the ground.
  5. Take a lot of sun blocker. No need to comment that.
  6. Take a lot of insect repellent. Again, no need to comment.
  7. Do expect that the reality of living on the uninhabited island will be different from your expectations.
  8. DO ENJOY YOUR STAY ON THE ISLAND! Not a lot of people have a chance to do this. So no matter what, no matter if you will give up after one night, at least you tried so be proud of yourself!
By the way, if you like my blog and would like to be up to date with new posts simply subscribe by using subscribe form on the right.
All best

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

An article in SE Asia Backpacker Magazine

SE Asia Backpacker Magazine published an article about my trip. You can find it below, pages 60-63. Enjoy reading!

Tropical Desert Island Survival- Step by Step.

Although I cannot compare myself to Tom Neale (if you are reading this article you should know who Tom Neale is!) and my stay on The Island was not even close to what he had done, I have tried the Island life. I have spent two amazing weeks on one of The Philippines’ deserted island. Only on rice and water! Well, I had some rum and beer, but shhh! :)

First thing you need to do is to find The Island. Does it sound easy? Trust me, it is not. This is the HARDEST step on your way. I will not tell you where My Island is. Let it be my secret. I will only tell you it is one of the islands which lay around Palawan. 

The problem is that basically ALL of the tropical islands belong to someone. They are either private or in the national parks’ area where you simply cannot just go and camp. Well, you could do it but it would be rather illegal. My stay on My Island was not completely legal, but I don’t want you to get into the trouble. 

So, how to find The Island?

  1. I would suggest Philippines as the tourism in other SE Asia countries is way too developed. Although you might find The Island it will be really hard to escape the people. You want it to be DESERTED Island, right? South Pacific would be great but it is too far and too expensive to get there.
  2. Ask locals. Don’t look over the internet. There is a lot of info you can find, but not everything. I have met an old Filipino guy who owes a couple of small islands. He told me that I can stay on one of them as he is looking for a caretaker. And guess what- he doesn’t use the internet :)
  3. Do not expect the tropical paradise with waterfalls, a lot of fruits, coconuts, wood for building your shack etc. You will not be able to get even a coconut without a practice in climbing the palm trees or really long pole. Expect that you will find the place which is simply uninhabitable. If it would be habitable, it would not be deserted anymore! :)
Now, when you have found The Island you need to prepare yourself for the time you will stay there. Basically, every human (and non-human as well) being needs only three things in order to survive:
  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shelter
Nothing else. Full stop.

WATER. You will not find it on The Island. EVERY tropical island with any source of fresh water is already developed. So, you need to take the water with you or make the sea water drinkable. You can use a solar still etc. but this information you can find in the Internet. I took 60 liters of water for two weeks which is 4 liters a day. You will need that amount of water daily, trust me.

FOOD. Well, it is up to you what and how much you will take. If you are going for two weeks, you don’t need the food as you could survive. (this is true but please do not try it at home (at The Island) :)) I think rice is the best bet. I had 7 kilograms of rice with me which is half a kilo per day. Enough, in the tropical and humid climate your appetite will go down. Add to this the stress of being ALONE in the middle of nowhere- you will not think about food! You can boil the rice in the sea water- don’t need a salt! Some garlic and onions will make your meals exclusive! Every day! For the rest of your stay on The Island! Yummy!

SHELTER. Do not take a tent. The humidity will make it damp inside. Best bet- hammock, mosquito net and tarpaulin above it all. You just need two trees (be careful to not hang your hammock under the palm tree with a coconuts directly above you), stretch your hammock between, stretch a cord just above the hammock over which you lay a mosquito net. Then roof- 3.5 meters x 3 meters tarp does the job. Did you try to sleep in the hammock before? No? You will love it!

So, now you are on The Island, you have all basics needed to survive there, but, what to do with your free time? I love fishing and had a spear gun with me; the problem is that it broke after one day. So my advice is- do not take the things with you which can break and on which your survival will depend totally. I was lucky I had rice, if I would take only spear gun and think that I can catch a fish and survive, well, I would not survive. 

You can simply do nothing, just feel free, go and get to know the surroundings on The Island. Or, build a raft, a shack or make some baskets from the palm leaves. Meditate. Write a book. Make a fire without a lighter. Feel free. Do whatever you want to do. Appreciate the moment because it will not last forever…

Friday, 15 February 2013

After The Island. El Nido - Port Barton

At the agreed day Ruel came to pick us up. We still had some water and rice left so we gave it to him. Also we gave him the fishing net, Mark's snake pants (which he never used), one of the tarpaulins and the lobster cage.

It was sad to leave our Island. To be honest, my eyes got a little wet. All in all, it was my biggest dream ever and that was it... Two weeks is definitely not enough.

At our arrival on the beach in Corong Corong, which is south of El Nido but still part of it, the first thing we have experienced was the NOISE. Unbelievable how different it was now than two weeks ago. On The Island we could hear only sounds of the Nature. I think people naturally accept/ignore the sounds of the Nature, it cannot be disturbing or annoying, even loud waterfall is not something you consider as uncomfortable noise. I have read somewhere that when you would take out for example all of the birds or the sound of the river from a certain area of a natural habitat like forest, jungle etc. some of the other species would die, I think it was about the frogs. But anyway, it wasn't nice...

We have taken the same beach bungalows as before The Island but this time only for one night. We wanted to escape as soon as possible. Although El Nido is really nice town and the view of the Bacuit Bay is stunning, we could not handle the noise of music and parties and the people. El Nido starts to be a very touristic place, unfortunately...

So, the next morning we hopped on the bus towards Puerto Princesa but jumped out in Roxas. Well, actually on the crossroads near Roxas. We have been told to catch a tricycle to the Roxas and from there a jeepney to Port Barton. After arrival in Roxas everyone told us that "no more bus to Port Barton today". But, as I never give up and did not want to spend the night in Roxas (nothing intersting there and, mainly because it is not a coastal town, so no sea to which we've got used to on The Island) I have asked a driver of some truck loaded fully with a furniture and other unidentified stuff if they are going to Port Barton by any chance. Guess what, they did go to Port Barton! It turned out to be a family who was moving house from Roxas to Port Barton! There were 4 adults and 3 children. A chance one to million that we have came across them, otherwise we would need to stay in Roxas until following morning...

Our fellow passenger. Unfortunately did not speak English..

Oh, by the way, I recommend to put your rain cover on your rucksack when traveling by jeepneys. See photo above where you can see my rucksack after the trip from El Nido.. :)

The truck was quite big, with a tarpaulin over the back and side wooden barriers. The back was opened and after agreed price of 300 pesos each we have jumped on the back. After some time waiting for someone or something to be loaded on the truck we have started our journey. And what a journey it was! Despite our asses were in disarray due to really wild and bumpy road and crazy driver, the trip was really amazing. We have been driving through a dense jungle with no road, just a muddy track with a holes everywhere.  Few times we would fell out of the truck as the truck was jumping on the holes and we were sitting on the very end on some wooden plank (no, it was not there for sitting but the whole truck was fully loaded).

It took around 2 hours (maybe less or more, don't remember, was too tired and excited about the jungle around) and we arrived in Port Barton. Well, I would not call it a "port". It was a tiny coastal village with a quite narrow beach. But! No tourists, no noise and really friendly people!

We have found a rooms just on the beach in a small guesthouse. We paid something around 350 pesos for a night. There was a really nice verandah with the hammocks and a beautiful view of the bay

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Finally Part two of the video...

Yes, I have managed it.

Finally it is here. Part two of the video. On The Island. Enjoy!
If you did not watch part one yet it is available here:
Part one of the video

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Island Movie - Part One

Finally I've found the time to finish part one of the movie.

Part two available here:
Part two

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Island - did we find Paradise?

Well, to be honest there was not a lot of things happened during our stay on The Island. First few days were really hard, we could barely eat the rice, no appetite because of the tropical heat. Also, I mentioned before about the first night which was pretty scary, but forgot to mention one thing, which made us really scared. Ruel told us that sometimes there are some fisherman coming to The Island. And that they can be dangerous. "They can steal your backpack or even worse". Well, I don't know if I wanted to know about it... We did not have a choice now. If something would happen no one apart from Ruel know where we are. So Mark slept with his crocodile dundee big fckin knife and I slept with my spear gun under my hammock.

But every day on The Island I felt I am free. Really free. Did not have to go anywhere, do anything, think about anything. Just basic thoughts - how to survive. We had plenty of water and rice, so no problem with the food. We've built a shelter and have the place we can sleep. All three basic elements needed to survive we've had. So, how was it?

Most of the time I'm fishing. Now, when the spear gun is broken I am going to the far rocks and fish there using the line and hook which I brought from home. Oh man, how do I regret I did not take some basic, small fishing rod... but hey, it supposed to be survival :) Anyway, I manage to catch some fish, not really big but always something different than only rice. To get to the rocks it takes me 10 minutes swimming. Seen really big fish on the way there and back. Set up a fishing net near the place I've seen the big fish but without success..

Apart from fishing, we clean our camp, make fire, drink more Tanduay and that's it. Nothing special, no adventures or things we did not expect. After one week it was little boring I can say. I liked it but we European people used to do something all the time. There was no time to build a shack. Two weeks is not enough, so we abandoned our original plan to build it. So we just enjoyed freedom, sun and warm waters of the South China Sea...
Two weeks passed. And it was time to go back to civilized world. End of the adventures on The Island, but not end of adventures on Palawan...