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Islands Mag 10 Best Islands to Live on 1

Islands Mag 10 Best Islands to Live on 1

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Published by Islands Magazine
http://islands.com/freeissue presents the 10 Best Islands to Live On, the popular annual list of the best real estate on islands around the world, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Florida, Asia and more. For the entire database of "Best Islands to Live On," visit http://islands.com/live
http://islands.com/freeissue presents the 10 Best Islands to Live On, the popular annual list of the best real estate on islands around the world, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Florida, Asia and more. For the entire database of "Best Islands to Live On," visit http://islands.com/live

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Published by: Islands Magazine on Aug 28, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/28/2012

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44
WHY PALAWAN?
 For those longing to (scuba) dive off the edge of the map andexplore a pristine tropical paradise with Indiana Jones hat in hand, Palawan is justthe place. The island’s capital, Puerto Princesa, has gained international recogni-tion for its environmental programs. We are also impressed with the adventuresthat await outside the city, including the Subterranean River National Park,Tubbataha Atoll coral reef, the beaches and limestone-karst cliffs of the Bacuit Archipelago and the island’s expanse of jungle, which calls out to the wild at heart.
LIFE OF AN EXPAT
“Our place is nothing at all like the shiny, sexy destinationsthat people usually write about,” says Jim Williams, who has lived on the islandfor 17 years. “But it will appeal to a few adventurous souls.” The fact that Palawanis off the beaten path is exactly what Jim likes about the island. “Forme, the main attraction is the possibility of enjoying a natural setting privately, without the intrusion of crowds,” he says. “I like that theroads leading out of town are so rough that I shift to four-wheel drivealmost every day during the rainy season. We can quickly be in a place where we will not see another vehicle for days.”Jim knew he wanted to live on this rugged island ever since he was inthe U.S. Air Force stationed in the Philippines in 1984. After working around the globe, Jim had a memorable visit to Palawan in 1991. “Theplace was unpolished, informal, and it had the feeling of a small town,”he says. Some of the locals also seemed surprisingly familiar. “OlderPalawenos maintain a certain aloofness along with a genuine hospital-ity that I can relate to, having grown up in rural Texas,” Jim says.He and his wife, May, who is from the Philippines, are now raising their five children. The couple owns five houses, each with a different view of the island: rice fields and coconut palms from the two farms;a river, forests, and terraced vegetable gardens from their mountainhome; bamboo and a distant highway from their house in town. Fromtheir beach house they look out on a coconut grove and the SouthChina Sea. Jim works as a project manager for a resort-developmentcompany. He also may start a business to help other expats buy orbuild property, as he sees increasing numbers of tourists discovering the island. “I was in El Nido in January, and the ratio of locals to foreigners in certain areas was50:50,” Jim says. “Foreigners have always been part of the social tapestry here.”The tourist town of El Nido on the island’s northern coast attracts newcom-ers, but it’s not Jim’s favorite part of the island. “I am a west-coast guy. I preferthe rugged side of the island and the fact that there are few towns and roadsthere,” Jim says. The more remote areas of Palawan feel much more like hometo him. “As far as I know,” he says, “this is my last move.”
FACTS OF LIFE
 
Climate:
Tropical
 
Population of island:
755,412
Percentage expats:
 Less than 1 percent
 
Population of main town, Puerto Princesa:
161,912
 
House start-ing rents:
$300 a month
 
Travel from U.S.:
Fly to Manila, then take a 1.5-hour ight toPuerto Princesa.
 
Closest hospital:
Puerto Princesa
 
Price of local beer
: Less than $1for a bottle of San Miguel
 
Languages:
English, Filipino, Cuyunon and others
 
Ease ofimmigration:
Medium
 
Ease of buying a home:
Difcult
 
 
 palawantourism.com
Palawan, Philippines
A PRIVATE ADVENTURE TO DIVE INTO
HOME
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