Tag Archives: tabon

Desert Island Caveboy

28 Apr

View of caves on Lipuun Point, Palawan, the Philippines

Home sweet home for almost 50,000 years

Even with my spawn noisily constructing a hand-axe from fossil coral and driftwood and a six-year-old channelling his inner T-Rex, there’s something about caves that speak irresistibly of mortality.

More than 200 limestone caverns burrow deep into the rock of Lipuun Point, a protected peninsula of mangroves and scrubby dipterocarp forests half an hour’s boat ride from the little town of Quezon, Palawan. 90% or so remain unexplored, and excavations continue, apparently at random, exposing deep layers of peach, cream and dusty bronze.

In one of the largest, a tumble-down cathedral over 40 metres long and perhaps half that in height, they found the skull of Tabon “Man”, which some date to as old as 47,000 years.

It was hard not to wonder, as small modern children played noisily in the shafts of light between waterfall stalactites and tumbling vines, how different they are from the kids who played before them, almost 50,000 years ago, and the unknown man or woman whose bones miraculously survived that long. Continue reading

Light Effects

26 Apr

Blue streaks of light in the sky as the sun sets over islands, Tabon, Palawan, Philippines

Does anyone know what causes this?

We were in Tabon, last week, in the south of Palawan, where the sunsets are amazing. But this, I have to say, I have never seen.

These flattened cones, in a very intense blue, like rays of a cartoon sun in negative, appeared from behind the islands in the bay, and scattered across the sky in an arc with the setting sun. Our host, who’s lived there for almost 30 years, was none the wiser either, but definite that it couldn’t be a light show.

Does anyone know what causes this? Is it some sort of rainbow?