In the background, a rooster chorus and the hum of the highway behind it. It’s pretty quiet for the city here in our latest place, with a little veranda out back to write from, and get some morning light. We slept heavily for the first time since we arrived, having come from a long and incredibly worthwhile journey outside of the city this weekend to an untouched coastline whose community has fought to keep their land for the past 15 years. Displacement becomes cyclical; people are moved from the mountains and settle in the cities for jobs, then are removed from the settlements to make room for condos and shopping centers to look nice enough to attract foreign investment. The terms Ecotourism and Development sound positive, but often result in displacing people from the farmland they’ve cultivated, and causing the loss of an entire way of life. Job creation sounds good too, but turning a farming and fishing community into golf caddies and resort staff has many losses. It’s very easy for these intricacies to hide behind these terms used in flash news reports.

We travelled in a jeepney caravan filled with a number of groups, otherwise the place is inaccessible to public transport. Rice paddies and steep mountains rose up from the blue sea, and bamboo houses outnumbered concrete ones. All of us were generously fed and hosted by the community, and slept along the beach. I had a little Terrence Malick moment in the morning fog, when the shooting conditions were perfect; gentle light in a pristine paradise, with no lights to be seen in the hills.