This week’s best read comes from Aurora Almendral for her portrait of Palanan, a isolated Philippine town on the cusp of connecting with the rest of the country:
The town, 190 miles northeast of Manila on a stretch of rugged Pacific coastline, is separated from the crowds and chaos of the rest of the Philippines by a three-day trek through tropical jungle, a seven-hour ride on a wooden pump boat or a 25-minute flight on a three-seater Cessna.
Cloistered in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, Palanan’s farmers cross fields on the backs of loping water buffaloes. Children in plaid uniforms walk to school along beaches of white sand. A few motorcycles with sidecars, brought in on boats, rumble through the carless streets of the dusty town center. Carved canoes slide down broad rivers, and narrow outrigger boats bob along the shore.
But all that may change. The government is building a road that will cut a path of more than 50 miles through the Sierra Madre, from Ilagan City, the capital of Isabela Province, to Divilacan, a neighboring town, with plans to continue it into Palanan and a scattering of nearby villages.
Read more on The New York Times.
Discover more top stories from around the web this week. Have we missed anything? Tweet at @mjponsford or email email@example.com.
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