Christopher originally had the idea for Palawan Blade as he was driving back from Dulles International Airport after dropping our parents off to fly back to the Philippines. He was thinking about when he used to live there, the way of life, and the old machetes we used to hack through the jungle with. He wished he could have better access to those machetes again to use on his farm. He had some old Palawan style machetes lying around, but the mango wood handles had cracked and fallen off and the blades themselves were badly chipped. Perhaps you will better understand our connection with these blades if I go back even further in the story.
We grew up on an island in the Philippines called Palawan as we were the progeny of missionary parents. Our early lives were very different from what most people would call, “normal”. We quite literally lived in the middle of the jungle somewhere. The mountains of Palawan are known to be incredibly rugged, steep and rough. There are no roads, paved or otherwise, no electricity, no convenience stores, only barely-perceptible paths that lead to small rice fields, huts, or more jungle. In those days, we thrived on going into the jungle with our machete and building huts, blazing new trails to the highest peak on the island, or digging holes to plant our ever-expanding field of pineapples. To us and to the indigenous people we lived with, these machetes meant food to eat, a hut to live in, a way to get anywhere, in short, life. Hence the ideal design of the machete was vetted against real-world use over centuries. The steel that they used was scavenged from old truck springs in the “lowlands”. Handles were typically carved from wood; mango tree roots were popular as well as jackfruit tree wood. Although the design was ideal, the chosen materials left something to be wanted.
That day returning from the airport, the dream was conceived to bring the iconic, legendary Palawano design to our new world. Merging time-proven construction with modern steel could create an unstoppable chopping machine. Hence, the TrailBlade machete was born.