Our Story

Moving from village to village, finding an old rickety boat, repaired and launched the 'Aurora'. Two explorers guided by two local fishermen sail the vast island kingdom of El Nido, Linapacan and Culion. There was no mission, just wandering the region and getting to know its culture joining nomadic fishermen, moving wherever the currents takes them.

Among the scattered islands are fishing communities and families whose hospitality and happy exuberance seemed to define the true meaning of life in paradise. The search for raw adventure exploring Palawan’s remote waters and coral reefs changed the course of their lives.

The strong kinship they felt with the sea people led them on a journey to found Tao, a social enterprise with the community as partners.

Tao Story 1
Tao Story 2

Exploring with the islanders

In 2006 Tao began taking handfuls of travelers to explore the remote islands and experience island life hosted by local families. The trips didn't need advertising, news of these extraordinary expeditions spread fast through word of mouth.

Over the years we have been through a lot with the islanders. We grew stronger as a community, working together to keep on improving as a sustainable micro-economy offering a unique journey to experience the raw beauty of life in the Philippines’ last frontier.

Where are we?

The highest concentration of islands in the Philippines. Northern Palawan, with Bacuit bay, Linapacan group, Culion and Busuanga. A paradise archipelago of more than 500 islands. Our 200km journey explores coves, bays and group of islands between El Nido and Coron.

Tao Story 3

Explore Philippines

Our mission is to share with the world the beauty of the Philippines and its people.


Video Collection

TAO Experiences

We are the islanders, we are your hosts, proud of our way of life and proud to welcome you as our guests. Join us on a journey to discover the raw beauty of island life in the Philippines last frontier.

"Perhaps the highlight of any trip to Palawan… Such a trip offers a rare opportunity to experience and interact with people and communities in the area, unmediated by the mass tourism industry."
Lonely Planet

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What does TAO mean?

TAO MEANS HUMAN IN THE FILIPINO LANGUAGE.

We are your hosts, this is our home. Involving as many people as possible, Tao is an extended family, encouraging and empowering each other to use our inherent island skills to offer travellers a personal insight into life in a tropical archipelago.

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Tao Projects

We believe in a new social movement, a progress that accounts for a positive return to society. Through our research, education and examples, the Tao community aims to prove that there are many ways in which every Filipino can benefit and share in the opportunities that tourism brings.

tao-farm

RETURN TO NATURAL FARMING

FOOD FOR THE FUTURE

Here in the islands life is based on fishing- an industry under threat from fish stock collapse due to overfishing. How will we feed ourselves and our guests when there is no more fish? The Tao farm project is a working model of a natural food production called Permaculture, where humans don't fight against nature but understand it, work with it an... read more

sailing

BUILDING A NATIVE SAILBOAT

CAPTURING THE POWER OF THE WIND

We have the full blog of the building of the Paraw on:   palawanparaw.wordpress.com

People of the Philippines have been moving around the islands for thousands of years using the paras, a native sailing boat. We constructed the Tao paras- a 72ft sailing bangka, its a... read more

womens-accociason

WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION

Economic Empowerment

Philippine women are strong and enabled but times are hard for their fishermen husbands who more often return home with empty nets. The aim of the Tao womens association is to provide opportunities to local women to earn an additional income from the tao project. The Tao Foundation has trained over 40 massage therapists, the sewing workshop allows ... read more

tao-education

EDUCATION is the SOLUTION

FOCUS ON THE NEXT GENERATION

We believe that education is the solution for elevating poverty If people are educated then they can make their own informed decisions to better their own lives. The Tao Acdemy was set up by the Tao Kalahi foundation to train and empower young islanders to be proud of their way of life and proud to welcome you as their guest.

We beli... read more

green-architecture

BAMBOO ARCHITECTURE

HOW WE GROW OUR OWN BUILDINGS

We believe in leaving the lightest footprint possible on the natural environment of Palawan. Through our Bamboo research and construction we have found ways to create lightweight, strong, resilient buildings using local bamboo varieties preserved using salt water alone. We developed a construction method adapted from our local fishing boat... read more

Apply now

This journey is not for everyone...

Before applying to take part in this experience you [and everyone in your group] must understand that what Tao offers is not a tour or a hotel. This is a journey to the most remote islands in Palawan. We do not guarantee that you will have a nice relaxing time. In fact we do not guarantee anything.

It might be bad weather, it might be rough waves. Limited privacy. Barking Dogs, crowing roosters, mosquito bites, jellyfish stings, sunburn...but that is the nature of an island experience, the unexpected, the unknown, stepping outside your comfort zone.

We love it, but we understand that this is not everyone's idea of a good time.
...is it YOURS?

SELECT AN EXPERIENCE BELOW AND FILL OUT THE APPLICATION!