Tao Story 1

Our Story

Two friends explore the northern Palawan group of islands, moving from village to village, finding an old rickety boat, fixing and launching it with the name 'Aurora'. With the help of 2 local spear fishermen, they explore the vast island kingdom of El Nido, Linapacan and Culion. The mission is to get to know the region and its culture joining nomadic fishermen, moving wherever the currents takes them.

Among the scattered islands they found fishing communities and local families whose hospitality and happy exuberance seemed to define the true meaning of life in paradise. Their 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 travel company and social enterprise with the community as partners.

In 2006 Tao Philippines 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. Diminishing fish stocks have led to set up education and alternative livelihood projects. 2013, Typhoon Haiyan was a wake up call, exposing our vulnerability and ultimately led us into a new path to resiliency. 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 we are

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

Join us for some island time

Tao takes travellers on 5 day journey to discover the raw beauty of island life. Your hosts are the islanders, proud of our way of living and proud to welcome you as our guests. We are empowered to use our inherent island skills to offer adventurous travellers a personal insight into our life in a tropical archipelago.

"Perhaps the highlight of any trip to northern 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.


Tao Community

We believe in a new social movement, a progress that accounts for a positive return to society. Our Mission to show how tourism can empower local people to improve their own lives, protect and preserve the natural environment, whilst offering a unique experience to travellers. Through our research, education and examples, Tao aims to prove that there are many ways in which every Filipino can benefit and share in the opportunities that tourism brings.

permaculture

TAO PERMACULTURE FARM

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

The people of the Philippines have been moving around the islands for thousands of years using the Paraw, a native sailing boat. We constructed the Tao Paraw- a 72ft sailing bangka, its A relic of Filipino Culture and Heritage using almost extinct knowledge. One day those who will be able to move will be those who have the knowledge to... 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 al... read more

next-generation

EDUCATION is the SOLUTION

FOCUS ON THE NEXT GENERATION

We believe that Education is a great solution for eliviating poverty. If people are educated they can make their own informed decisions to better their lives. The The Tao Academy 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, and use their ... read more

green-architecture

BAMBOO ARCHITECTURE

HOW WE GROW OUR OWN BUILDINGS

We believe in treading lightly and leaving the lightest footprint. Through our Bamboo research and construction we have found a way to construct lightweight, strong, resilient buildings using local bamboo verities preserved in salt water alone. We developed a construction method adapted from our local fishing boat design using only nylon and bamb... 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 the 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?

CLICK A TAO EXPERIENCE BELLOW AND CHOOSE A DATE THAT SUITS YOU!