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Tao Story 1

Our Story

We began as two friends setting sail on old fishing boat, with a map but no plan. Our wandering journey led us to discover a paradise playground of the tropical islands, reefs and coves of Northern Palawan.

We traveled with nomadic fishermen, traded with remote communities and sheltered with local families.
We got to know the culture who's hospitality and happy exuberance seemed to define the true meaning of life in paradise.

It didn't take long before we realized we never wanted to go home, addicted to the boundless freedom of a life in open nature, Exploring a seemingly limitless archipelago, amazed the raw beauty and magic of life in The Philippines final frontier.

We wanted to share this endless adventure with likeminded travellers looking for their own meaning of paradise.

In 2006 we founded Tao, [which means human in the filipino language] a social enterprise with island communities as partners. We began taking a handful of travellers on expeditions to experience island life hosted by local families.

The trips didn't need advertising, news of these extraordinary journeys spread fast through word of mouth. With no plan or itinerary, every journey was different. Personal and unique to every traveller.

Tao Story 2
Tao Story 3

Today, Tao is a community of over 200 islanders with passion and sense of pride that welcome worldly travellers from all over the globe to our islands, Working, living, learning, teaching, and growing together as a sustainable micro-economy.

We invite you to come and share an enriching experience that invigorates mind, body and soul. Its a journey that allows people to reconnect with what it means to be a human. Join us and you may also find something you never knew you were looking for.

We are the Islanders

We invite you to experience the beauty of the Philippines through its people and culture.

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?


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 Community

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.



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



We have the full blog of the building of the Paraw on:

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


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



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



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

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. it YOURS?