Tao takes a handful of travelers each year for an experience that most people describe as ‘the highlight of their travel in the Philippines’. Our expeditions are not for everyone, we emphasize that this is not a tour. We have no set route or itinerary. We leave port after breakfast on the first day, and arrive before nightfall in the destination port on the last day. What happens in between is up to you.
We visit a group of more than 200 islands on the 150km route between El Nido and Coron in Palawan. This area is the most remote region in the province with several isolated fishing communities but absolutely no tourism, but for how many more years? We don’t know! To visit this area independently would be difficult. There are no advertised boats leaving from the mainland, and the villages have no tourism infrastructure such as guesthouses, shops, or places to eat.
The Linapacan group of islands is an undiscovered paradise which hides hundreds of white sand beaches lapping with aqua marine water, a wild landscape of coconut forests and thick wild jungle, pristine coral reefs teeming with sea life.
The idea of our expedition is to experience remoteness. We visit local villages and observe the daily living and livelihood of a simple fishing family. We introduce a new concept of tourism where there is no need for unnecessary development and no cultural adjustment to accommodate tourists. We do not intrude and we only utilize what is already available. We sleep in a family home; we buy or barter for local produce and promote local services such as accommodations, native massages, guides etc.
Our expeditions are well known in the area and we have a reputation where our guests are more of a visitor than tourist. The communities always welcome us and in return we pay gratitude not always with money but in small welfare projects.
In 2007 we set up schools and employment training program, it has now developed into a full time organisation Tao KALAHI FOUNDATION. In return for the hospitality that the islanders have shown us we run a series of projects. As a traveller on a Tao expedition you directly help us to fund these projects as a donation is included in the cost of all our trips.
We balance the expeditions with pure adventure and rustic kind of luxury. Trekking and snorkeling, then chill on the beach with cold drinks and good food. Everyone helps out to collect firewood then sits around a bonfire at night. Shower by the well then have a local massage. Hours of journey by boat and then the chance to appreciate the serene atmosphere of a secluded island.
Eddie Brock Agamos a native of the Mountain Province of northern Philippines founded Tao. Exploring most of the remote region of the the Philippine archipelago as a specialist guide. Settled in northern Palawan and considered it home. The business concept of Tao started 2006 with island communities as partners. Setting up home stay, training local crew and building relationship in villages visited by the expeditions. Later when the concept flourished into a full business, the Tao Kalahi Foundation was established, for more comprehensive projects for education, health and employments of the islanders, solely funded by the Tao business.
Jack Foottit, the architect, co-founder and head farmer of Tao. Settled in Palawan age 20. As the only foreign person in the company he helped build Tao into a high quality tourism venture, keeping the delicate balance of 'the luxury of simplicity' and the 'raw experience' of untouched Palawan. Helping islanders to understand the danger of overdevelopment and what travellers are really looking for. Setting up the Academy for young islanders, permaculture farming and the bamboo architecture projects.
Zaza De Pedro, the head of operations. Training the local young islanders to crew our expedition boats and making sure all is under control with the complicated logistic running several boats with in hundreds of islands in full operation.
Gener Paduga, from the island of Dumaran. Bamboo master, sailing expert. Our teacher and advisor of deep island knowledge- culture, land and sea. Building his dream Paraw boat to cruise the island of Palawan again.
Oliver, Jimboy, Romeo and the rest of the family are the foundation of Tao, each contributed to the success and development of a business growing with the community.
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