Late last year we were invited out to the Philippines where we would take part in a three day TAO expedition, exploring the islands of the Palawan region. i’m going to tell you why heading to the Philippines and sailing with TAO is one one of the most rewarding things you can do.
TAO expedition, Philippies.
TAO is a community of over 200 islanders who’s mission is to reinvigorate the mind, body and soul by taking you on a journey through the most remote islands in Palawan. All of the TAO crew are locals, born and raised on the islands. Known to us as the “LOSTBOYS” they know every island inside out therefore they are the best guides to take you out into this region. Living alongside them for a few days we got to see a real insight into their culture and personality.
TAO Expedition Crew
AKA “The Lost Boys”
Each night we were moored up and made our way to one of the TAO basecamps where we slept in individual wooden shacks. After setting up our beds for night, we would gather round and have a glass of Jungle Juice (rum mixed with pineapple juice), whilst watching the sun sink below the seas horizon. People from all walks of life sat enjoying a tasty drink whilst taking in the incredible view.
We would then have an hour or two spare whilst the TAO crew would prepare the food for the nights dinner. All food would be prepared fresh daily, and ranged from anything from freshly caught fish and seafood, to chicken and vegetables, always served with fresh rice. LITERALLY THE BEST. They also catered for vegetarians too, which is always good.
Sunsets & Jungle Juice
The Bangka boat is a big part of the TAO experience, this is your base whilst you get lost in a paradise playground of deserted islands. You can go for a swim to the beach, go snorkeling (Philippines have some of the best reefs in the world), stay on-board and fish off the back of the boat or just read a book and relax on the top deck. This is also where they serve your freshly prepared breakfast and lunch, which was always incredible!
Of deserted islands.
TAO are on a mission to be as self sustainable as possible.
The amazing thing about the TAO expedition is that not only does it give visitors the opportunity to see a completely different, non-touristy side of Palawan, but it also gives back to the local communities which is great! All of the food cooked on all the trips is grown organically in the local farm, caught fresh from the sea or bought from local sources. This is amazing for the environment and is a great way to sustain tourism.
They make sure that they take the time to build relationships with the remote communities where they have built their base camps. Building schools with affordable and sustainable structures, whilst hiring and training the more responsible villagers to work for their business.
Without sounding cliche, the TAO expedition is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Being exposed to the elements and having no connection with the outside world (apart from the 20 people you live alongside of for 3 days) is amazing. This is an expedition for everyone, no matter who you are, where you are from or what your background is, you will always be welcomed with open arms by the TAO crew.
You can find out more about the TAO exhibitions here - https://www.taophilippines.com