Category Archives: Sailing

New Season Beginnning

Parawnewseason-1083Sailing season begins again tomorrow – the paraw’s first expedition is departs El Nido in the morning and will arrive in Coron after five days exploring the islands of northern Palawan. This is our second year of expeditions and the paraw is looking more beautiful than ever. Thanks to our amazing crew and talented carpenters who have put in so much time and effort during the rainy season!
We will be sailing until next June – check the Tao Philippines website to book your place www.taophilippines.com Tao Philippines

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Greeting the Paraw

Children play in the water and a boy runs to greet the paraw as it arrives on Tao’s organic farm basecamp in San Fernando, northern Palawan. The paraw is currently sailing every Friday on 5-day expeditions between El Nido and Coron.

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Reviving Sailing Traditions in Northern Palawan

Gener, whose father and grandfather were both boat sailors, is the originator of the Paraw project and our boat captain. He is teaching local youth sailing and navigational techniques. “A return to sailing makes sense – our marine environment is under threat and fuel prices are rising. Learning to sail again will help Palaweños escape dependence on gasoline and diesel while, at the same time, fostering a deeper understanding and respect for the sea.”

Explorers wanted! SAILING SCHEDULE 2014 – early 2015


The paraw sails through the pristine waters of the Bacuit Archipelago (Photo © Scott Sporleder)

Here’s our much-awaited sailing schedule for the next few months. For a full description of each expedition, and for bookings, please visit the Tao Philippines website.

The paraw expedition combines stretches of pure sailing with time for exploring the islands, reefs, and villages along the way. During times of less wind we motor-sail between our island destinations. Navigating the adventure is our crew of barefoot sailors, who were among the traditional craftsmen that built the Paraw. Dive off the outriggers to snorkel around coral reefs and WWII shipwrecks; clamber through caves; stroll along abandoned beaches; socialize with locals and tune-in to the tranquil pace of island life. Each meal is prepared by our amazing cooks with freshly caught seafood and local organic produce.

Nov 7 to November 11, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Nov 14 to November 18, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Nov 21 to November 25, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Nov 28 to December 2, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Dec 5 to December 9, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Dec 12 to December 16, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Dec 18 to December 22, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO (FULL)

Dec 24 to December 30, a 7 day/ 6 night XMAS Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON (FULL)

Dec 31 to January 5, a 6 day/ 5 night New Year Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO (FULL)

Jan 9 to January 13, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON (FULL)

Jan 16 to January 20, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Jan 23 to January 27, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Jan 30 to February 3, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Feb 6 to February 10, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Feb 13 to February 17, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

Feb 19 to February 24, a 6 day/ 5 night Sailing Paraw LNY Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

Feb 27 to March 3, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

March 6 to March 10, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

March 13 to March 17, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

March 20 to March 24, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition EL NIDO to CORON

March 27 to March 31, a 5 day/ 4 night Sailing Paraw Open Expedition CORON to EL NIDO

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“Magnificent is not a Hyperbole”

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KeepCalm & AdventureOn

That is what Justine (one of the woman on the sailing trip) said to me as we were kayaking back toward the boat after snorkeling in a lagoon that featured bright green water, black limestone cliffs speckled with trees, and pristine coral. It was true, the remote islands off the northern coast of Palawan are nothing if not truly magnificent. (Tomorrow from the office I promise I will post a series of pictures!)

As with any good adventure, ours started off with a few mishaps. First off, the van from Puerto Princesa to El Nido (the beach town from where we caught the sailboat) was crammed to its capacity with people and luggage, so some of the luggage ended up on top of the van. Luckily, the driver wrapped a tarp around the luggage that went on top; however, by the time we arrived in El Nido, after driving for…

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Portrait of Mindoro

Jaime Maltos, Senior Boat Builder

Jaime Maltos, Senior Boat Builder

I took this portrait of senior boat builder, Jaime “Mindoro” Maltos during the boat launch earlier this month.

Mindoro is 66 years old. He grew up in Romblon and sailed to Palawan [via Mindoro Island] when he was a young man.  He has lived on Palawan’s west coast for 22 years with his wife Filipina.

Mindoro began sailing when he was just ten years old. When he was fourteen his father, a fisherman and boat builder, taught time how to build his own small outrigger boat and sail alone using the wind and the stars as a guide.

To read more about our amazing team of carpenters, check the Maestros page on this blog.

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Launch Day

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On Thursday September 5, the day of the new moon and the highest monthly tide, the hull of the paraw was launched into a  tributary of the the Babuyan River.

Over a hundred men, women and children came to help push and pull the boat into the water. A film crew came from Manila and others joined from Puerto Princesa but the majority came from the surrounding area of Mauyon.

It was amazing to see true Filipino bayanihan spirit in action. Local villages were all but abandoned during the launch. For those few hours, everyone had left their daily tasks to help get the paraw safely into the water.

The paraw, which had been on trestles, was lowered onto heavy logs, on which the hull could roll. Gener then set up a system of ropes and pulleys around the coconut trees. These ropes kept the boat from tipping to side to side while allowing a great number of people to pull the hull into the water.

It was a nerve-wracking process which took longer than expected. On three or four occasions the paraw leaned dangerously over and everyone rushed to the other side to correct it. The high tide (which peaked at 10am) had actually started to recede by the time the bow of the boat touched the water for the first time. By around noon the hull was afloat and just a small team continued to work to secure its position in the river.

The paraw will remain here for one or two months until it is ready to be fitted with outriggers, masts and sails.

PHOTO STORY

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Upate from the carpenters

The bow

Here’s the latest documentary update from the carpenters’ camera.

Rainy season is beginning here in Palawan but progress still continues apace.

Great work guys!

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A visit from some Palawan experts

Last week the paraw was visited by Dr Carlos Fernandez, Bituin Gonzales and Jane Urbanek.

Mission Statement

Excerpt from the mission statement

The Palawan paraw project has so many different elements to it – traditional skills, Palawan history, working with local communities and a reforestation project, to name a few. We have written a mission statement to outline everything we are doing.

It is available to download as a pdf here: Palawan Paraw Mission Statement

We would welcome your feedback, ideas, suggestions…

Please feel free to post comments below or email us at info@palawansailing.com