Tag Archives: Palawan

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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Recent Press

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The paraw has recently been featured in the travel sections of The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Australian newspapers. Check the links below to read the full articles:

The Guardian

The Telegraph

The Australian

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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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Paraw Sailing Schedule

Learning from the past for a sustainable future. The Tao Paraw project has taken 2 years to complete and is a collective project from historians, boat builders and sailors from all over the Philippines to revive an almost forgotten culture. This boat is truly unique and the largest that exists in the Philippines today.
We are inviting you to join and experience the way Filipinos travel the seas before fuel and engines. The design of the Bangkas with its two outriggers and no deep keel can be dated back for more than 1000 years, navigating through shallow water and hidden reefs between the islands.Image
Learn the ropes and enjoy the serenity of sailing. Our regular 3-day/3-night Open Group Sail Expeditions will continue until mid-August. Booking email: info@taophilippines.com
July 4-7 (Friday-Monday)
July 11-14 (Friday-Monday)
July 18-21 (Friday-Monday)
August 1-4 (Friday-Monday)
August 15-18 (Friday-Monday)
The paraw will then rest during rainy season and resume sailing in early October.
For details on organising a 3-day/3-night Private Group Expeditions, email: private@taophilippines.com
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Sail Aboard the Paraw

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EXCITING NEWS! The paraw – now officially named the Balatik  – will be open to bookings from this May. You can make reservations on the Tao Philippines Website.

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Approaching final stages

Painting "balaw" resin onto the lower hull of the paraw.

The above photograph shows Ray Concha  (24) painting “balaw”, a natural tree resin, on the paraw’s hull. Ray is the nephew of Bernardo and has been part of our team since May, he learned carpentry from his older brother and grew up with sailing small boats in Cagayancillo.

“I’ve known how to sail small boats since I was in grade five. Most people in Cagayancillo have some sailing knowledge. But even when I was a boy there were no more large traditional sailboats. I’m happy to see a big paraw like this and I’m enjoying the work  – I’m learning a lot.” Ray Concha

The paraw is approaching the final stages of construction. We aim to attach the masts and outriggers next week and launch the sail for the first time on January 31, during the new moon.

Inside the cabin, our new carpenter Jaime dela Cruz is working on beds for the guests made out of “ulandeg” wood, which has a beautifully patterned grain.

The construction site now has a resident otter (a short-clawed Asian otter).

Paraw Jan 2014-7570

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Traditional Pala’wan carving

Simpio and Oten, Pala'wan CarversFor the past ten days, two master carvers from the Pala’wan tribe have been working on the paraw, decorating the boat with their distinctive designs and surat, traditional lettering.

Simpio, 35, and his nephew Oten, 25, are from Española in southern Palawan. Both incredibly hardworking, supporting young families, they travelled to Maoyon to add their traditional designs to the paraw.  “We are used to working until 1am and starting again at 5am,” says Oten. Upon hearing this Gener gave them head-torches to make their work easier.

Simpio has been carving since he was nineteen years old. He learned from his uncle, also a master wood carver.

“The tradition of wood carving is in our family, it’s in our blood,” he says.

They come from a family with a rich traditional and ritual life. Their designs include images of Palawan wildlife such as turtles, rays and fish.

“We want to preserve the traditional carving techniques of our ancestors,” says Oten. “Sometimes I invent a new pattern but usually I follow the designs of uncle Simpio, as he is my teacher.”

According to archaeologists studying the Tabon Cave in the municipality of Quezon, Pala’wan culture can be traced back 50,000 years and they are among the first people known to have inhabited Southeast Asia.

Paraw-5126Their native script, or surat, as they call it is one of only three pre-hispanic scripts still in use in the Philippines today. The lettering on the paraw’s stern (pictured above) reads “Balatik“, “Orion” in English.

Although Pala’wan culture remains rich and vibrant, it is under threat. Learn more about the Pala’wan tribe from Survival International

Download an article on Pala’wan ancient script from Discovery Channel Magazine.

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A Huge Thank You!

Pushing the paraw into the water

A huge THANK YOU to the 102 people who joined us to launch the hull of the paraw:

Jose Yniguez, Alex Reyes, Marcus Swanepoel, Boy Yniguez, Pepito Juanzo, Maritess Juanzo, Noelle Reyes, Rosario Paduga, Christian Kattinger, Bonievie Budao, Zack Seracarpio, Solomon Mendoza, Andy Boehm, Leonisa Delos Angeles, Lorna Gacol, Agusto Vargas, Emma Dela Cruz, Irene Castro, Al Canta, Zaldy Sabanes, Boysi Bosi,Ana Maria Saavedra, Camilla Alaska, Gifford, Claveria, Alvin Solomon, Arnaldo Solomon, Jonathan Alaska, Edwin Pagkaliwangan, Bryan Bundac, Angelo Saavedra, Ryan Gacot, Nolito Monton, Lorna Luna, Chita Castro, Columbus Paguia, Roy Delos Angeles, John Del Sauren, Blas Paduga, Teodoro Senosa, Jun Tabang, Danilo Fantilanan Sr., Martillano Canopin, Candido Castro, Allan Palma, Francisco Agnas, Francismar Badenas, Francisco Villamor, Ronel Corpus, Ian Felizarte, Jay Paduga, M.J Aguire, Amparo Paduga, Romnick Arabi, Manuel Salba, Andrew Arabi, Morahge Canopin, Dhoy Bosi, Jacob Dela Cruz, Phing Alapaguia, Jun Monton, Roberto Bucsit, Armando Abrea, Nestor Dangan, Elmer Magdayao, Larry Launio, Edwen Asya, Incieto Sakling, Dominic Dacer, Jomer Andao, Dexter Rey Pantilanan, Adela Canopin, Lenie Luna, Danilo Pantilanan Jr., Darwin Padrones, Jayboy Dela Cruz, Irish Andao, Vargas Bornok, Ton-ton Vargas, Reymando Delos Santos, Jose Cabildo, Ian Magdayao, Dexter Castro, Ricky Sauren, Marlon Felipe, Ruben Delos Santos, Mark John Delos Santos, Ivan Sarenas, Randy Olorga, Marlon Bacosa, Moreto Bundac, Steven Padrones, Atong Abadiano, Richard Castro, Reymark Evangelista, Reynald Luna, John Carlo Fantilanan, Jerald Monton, Ellen Asya, Effren Asya and Denis Baruga.

Take a look through this brief selection of black and white images. [A colour photo-story documenting the whole day will follow in our next blog post.]

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