Tag Archives: Philippines

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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“Magnificent is not a Hyperbole”


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


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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Launch Day


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.


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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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