Experience Palawan with Tao (2)

Before heading straight to Tao's main basecamp, we made a quick stop at Cabuli Island to check out their project which is called the Tao Academy. The learning center was made possible by the Tao Kalahi Foundation in cooperation with the families based in rural islands around El Nido, Palawan.

Tutors are based on the same island and were actually trained by a retired teacher who willingly shared her knowledge about school curriculums.

People behind Tao believes that education is the solution for elevating poverty and I couldn't agree more. If people are educated then they can make their own informed decisions to better their own lives. These learning centers are open for any children of any age, giving them the chance to learn and catch up with the curriculum until they are ready to move to the government schools.

What's more awesome is that after graduating high school, Tao offers talented students full scholarships to university and colleges in Palawan and Manila. :)

Moving on, Cabuli Island also hosts Tao expedition-ers and the hut you see above is called Tuka (bird's beak) which was designed by Tao's Engineer and bamboo craftsman, Gener Paduga.

We have a few minutes to spare so I had time to walk around to chat with the locals. I also saw these kids picking up a few seashells from the shore.

Here's Henrick Tay, Sean Nolan, Shera Karim, and Boom Garcia swimming after a long day in Cabuli Island. I wasn't in the mood yet to jump in since I haven't fully recovered from the rashes I got from jellyfish stings/sea lice bites from an earlier trip also in El Nido.

It was getting dark by the time we arrived at Tao's main base camp. Here you can see the chefs from other boats, all working together to prepare dinner for expeditioners.

I was quite impressed by the food they served us for dinner. The photo on the left is probably one of the best tasting spring rolls I've ever had in my entire life! To think I hate vegetables! It was that good! ;) I'm craving for it as I type this post. And for our main course, roasted pork ribs, and pork loin. They're both juicy and flavorful. Everything is organic by the way, all were harvested from the Tao Farm.

By 10:00PM it was completely dark in the island since the generator is available from 6-10PM only. While others get their beauty rest, we've decided that the night is still young so they set up a bonfire for us complete with an acoustic performance from the boat crew.

I was settled inside my own tuka by midnight. They've set up our bed complete with mosquito nets which made it a bit uncomfortable but still comfortable, you get what I mean? Haha. It started raining hard in the early morning, probably around 3:00AM. I got a bit worried but then I assured myself that I'm in a safe place (at least on an island and not inside a boat) despite the howling winds.

After a great dinner we had the night before, I was very much looking forward to breakfast, and boy they did not disappoint! Their homemade bacon was a bit on the fatty side but tasted ohhh sooo good!

We also had a chance to meet one of the co-founders, Eddie Brock, who even gave us a tour of the Tao base camp and their farm.

We had a short briefing and introduction about Tao inside their Foundation Center which could possibly be the biggest bamboo structure in the Philippines. This was designed by Architect Jack Foottit which also happens to be one of the co-founders of Tao.

Here's Eddie with Tao crew Jeff giving us a walking tour around the base camp.

The Tao farm is self-sufficient in terms of producing their own goods. This production is called Permaculture, where humans don't fight against nature but understand it, work with it and live within it. Everything here is organic. I'm also quite amazed by the fact that their piggery does not smell at all. ;)

The Tao Farm and main base camp are located somewhere at the northern part of El Nido island, right across Daracotan Island, which will be part 3 of my post about Tao Expedition. Watch out for it guys! ;)