The Tagbanua - The Real Locals Of Coron, Philippines
These are members of the Tagbanua Tribe, a local group of people indigenous to Coron and Palawan who lived on these island for thousands of years.
They are the descendants of some of the first humans to inhabit the Philippines, but in today's Coron, it's very rare to find any information on their culture or history. Coron is their ancestral domain, but even so, they are in danger of missing out on the tourism boom and the money that is starting to flood into these islands.
When I travelled to Coron, Red Carabao, a tour company, took me out to a remote island to meet the local Tagbanua. Red Carabao are trying to help the locals to get involved with tourism in a sustainable manner, so they can benefit economically, and so that visitors like myself can actually find out more about these almost unknown people.
They showed me their island home, where they live on the beach, go spearfishing on the coral and travel from island to island in small canoes and on wooden rafts. Their homes are structured to withstand typhoons and the raging storm seasons that rock Coron, and although it looks idyllic, living here can of course be a struggle, although one that their ancestors have excelled at through the centuries. They gave me a demonstration of their culture, their traditions and their customs, a rare look at an ordinarily hidden people that few tourists even know live here.
It was a fascinating insight into an old culture that has somehow weathered the changes of the Philippines in these remote lands.