Here’s a list of tribal communities in the Philippines that I have visited during my travels. The list is not yet complete as I’ve visited only a few but if given the chance, I’ll visit more tribes and showcase the diverse culture of the Philippines. If you want to soak in the culture, take the risk to climb mountains and visit the people who are Mother Nature’s guardians.
Ifugao Tribe – You can meet them in Baguio or in Sagada. These tribes are kinda famous to people from Metro Manila because whenever they visit Baguio, it is almost mandatory to take a picture with a tribe dressed in traditional costume.
Dumagat Tribe – They are people similar to Negritos, darkbrown skinned with curly hairs. The term Dumagat was derived from the tagalog word “dagat” or sea because their ancestors used to live along the coastal stretches. Although in other articles, the term Dumagat may have been derived from the word gubat(forest) and hubad. I met them during a trip to the Angat dam. You can learn about their way of life if you visit them too.
Batak Tribe – They say this tribe located in Palawan is already vanishing.. I found this tribe after 1 hour trek and 5 river crossings. One of their sources of livelihood is to sell almasigas, it’s a crystal like hard stuff that burns very slowly. Ideal for bonfire camping I guess. You should buy some when you get the chance to visit them in Palawan.
Ati Tribe – Or Aeta can be found in Boracay and in Antique. And since my dad is from Antique, I visit this tribe frequently to bring school supplies and other donations. Their hairs have become straight already because of inter marriages, but their community is still poor. Feel free to visit them although not sure if their homestays are ready but you can can always give livelihood assistance. Feel free to contact me if you want to visit.
Badjao Tribe – You can find them in different coastal areas in the Philippines. You can see them swimming around ferries or ships waving at passengers to drop coins and they’ll dive to get it. These sea gypseas don’t have land because they are born and raised in the sea. I’m amazed that you can find Badjao tribes in Indonesia too.
T’boli Tribe – I love this tribe located in Lake Sebu because kids are being taught not to loose their cultural identity thru a cultural school. Their place in the mountains have a cool temperature that makes them ideal to visit when its very hot in the city. I love to stay in their homestay and hear their traditional dance and songs and wish to visit them again soon. Best to visit the Tiboli tribe during summer.
Yakan Tribe – I have met them briefly in Zamboanga City. They are one of the major indigenous tribes in Mindanao. My relatives were touring me around and visiting their shop is part of my itinerary. You can visit their weaving center if you get to visit Zamboanga.