Tribes of Mindanao, Philippines

Embrace the majesty of the Southern Philippines and dispel fearful myths about one of the most complex and misunderstood regions of the world…

Tentative Dates: January 21 - February 3, 2020

Since 2002, Kularts has conducted its one-of-a-kind TribU Tur, a hands-on field study, custom-designed for participants to explore, discover, and draw empowerment from indigenous Pilipino cultures of Mindanao. During the 12-day trip, participants will engage in meaningful interactions with T’boli, B’laan, Maguindanaon, and Manobo tribal leaders, shamans & healers, and masters artists in their ancestral homes in Davao del Sure, Sanggani, South Cotabato, and Maguindanao.

Through this unique program, you will…

  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Southern Philippines’ myths, cosmology, and ancient ways of knowing.

  • Empower your ‘babaylan’ self by participating in traditional rituals led by tribal shamans and ritualists.

  • Learn the meaning of sacred and secular dances and music: from epic chants to award-winning street dancing.

  • Observe craft-making by master artisans: learn about natural dyes and the “dream weaving” of the exquisite t’nalak fabric, “lost wax” gong-making techniques, and more.

  • Inform your cultural consciousness with lectures on current indigenous social and political struggles.

  • Savor the flavors of delicious Mindanaon cuisine—a departure from your lola’s traditional lumpia and pancit offering!

Application Eligibility Requirement

Please note that there is an application and interview process for each prospective tour member. Eligibility for participation in this tour requires contacting Kularts for an application and meeting the Participant Qualifications.

In order to be eligible for selection, you must meet the following Participant Qualifications:

  • Must hold a current, valid passport or a legal VISA (if not a U.S. Citizen)

  • Must be 21 years of age or older

  • Ability to participate in walking tours and moderately rigorous physical activities

  • Ability to embrace local traditions and rustic living conditions

  • Interest in actively participating in a cultural exchange with indigenous people

  • Ability to contribute positively to a group dynamic

  • Ability to love communally and acclimate to rustic, non-western conditions of the tribal communities

  • Completion of required health forms including: insurance info, health form listing any health issues, special dietary needs, inoculations, medications

This is what past participants had to say


“Kularts Tribal Tour was a life-changing experience. It was expertly and sensitively organized to expose us, the participants, to Filipino cultures that have often been derided and stigmatized. It also allowed us to experience these cultures through active and collaborative participation in local cultural practices and rituals. In the process—and this was the most meaningful to me—we were able to help indigenous populations preserve vitally important cultural traditions, sustain their often precarious economies, and finance their social projects for community development and improvement.

For me, the Kularts Tribal Tour was not tourism, not even of the well-meaning kind; it was immersion and solidarity with peoples and societies that are in the process of developing sustainable economies while preserving, energizing, and innovating their brilliant, though often stigmatized, cultural traditions.”

–Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé, PhD, Professor Fordham University

“It’s nice to see Filipino-Americans visit our areas and learn our cultural heritage. Some of them were my students at SFSU. Glad Alleluia is leading them.”

 –Danongan Kalanduyan, NEA National Heritage Fellow, South San Francisco

“Love this experience…one of the greatest in my life!”

–Peter de Guzman, Dancer/choreographer, Los Angeles


For more info, rates, dates and application please contact: Subject line: Tribu Tur