Due to heavy rains and landslides that have damaged the village we have decided to suspend this tour until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Batak people are one of approximately 70 indigenous groups in the Philippines. They reside in the forests of northern and central Palawan island and rely on a mix of cultivation, hunting, gathering, and fishing for their livelihoods. The Batak are a “negrito” people and should not be confused with the Batek, a hunter-gatherer group in Malaysia, or the ethnically diverse Indonesian Batak of northern Sumatra. The Batak people are believed to have descended from the earliest wave of human populations that crossed the land bridges connecting the Philippine islands with mainland Asia up to 50,000 years ago.
Once a nomadic tribe, the Batak have become semi-sedentary, which has brought about positive changes such as access to education, healthcare, water, and electricity. The Batak people were converted to Christianity by missionaries, but they still retain their animist beliefs, which involve spirits residing in nature. The Batak regularly make offerings to these spirits, and Shamans undergo spiritual possession to communicate with the spirits and heal the sick. The Batak people are known to use plant-based poisons for both hunting and fishing, and the most highly prized game is the wild pig. They also collect leaves, fruit, tubers, and palm hearts for food, as well as resin, rattan canes, and wild honey to sell.
Meet at your hotel and proceed north for approximately 1.5 hours, passing through rural landscapes dotted with isolated villages. Upon arrival in the San Rafael district, walk for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, crossing rivers and streams until you reach the Batak settlement. Please note that in the event of heavy rain, visitors will only be allowed to reach the lower settlement for safety reasons.
Spend time at the Batak settlement to learn about their fascinating local culture and observe their simple daily life. After visiting the settlement, return to Puerto Princesa.