The Lost Tribe of the Tasaday
In 1972, a group of journalists and anthropologists introduced the Tasaday to the world. The Tasaday is a band of people from the hinterlands of Mindanao who were isolated for hundreds of years. Thus, despite the advent of technology, the Tasaday have remained very primitive. They still live in caves and wear leaves as clothing.
A decade later, another group of professors exposed that the Tasaday tribe was a hoax. They claimed that the Tasaday were ordinary farmers who were paid by the Marcos government to dress up as stone-age people. The Tasaday tried to defend their identity, but nobody listened. Nothing was heard of the Tasaday since then.
37 years later, me and my team of journalists climb the rainforest of Mindanao in search of the lost tribe. We find them in extreme poverty. Because of the controversy, access to government services was difficult for the Tasaday. They now wear regular clothes and have assimilated with the lowlanders. But most of them are illiterate, dying without access to health services… poor and forgotten.
The Tasaday still assert their identity and feel pain when people call them a hoax. I am not an anthropolgist and don’t know the truth behind their identity. But I am a journalist. And this I know: the Tasaday are Filipinos too. And they deserve to have a decent future. They deserve our help.
A day in a Tasaday's life in photo
Please click to enlarge:
How can you help?
You may help in our quarterly outreach projects in remote communities.
You may donate any amount of cash or in kind.
You can send us: - school supplies, - slippers, - clothes, - books, - food supplies, - noodles, - rice, - personal hygiene products, etc. These are the kind of things we bring to our quarterly outreach projects.
You may volunteer in repacking the goods.
We usually have our repacking one week before the scheduled outreach date. Details are posted on Facebook, Twitter and this website.
You may volunteer in the actual outreach and participate in gift-giving or distribution of goods.
This is an out of town trip — could be a day trip or an overnight trip depending on location.
Details such as schedule and expenses are usually posted on Facebook, Twitter and this website.
For donations and schedule of outreach/repacking, email:
Project Malasakit is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered foundation with Reg No. CN 201013987 and TIN: 007-861-739.