Tribes of Mindanao, Philippines

Tribal Tour Web Image1Kularts Tribal Tour – Embrace the majesty of the Southern Philippines and dispel fearful myths about one of the most complex and misunderstood regions of the world…

Since 2002, Kularts has conducted its one-of-a-kind Tribal Tour, 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 Sur, 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!

Program Cost

The Cost of the Tribal Tour with 8-10 people: $1,300 USD per person & the cost of the Tribal Tour with 5-7 people: $1,400 USD per person, plus a $75 non-refundable application fee. Cost does not cover international or domestic airfare to/within the Philippines.

This price includes:

  • Philippine land transportation
  • Two Daily Meals
  • Housing (both home stays and 3 star hotels)
  • Coordination and translation costs
  • Fees for all cultural activities, performances and workshops

Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted.

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.

The application deadline w/ $75 non-refundable fee (no refunds unless tour is cancelled).  
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 moderate physical activity
  • 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 live communally and acclimate to rustic, non-western conditions of the tribal communities
  • Completion of required health form, listing any health problems, special dietary needs, and physical conditions.


 This is what past participants have to say:

Kulintang Instrument

“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
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


If You Are Selected to Participate in this Field Study

** fees are non-refundable after
** you must sign a liability agreement stating that unless the tour is canceled, fees are non-refundable after . We recommend the purchase of travel insurance in case of personal emergency or tour cancellation.


Please print two copies: one to mail to Kularts and one for your files. You cannot save text to the PDF form.

Make Tribal Tour Payments

10 thoughts on “Tribal Tour

  1. claudine says:

    Hello, will there be a tribal tour in 2017?

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hi Claudine, thanks for the question. For 2017, the usual February tribal tour is postponed because Kularts, along with some of the cast & crew of ‘Ba-e Makiling’ will be making their way to the Philippines to present our recent Philippine dance theater production this Oct, Nov 2017. 🙂

  2. peter nebres says:

    Hello, is it too late for the 2015 feb tour? Also do you have pricing for us pinoys here in the p.i.? We have returned to mindanao as retirees and would love to be in this tour to learn more about our native roots. However the tour rates is quite steep. Any breaks for balikbayans on a limited budget?

    Salamat kaayo,

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hello Peter! The deadline has passed but I encourage you to email tour leader and Kularts executive, artistic director, Alleluia Panis at ( if you’re still interested. Thank you!

  3. diane v says:

    When r the actually dates of the February tour?

  4. […] in San Francisco, California, Kularts, is helping the Diaspora remember through its bi-annual Tribal Tour.  While the title of the program may sound voyeuristic at best, the tour is not designed to […]

  5. Teresita Zaragoza says:

    I will be in the Philippines for 2 months – coinciding with the Tribal Tour in Mindanao. Can I join in for 5-7 days? I have a commitment to be in Manila on Feb 16,

    • kulblogadmin says:

      Hello Teresita – There is an application process to go through for the Tribal Tour. The tour involves an intense level of travelling together, and we want to make sure that all participants are up to the rigors, and will work well together throughout. I have forwarded your question to the Director and tour leader, Alleluia Panis. She will contact you separately.

      thank you!

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