Organization - Tao Foundation For Culture And Arts, Inc.

Tao Foundation For Culture And Arts, Inc.
Basic Information
English Tao Foundation For Culture And Arts, Inc.
Local language Tao Foundation For Culture And Arts, Inc.
Country Philippines
Category General NGO
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Research
Education and Training
Established year 1994

The organizational objectives in the 1994 SEC Registration are as follows.

  • To research, document and develop the indigenous cultural and artistic traditions of the Philippines and in Asia;
  • To disseminate and make available to the public the fruits of such research through education, publications and the mass media;
  • To produce and market works from the region, provided, “no part of the net income or asset (derived) . . . inures to the benefit of any member, organizer, officer (of the foundation” (Section 30: E, NIRC).
  • To establish linkages between artists, cultural workers, cultural minorities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, foundations and their counterparts abroad.

Who we are

We are Filipino artists, scholars, and community leaders engaged in Philippine cultural regeneration initiatives by way of workshops, performances, conferences, publications, and dialogue on various local, national, and global issues. We established the Tao Foundation for Culture and Arts two decades ago, in 1995, to help promote local, ancestral, and traditional knowledges.


We envision spaces for reclaiming, honoring, celebrating, revitalizing, and sharing living Philippine local ancestral and traditional knowledges and practices, with emphasis on embodied knowledges of marginalized cultural groups.


We seek to actively engage with, and contribute to the empowerment of bearers and stakeholders of local, ancestral, and traditional knowledges and practices.  To facilitate the exchange, transmission, and development of local, ancestral, and traditional knowledges and practices.


To recognize and value local, ancestral, traditional knowledges and practices, and their bearers.  To contribute to the well-being of bearers.  To develop the next generation of bearers.

Major Activities

Tao Foundation’s history for the last 22 years may be summarized as follows:

First phase: 1995-2002: In response to the dearth of educational materials on Philippine traditional culture and music, the Tao Foundation produced five audio and print publications on some of the oral traditions/traditional musics of five Philippine ethnolinguistic groups: Maguindanao, Maranao, Mangyan, Manobo/Higaonon, and T’boli. This came about through the support of Tao Foundation officers, our families and friends, small donor institutions, and traditional culture and music experts. Part of the proceeds of these publications funded a small scholarship program that was availed by thirteen students from different cultural communities who had proficiency and ongoing training in traditional arts. The publications were also promoted through cultural education workshops at the Ateneo de Manila University, the Community of Learners Foundation, and Museo Pambata.

II. Second Phase: 2003 to 2008:We mounted over thirty workshops/seminars on traditional performing arts and arts and crafts, holistic health, and intercultural/interfaith dialogue at the National Museum; Museo Pambata; British Council-Manila; fifteen public schools in Metro Manila, Rizal, and Laguna; thirteen Agusan del Sur barangays and municipalities; and at Balay Agusan, the Tao Foundation’s base in Agusan del Sur. These activities were supported by the Tao Foundation officers, our families and friends, the Toyota Foundation, UNESCO, Advocate of Philippine fair Trade Inc., Philippine-Australia Community Assistance program, Cultural Center of the Philippines, UNICEF, National Commission for Culture and Arts, the provincial government of Agusan del Sur, and local communities and organizations.

III. Third Phase: 2008-2014: Organizational recess. The Tao Foundation Officers went back to school to take graduate studies. Balay Agusan, the Tao Foundation’s center in Agusan del Sur, was also destroyed by the 2012 super-typhoon Pablo.

Despite the organizational recess and the destruction of Balay Agusan, the Tao Foundation Officers remained active in their respective areas of activity including publishing, conferences and workshops, in individual capacities.

IV. Fourth Phase: 2015 to 2020:The officers of the Tao Foundation raised funds and rebuilt Balay Agusan in 2014 with the help of Give2Asia, the Sanctuary Fund, and friends in the Philippines and in the US. The new Balay Agusan was immediately inaugurated by a 2-week gathering called PAMATI: Listen to the Water and Songs of Ancestors, in cooperation with elders from eight to ten Philippine ethnolinguistic groups, as well partner organizations Center for Babaylan Studies, GINHAWA (Growth in Wholeness and Wellbeing Associates, Inc.), Institute of Spirituality in Asia, and Asian Social Institute. This 2016, the Tao Foundation is getting ready to run a School of Living Traditions in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and Arts, and local groups in Agusan del Sur.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address 19 Big Horseshoe Drive, Barangay Horseshoe, Quezon City
Tel 63-995-284-7053 Dr. Grace Nono, President / 63-917-565-5369 Dr. Fleur de Lys Cupino, Financial Officer

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