The Tagbanwa or Tagbanua, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Philippines, can found in central and northern Palawan. Research has shown that the Tagbanwa are possible descendants of the Tabon Man; thus, making them one of the original inhabitants of the Philippines. They are brown-skinned, slim and straight-haired ethnic group and exceptional climbers.
Showcasing in particular their incredible climbing skills while collecting the thought after "White Gold" or bird's nest on Coron Island, Philippines
Tagbanwa live in compact villages of 45 to 500 individuals their total estimated population is over 10,000 from which 1,800 of these are in the Calamianes Group of islands.
The Tagbanua culture is closely intertwined with that of swallows who build edible nests in caves on the towering cliffs of the island.The edible bird’s nest caves are maintained by individual families, and provide another major source of income for the indigenous people in the island.
Coron island comprises of massive vertical limestone cliffs that reach up to 600 meters above sea level and eight (8) brackish lakes and three (3) smaller one's that have underground connections to the sea.
The nests from the swallow are harvested by the Tagbanua; the sea swallows make the nest from saliva and it's a highly valued ingredient in Cantonese bird's nest soup. Each family group of Tagbanua's closely guarding their individual Caves in these limestone cliffs and only harvest the Nest during a particular season, safeguarding the survival for future generations. They are also guarding the area during the harvest season, temporary putting up a primitive shelter just below the caves to ensure that no outsider is encroaching on their territory that has been in their family for generations.