In Episode 4 of People of Paradise, we look at the Tao Kalahi Foundation. By bringing together a diverse population of local islanders as business partners to Tao Philippines, it serves as a model for sustainable tourism.

At every level, Tao looks for ways to integrate local families into their community through education and economic opportunities. For example, instead of simply ordering textiles — pillows, sheets, and other bedding — from Manila, Tao employs local people to sew the sheets themselves. The same goes for beauty products. Local families produce organic, virgin coconut oil-based soaps and shampoos for the guests.

As Gemma, a local islander who works at Tao as a masseuse, explained, “My daughter Angel is attending college; that’s because of Tao.”

Stay tuned to the 5th and final episode of People of Paradise, coming soon here on Matador.