Claret Samal Foundation, Inc. 

(CSFI) is a pastoral endeavor of the Claretian Missionaries in the Philippines that caters to the needs of the most disadvantaged group in the island of Basilan – the Samal-Bajaus. It serves as a conduit of resources for the benefit of the Bajau people, among other functions besides.

The Samal-Bajaus

The Samal-Bajaus are from the sea dwelling tribes of the Sulu Sea, located in the southernmost part of the Philippines, in the smaller islands at the tip of Mindanao. They are a familiar sight as mendicants / beggars plying the streets of Manila and the other bigger cities of the Philippines. The government usually "extradites" these "unsightly characters" in planeloads back to Mindanao around the month of December, just in time to beautify Manila or other big cities for the holidays—only to find them back again a few months later. CSFI seeks to be of help to these people by working for and with them in the community level, hoping to address the root causes of Bajau migration, vagrancy, and mendicancy.

samal bajau



We, the Claret Samal Foundation, Inc., envision the development of communities of dialogue among peoples of different faiths. As a Claretian pastoral endeavor, we commit ourselves to a liberating process, education for empowerment, dialogical and responsible partnership, respect for indigenous cultures, and the integral human development of the Samal-Bajau people.





To help and guide the Samal-Bajaus strengthen their sense of identity and build a just and harmonious community where there is quality of life founded on their own indigenous culture.




Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Townsite
Maluso, Basilan Province, Philippines

Santos-Mallari Road, Sunrise
Isabela City, Basilan
Tel# (062) 200-7553



The Foundation utilizes the Community Organization-Participatory action research (CO-PAR) method of organizing. This method employs a holistic approach integrating therein basic social services, networking and linkage building as well as the appreciation of the Samal-Bajau culture that would lead to basic empowerment and conscientization of themselves.

Education enables Samal-Bajaus to develop competencies and awareness conducive to collective action for the integral development of Bajau communities. The Foundation focuses on pre-school, elementary and adult education. The Bajau Educational Support Program (BESP) was conceived to ensure stable and adequate support for the schooling of children by gathering commitments from private individuals who may find joy in helping Bajau children.

The Lumah ‘Tam (Our House) was established to be the center of alternative learning for children and adults, symbolizing the Samal-Bajaus’ common effort to strive for relevant learning and development.

Proper hygiene, cleanliness, population control and family building are stressed in this program. Basically, it involves networking that would respond to the varied health needs of the Samal-Bajaus like medical check-ups, consultations and medicines. Practical measures to control life-threatening diseases are integrated in this program through education and health empowerment.

The ultimate purpose of the Foundation is a sustainable livelihood for the Samal-Bajaus. Thus, it seeks to develop a stable economic base. Aside from mat weaving and fishing, which are the most common ways of earning a living for the Samal-Bajaus, they are being introduced also to other alternative ways of living like running a mini-store.

To enhance their livelihood, Bajau Tepo or Mats are made available for those who are interested to support this community of indigenous people.