|Namesake:|| Filipino for "Carabao,"|
a species of water buffalo
|Tribe Type:||Starting Tribe|
|Day Formed:||Day 1|
|Rival Tribe(s):|| Matsing|
|Tribe Status:||Merged with Tandang on Day 17|
|Lowest Placing Member:||Dana Lambert (14/18)|
|Highest Placing Member:||Carter Williams (6/18)|
Kalabaw became one of the two dominating tribes in Survivor: Philippines (while witnessing the fall of the other tribe, Matsing). However, after Matsing was absorbed, the tribe began to crumble by losing the remaining Immunity Challenges. Eventually, the three men and former Matsing member Denise Stapley entered the merge. Their tribe color is red.
The tribe started out with five players: Carter, Dana, Dawson, Jeff, and Katie. It was later revealed that Jonathan Penner from Survivor: Cook Islands and Survivor: Micronesia would join the tribe. Jonathan had a calm attitude heading into the game, describing it as a marathon in which you have to pace yourself and you can't always be sprinting at full speed. Despite Jonathan being initially warmly greeted by his tribemates, he would eventually become an outsider, especially in Jeff and Dana's minds, as the tribe agreed that he's had his time to play the game and he shouldn't end up winning nor getting far. The tribe included Jeff Kent, a former MLB player who wished to keep his identity secret, as he felt like if people knew who he was, they wouldn't want to keep him around. Dawson was the first person to be aware of Kent's background but kept that realization to herself, likely to use it when and if it would benefit her down the road. Jeff also suffered an injury, tearing his MCL almost immediately after the game started upon jumping off the boat, which at first seemed like it would be a big deal, but Jeff managed to cope with it although some people suspected Jeff might be injured. Jonathan would find the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol in the bag of rice, so Jonathan decided to look for the idol but had no success. In the first Immunity Challenge, the tribe's overall performance was decent enough to finish in 1st place, receiving the reward of a complete fire-starting kit, along with immunity.
During the next episode, it was raining very hard, and the tribe was forced to stick together in the camp, much to Jonathan's annoyance, as he knew the Hidden Immunity Idol was in the camp, but he couldn't go looking for it with the entire tribe there. Dana suggested that it might be a better idea to go inside the cave until the rain stops, which presented Jonathan with a golden opportunity to hopefully find the idol. Dawson and Dana returned to camp, as they forgot some flint that could help them start a fire in the camp and nearly caught Jonathan looking for the idol, but he excused himself by saying he was looking for his glasses. That kept them from being suspicious of him. Jonathan eventually discovered that the Hidden Immunity Idol was the handle of the container that held the rice bag. Upon realizing this, Jonathan obtained the Hidden Immunity Idol. Kalabaw finished in 2nd place in the challenge, and received immunity and a tarp as a reward.
The Kalabaw tribe would soon be divided by gender when Jonathan found the Hidden Immunity Idol and used it to create an alliance with Carter and Jeff. The women were suspicious of the men and broke off from their original alliance and created their own women's alliance. However, by keeping up their winning streak, the two alliances never had to butt any heads. Kalabaw placed 1st and 2nd place at the next two Immunity Challenges.
On Day 11, the two tribes would learn that they would be acquiring one of the two members from the dissolved Matsing tribe. Kalabaw took Denise Stapley, while Tandang took Malcolm Freberg. It appeared now that the men were at a 4-3 disadvantage against the women's alliance, who needed to pull in Denise for a majority. However, this plan was short-lived when Dana fell ill and decided to pull herself out of the game because she felt she couldn't continue on. Denise also joined the men's alliance, eventually resulting in the fall of the women's alliance.
At the Immunity Challenge, although Kalabaw managed to catch up despite Katie's lagging at the start, they lost and had to attend their first Tribal Council. At their camp, both Katie and Dawson were targets because they were blamed for the loss at the Immunity Challenge, while Katie and Dawson decided to target Denise to keep the original tribe's remaining numbers, while the men were eyeing on her, as their fourth member. At Kalabaw's first Tribal Council, Dawson found herself blindsided by a 5-1 vote, but not before giving Jeff a kiss and a hug on her way out.
At the next Reward Challenge, the returning players of both tribes squared off in a physical challenge. With the tribes dead even, the returning players from both tribes decided to broker a deal to call off the challenge. Jonathan and Michael Skupin decided that the Tandang tribe would forfeit the challenge in exchange for whatever remained from Kalabaw's rice supply. On Kalabaw's end of the deal, Jonathan promised to catch more fish to compensate for the lost rice. Though the new contestants were shaky with this decision, they agreed with the deal, winning the challenge for Kalabaw. The deal proved to be a large failure for both tribes, when Jonathan failed to catch fish as he promised, while Tandang received less rice than expected.
In the following Immunity Challenge, Kalabaw lost in a comeback victory of Tandang. Katie, being the weakest member of the tribe, wanted to target Jonathan for the failed deal and for being a returning contestant. In the end, Jeff and Carter thought Jonathan possessing an idol would be beneficial for them in the long run, and Katie was sent home in a 4-1 vote.
On Day 17, Kalabaw received a message from a visiting boat, instructing them to gather their belongings and other valuables in ten minutes and prepare for transportation to the abandoned Matsing tribe camp for the remainder of the competition as the merged Dangrayne tribe.
- The national animal of the Philippines, the "kalabaw" ("carabao" in English; scientific name Bubalus bubalis carabanesis), is a subspecies of the water buffalo. Important in agriculture, they are employed by farmers to plow their fields or haul their products to marketplaces, similar to horse carriages.
- Red is one of the three colors represented in the Philippine flag.
- Kalabaw is the first tribe on a non-Battle of the Sexes season whose original members enter a Merge with only one gender. All original female Kalabaw members were eliminated before the merge, leaving only men (and Denise Stapley, whose original tribe was Matsing) to represent the tribe.
- Kalabaw has many similarities to Mogo Mogo from Survivor: All-Stars:
- Both tribes won all the Immunity Challenges when there were three tribes.
- Both tribes lost their first member due to them having to withdraw under serious circumstances.
- Both tribes had seven members after one tribe was absorbed.
- Both tribes lost most of the challenges post-absorption.
- Both tribes had three original members enter the merge, two middle-aged and one in their 20's.
- Both tribes were the first tribe to have all of their original members eliminated, with their highest-ranking member being unanimously voted out and finishing in 6th.
- Despite being the only tribe to not have an original member at the Final Tribal Council, the eventual Sole Survivor was a member of Kalabaw due to the absorption.
- The only challenge Kalabaw won post-absorption was via forfeit; the other challenges they won were during the three-tribe phase.
- They lived at the same beach that Bikal lived on during Survivor: Caramoan. It is known as Tayak Beach.