is situated in the southwest part of the Philippine Islands chain.
It is bounded on the north and west by the South China Sea and on
the east by the Sulu Sea. Its southernmost tip faces the island
||1st and 2nd districts of Palawan
Tagalog, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Tausug, Batak, Tagbanwa (Aborlan, Calamian,Central), Palawano, Kagayen, Bikol, English
Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines. Its three
major island groups are: Calamain in the north, Dumaran-Cuyo in
the northeast and Balabac-Bugsok in the south.
The main island of Palawan is 425 km long. It has a width of
40 kilometers at its widest, and eight and one-half kilometers
at its narrowest.
Tall mountain ranges bisect the province into east and west coasts.
The east coast has narrow beaches backed by plains and short
The west coast is more rugged with mountains and narrow lowlands.
Coral reefs along the western and northwestern coasts make navigation
The province has two distinct climates.The west coast has approximately
6 months of dry season and 6 months of wet season.The east coast
has a short dry season of one to three months.
A Brief History___________________________
Palawan was said to be a land-bridge that connected Bornea and
Before the Spaniards came, the inhabitants of Palawan had already
attained a fair degree of civilization. They had their own alphabet,
a form of government, and had relations with China and other Asian
There are several versions of the origin of the name. There is
the Chinese word "Pa-Lao-Yu" meaning "land of Beautiful
Harbors"; the Indian word "Palaws", meaning territory;
a plant the natives called Palwar; and the Spanish word "Paragua"
because of the main island´s shape resembling a closed umbrella.
In 1818, it was known as the province of Calamianes with its
capital in Taytay.
In 1859, it was divided into two sub-provinces, Castilla and
Asturias. At the turn of the century, Palawan was again divided
into three districts: Calamian, Paragua and Balabac.
In 1902, the Americans established the province of Paragua, with
Cuyo as its capital.
In 1905, the name was changed to Palawan and the capital moved
to Puerto Princesa.
The province has a cultural minority population that includes
the Tagbanuas, Pala´wans, Batacs, Calamianes, Ken-Uys, Jama-Mapuns,
Molbogs, Cagayanos, Agutayanos, and Tau´t Batu.
The Tagbanuas are scattered in the north. They are into basket-weaving
The Pala´wans occupy the southern highlands.
The Batacs are of Negrito descent.
The Calamianes or Kalamians are native to the Calamian islands.
The Ken-Uys, the "vanishing tribe" of Palawan, live
in the mountains in the south.
The Molborgs live in Balabac Island.
Tau´t Batu, "people of the rock", are cave dwellers
who hunt bats and birds.
Palawan´s ethnic diversity, is reflected in the number
of languages and dialects spoken. Native dialects spoken are Cuyuno,
Pinalawan, Tagbanua, Cagayano, Agutayano and Batak. The non-native
tongues are Tagalog , Ilonggo, Cebuano and Muslim dialects.
Commerce and Industry_____________________
Agriculture is the main industry in the province. The three
major crops grown are rice, corn and coconut.
Mineral resources mined include nickel, copper, manganese and
Logging is also a major industry.
Palawan has one of the richest fishing grounds in the country.
About 45% of Manila´s fish supply come from the province.
Oil drilling and exploration is also done in the province.
Getting There and Away_____________________
Daily flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa are available. Flights
from Cebu are also available.
Palawan offers a variety of natural, historical, and archaeological
St. Paul Subterranean National Park has an underground river within
the rugged limestone. At the mouth of the river is a beautiful lagoon
with crystal-clear water teeming with fish.
The Tabon Caves are the oldest known habitation site in Southeast
Asia. The 29 caves, of which 17 have been excavated, have yielded
the oldest-known Filipino skull, a 2000 year old jar, and other
artifacts and fossilized human bones.
El Nido, also known as the "Swallow´s Nest", is
an unspoiled world of secluded islands nesting in the South China
Sea. Its cliffs are made of black marble rising thousands of feet
above the jade-green waters.
Calauit National Park is a 4000-hectare island at northwest tip
of Busuanga Island. Animals imported from Kenya, such as giraffes,
zebras, impalas and gazelles have been brought into the park.
Tubbataha Reef, in the middle of the Sulu Sea, is said to be the
most beautiful dive site in this part of the world. Seagulls and
sea turtles are in abundance in the reef.