About Palawan Province, Philippines

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Palawan Province
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 of Borneo.

Capital: Puerto Princesa
Land Area: 14,649.7 km²
Population: 771,667 (2010)
Cities: Puerto Princesa
Munacipalities: 23
Barangays: 433
Districts: 1st and 2nd districts of Palawan

Tagalog, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Tausug, Batak, Tagbanwa (Aborlan, Calamian,Central), Palawano, Kagayen, Bikol, English

The land_______________________________

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 valleys.

The west coast is more rugged with mountains and narrow lowlands. Coral reefs along the western and northwestern coasts make navigation very risky.

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 Mindoro.

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 countries.

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 People______________________________

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 and wood-carving.

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 chromite.

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.

Other Information__________________________

Palawan offers a variety of natural, historical, and archaeological attractions.

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.

Map of Palawan Province
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