Palawan (pron. /pəˈlɑːwɑːn/), officially the Province of Palawan
(Cuyonon: Probinsya i'ang
Palawan / Paragua; Hiligaynon: Kapuoran sang
Palawan; Filipino: Lalawigan ng Palawan) is an archipelagic province
Philippines that is located in the region of MIMAROPA. It is
the largest province in the country in terms of total area of
jurisdiction. Its capital is the city of Puerto Princesa, but the city
is governed independently from the province as a highly urbanized
The islands of
Palawan stretch between
Mindoro in the northeast and
Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the West Philippine Sea
China Sea) and the
Sulu Sea. The province is named after its
Palawan Island (09°30′N 118°30′E /
9.500°N 118.500°E / 9.500; 118.500), measuring 450 kilometres
(280 mi) long, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide.
1.1 Ancient times
1.2 Classical period
1.3 Spanish period
1.4 American rule
1.5 Japanese invasion
1.6 Contemporary period
2.2 Administrative divisions
3.1.1 Roman Catholicism
3.1.2 Protestantism and other groups
3.1.4 Other religions
5 Flora and fauna
6.1 Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary
6.2 Coron Reefs, Coron Bay, Busuanga
6.3 El Nido Marine Reserve Park
Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area
6.5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
6.6 Ursula Island
Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary
9.2 Health facilities
11 See also
13 External links
The early history of
Palawan was determined by a team of researchers
led by Dr. Robert B. Fox. They found evidence in the
Tabon Caves that
humans have lived in
Palawan for more than 50,000 years. They also
found human bone fragments, from an individual known as Tabon Man, in
the municipality of Quezon, as well as tools and other artifacts.
Although the origin of the cave dwellers is not yet established,
anthropologists believe they came from Borneo. The
Tabon Caves are now
known as the Cradle of Philippine Civilization
The Palawano and Tagbanwa, are believed to be direct descendants of
Palawan's earliest settlers. They developed an informal form of
government, an alphabet, and a system of trading with seafaring
Surviving ancient tribal artwork include reliefs of elephants, sharks,
and fish found at Tabon Caves. Approximately 5,000 years ago, a
culturally distinct period characterised by jar burials is evident.
This era lasted till AD 500. Over 1500 jars and a mural depicting a
burial procession were found.
A more recent wave of migrants arrived between AD 220 and 263. This
was during a period known as the Three Kingdoms. "Little, dark people"
living in Anwei province in South
China were driven South by Han
People. Some settled in Thailand, others went farther south to
Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo. They were known as Aetas and
whom Palawan's Batak tribe descended.
In AD 982, ancient Chinese traders regularly visited the islands.
A Chinese author referred to these islands as Kla-ma-yan (Calamian),
Palau-ye (Palawan), and Paki-nung (Busuanga). Pottery, china and other
artifacts recovered from caves and waters of
Palawan attest to trade
relations that existed between Chinese and Malay merchants.
In the 12th century, Malay immigrants arrived. Most of their
settlements were ruled by Malay chieftains. These people grew rice,
ginger, coconuts, sweet potatoes, sugarcane and bananas. They also
raised swine, goats and chickens. Most of their economic activities
were fishing, farming, and hunting by the use of bamboo traps and
blowguns. The local people had a dialect consisting of 18
syllables. They were followed by the Indonesians of the Majapahit
Empire in the 13th century, and they brought with them
Surviving Buddhist images and sculptures are primarily in and near
Because of Palawan's proximity to Borneo, southern portions of the
island were under the control of the
Sultanate of Brunei
Sultanate of Brunei for more than
two centuries, and
Islam was introduced. During the same period, trade
relations flourished, and intermarriages among the natives and the
Arab and Hindu. The inter-mixing of blood resulted
to a distinct breed of Palaweños, both in physical stature and
Taytay, the capital of Province of Calamianes in 1818 (Spanish
After Ferdinand Magellan's death, remnants of his fleet landed in
Palawan where the bounty of the land saved them from starvation.
Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler named the place "Land of
The northern Calamianes Islands were the first to come under Spanish
authority, and were later declared a province separate from the
Palawan mainland. In the early 17th century, Spanish friars sent out
missions in Cuyo, Agutaya, Taytay and
Cagayancillo but they met
resistance from Moro communities. Before the 18th century,
to build churches enclosed by garrisons for protection against Moro
raids in the town of Cuyo, Taytay,
Linapacan and Balabac. In 1749, the
Sultanate of Brunei
Sultanate of Brunei ceded southern
Palawan to Spain.
In 1818, the entire island of Palawan, or Paragua as it was called,
was organized as a single province named Calamianes, with its capital
in Taytay. By 1858, the province was divided into two
provinces, namely, Castilla, covering the northern section with Taytay
as capital and Asturias in the southern mainland with Puerto Princesa
as capital. It was later divided into three districts, Calamianes,
Paragua and Balabac, with Principe Alfonso town as its capital. and
During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Cuyo became the
second capital of
Palawan from 1873 to 1903.
In 1902, after the Philippine-American War, the Americans established
civil rule in northern Palawan, calling it the province of Paragua. In
1903, pursuant to Philippine Commission Act No. 1363, the province was
reorganized to include the southern portions and renamed Palawan, and
Puerto Princesa declared as its capital.
Many reforms and projects were later introduced in the province.
Construction of school buildings, promotion of agriculture, and
bringing people closer to the government were among the priority plans
during this era.
U. S. Army personnel toiled to identify the charred remains of
Americans captured at
Bataan and burned alive on Palawan. 20 March
During World War II, in order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of
war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, units of the
Japanese Fourteenth Area Army
Japanese Fourteenth Area Army (under the command of General Tomoyuki
Yamashita) herded the remaining 150 prisoners of war at Puerto
Princesa into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using
barrels of gasoline. Prisoners who tried to escape the flames were
shot down. Others attempted to escape by climbing over a cliff
that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down
and killed. Only 11 men escaped the slaughter and between 133 and 141
The massacre is the basis for the recently published book Last Man
Out: Glenn McDole, USMC, Survivor of the
Palawan Massacre in World War
II by Bob Wilbanks, and the opening scenes of the 2005
The Great Raid. A memorial has been erected on the site and McDole, in
his eighties, was able to attend the dedication.
During the first phase of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, just off the coast
of Palawan, two
United States Navy
United States Navy submarines,
USS Dace (SS-247) and USS Darter (SS-227) attacked
a Japanese cruiser task force led by Admiral Takeo Kurita, sinking his
flagship (in which he survived) Atago, and her sister ship Maya.
Darter later ran aground that afternoon and was scuttled by
USS Nautilus (SS-168).
The island was liberated from the Japanese Imperial Forces by a task
force consisting of Filipino and American military personnel between
February 28 and April 22, 1945.
Palawan was briefly made politically part of Western Visayas
or Region VI through Executive Order 429 signed by then-President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on May 23, 2005. This decree was later
deferred on August 18 within the same year reportedly due to the
opposition of the province's
Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial
The province is composed of the long and narrow
Palawan Island, plus a
number of other smaller islands surrounding it, totalling roughly
1,780 islands and islets. The Calamianes Group of Islands to the
northeast consists of Busuanga, Coron, Culion, and
Balabac Island is located off the southern tip, separated from Borneo
Balabac Strait. In addition,
Palawan covers the
Cuyo Islands in
Sulu Sea. The disputed Spratly Islands, located a few hundred
kilometres to the west, are considered part of
Palawan by the
Philippines, and is locally called the "Kalayaan Group of Islands".
Palawan's almost 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) of irregular
coastline is lined with rocky coves and sugar-white sandy beaches. It
also harbors a vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of
mountain ranges. The mountain heights average 3,500 feet
(1,100 m) in altitude, with the highest peak rising to 6,843 feet
(2,086 m) at Mount Mantalingahan. The vast mountain areas are
the source of valuable timber. The terrain is a mix of coastal plain,
craggy foothills, valley deltas, and heavy forest interspersed with
riverine arteries that serve as irrigation.
The province has a total land area of 14,649.73 square kilometres
(5,656.29 sq mi). When
Puerto Princesa City is included
for geographical purposes, its land area is 17,030.75 square
kilometres (6,575.61 square miles). The land area is distributed
to its mainland municipalities, comprising 12,239 square kilometres
(4,726 square miles), and the island municipalities, which altogether
measure 2,657 square kilometres (1,026 square miles). In terms of
archipelagic internal waters,
Palawan has the biggest marine resources
that covers almost half of the
Sulu Sea and a big chunk of the South
China Sea that is within the municipal waters of Kalayaan Municipality
which was official annexed to the Philippine jurisdiction by virtue of
Presidential Decree 1596 dated June 11, 1978.
The province has two types of climate. The first, which occurs in the
northern and southern extremities and the entire western coast, has
two distinct seasons – six months dry and six months wet. The other,
which prevails in the eastern coast, has a short dry season of one to
three months and no pronounced rainy period during the rest of the
year. The southern part of the province is virtually free from
tropical depressions but northern
Palawan experiences torrential rains
during the months of July and August. Summer months serve as peak
season for Palawan. Sea voyages are most favorable from March to early
June when the seas are calm. The average maximum temperature is
31 °C (88 °F) with little variation all year.
Palawan comprises 433 barangays in 23 municipalities and the capital
City of Puerto Princesa. As an archipelago,
Palawan has 13 mainland
municipalities and 10 island towns. There are three congressional
districts, namely: the first district comprising five northern
mainland municipalities and nine island towns; the second district
composed of six southern mainland towns and the island municipality of
Balabac; and the third district covering the capital City of Puerto
Princesa and the town of Aborlan. Thirteen municipalities are
considered as mainland municipalities, namely Aborlan, Narra, Quezon,
Sofronio Española, Brooke's Point, Rizal, and
south); San Vicente, Roxas, Dumaran, El Nido, and Taytay (found in the
north). The remaining island municipalities are: Busuanga, Coron,
Culion (forming the Calamianes group of islands), Cuyo,
Agutaya and Magsaysay (the Cuyo group of islands), Araceli,
Balabac and Kalayaan (Spratly Islands). The capital,
Puerto Princesa is a highly urbanized city that governs itself
independently from the province, but it usually grouped with the
province for statistical and geographic purposes.
A State of
Palawan was advocated by President
Rodrigo Duterte during a
Palawan in 2015. In July 2016, Duterte's spokesperson noted
the possibility of 5 states in Luzon, possibly including
Palawan in a
Southern Tagalog which will include
CALABARZON and MIMAROPA.
There is an active movement in the Calamian Islands, the northernmost
island group of Palawan, to become a separate province due to
geographic constraint and cultural differences.
† Provincial capital and highly urbanized city
City or municipality
9°26′14″N 118°32′54″E / 9.4371°N 118.5484°E /
9.4371; 118.5484 (Aborlan)
11°09′04″N 120°56′22″E / 11.1511°N 120.9394°E /
11.1511; 120.9394 (Agutaya)
10°33′13″N 119°59′21″E / 10.5535°N 119.9891°E /
10.5535; 119.9891 (Araceli)
7°59′12″N 117°03′49″E / 7.9866°N 117.0635°E /
7.9866; 117.0635 (Balabac)
8°40′20″N 117°37′41″E / 8.6722°N 117.6281°E /
8.6722; 117.6281 (Bataraza)
8°46′25″N 117°50′10″E / 8.7737°N 117.8361°E /
8.7737; 117.8361 (Brooke's Point)
12°08′00″N 119°56′10″E / 12.1332°N 119.9361°E /
12.1332; 119.9361 (Busuanga)
9°34′37″N 121°11′50″E / 9.5769°N 121.1971°E /
9.5769; 121.1971 (Cagayancillo)
11°59′56″N 120°12′22″E / 11.9988°N 120.2060°E /
11.9988; 120.2060 (Coron)
11°53′26″N 120°01′19″E / 11.8905°N 120.0220°E /
11.8905; 120.0220 (Culion)
10°50′55″N 121°00′49″E / 10.8486°N 121.0137°E /
10.8486; 121.0137 (Cuyo)
10°31′35″N 119°46′13″E / 10.5265°N 119.7703°E /
10.5265; 119.7703 (Dumaran)
11°10′46″N 119°23′29″E / 11.1795°N 119.3913°E /
11.1795; 119.3913 (El Nido)
11°03′12″N 114°17′09″E / 11.0534°N 114.2857°E /
11.0534; 114.2857 (Kalayaan)
11°29′28″N 119°52′06″E / 11.4910°N 119.8682°E /
11.4910; 119.8682 (Linapacan)
10°51′52″N 121°03′01″E / 10.8645°N 121.0504°E /
10.8645; 121.0504 (Magsaysay)
9°16′10″N 118°24′14″E / 9.2694°N 118.4039°E /
9.2694; 118.4039 (Narra)
9°44′24″N 118°44′24″E / 9.7400°N 118.7400°E /
9.7400; 118.7400 (Puerto Princesa)
9°14′12″N 117°59′29″E / 9.2368°N 117.9914°E /
9.2368; 117.9914 (Quezon)
9°01′49″N 117°38′29″E / 9.0302°N 117.6413°E /
9.0302; 117.6413 (Rizal)
10°19′11″N 119°20′35″E / 10.3196°N 119.3430°E /
10.3196; 119.3430 (Roxas)
10°31′44″N 119°15′17″E / 10.5289°N 119.2547°E /
10.5289; 119.2547 (San Vicente)
8°58′01″N 117°59′41″E / 8.9669°N 117.9947°E /
8.9669; 117.9947 (Sofronio Española)
10°49′32″N 119°31′00″E / 10.8256°N 119.5166°E /
10.8256; 119.5166 (Taytay)
(see GeoGroup box)
Coordinates mark the city/town center, and are sortable by latitude.
^ Total figures exclude the highly urbanized city of Puerto Princesa.
In 2001, the residents of
Palawan voted in a plebiscite to reject
inclusion into an expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
On 17 May 2002, Executive Order No. 103 divided Region IV into Region
IV-A (Calabarzon) and Region IV-B (Mimaropa), placing the province of
Palawan into Mimaropa.
On 23 May 2005, Executive Order No. 429 directed that
transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI. However, Palaweños
criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most
Puerto Princesa City and all municipalities but one
preferring to stay with Region IV-B. Consequently, Administrative
Order No. 129 was issued on 19 August 2005 that the implementation of
EO 429 be held in abeyance pending approval by the President of its
implementation Plan. The Philippine Commission on Elections
2010 Philippine general election
2010 Philippine general election results for
Palawan as a
part of the Region IV-B results. As of
30 June 2011[update], the abeyance was still in effect and
Palawan remained a part of Mimaropa.
A lagoon in El Nido
The geology of
Palawan is, in many ways, unlike other parts of the
Philippines. The crust of northeast
Palawan was derived from the
southeast edge of the continental crust of China, part of the Eurasian
Plate. It is the exposed portion of a microcontinent that drifted
southward with the opening of the South
China Sea. This microcontinent
also forms the shallow water north of
Palawan in the Reed
Bank-Dangerous Ground area of the southern South
China Sea. Some of
the oldest rocks of the
Philippines are found in northeast Palawan
(Permian-Carboniferous age). Southwest
Palawan exposes primarily
ophiolitic material (rocks derived from uplifted oceanic crust and
mantle). This 34 Myr old (latest Eocene-earliest Oligocene)
ophiolite appears to have been thrust upon the continental crust
as well as the older, Cretaceous ophiolitic and sedimentary units. The
transition from "oceanic" ophiolite in the southwest to
"continental"-type rocks in the northeast occurs in the area of
Palawan around Ulugan Bay and the Sabang area. In the southern
coasts of Ulugan Bay and Sabang Beach, are several exposures showing
Palawan ophiolite has been thrust on to the continent-derived
clastic rocks ("Sabang thrust").
Palawan Trough is an area of deeper water adjacent to the north
Palawan in the South
China Sea. The
Palawan trough is
thought to be due to downbending of the continental crust due to the
weight of the ophiolite thrust sheet.
Further north, around the
Malampaya Sound area and up to the El Nido
area, one finds older (Triassic-Jurassic) deep marine chert and
limestone. The limestone forms spectacular karst terrain. These units
are part of the microcontinent ("North
Palawan Block") although they
are deep marine rocks marginal to the continental crust. They were
accreted to the Chinese continental crust in the Mesozoic at a time
when an Andean-type subduction zone existed in southeast China.
Intruding these rocks in central
Palawan (Cleopatra's Needle area) and
Palawan (Mount Capoas or Kapoas area) are young granite
bodies (true granite to granodiorite). The Kapoas intrusion is of
Miocene age (13-15 million years old based on zircon and monazite U-Pb
dating). In the Taytay area of northern Palawan, a young basaltic
cinder cone is another manifestation of young magmatic activity. The
granitic magmatism and basaltic magmatism are both expressions of what
has been identified as a widespread post-South
China Sea spreading
magmatism that has affected many areas around the South
Palawan with the Calamian Islands, is considered to be a
north-east extension of the Sunda Plate, in collision with the
Philippine Mobile Belt
Philippine Mobile Belt at Mindoro.
Population census of Palawan
Puerto Princesa City)
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority
Further information: Tribes of Palawan
The population of
Palawan in the 2015 census was 849,469 people,
with a density of 58 inhabitants per square kilometre or 150
inhabitants per square mile. When
Puerto Princesa City is included for
geographical purposes, the population is 1,104,585 people, with a
density of 65/km2 (168/sq mi).
The province is a melting pot of 87 different cultural groups and
races. Basically, its culture bears a strong influence from China,
India and the Middle East. Influx of migrants from
other parts of the Philippines, particularly from Muslim Mindanao,
accounts for the high population growth rate of 3.98% annually. The
native-born Palaweños still predominate the populace. Eighteen
percent is composed of cultural minority groups such as the Tagbanwa,
Palawano, Batak, and Molbog.
Main article: Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa
The predominant religion in
Palawan is Roman Catholicism. In 2014, the
Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Prinsesa had a 68%
adherence while the Roman Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay
(Northern Palawan) had an 88% adherence.One of the
religious orders that had a significant mission in the islands is the
Order of Augustinian Recollects.
The island of
Palawan is divided into two Apostolic Vicariates: the
Apostolic Vicariate of
Puerto Princesa in Southern
Palawan and the
Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay in Northern Palawan.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Protestantism and other groups
Baptist and other Protestant denominations have a strong
Palawan as do the Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the
Philippines, and the Seventh-day Adventists. Charismatic groups such
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord (JIL), Jesus Touch Fellowship (JTF) and the Life
Church (formerly known at the Life Renewal Center).
Members Church of God International
Members Church of God International popularly called Ang Dating
Daan establishes three church districts namely Coron, Northern Palawan
Palawan which signifies strong membership in the
Other Christian denominations including the indigenous Iglesia ni
Cristo has many local congregations in the province. The United Church
of Christ in the
Philippines or (UCCP), the Jesus Miracle Crusade, the
Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ or PMCC as well as the Iglesia
Filipina Independiente (
Philippine Independent Church
Philippine Independent Church or Aglipayan
Church) which is standing as one diocese (The Diocese of Palawan). The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a growing membership
in the island province.
Jehovah's Witnesses have an active membership
of 181,236 in the
Philippines as of 2012.
Special pioneers from the
Witnesses have been preaching to prisoners at the Iwahig penal colony
in Palawan, and were permitted to build a small Kingdom Hall right on
Islam in the Philippines
While the formerly Muslim majority population in
Mindanao was reduced
to 40% as a result of the influx of Christian Filipino settlers in the
20th century, as of 2015[update] Muslims were reported by the
Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization as forming an
"overwhelming majority" in Palawan, as well as the Sulu
Archipelago. However, other sources had earlier reported a 50-50
split between Muslims and Christians—with Muslims concentrated
mostly in the south of Palawan.
There are Buddhists - mainly Vietnamese refugees who
settled in Palawan, as well as some ethnic Chinese Buddhists. One
notable Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in
Palawan is Chùa Vạn
Most of the ethnic minorities such as Batak and Tagbanwa are animists,
but many have become Christians (usually Protestant) or have joined
Spoken languages in Palawan
There are 52 languages and dialects in the province, with Tagalog
being spoken by more than 50 percent of the people. Languages native
to the islands are
Cuyonon (26.27 percent), and Palawano (4.0
percent). Hiligaynon is also present at 19 percent. Before mass
Palawan by various groups of people from Southern
Tagalog, Illocandia, and Central Luzon, and Panay
Cuyonon was an
established lingua franca amongst many of its native peoples, i.e. the
Agutaynen, Cagayanen, Tagbanua, Palawan, and others. The usage of
Cuyonon significantly dropped during the approach of the new
millennium being replaced by the now majority Tagalog. In the south of
Palawan during the occupation of the
Sulu Sultanate, Tausug was a
lingua franca amongst the minority Islamfied ethnic groups i.e.
Molbog, Tausug (non native), Muslim Palaw’an, and the migratory
Sama. By the 19th Century,
Cuyonon had replaced Tausug as lingua
franca, coinciding with Spain’s efforts to stake control of the
Palawan's economy is basically agricultural. The three major crops are
palay, corn and coconut. Mineral resources include nickel, copper,
manganese, and chromite. Logging is also a major industry.
one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. About 45% of
Manila's supply of fish comes from here. Having natural gas reserves
of approximately 30,000 trillion cubic feet, the province is the only
oil-producing province in the country. In addition, tourism is
also a thriving sector.
Pearl diving used to be a significant economic activity for Palawan
until the advent of plastics. The world's largest
pearl, the 240 millimetres (9.4 in) diameter Pearl of Lao Tzu,
was found off
Palawan in 1934.
The economic and agricultural business growth of province is at 20%
per annum. Coconut, sugar, rice, lumber, and livestock are
Flora and fauna
Unlike most of the Philippines,
Palawan is biogeographically part of
Sundaland, with a fauna and flora related to that found in Borneo.
Among the many endemic species are the
Philippine mouse-deer, Philippine pangolin,
Palawan bearded pig, and
Palawan birdwing. In the forests and grasslands, the air resonates
with the songs of more than 200 kinds of birds. Over 600 species of
butterflies flutter around the mountains and fields of Palawan,
attracted to some 1500 hosts plants found here. Endangered sea turtles
nest on white sand beaches.
Dugong numbers have fallen seriously,
Palawan still has a larger population than any other part of
the country and organizations such as Community Centred
Conservation (C3) are working to end the unsustainable use of marine
Palawan and in Philippines.
In 2007, a "shrew-eating pitcher plant", named Nepenthes
attenboroughii was discovered in Mount Victoria. There were many
species of pitcher pants discovered in this wild mountain paradise,
the most recent is named Nepenthes leonardoi.
Palawan palm forest.
Total forest cover is about 56 percent of the total land area of the
province while mangrove forest accounts for 3.35 percent based on the
1998 Landsat imagery.
Grasslands dwindled from 19 percent in 1992 to
12.40 percent in 1998. This is an indication of improving soil
condition as deteriorating soil is normally invaded by grass species.
Brushlands increased to 25 percent of the total land area. Sprawled
beneath the seas are nearly 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs,
representing more than 35% of the country's coral reefs.
Palawan, the only Philippine island cited, is rated by the Condé Nast
Traveler Readers as the most beautiful island in the world and is also
rated by the
National Geographic Traveler
National Geographic Traveler magazine as the best island
destination in East and
Southeast Asia region in 2007, and the 13th
best island in the world having "incredibly beautiful natural
seascapes and landscapes. One of the most biodiverse (terrestrial and
marine) islands in the Philippines... The island has had a Biosphere
Reserve status since the early 1990s, showing local interest for
conservation and sustainable development".
The province was also categorized as "doing well" in the 4th
Destination Scorecard survey conducted by the National Geographic
Center for Sustainable Destinations, and
Conde Nast Traveler
Conde Nast Traveler magazine
voted its beaches, coves and islets as the tourist destination with
the best beaches in Asia. Renowned underwater explorer Jacques
Cousteau has described the province as having one of the most
beautiful seascapes in the world. and Caril Ridley, founder of
Palawan Environmental and Marine Studies Center (PEMS) says the
Islands of northern
Palawan are destined to become a future
destination for Asia's growing economic and environmental
In 2012, the purple crab was discovered here along with four other
Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary
See also: Calauit Safari Park
A game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and
endangered endemic animals of Palawan. The reserve was established on
August 31, 1976 by virtue of the Presidential Decree No.1578, this was
initiated in response to the appeal of the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife when former
Ferdinand Marcos attended the 3rd World Conference in Kenya.
By virtue of the Republic Act 7611 (SEP), administrative jurisdiction
of DENR was given to the local government of Palawan, effective
December 31, 1993. Management of the area is the responsibility of the
Office of the
Palawan Council of Sustainable Development (PCSD). It is
located in Calauit Island in Busuanga.
Coron Reefs, Coron Bay, Busuanga
Seven lakes surrounded by craggy limestone cliffs attract hundreds of
nature lovers to Coron Reefs in Northern Palawan, near the town of
Busuanga Island, whose main town is Coron, is the jump-off
point for numerous dive operators. The principal dive sites are 12
World War II
World War II Japanese shipwrecks sunk on September 24, 1944 by US Navy
action. They range in depth from the surface to 40 meters. This large
variety offers exciting wreck exploration for enthusiasts, from novice
divers and snorkelers and recreational divers to experienced TEC
The aquatic views from the sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island
are listed in
Forbes Traveler Magazine's top 10 best scuba sites in
El Nido Marine Reserve Park
El Nido, Palawan
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
Whitetip reef shark at the Tubbataha Reef.
The January 2008 issue of international magazine Travel + Leisure,
published by the
American Express Co. (which partnered with
Conservation International) listed El Nido's sister hotel resorts El
Nido Lagen Island and El Nido Miniloc Island in Miniloc and Lagen
Islands as "conservation-minded places on a mission to protect the
local environment". Travel + Leisure's 20 Favorite Green Hotels scored
El Nido Resort's protection of Palawan's giant clam gardens and the
re-introduction of endangered Philippine cockatoos: "8. El Nido
Resorts, Philippines: Guest cottages on stilts are set above the
crystalline ocean. The resorts are active in both reef and island
Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area
Main article: Malampaya Sound
Located in the Municipality of Taytay, this important ecological and
economic zone is a watershed and fishing ground, and the habitat of
Bottle-nosed and Irrawaddy dolphins.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (1999)
This park features a large limestone karst landscape with an
underground river. One of the river's distinguishing features is that
it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to
tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for
biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full 'mountain-to-sea'
ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (1993)
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 332 km2, including the
North and South Reefs. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a
very high density of marine species; the North
Islet serving as a
nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent
example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 m
perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.
This game refuge and bird sanctuary is situated near the Municipality
Bataraza in southern Palawan. The islet is a migratory and
wintering ground for shorebirds and seabirds.
Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Main article: Rasa Island
This 1,983-hectare (4,900-acre) protected area located in the
municipality of Narra is a nesting ground of the endemic Philippine
cockatoo or katala. It also harbors other rare bird species and marine
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Palawan is served by several airports, landing airstrips and military
airfields such as the following:
Puerto Princesa International Airport, Puerto Princesa
Francisco B. Reyes Airport, Coron,
El Nido Airport, El Nido
San Vicente Airport, San Vicente
Cuyo Airport, Magsaysay
Taytay Airport, Taytay
Del Pilar Airport, Roxas
Bugsuk (Bonbon) Airport,
Balabac (Bugsuk Island)
Tagbita Airport, Rizal
Balabac Airport, Balabac
Rio Tuba Airport, Bataraza
Airstrips and Airfields
Coron Airstrip, Coron
Culion Airstrip, Culion
Brooke's Point Airstrip, Brooke's Point
Balabac (Candaraman Island)
Inandeng Airstrip, San Vicente (under construction)
Pamalican (Amanpulo) Airstrip, Cuyo (Pamalican Island)
Busuanga Airstrip, Busuanga
Rancudo Airfield, Kalayaan (military)
Tarumpitao Point Airfield, Rizal
The Armed Forces of the Philippines–Western Command in Canigaran and
the Philippine National Police-
Palawan Command with headquarters in
Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa, are responsible for maintenance of the
peace and order. Military units in the province under the Western
Command are the Naval Forces Northwest (Task Force 41 and 42),
Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force 4th Naval District IV, Delta Company and 10th
Marine Battalion Landing Team located in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa.
There has been discussion about dredging Ulugan Bay in order to build
a larger naval base on Palawan, allowing the
Philippines to project
naval power into the South
The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning in May 2015,
advising foreigners against travel to the southern part of
Palawan. The warning continues to be in effect as of May 2017.
Four telecommunication companies provide local and international
direct distance dialing and fax services. Inter island communications
is available through the government's telegraph network and the
Provincial Radio Communication System. In addition, there are 19 post
offices, a number of cargo forwarders provide air parcel and freight
The province has access to two satellite-linked television stations.
Cable television in the City of
Puerto Princesa offers dozens of
foreign channels while smaller firms provide cable services in
selected towns. Individual cable facility (Dream Cable) is available
locally. Seven radio stations are based in Puerto Princesa, four on
the AM and three on the FM bands. Community-based radio stations
operate in some of the municipalities in the north and south of the
province. Additional stations are expected to set up local affiliates
in the capital city of Puerto Princesa.
Two mobile phone companies,
Smart Communications and Globe Telecom,
are operating in the province.
Sun Cellular is expected to start
operations in the province soon.
Dental Buses provided by the
Department of Health for use of
provincial government of Palawan.
There are nine provincial government hospitals, two national
government hospitals, one military hospital and nine private hospitals
in the province. The
Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Ospital
ng Palawan, managed and administered by the Department of Health
(DOH), MMG-PPC Cooperative Hospital, and the
Hospital are located in Puerto Princesa.
National Power Corporation
National Power Corporation has 14 electric facilities all over
Palawan. It operates with a total of 51.363 megawatts of electricity.
Water facilities in
Palawan are classified as Level I (deepwell,
handpump), Level II (communal faucet), or Level III (house
connection). Among all of these types, Level I has the most number of
units, accounting to 17,438; this is followed by Level III, with 1,688
units; and Level II, with only 94 units.[clarification needed]
The literacy rate in
Palawan is increasing by 2% annually because of
expanding access to education. Among these programs are the
establishment of schools in remote barangays, non-formal education,
multi-grade mobile teaching and the drop-out intervention program.
Public schools in the province consist of 623 elementary schools, 126
secondary schools and two universities. Private schools are as
follows: 26 elementary, 19 secondary, 4 private colleges, and 10
Among the public institutions of higher education are the Western
Philippines University with campuses in
Aborlan and Puerto Princesa
City, Coron College of Fisheries,
Puerto Princesa School of Arts and
Trade and the
Palawan College of Arts and Trade in Cuyo, Palawan. Also
Palawan State University
Palawan State University located at Puerto Princesa.
Some of the private institutions are the
Holy Trinity University
Holy Trinity University run
by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, Fullbright
Palawan Polytechnical College Inc., in Roxas, San Vicente and
Puerto Princesa City, Systems Technology Institute (STI), AMA Computer
Learning Center (ACLC) in
Puerto Princesa City, San Francisco Javier
College run by the
Augustinian Recollect Sisters
Augustinian Recollect Sisters in Narra, Loyola
Culion run by the Jesuits, St. Joseph Academy in Cuyo, St.
Augustine Academy in Coron, Coron Technical School, Sacred Heart of
Jesus High School in Brooke's Point; Northern
Institute (owned and manage by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente,
Palawan Diocese) and the unique educational institution called the St.
Ezekiel Moreno Dormitory located in barangay Macarascas, Puerto
Princesa City founded by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the present
auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila. The Palawanologist,
Andrei Ustares Acosta of El Nido, Palawan, founded the new discipline
on the studies of
Palawan called the Palawanology.
Legislative districts of Palawan
List of islands of the Philippines
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
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Philippines turning Ulugan Bay, Palawan, from sleepy village to
military base". South
China Morning Post. June 17, 2017. Retrieved
April 8, 2017. As fears grow that
China is on an aggressive South
China Sea territorial grab, a sleepy Philippine village is being
transformed into a major naval base that may host US warships. [...] A
small pier stands at the bay’s most prized asset, a deep inlet
called Oyster Bay with rich fishing grounds that help sustain the
1,700 residents of the nearby village of Macarascas. As part of the
upgrade, a much bigger pier, harbour and support facilities are being
built to serve as a base for the navy’s largest vessels, including
two ex-US frigates acquired since 2011.
^ U.S. Department of State "
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August 28, 2008. (archived from the original on 2007-10-11)
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Palawan.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Palawan.
Philippine Standard Geographic Code
Local Governance Performance Management System
Places adjacent to Palawan
Province of Palawan
Puerto Princesa (capital)
Highly urbanized city
Puerto Princesa (Administratively independent from the province but
Palawan by the Philippine Statistics Authority.)
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