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Nickname(s): Philippine's Last Frontier;[1][2]
The Land of Promise[3]
Region (in transition[4][5])
Founded 1818
 • Type Province of the Philippines
 • Governor Jose C. Alvarez (NPC)
 • Vice Governor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates (NUP)
 • Total 14,649.73 km2 (5,656.29 sq mi)
Area rank 1st out of 81
  Excludes Puerto Princesa
Population (2010)[7]
 • Total 771,667
 • Rank 32nd out of 81
 • Density 53/km2 (140/sq mi)
 • Density rank 80th out of 81
  Excludes Puerto Princesa
Demonym(s) Palaweño
 • Independent cities 1
 • Component cities 0
 • Municipalities 23
 • Barangays 367
including independent cities: 433
 • Districts 1st to 3rd districts of Palawan (shared with Puerto Princesa City)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP Code 5300 to 5322
Spoken languages Tagalog, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Tausug, Batak, Tagbanwa (Aborlan, Calamian, Central), Mangian, Kagayen, Bikol, Meranau, English

Palawan (Tagalog pronunciation: ), officially the Province of Palawan (Filipino: Lalawigan ng Palawan), is an island province of the Philippines that is located in the MIMAROPA region. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, but it is governed independently from the province.

The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island (), measuring 450 kilometres (280 mi) long, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide.[8][9]


  • Geography 1
    • Climate 1.1
    • Political subdivisions 1.2
    • Region 1.3
    • Geology 1.4
  • History 2
    • Ancient times 2.1
    • Classical period 2.2
    • Spanish period 2.3
    • American rule 2.4
    • Japanese invasion 2.5
      • Palawan Massacre 2.5.1
      • Liberation 2.5.2
  • Demographics 3
    • Religion 3.1
      • Roman Catholicism 3.1.1
      • Protestantism and other groups 3.1.2
      • Islam 3.1.3
      • Other religions 3.1.4
    • Language 3.2
  • Economy 4
  • Flora and fauna 5
  • Attractions 6
    • Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary 6.1
    • Coron Reefs, Coron Bay, Busuanga 6.2
    • El Nido Marine Reserve Park 6.3
    • Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area 6.4
    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites 6.5
    • Ursula Island 6.6
    • Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary 6.7
  • Infrastructure 7
    • Transportation 7.1
    • Security 7.2
    • Communication 7.3
    • Health facilities 7.4
    • Utilities 7.5
      • Electricity 7.5.1
      • Water facilities 7.5.2
  • Education 8
  • Media 9
    • Radio 9.1
    • Television 9.2
    • Print media 9.3
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Palawan is composed of the long and narrow Palawan Island, plus a number of other smaller islands surrounding the main island. The Calamianes Group of Islands to the Northeast consists of Busuanga Island, Coron Island and Culion Island. Durangan Island (Dulangan) almost touches the westernmost part of Palawan Island, while Balabac Island is located off the southern tip, separated from Borneo by the Balabac Strait. In addition, Palawan covers the Cuyo Islands in the 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 are dotted with roughly 1,780 islands and islets, 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)[9] 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.[8]


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 degrees C with little variation all year.[8]

Political subdivisions

Political map of Palawan

Palawan consists of 431 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 Bataraza (located south); San Vicente, Roxas, Dumaran, El Nido, and Taytay (found in the north). The remaining island municipalities are: Busuanga, Coron, Linapacan and Culion (forming the Calamianes group of islands), Cuyo, Agutaya and Magsaysay (the Cuyo group of islands), Araceli, Cagayancillo, 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.

It has a total land area of 14,896 square kilometer (km2), When Puerto Princesa City is included for geographical purposes, the province's land area is 17,030.75 square kilometres (6,575.61 sq mi).[6] The land area is distributed to its mainland municipalities, comprising 12,239 km2, and the island municipalities, which altogether measure 2,657 km2. 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.

Municipality Location No. of
Pop. density
(per km2)
Income class[10]
Aborlan Mainland 19 807.33 32,209 39.9 1st class
Agutaya Island 10 37.31 11,906 319.1 5th class
Araceli Island 13 204.30 14,113 69.1 4th class
Balabac Island 20 581.60 35,758 61.5 2nd class
Bataraza Mainland 22 726.20 63,644 87.6 1st class
Brooke's Point Mainland 18 1,303.40 61,301 47 1st class
Busuanga Island 14 392.90 21,358 54.4 3rd class
Cagayancillo Island 12 26.39 7,116 269.6 6th class
Coron Island 23 689.10 42,941 62.3 1st class
Culion Island 14 499.59 19,543 39.1 3rd class
Cuyo Island 17 84.95 21,847 257.2 4th class
Dumaran Mainland 16 435.00 21,397 49.2 3rd class
El Nido Mainland 18 923.26 36,191 39.2 1st class
Kalayaan Island 1 290.00 222 0.8 5th class
Linapacan Island 10 195.44 14,180 72.6 5th class
Magsaysay Island 11 49.48 11,965 241.8 5th class
Narra Mainland 23 831.73 65,264 78.5 1st class
Puerto Princesa
(only geographically within the province)
Mainland 66 2,381.02 222,673 93.5 1st class
Quezon Mainland 14 943.19 55,142 58.5 1st class
Rizal Mainland 11 1,256.47 42,759 34 1st class
Roxas Mainland 31 1,177.56 61,058 51.9 1st class
San Vicente Mainland 10 1,462.94 30,919 21.1 1st class
Sofronio Española Mainland 9 473.91 29,997 63.3 2nd class
Taytay Mainland 31 1,257.68 70,837 56.3 1st class


In 2001, the residents of Palawan voted in a plebiscite to reject inclusion into an expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.[12]

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.[13]

On 23 May 2005, Executive Order No. 429 directed that Palawan be transferred from Region IV-B to Region VI.[4] However, Palaweños criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most residents in 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.[5] The Philippine Commission on Elections reported the 2010 Philippine general election results for Palawan as a part of the Region IV-B results.[14] As of 30 June 2011, the abeyance was still in effect and Palawan remained a part of MIMAROPA.[6]


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 oceanic material appears to have been thrust upon the continental crust. The transition from "oceanic" ophiolite in the southwest to "continental"-type rocks in the northeast occurs in the area of central Palawan around Ulugan Bay and the Sabang area. In the southern coasts of Ulugan Bay and Sabang Beach, are several exposures showing that the Palawan ophiolite has been thrust on to the continent-derived clastic rocks ("Sabang thrust").[15]

Specific rock types in the "continental" northeast, include clastic rocks (sandstones and mudstones). Good exposures of these rocks types can be found on the main road running along the southern coast east of Puerto Princesa all the way up to Malampaya Sound. These rocks are also exposed at Sabang Beach. These rocks probably formed the continental shelf, rise, slope or even deeper marine deposits on the southeast margin of China prior to the opening of the South China Sea. These rock units were deformed as they collided with the Cagayan arc-subduction zone. They underwent polyphase deformation with observable transposed foliations and at least 3 phases of folding. The rocks are largely metapelites (metamorphic rocks derived from mudstones) and metapsammites (derived from sandstones) metamorphosed at low metamorphic grade where the mudstones have been transformed to slates and phyllites.

The Palawan Trough is an area of deeper water adjacent to the north coast of Palawan in the South China Sea.[16]

Further north, around the Malampaya Sound area and up to the El Nido area, one finds deep marine chert and limestone. Based on the structure of these sedimentary units, it is thought that they formed part of an accretionary prism on the southeast margin of China at a time when that part of China was an Andean-type plate margin (an ocean-continent subduction zone). The chert and limestone were scraped off of an oceanic plate and accreted to the margin of China (again, prior to the opening of the South China Sea). Some of the limestones are also thought to be of olistostromal origin (i.e., they formed in shallow water but were transported to deeper water by submarine slides).

It is interesting to note that the spectacular karst limestones in the St. Paul area and El Nido area that Palawan is somewhat famous for, are of different origin and age. The limestones in the St. Paul National Park east of Ulugan Bay (where the famous Underground River is located) are relatively young. Based on their fossil content they are assigned an Oligocene-Miocene age (~30 to 15 million years old). These younger limestones formed largely as reef structures on the bit of continental crust that drifted south from China during the opening of the South China Sea. These are the same limestones that host most of the oil and gas that is being extracted offshore in the South China Sea. In contrast, the limestones in the El Nido area are largely Permian in age (~300-250 million years old). They are related to the karst limestones of Vietnam and China.

Intruding these rocks in central Palawan (Cleopatra's Needle area) and northern Palawan (Mount Capoas or Kapoas area) are young granite bodies (true granite to granodiorite) of Miocene age (13-15 million years old based on zircon and monazite U-Pb dating).[17] 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 China Sea. Hydrothermal activity associated with mercury mineralization near Puerto Princesa is yet another sign of recent magmatic-hydrothermal activity. Surprisingly though, Palawan is relatively "quiet" in terms of seismic activity. Very few moderate-sized earthquakes are recorded in the area in contrast to the rest of the Philippines east of Palawan which are very seismically active.

Tectonically, Palawan with the Calamian Islands, is considered to be a north-east extension of the Sunda Plate, in collision with the Philippine Mobile Belt at Mindoro.


Early history of Palawan was determined by a team of researchers led by Dr. Robert B. Fox. They found evidence in Tabon Caves that man has continuously lived in Palawan for more than 50,000 years. They also found bone fragments termed the Tabon Man in the municipality of Quezon. Although the origin of the cave dwellers is not yet established, anthropologists believe they came from Borneo. Known as the Cradle of Philippine Civilization, the Tabon Caves consist of a series of chambers where scholars and anthropologists discovered the remains of the Tabon Man along with his tools and a number of artifacts.[8]

Ancient times

The Palawano and Tagbanwa, are believed to be direct descendants of Palawan's earliest settlers. They developed a non-formal form of government, an alphabet, and a system of trading with sea-borne merchants.[18]

Surviving ancient tribal artwork include reliefs of elephants, sharks, and fish found at Tabon Caves. Approximately 5,000 year ago, began a period of jar burials. 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 220 and 263 AD. 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 Negritos from whom Palawan's Batak tribe descended.[19]

In AD 982, ancient Chinese traders regularly visited the islands.[19] 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.[18]

Classical period

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 pigs, 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.[18] They were followed by the Indonesians of the Majapahit Empire in the 13th century, and they brought with them Buddhism and Hinduism.[20]

Surviving Buddhist images and sculptures are primarily in and near Tabon Cave.

Because of Palawan's proximity to Borneo, southern portions of the island were under the control of the 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 Chinese, Japanese, Arab and Hindu. The inter-mixing of blood resulted to a distinct breed of Palaweños, both in physical stature and features.[18]

Spanish period

Taytay, the capital of Province of Calamianes in 1818 (Spanish Palawan)

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 Promise."[19]

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, Spain began 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 ceded southern Palawan to Spain.[18]

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.

American rule

In 1902, after the Puerto Princesa declared as its capital.[18]

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.[18]

Japanese invasion

Palawan Massacre

U. S. Army personnel toiled to identify the charred remains of Americans captured at Bataan and burned alive on Palawan. 20 March 1945

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 (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.[21] 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 were killed.

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 Miramax film, 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 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.


Based on the 2010 census, the population of the province excluding the independent Puerto Princesa City is 771,667 persons, or 994,340 including Puerto Princesa.[7]

The province is a melting pot of 87 different cultural groups and races who live together in peace and harmony. 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.


Roman Catholicism

The predominant religion in Palawan is Roman Catholicism with approximately 75% adherence. 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

Several Baptist and other Protestant denominations have a strong presence on Palawan as do the Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Philippines, and the Seventh-day Adventists. Charismatic groups such as Jesus is Lord (JIL) and the Life Church (formerly known at the Life Renewal Center).

The Members Church of God International popularly called Ang Dating Daan establishes three church districts namely Coron, Northern Palawan and Southern Palawan which signifies strong membership in the province.

Other Christian denominations including the indigenous Iglesia ni Cristo has many local congregations in the province.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 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 or Aglipayan Church) which is standing as one diocese (The Diocese of Palawan). 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 the premises.[22]


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, Muslims formed a minority in Palawan; some authors however, misconstrued Palawan as part of the Sulu Archipelago,[23] thus attributing to a higher percentage of Muslim population in Palawan. Muslims concentrated mostly in the southern of Palawan.[24][25] in the towns of Balabac, Bataraza and Espanola with majority of the population are Muslims; however in Booke's Point, Rizal and Quezon, about 20 to 25% , and in Puerto Princesa City and other towns, less than 10% of the population are Muslims.

Other religions

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 Pháp.[26]

Most of the ethnic minorities such as Batak and Tagbanwa are animists, but many have become Christians (usually Protestant) or have joined other sects.


Spoken languages in Palawan
Languages percentage
Filipino (Tagalog)
Hiligaynon (Ilonggo)

There are 52 languages and dialects in the province, with Tagalog being spoken by more than 50 percent of the people. Other languages are Cuyonon (26.27 percent), Hiligaynon (9.6 percent), and Palawano (4.0 percent).


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. Palawan has 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.[27][28] 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.[28] Coconut, sugar, rice, lumber, and livestock are produced here.[9]

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.[29]

Among the many Community Centred Conservation (C3) are working to end the unsustainable use of marine resources in Palawan and in Philippines.[32]

In 2007, a "screw-eating pitcher plant", named Nepenthes attenboroughii was discovered in Mount Victoria, creating a global sensation among scientists that made headlines worldwide. 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.[30]

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 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".[33][34]

Taranaban River

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 magazine voted its beaches, coves and islets as the tourist destination with the best beaches in Asia.[35] Renowned underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau has described the province as having one of the most beautiful seascapes in the world.[30] 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 conferencing.

In 2012, the purple crab was discovered here along with four other species.


Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary

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 President 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 Coron. 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 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 divers. The aquatic views from the sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island are listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine's top 10 best scuba sites in the world.[35]

Dive operators offer PADI dive courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Assistant Instructor, Technical and Enriched Air Diving, as well as other specialty courses. Dive operators offer day diving, snorkeling trips, and overnight dive safaris. Live-aboard and charter boats also offer diving in the area.

El Nido Marine Reserve 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 conservation."[36]

Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area

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.[37]

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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.

The 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.

Ursula Island

This game refuge and bird sanctuary is situated near the Municipality of Brooke's Point in southern Palawan. The islet is a migratory and wintering ground for shorebirds and seabirds.[37]

Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary

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 turtles.



Palawan is served by several airports, landing airstrips and military airfields such as the following:



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 4th Naval District IV, Delta Company and 10th Marine Battalion Landing Team located in Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa.


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 services.[38]

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.[38]

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.[38]

There are three Internet Service Providers in the Province-Kawing Internet, Mozcom Puerto Princesa and Pal-Isla Globelines Broadband, PLDT My DSL and Smart Amazing Wireless Broadband are also available.[38]

Health facilities

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 Palawan Adventist Hospital are located in Puerto Princesa.[38]

Hospitals in Palawan:

  • Municipal Hospital
    • Narra Municipal Hospital
    • Vice Governor Francisco F. Ponce De Leon Municipal Hospital
  • Medicare Hospitals
    • Aborlan Medicare Hospital
    • Quezon Medicare Hospital
    • Roxas Medicare Hospital
  • District Hospitals
    • Cuyo District Hospital
    • Coron District Hospital
  • Provincial Hospital
    • Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital
    • Northern Palawan Provincial Hospital
  • Private Hospitals
    • MMG-PPC Cooperative Hospital - Mabini corner Burgos St., Puerto Princesa
    • Palawan Adventist Medical Center - San Pedro, Puerto Princesa
    • Sacred Heart Hospital - Narra
    • Manipol Hospital – Brooke's Point
    • RTN Hospital – Rio-Tuba, Bataraza
    • Palawan Baptist Hospital – Roxas
    • Alfonso Birthing Home – Malvar St., Puerto Princesa
    • Leoncio General Hospital – Brooke's Point
    • Sagrado Hospital – Brooke's Point

Rural Health Units (RHU) now known as Municipal Health Office (MHO):

  • Aborlan MHO
  • Narra MHO
  • Quezon MHO
  • Rizal MHO
  • Sofronio Española MHO
  • Brooke's Pt. MHO
  • Bataraza MHO
  • Balabac MHO
  • Cuyo MHO
  • Agutaya MHO
  • Magsaysay MHO
  • Cagayancillo MHO
  • Roxas MHO
  • San Vicente MHO
  • Taytay MHO
  • El Nido MHO
  • Dumaran MHO
  • Araceli MHO
  • Curon MHO
  • Culion MHO
  • Busuanga MHO
  • Linapacan MHO
  • Agutaya MHO



The National Power Corporation has 14 electric facilities all over Palawan. It operates with a total of 51.363 megawatts of electricity. These electric facilities include:[38]

  • Agutaya Power Plant
  • Araceli Power Plant
  • Balabac Power Plant
  • Cagayancillo Power Plant
  • Culion Power Plant
  • Cuyo Power Plant
  • El Nido Power Plant
  • Linapacan Power Plant
  • Delta P (IPP)
  • Puerto Princesa Power Plant
  • Roxas Power Plant
  • San Vicente Power Plant
  • Taytay Power Plant
  • NPC Modular Power Plant (Irawan)

Water facilities

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.[38]


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.[38]

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 vocational schools.

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 located at Puerto Princesa.

Some of the private institutions are the Holy Trinity University run by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena, Fullbright College, 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 in Narra, Loyola College in 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 Palawan Christian 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.[38]



AM stations:

FM stations:



Cable television companies:

  • Calamianes Cable Television, Inc.-Coron, Palawan
  • Culion CATV Services, Inc.-Culion, Palawan
  • Cuyo Cable TV Corporation-Cuyo, Palawan
  • Global Destiny Cable-Puerto Princesa
  • Palawan Cable Television Corporation-Puerto Princesa
  • Puerto Princesa CATV, Inc.-Puerto Princesa
  • Roxas Cable Television, Inc.-Roxas, Palawan
  • Taytay CATV Service-Taytay, Palawan
  • Treasure Cable Television, Inc.-Cuyo, Palawan
  • Vinta Cable Services-Brooke's Point, Palawan
  • Vinta Cable Services-Narra, Palawan

Print media

  • Bandillo ng Palawan (Environment and Development Weekly): Philippine Press Institute's Hall of Fame Awardee for Best in Science and Environmental Reporting
  • The Palawan Times by Luntian Publishing Inc., a weekly newspaper in Puerto Princesa
  • Palawan Sun
  • Palawan Mirror

See also


  1. ^ "Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands: The points man in the Philippines' last frontier" (Extract from UNESCO Sources (131) published on February, 2001, page 14). UNESCO. February 2001. Retrieved 12 February 2015. The Island Province of Palawan, often called the Philippines’ last frontier, has a unique concentration of UNESCO coastal and small island initiatives. 
  2. ^ "Palawan Biodiversity Corridor The Philippines' last biodiversity frontier". Conservation International Philippines. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Mysterious Paradise of Palawan". Private Islands Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2015. A naturally rich region with abundant forests and fishing, there’s little wonder that early Spanish explorers referred to Palawan as the ‘Land of Promise’. 
  4. ^ a b President of the Philippines (May 23, 2005). "Executive Order No. 429 s. 2005". Official Gazette. Philippine Government. 
  5. ^ a b President of the Philippines (August 19, 2005). "Administrative Order No. 129 s. 2005". Official Gazette. Philippine Government. 
  6. ^ a b c "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ a b c d WowPhilippines:Palawan - the Philippines' Last Frontier. Accessed August 27, 2008. Archived June 10, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b c MSN Encarta: Palawan. Accessed September 05, 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Province: Palawan". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Philippines 'rejects' Muslim self-rule". BBC News. 15 August 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  13. ^ President of the Philippines (17 May 2002). "Executive Order No. 103". Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  14. ^ Philippine 2010 Election Results: Region IV-B, Philippine Commission on Elections.
  15. ^ Encarnación, J.P., Essene, E.J., Mukasa, S.B., Hall, C. (1995) High pressure and temperature subophiolitic kyanite garnet amphibolites generated during initiation of mid-Tertiary subduction, Palawan, Philippines: Journal of Petrology, 36, 1481-1503.
  16. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2011) Topic ed. P.Saundry. Ed.-in-chief C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DCSouth China Sea
  17. ^ Encarnación, J.P., and Mukasa, S.B. (1997) Age and geochemistry of an 'anorogenic' crustal melt and implications for the origin of I-type granites: Lithos, 42(1-2), 1-13.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Palawan Tourism Council: History of Palawan at the Wayback Machine (archived July 31, 2008). Accessed August 27, 2008.
  19. ^ a b c Puerto Princesa website: History of Palawan. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  20. ^ Camperspoint: History of Palawan. Accessed August 27, 2008.
  21. ^ Gevinson, Alan. "American POWs in Japanese Captivity.", accessed 10 September 2011.
  22. ^ 2003 & 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses published by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, INC
  23. ^ Case, William (2015). Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization. Routledge. p. 172.  
  24. ^ Burns, P.; Novelli, Marina, eds. (2008). Tourism Development: Growth, Myths, and Inequalities.  
  25. ^ James Eder (8 Apr 2008). Migrants to the Coasts: Livelihood, Resource Management, and Global Change in the Philippines.  
  26. ^ Chùa Vạn Pháp Palawan
  27. ^ Palawan Profile at Accessed August 28, 2008.
  28. ^ a b Puerto Princesa website: Quick facts. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  29. ^ What is Sundaland?. Accessed 11th June 2010.
  30. ^ a b c The Official Website of the Province of Palawan: Environment. Accessed August 28, 2008. (archived from the original on 2009-005-10)
  31. ^ Dugong Page: Philippines. Accessed 11 June 2010.
  32. ^ Community Centred Conservation (C3) | Local Causes, Global Effects.
  33. ^ "Destinations Rated: Islands". 
  34. ^ "4th Annual Places Rated: 111 Islands" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2008. 
  35. ^ a b "Lagen, Miniloc resorts win world’s green vote". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  36. ^ Times, Victoria (2008-01-17). "The world's greenest hotels, from Switzerland to Sri Lanka". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  37. ^ a b Palawan Tourism Council: Palawan Environment. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i Official Website of the Province of Palawan. Accessed August 28, 2008. (archived from the original on 2007-10-11)

External links

  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
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