The name “Palawan” – most probably – was given by the Chinese as far back as the 9th Century. They called it PA-LAO-YU, or “land of beautiful safe harbour”. Others believe it came from the Indian word “Palawans” meaning “Territory”. The popular believe is that “Palawan” is a corrupted form of the Spanish word “Para agua” because the main island’s shape resembles a closed umbrella.The limits of the Province are :
- Busuanga island in the north
- Agutaya group of islands northeast
- Cagayancillo (who has not heard about Tubattaha Reef) in the east
- Balabac island in the south
- Spratly – Kalayaan in the West
Did you know that Palawan is made up of 1768 islands and is the second largest province of the Philippines (Cotabato is the largest) ? The length of the main island is 425km from tip to tip. The distance between extreme north and south of the island province is 650 km. The narrowest section of the main island is 8.5 km at Barrio Bahile in Puerto Princesa, the widest section is 40 km at Brooke’s’Point in the south. During the drive to the Resort, which will take 90 minutes, you will see that a chain of tall mountain ranges runs through the entire length of the island, dividing it into two distinct areas called the east coast and the west coast. Princessa Holiday Resort is on the east coast facing the Sulu Sea.
Palawan is one of the Last Unexplored Islands in the Pacific, as well as the location of the 1997 James Bond thriller “Tomorrow Never Dies.” Jacques Cousteau remarked that Palawan was the most beautiful place he ever explored. Renowned underwater explorer Jacques Costeau has described Palawan as having one of the most Beautiful Seascapes in the world. Sprawled beneath the seas are nearly 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Myriads of fish swim in these underwater gardens.
Home of Lofty Mountains, Rainforests, and the World’s Longest Underground River, Palawan is nestled between Mindoro island and North Borneo. Palawan is nestled between Mindoro island and North Borneo. Palawan is the Philippine Largest Province, covering 1.5 million hectares. Palawan Rainforests extend to the Seashore… Miles upon miles of White Sandy Beaches…Crystal clear water that Abound with Multi-Colored fish and Corals in its sea floor.. Awe-Inspiring natural Scenic Wonders.. Palawan Historical and Archeological Treasures. Its Thousands of Islands and Islets are the home of various Tropical Flora, Fauna, Various Palawan Orchid species and Palawan Cherry Blossoms. Palawan is the home of Palawan Monkeys, Palawan Parrots, Palawan Bear cats, Palawan Peacock, Mongoose, Scaly AntEater, Porcupine, and mouse deer. The presence of Palawan 323 species of Wild Life in Palawan, gained the Province the title “HAVEN of the PHILIPPINE WILDLIFE”.
Known the world over as the Philippines last ecological frontier, the province of Palawan harbor vast tracts of tropical rainforest and a huge expanse of marine wilderness. Thick canopies of trees carpet mountain ranges running the length of the mainland. Fringing reefs and coral atolls open a new realm to discover under the clear waters sorrounding this archipelago of more than 1,700 plus Tropical Islands. Ribbons of meandering streams and rivers wind through the mountains, nurturing robust stands of mangrove in the lowlands before flowing out to the sea.
Palawan probably has more protected areas than any other province in the Philippines. The Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary in the northern Calamianes islands is home to exotic and endemic species of animals that roam freely in its verdant hills and plains. On the northern coastline, the El Nido Marine Reserve is noted for its edible birds’ nests and limestone cliffs. In the middle of the Sulu Sea lies the Tubbataha reefs, a pair of coral atolls recently named as a World Heritage Site for its highly diverse collection of fishes and other marine life. Along the west coast, the St. Paul Subterranean National Park features old-growth forests, cathedral caves, white sand beaches, and one of the longest underground rivers in the world. In the South, Ursula Island is a haven for migratory and resident birds.
The entire province was proclaimed as Fish and Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967. Palawan is the habitat of 232 endemic species. Some of these unique creatures are the metallic-colored peacock pheasant, the shy mousedeer, the cuddly bearcat, and the reclusive scaly anteeater. 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 1,500 flowering plants found here. Endangered sea turtles nest on white sand beaches, and the gentle dugong feeds on the seagrass that abound in Palawan’s Waters.
Commercial logging became a thing of the past with the cancellation of timber license agreements in 1993. That same year, the provincial government created a Bantay Palawan to assist national agencies in protecting some 325,000 hectares of primary forest. Residual and mossy forests cover an additional 26,000 hectares of Palawan’s land area.
Rocky coves and sandy beaches lie in primordial splendor along Palawan’s almost 2,000-Kilometer coastline. Renowned underwater explorer Jacques Costeau has described Palawan as having one of the most beautiful seascapes in the world. Sprawled beneath the seas are nearly 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Myriads of fish swim in these underwater gardens.
Outstanding geographical features dot Palawan’s landscape. On the west coast, an array of limestome cliffs extends from Tabon Caves in the south all the way to Coron Reefs in the northern Calamianes islands. Challenging peaks with mystical names like Matalingahanan, Cleopatra’s needle, and Capuas attract dozens of climbers yearly.
The east coast has 4 months of dry season with rain possibility during the other 8 months. At our place, November and December are the wettest months. The west coast has 6 months dry and 6 months wet season. The island of Palawan is mostly typhoon free, except for the northern part. The two most prevalent winds are the softer northeast monsoon which blows from October to April and the stronger northwest monsoon which blows from June to September. Sea travel between the islands is best between April to June. Then the ocean is calm and flat as a mirror.
Palawan’s insular characteristics endow it with vast fishing grounds. The varieties of fish caught in commercial quantities are milkfish (bangus), eel and moray (palos, pindangga), grouper (lapu lapu, kolapu), sea bass (apahap), snapper (maya maya), surgeon fish (labahita), slipmouth (sap sap), pomfret (pampano), mackerel (tangingi), sardines (tonsoy, tamban), anchovies (dilis), yellow fin and big eyed tuna (albacore, tambacol), swordfish (malasugi), shark (pating), rays (pagi), blue crabs (alimasag), mangrove crabs (alimango), lobster (banagan), white shrimps (hipong puti), oysters (talaba), green mussels (tahong), giant clam (taklobo), squid (pusit), octopus (pugita). About 35% of the total national catch comes from Palawan.
Palawan also has rich deposits of minerals. Actual mining and exploratory operations are ongoing for nickel, mercury (the biggest deposit in South East Asia), chromite, manganese, barite, feldspar, silica, guano, limestone, marble. There are new discoveries of copper, gold, iron, asbestos, talc, quartz, clay and sulphur. In the northeast of the province – offshore – there is oil and gas.
Palawan has 52 rivers, 4 small lakes and countless small streams. The most unique amongst all these is the Princesa Underground River, emptying in St Paul’s Bay on the west coast.
Currency of the Philippines is the Peso, which is divided in 100 centavos. The biggest denomination is a note of 1000 pesos. There further notes for 500 pesos, 100 pesos, 50 pesos, 20 pesos and 10 pesos.