Palawan Case Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 18 February 2017

Palawan Case

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

I. About Palawan Islands

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. 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.

II. People, Culture and Way of Living

a. Batak

The Batak, which means “mountain people” in Cuyonon is a group of indigenous Filipino people that resides in the northeast portion of Palawan. They live in the rugged interiors of northeastern Palawan. Living close to nature, they are a peaceful and shy people. These people believe in nature spirits, with whom they communicate through a babaylan or medium.

b. Palaweños

Native-born lowland dwellers (calling themselves Palaweños, much to the amusement and distress of the original tribal groups, such as the Palawan who are called Palawano by outsiders) include the Cuyunon, Agutayanon sub-groups. The Cuyunons, originally from the island town of Cuyo in northern Palawan, are considered the elite class in this group. They are religious, disciplined and have a highly developed community spirit. Their conversion to Christianity has led to the merger of the animistic beliefs of the Cuyunon with the Christian elements to produce a folk Christianity which is the prevailing belief of the Cuyunon. The Agutayanons practice a simpler island lifestyle, with fishing and farming as their main source of livelihood.

c. Palawano

The Palawano tribe, also known as Pala’wan (or Palawan, depending on sub-dialect) or Palawano (only by outsiders), is one of the unique and primitive indigenous peoples of Palawan. They are part of the large Manobo-based linguistic groups of southern Philippines. They traditionally hunt using soars and bamboo blowguns.

d. Taaw’t-Bato

The Taaw’t Bato means “people of the rock”. They are not actually a separate language or ethnic group, but rather a small community of traditional southwestern Palawanos who happen to reside in the crater of an extinct volcano during certain seasons of the year, in houses built on raised floors inside caves though others have set their homes on the open slopes.

They are found in the Singnapan Basin, a valley bounded by Mount Matalingahan on the east and the coast on the west. North of them is the municipality of Quezon and to the South are the still unexplored regions of Palawan. They still primitive in their lifestyle, even in the way of dressing. The men still wear g-strings made of bark and cloth and the women wear a piece of cloth made into skirts to cover the lower body. Both of them are half-naked but sometimes women wear a blouse that is not indigenous but obtained through the market system

e. Tagbanwa

The Tagbanwa tribes, or “people of the world,” are found in central and northern Palawan. They practice shifting cultivation of upland rice, which is considered a divine gift, and are known for their rice wine ritual called pagdiwata. Central Tagbanwas are found in the western and eastern coastal areas of central Palawan. They are concentrated in the municipalities of Aborlan, Quezon, and Puerto Princesa. Calamian Tagbanwa, on the other hand, are found in Baras coast, Busuanga Island, Coron Island, Linipacan Calibangbangan, a Cultural Preservation area (off limits to foreigners and the largest Contiguous grouping), and in some parts of El Nido. Shifting cultivation of upland rice is part of their cultural and economic practices.

Rice is considered a divine gift and are fermented to make rice wine, which they use in Pagdiwata, or rice wine ritual. The cult of the dead is the key to the religious system of the Tagbanwa. They believe in several deities found in the natural environment. Their language and alphabet, practice of kaingin and common belief in soul-relatives are part of their culture. This group are excellent in basketry and wood carving. In addition, they are also famous for their beautifully crafted body accessories. Their combs, bracelets, necklaces and anklets are usually made of wood, beads, brass and copper.

III. Economy (Products)

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. 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 240mm diameter Pearl of Lao Tzu, was found off Palawan in 1934. 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. The economic and agricultural business growth of province is at 20% per annum. Coconut, sugar, rice, lumber, and livestock are produced here.

IV. Notable Sites

a. 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.

b. 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. 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.

c. El Nido Marine Reserve Park

One of the many beaches of El Nido, a marine reserve park and municipality at the northernmost tip of Palawan Island. d. 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.

e. UNESCO World Heritage Sites
* Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park

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

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.


I. About Aklan

Aklan is considered to be the oldest province in the country and is believed to have been established in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo ruled by the chieftain Datu Dinagandan which traded with its neighbouring islands.

Despite its vibrant tourism industry and substantial agriculture, the province is still considered as one of the poorer provinces in the country with more than 30% of the population living below the national poverty line.

II. Languages

The most prominent languages in the province are Akeanon (Aklanon Proper), Malaynon and Buruanganon. Akeanon is spoken by a majority of the people, while Malaynon is spoken in Malay and Buruanganon is spoken in Buruanga, Aklan . Other regional languages used include;

* Ati* Hiligaynon
* Kinaray-a
* Capiznon

III. Culture

Despite the prevalence of Christianity native beliefs about the aswang and the babaylan are still prevalent among the people. Kulam or witchcraft, locally known as “amulit” is still feared by many residents.

IV. Festivals

The province is known for its festivities which includes the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo. Originally, the festival was to celebrate the treaty between the Ati and the Malayan tribes who settled in the Island. The Ati live in the mountain regions and the Malay people in the flatlands or close to the water. The festivity begins on the dry season, at which time the Ati come down from the mountains to trade and celebrate with the Malayan tribes. When the Spaniards settled in the region and converted the Malays to their Christian religion, they asked the Malays to celebrate this festivity to coincide with the Feast of the “Santo Niño” (Holy Child) which is usually held during the third week of January.

V. Fauna

Several endemic species in the Philippines are located in the province. Examples include endangered animals such the Philippine Spotted Deer (Cervus alfredi), the Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons), and the Tarictic Hornbill (Penelopides panini). As of 2007, conservation efforts Vare being made by the Aklan State University and the DENR with varying success

VI. Festivals

The province is known for its festivities which includes the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo. Originally, the festival was to celebrate the treaty between the Ati and the Malayan tribes who settled in the Island. The Ati live in the mountain regions and the Malay people in the flatlands or close to the water. The festivity begins on the dry season, at which time the Ati come down from the mountains to trade and celebrate with the Malayan tribes. When the Spaniards settled in the region and converted the Malays to their Christian religion, they asked the Malays to celebrate this festivity to coincide with the Feast of the “Santo Niño” (Holy Child) which is usually held during the third week of January.

VII. Economy and Livelihood

Aklan depends greatly on agriculture. The massive and sustained education and research in agriculture production, the implementation of national program in agriculture, well-established marketing strategies, as well as the support of the agribusiness industry and other private and non-government sectors, result to better production and higher income of the farmers. Kalibo’s main industry is agriculture where the primary product is rice and coconuts. Kalibo is the hub for the Piña cloth industry of Aklan. The Piña and Abaca cloths are exported to various parts of the world, most particularly North America and Europe.

Kalibo is known for other native products such as handbags made of buri leaves which is a favorite for Caucasian females visiting the town. Pineapple silk is considered the queen of Philippine fabrics and is the fabric of choice of the Philippine elite. During the 1996 edition of APEC in the Philippines, world leaders donned a pineapple silk Barong Tagalog from Kalibo during the obligatory class photo. Kalibo also has a burgeoning meat-processing cottage industry and is beginning to be noticed in the processing of locally made chorizo, tocino and other meat products, particularly with Rosa Foods in the Linabuan Norte district. Remy Nadal Duck Meat is also a well-known processor in the province, located at Magdalena in Kalibo

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