Palawan is fast earning a name as one of the world’s most coveted vacation destinations. Its waters are among the best in the world, from everything from diving to snorkeling to fishing, but its beauties stretch far beyond the beaches.
Palawan boasts incredibly diverse ecosystems, including rainforests, mangroves, white sane beaches, coral reefs, and even a wildlife sanctuary!
The waters and lands of Palawan hold extraordinary scenic wonders. Teeming limestone cliffs serve as an awesome background to crystal clear turquoise waters. The colorfully variegated coral reefs are home to fish, turtles, and even the sea cow – known as the world’s rarest marine mammal.
On land, you’ll find African animals from Kenya – giraffes, elands, zebras, and gazelles – co-existing with endemic Philippine animals – the Palawan bearcat, mouse deer, and peacock.
GEOGRAPHY of Palawan
Palawan is approximately 586 kilometres southwest of Manila, between Mindoro Island on the north, Borneo on the south, China Sea on the west, and Sulu Sea on the east. Its total land area of 1,489,655 hectares spreads across the peripheral islands of Busuanga, Culion, Linacapan, Cuyo, Dumaran, Cagayanes, and Balabac.
Its main island measures 425 kilometres long, and 40 kilometres wide. Puerto Princesa, the capital city, is the chief seaport and the centre of trade and commerce.
CLIMATE of Palawan
The province has two types of climates. In the northern and southern parts, as well as the entire western coast, there are two distinct seasons – six months that are dry and six months that are rainy. Dry season runs from November to May and the rainy season ranges from June to October. There is some variance here, too – southern Palawan is virtually free of tropical storms but northern Palawan experiences torrential rains during the summer months of July and August.
The eastern coast of the province has a short dry season ranging from one to three months and pretty much no rainy period during the rest of the year.
Temperatures range from from an average of 25°C (78°F) in January to 29°C (84°F) in May. The winter trade winds make windsurfing a major attraction from December until April.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE in Palawan
Palawan is diverse! The province is a melting pot of 87 different cultural communities 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 communities such as the Tagbanua, Palawano, Batak, and Molbog.
LANGUAGE & DIALECT of Palawan
There are 52 spoken dialects in the province, with Tagalog being spoken by 28 percent of the people. Other major dialects are Cuyunin (26.27 percent), Pinalwan (11.08 percent), and Ilongo (9.6 percent). English is also widely spoken.
RELIGION of Palawan
The most dominant religion is Roman Catholic, other Christian groups comprise 9% such as Protestants, Evangelicals, Born Again Christians and the remaining 1% belongs to other non-Christian faiths.
POPULATION of Palawan
Palawan, the largest province in the Philippines in terms of land area, registered a total population of 892,660 persons based on the 2007 National Statistics Survey.
Of the 24 municipalities comprising Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, the provincial capital, was the highest in terms of population size. This registered a population of 210,508 persons or 23.58 percent of the total provincial population. Kalayaan had the smallest population with 114 persons residing the small island.