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Island Group Luzon
Capital Puerto Princesa City
Area 17,030.75 km²
Cities 1
Municipalities 23
- Total 682,152
- Density/km² 40.05
Income class 1
Location in the Philippines:


Palawan, the largest province in the Philippines in terms of total area of jurisdiction, is located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. It consists of 1 city and 23 municipalities with Puerto Princesa City as the provincial capital. The province lies between the South China Sea and Sulu Sea. Palawan is composed of the long and narrow Palawan Island with roughly 1780 islands and islets dotting its almost 2000 kilometers of irregular coastline.

Palawan is a melting pot of 87 different cultural groups and races that live together in peace and harmony. About 18% of the province’s population is composed of cultural minority groups such as the Tagbanua, Palawano, Batak and Molbog. Basically, Palawan’s culture bears strong influence from China, India and the Middle East. There are 52 languages and dialects in the province, with Tagalog being spoken by 50% of the population. Other languages are Cuyonon, Palawano and Ilonggo. English is also widely spoken.

Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in Palawan. Other denominations and charismatic groups are also found in the province. Because of its proximity to Mindanao and even Malaysia, pockets of indigenous Muslims can be found in the southern municipalities like Balabac and Bataraza. Most of the ethnic minorities such as Batak and Tagbanua are animist, but many have become Christians or have joined other sects.

Palawan’s economy is basically agricultural. The three major crops are palay, corn and coconut. Mineral resources include nickel, copper, manganese and chromite. The province has one of the richest fishing grounds in the country. About 45% of Manila’s fish supply comes from here. It is also the only oil-producing province in the country. Pearl diving used to be a significant economic activity for Palawan until the advent of plastics. The world’s largest pearl, Pearl of Lao Tzu which was 240mm in diameter, was found off Palawan in 1934.

Palawan has flora and fauna related to that found in Borneo. Among the many endemic species are the Palawan-Peacock Pheasant, Philippine Mouse Deer, Philippine Pangolin and Palawan Bearded Pig. Over 600 species of butterflies flutter around the mountains and fields of Palawan. In the forest and grasslands, the air resonates with the songs of more than 200 kinds of birds. Endangered sea turtles nest on white sand beaches of the province.

Palawan is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which features a large limestone landscape with an underground river; and the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park which is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

Other notable sites in the province are the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, Coron Reefs in Coron Bay located in Busuanga, El Nido Marine Reserve Park, Malampaya Sound Land and Seascape Protected Area and the Ursula Island.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Palawan are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Puerto Princesa City Highly Urbanized City 2,381.02 1 partly urban 210,508 88.41
Narra Municipality 831.73 1 partly urban 62,525 75.17
Taytay Municipality 1,257.68 1 partly urban 61,991 49.29
Brooke's Point Municipality 1,303.40 1 partly urban 56,311 43.20
Bataraza Municipality 726.20 1 partly urban 53,430 73.57
Quezon Municipality 943.19 1 partly urban 51,234 54.32
Roxas Municipality 1,177.56 1 partly urban 51,084 43.38
Coron Municipality 689.10 1 partly urban 40,007 58.06
Rizal (Marcos) Municipality 1,256.47 1 partly urban 35,487 28.24
El Nido (Bacuit) Municipality 923.26 1 partly urban 30,249 32.76

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