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Living In Palawan, Philippines

Known as the country's frontier, Palawan has managed to preserve its fascinatingly natural habitat through the years. Situated north of Mindoro and north of Malaysia's Sabah Island, Palawan is the country's largest province spanning 1.5 million hectares. An ideal breeding ground for tropical flora and fauna, Palawan has more than a thousand islands and islets where monekys, squirrels, bear cats, and zebras thrive with wild tropical palnts and corals.

Palawan's population follows the same pattern. The province has attracted peoples of all backgrounds and it’s said that today's Palawenos are a fusion of 81 different cultural groups. Foreigners, too, have grown to love this quiet province.

Palawan consists of about 1,769 islands: the Calamian Island group to the north, the Cuyo Islands group to the northwest, and the Balabac-Bugsuk group to the southwest. For the laid-back trip, Honda Bay is and ideal destination. From there, you can take your own little hideaway from Cowrie Island and Pandan, to La Isla BOnita and Isla de Nagusuan.


Calauit Island is a 3,700-hectare game preserve and wildlife sanctuary alive with indigenous species and African wildlife like giraffes, zebras, and gazelles. Sea turtles, sea cows, and a variety of marine nestle on its shores.

Underground River

Beneath the St. Paul Mountain lies a quiet underground river, which snakes for about eight kilometers before opening the China Sea. The Park also features the exciting Money Trail with its series of wooden paths to the forest.

Tabon Caves

The oldest known habitation site in Southeast Asia, the Tabon Caves, unearthed a skull that dates back to 22,000 years ago.


Visit the Balsahan or Tagbarung Swimming Resort, Kalis Point, or better yet, get a taste of El-Ndo. EL Nido features black marble caves, tabletop corals, fantastic marine life, and the requisite white sand beach. Named after the features one of the most delicious samplings of the freshest seafood in the land.

Archaeological Hunts

Go down Cuyo Island and visit the Cuyo Spanish Church Fort with its massive ten-meter high and wide walls. Archaeologists have also unearthed stone-age tools, Chinese burial jars, and ancient ornaments in Palawan's numerous caves.

Sounds like heaven. Better be careful or you'll wind up with lots of visitors. :-)

It's funny, before we came to the Philippines, I did a lot of reading about Palawan and read a great deal about insurgent groups active there. Then as soon as I arrived, people here were telling me Mindanao is the problem area and Palawan is like Mayberry. I don't put too much stock in any of the "warnings" however, as many people on the list have noted in the past, locals tend to believe every part of the Philippines is "dangerous" except the town they grew up in. I figure you have to be there to decide for yourself. That seems to be the composite experience of the people on this list who've posted from the so-called problem zones.

Submitted By: Cory in Tarlac

What are doing?

Are you lonely and feel there isn't enough ex-pats around in our little hidden paradise?

You are revealing the secret of the "Last Wilderness".

I have been coming to Palawan for the past 4 years and I have seen it grow from a few vehicles on the main street downtown to almost bumper to bumper traffic during the rush hours.

More and more people are coming for just the reasons you stated. One, if not, the cleanest place in the PI with lots of friendly locals and no crime to speak of. Maybe it is because there is a penal colony on the South end of the island where the locals don't want to be sent.

Let's just keep our own little secret. LOL!


I remember back in the 60's the whole of the Phil was like that Palawan in those days, although there, was totally unheard of, but i did meet an old WWII Vet that had stayed on and retired down there, he said as far as he knew he was the only Kano on the island. Oh well we will never see those days again. I want to return to the Phil for good soon,, I think I will give Palawan a lot of thought and make a visit to your lovely island.

You wrote: "Palawan is a highly overlooked area for Kanos to live in. Here, there are no security problems like NPA or Abu Sayaff. In fact, the US government just game the PNP marine police here, a Special Boat Unit which are the type of boats used by SEALs, etc with machine guns mounted etc. Also they are doing the advanced anti-terrorism training for those boat units."

Not to rain on the party, but lest we forget, that on May 27, 2001 the Abu Sayef abducted twenty tourists from the Dos Palmas resort in Honda Bay north of Puerta Princessa City in Palawan. At least five of the hostages died in the resulting 376 day captivity including two American citizens Guillermo Sobero (he was beheaded) and Martin Burnham (his wife escaped with a bullet wound to the leg).


The wife and I honeymooned in Puerto Princesa Palawan. We stayed at the Dolce Vita Hotel. Did some island hopping.

Took the long bumpy ride out to Sabang for a day trip to the Underground River. I guess the road is still in the process of being paved or is it finished?

Really enjoyed eating at Badjao Seafront Restaurant and Ka Lui Restaurant. Can't wait to visit again, Snake Island, Honda Bay great beaches!!


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