It could well be that Palawan Islands were created mil-lennia ago by the fracturing of a small piece of the Philippine plate: one side tilted and rose above the sea to form the Palawan mountain ridge, while a part remained level to become the plains. This might explain the deeper waters on the western coast than the eastern, at least in the northern parts of the islands.
But this is conjecture. What is true according to historical studies is that Palawan once connected Borneo to Mindoro and the rest of North Philippines, proven by the great similarities between the Bornean and Palawan flora and fauna, as well as ethnic peoples. The Tabon Man is thought to be one of the migrants that used the land bridge in several migration waves more than 21,000 years ago, who was buried in a ‘manunggul’ jar in the Tabon Caves of Quezon around the late Neolithic Period, or 890-710 BC.
Those who afterwards remained or ‘marooned’ in the islands by the rising waters became the indigenous Bataks, Palawans and Tagbanuas, with whom Chinese traders bartered porcelain jars and dinnerware, brass items and other trinkets for foodstuffs, gold, and semi-precious stones. One rare find is some ancient rings called ‘lingling-o’ made of nephrite or jade. These rings and pendants are found in other Asian countries, and today are still worn in the Cordilleras.
Palawan later also came partially under the rules of the Sultanate of Sulu and the Sultanate of Brunei, who warred on each other for dominion over the islands for years. Raiding parties of either kingdoms preyed on native settlements even after Spain established its hegemony, so that forts had to be built in Cuyo, Taytay and Dumaran, to name a few places, to thwart them, who were misnamed ‘pirates’.
Because of this and its size, Palawan was divided in 1859 into two sub-provinces, namely, Castilla and Asturias. By early 1900s, Palawan was being administered as three politicalmilitary regions of Balabac, Paragua and Calamianes.
The province was officially named Palawan in 1903 during the military-governorship of Capt. John Elmick, US Army, by Philippine Commission Act 1363, which also transferred the History capital from Cuyo Island to Puerto Princesa.
The first Filipino governor of Palawan was the Hon. Ambrosio Pablo, who took office in 1914.
During World War 2, Palawan became two separate areas: the Free and the Occupied, each with a governor: Gaudencio Abordo for the Commonwealth, and Inigo Pena for the Japanese-occupied portion. After the war, Palawan’s history marched along as it would to what it is today.
Thus, Palawan has had its share of political, historical, ethnic and commercial histories, and it should make sense for you to be part of the province’s future by investing in its continuing development.