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Historical Landmarks And History of Palawan

I will be forever mesmerized to Palawan where some parts of it I personally call a paradise. Like me and to those who feel the same, I also have a question - what is the history of Palawan?  Here you go, please scroll down:

Archaeological findings indicate that the first Filipino, the Tabon Man, once lived in the Tabon Caves Complex, now known as the Lipuun Point in Quezon, Palawan. Archaeological exploration and excavations undertaken at the Tabon caves Complex yielded significant artefacts and ecofacts belonging to different cultural chronologies ranging from 50, 000 years ago to the 14th century AD.

The ancient Palawe┼łos have had a kind of writing, including an alphabet and a form of self-government under the nominal jurisdiction of the Sultanate of Sulu.

The name Palawan is believed to come from Chinese word “PA-LAO-YU” meaning the “Land of Beautiful Safe Harbor” and a Spanish word PARAGUA.

In 1622, the Spaniards arrived led by Count Saint Agustin. They first established their authority on the northern portion of the province, over the islands of Calamianes group. They organized the region into a province known as Calamianes. Later, they built a fort, which was capable of accommodating a garrison of 700 men. Taytay then became the bastion of Spanish authority. The Muslim tried to capture the fort in 1730 and 1735, but they failed. About the middle of the century, the Spanish government obtained from the Sultanate the secession of the southern part of Paragua in order to extend the Spanish authority to the newly acquired territory. Later, they abandoned the place when a considerable number of the expeditionary forces perished from fever and medications, Malaria is controlled.

In 1818, practically all the territories, which now belong to Palawan, where known as the Province of Calamianes, with the capital in Taytay. In 1858, Calamianes was divided into two provinces, Castilla and Asturias. Castilla comprised the Calamianes group and the adjacent islands, and the northern portion of Paragua. Its capital was Taytay. Asturias included the rest of Paragua together with the island of Balabac, which early that year was made into a politico-military province with the name of Principe Alfonso. Its capital was Puerto Princesa. Later, during the term of Governor and Captain Rafael de Izquierdo, the island of Paragua was organized into a separate politico-military province with Puerto Princesa as the capital. At the end of the Spanish rule, the province of Palawan was divided into three politico-military districts—Calamianes, Paragua, and Balabac. 

In 1873, the capital of Palawan was transferred from Taytay to Cuyo. After the Filipino-American war, the Americans established the Civil Government of Paragua on June 23, 1902 with Major John Brown as the first appointed Governor. In 1903, pursuant to Act No. 1363 of the Philippine Commission, the name of the province was changed to Palawan and the capital was transferred from Cuyo to Puerto Princesa.

At the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese Imperial Forces occupied Palawan on May 19, 1942. They established garrisons in Coron, Puerto Princesa, and Iwahig. Consequently, guerrilla units were formed in three sectors led by Captain Amores in Calamianes, by Higinio Mendoza Sr., in the mainland, and by Emilio Tumbaga in Brooke’s Point. During the Japanese occupation, a civil government known as “Free Palawan” headed by Governor Gaudencio E. Abordo was established in the hinterlands, in 1941.

Palawan was liberated in 1945.

The province has historical landmarks, which are also promoted as tourist attractions, such as the Spanish Forts in Cuyo, Taytay, Cagayancillo, and Linapacan; the Melville Lighthouse in Balabac; the Culion Cathedral in Culion; the Japanese Warship Wrecks in Coon Bay; the Site of the Old Barracks; the Iwahig Penal Colony in Puerto Princesa; the Tabon Caves in Quezon and Tao’t Bato in Rizal.

Credits to Palawan Provincial Tourism Office for the information.
For more details you may contact them below:
Address: G/F Ramon V Mitra Bldg, Capitol Complex, Rizal Ave, Puerto Princesa City
Tel: 48 433-2968

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