History of Palawan
ANCIENT CHINESE & MALAYS
Malay settlers began arriving in Palawan in the 12th century. For some time, Malay chieftains ruled many settlements. Because of its proximity to Borneo, southern Palawan was placed under the control of the Sultanate of Borneo for more than two centuries after the arrival of the Spaniards.
In pre-colonial times, the local people had a dialect consisting of 18 syllables.
The northern Calamianes Islands were the first to come under the sphere of Spanish influence and declared a province separate from the Palawan mainland. In the early 17th century, Spanish friars tried to establish missions in Cuyo, Agutaya, Taytay, and Cagayancillo but met stiff resistance from Moro communities. Towards the 18th century, Spain began to build churches enclosed by garrisons for protection against Moro raids in the towns of Cuyo, Taytay, Linapacan and Balabac. Many of these forts still exist, serving testimonies to a colorful past. In 1749, the Sultanate of Borneo ceded southern Palawan to Spain, which then established its authority over the entire province.
At first, the territory of Palawan (or Paragua as it was called) was organized as a single province named Calamianes, with its capital in Taytay. Later, it was divided intro three provinces: Castilla covering the northern section of the province with Taytay as capital, Asturias in the southern mainland with Puerto Princesa as capital, and Balabac Island with its capital in the town of Principe Alfonso.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
PALAWAN is home to several ethnolinguistic groups: the Tagbanua, Palaw’an, Tau’t bato, and the Bataks