Palawan

/pah lah"wahn/, n.
an island in the W Philippines. 232,322; 5697 sq. mi. (14,755 sq. km).

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Island (pop., 2000: 713,539), southwestern Philippines.

It is long and narrow and extends northeast to southwest between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. It has a mountainous backbone that runs its entire length, with the highest peak at Mount Mantalingajan (6,839 ft [2,085 m]). The capital is Puerto Princesa. The similarity of Palawan's vegetation with that of Borneo is explained by remnants of a Pleistocene Epoch land bridge that connected the two islands. A coastal plain supports most of the population and is the main agricultural area of Palawan. Scattered settlement and shifting agriculture predominate, with rice as the main food crop. Oil drilling off the northern coast began in 1992.

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      island, the southwesternmost large island of the Philippines. Palawan is long and narrow and trends northeast-southwest between the South China and Sulu seas. It has a maximum width of 24 miles (39 km) and a mountainous backbone that runs its entire 270-mile (434-km) length, with Mount Mantalingajan (6,840 feet [2,085 m]) in the south as its highest peak. The Balabac-Bugsuk group of islands off the southern tip is a remnant of a land bridge that connected Palawan and Borneo during the Pleistocene Epoch (about 1,800,000 to 12,000 years ago); for this reason the animal life and vegetation are more closely related to those of Borneo than to those of the other Philippine islands. Palawan's long, irregular coastline is fringed with coral reefs and has numerous offshore islets. A discontinuous coastal plain that seldom extends more than 5 miles (8 km) inland supports most of the island's population. The plain, which is best developed on the southeastern coast, constitutes the main agricultural area and has the island's only all-weather road.

      About 1,800 smaller islands and islets lie near Palawan; the main island groups are the Calamian (north), the Dumaran-Cuyo (northeast), and the Balabac-Bugsuk (south). Puerto Princesa, on the east-central coast of Palawan island, is the island's largest city.

      Scattered settlement and shifting agriculture predominate, with rice as the main food crop. Corn (maize), coconuts, beans, and sweet potatoes are also grown. Large-scale commercial fishing operations are carried out at Puerto Princesa and Taytay. Mineral resources include mercury, silica, and chromite. Oil drilling off the island's northern coast began in 1992. Most of the island is the forest homeland of the Batah, Palawan, and Tagbanuas ethnic groups. Christian migrants (Visayans, Tagalogs, Ilocanos, and Bicolanos) have settled in the north and east. There are some Moro (Muslim) villages in the south. The Tabon Caves on the isolated southwestern coast of Palawan are an important archaeological site. Area 4,550 square miles (11,785 square km). Pop. (2000) 755,412.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Palawan — • Prefecture Apostolic in the Philippine Islands; comprises Palawan, Cuyo, Culion, Twahig, and Calamines Islands. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Palawan     Palawan      …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Palawan — [pä lä′wän] island in the W Philippines, southwest of Mindoro: 4,550 sq mi (11,784 sq km) …   English World dictionary

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