Islands and Beaches

CHOOSY KA BA: 10 + 1 Reasons to Choose Palawan (More than the Caves and Beaches)


Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Mar 12, 2015

Washed by the South China Sea on the west and by the Sulu Sea on the east, Palawan is the "Land of Beautiful Safe Harbor." Don't believe us? The term "Palawan" is said to have come from the Chinese word "PA-LAO-YU," which when loosely translated is just that. 

Photo from bensonkua, Flickr

And here are 10 reasons why the island-province deserves that name (in no particular order): 

1) It was where the first Filipino once lived.

Archaeological evidence of the earliest Homo sapiens in the Philippines were found in a cave in Lipuun Point in Quezon, Palawan. Named after the large-footed bird that frequent the cave, the Tabon Cave is believed to be populated by peoples (possibly from more than 50,000 years ago) that lived even before the generation of the human fossils (22,000 - 23,000 years old) found there.

Photo from nenborromeo, Flickr

Known in history books (and grade school history class) as the fossil of the "Tabon Man of Palawan," the set is actually from three individuals, one of which is that of a female. The discovery was made by a National Museum team headed by the late Dr. Robert B. Fox.

2) It is the country's largest province.

Palawan has a land area of more than 1.7 million hectares. This includes the long and narrow Palawan Island, the Calamianes Group of Islands (northeast), Durangan Island (westernmost part), Balabac Island (southern tip), Cuyo Islands, and the disputed Spratly Islands.

Photo from jolyon, Flickr

3) It is the number 1 island in the world.

Condé Nast Traveler said so.

Palawan placed first in the Top 30 Islands of the World Category in the 2014 Readers' Choice Awards of US-based luxury and lifestyle travel magazine. It beat the US Virgin Islands in the Carribean, the picturesque landscape of Santorini in Greece, and even the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Photo from footprintswanderlust, Flickr
READ MORE: Double Win for the Philippines: Palawan Declared as World's Best Island, Boracay is 12th

4) It is "sheer perfection" and the "most beautiful in the world".

This time, it's The Huffington Post that said such praise in November 2014.

Huff Post Associate Lifestyle Editor Carly Ledbetter praised the island's "beautiful blue water" mixing with "emerald green" and the "mountains that appear to rise up from the ocean."

Photo from mendhak, Flickr
READ MORE: Philippine Island Called the 'Most Beautiful in the World' & 'Sheer Perfection'

5. Palawan's Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the New7Wonders of Nature (2012).

Also reputed as the world's longest underground river, it features a river that winds through an intricate system of caves before flowing into the South China Sea.

Photo from ricky_artigas, Flickr

6. El Nido Resorts is the recipient of the 2014 Asia’s Responsible Tourism Award.

It even took the plum away from Orange County, a coffee plantation resort in India and title-holder from 2009 to 2013.

Photo from

The other resorts that it bested in the aforementioned category of the 21st Annual World Travel Awards are a wellness and spa resort in East Bali, Indonesia; a community-based tourism enterprise in Southern Thailand; a unique ethno-musical festival in the mythical island of Borneo; a holistic resort in Thailand; Cambodia's first luxury private island resort; and a repurposed mountain tribal village in India.

READ MORE: Asia's Best: Which Philippine Destination Bested Bali, Thailand & India?

7. It's one of the best value travel destinations for 2014.

And it was THE Lonely Planet that made the claim.

The other places that made it to the list are Greek Islands, the southern part of Italy, Nicaragua, Bulgaria, Portugal, Fiji, Mexico, Karnataka in India, and Ethiopia.

Photo from footprintswanderlust, Flickr
READ MORE: Palawan — Best Travel Destination for 2014

8. It's the home of the world's largest bukayo.

Barangay Ipilan in Brooke's Point, Palawan celebrated their first-ever Bukayo Festival with a bang during the 2nd weekend of February 2014.

(Photo by Edinel Magtibay, ABS-CBN News.)

The residents shared what could possibly be the world's largest bukayo with a diameter of 27.10 feet with the hopes of getting a title at the Guinness Book of World Records.

READ MORE: Palawan: Home of Largest Bukayo

9. And of the world's largest pearl.

Brooke's Point has also earned the distinction of being the home of the biggest pearl in the world. Also called as the Pearl of Lao Tzu (previously Pearl of Allah) It has a diameter of 9.45 inches and weight of 14.1 lbs. The pearl was exhibited at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in New York.

10. World-renowned Tubbataha Reef is in Palawan's backyard.

And was the first declared national marine park in the country.

Photo from ricky_artigas, Flickr
Photo from mayprodrigo, Flickr

Discovered in the late 1970s, the Tubbataha is recognized as "one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet" ( The 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area can be found at Cagayancillo and 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City. It lies in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity.

Photo from


And because we can't resist, here's one more:

Our global Travel Insiders have fallen in love with Palawan!


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(Details from,, and respective publications/websites as indicated. Sourced photos from Flickr are under a Creative Commons - Attribution License.)

Choosy Ka Ba?

1) Choose BAGUIO (Love + More Love)

2) Choose SURIGAO DEL SUR (Enchanted River + More Natural Wonders)

3) Choose ILOILO (More Than The City of Love)


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