The western flank of Mount Mantalingajan in southern Palawan is marked with a karst formation with one of the largest sinkholes in the world, forming a basin-like valley drained by the Sumurum River. In this relatively isolated valley live the Tau’t Batu, a small subgroup (87 NM 1983) of the Pala’wan that speak a dialect of this language.
Following a seasonal fluctuation in the weather, the people follow a transhuman way of life—a patterned movement within the valley following the annual cycles of seasons to which they adapt their way of subsistence and adaptation. During the beginning of the dry season, starting about the beginning of the year to the end of the dry season in June, they live in field houses near their swiddens to tend to their croppings. During the onset of rainy weather they move into the caves that pockmark the limestone cliffs after the rice harvest, sheltered from brunt of the rain and flooding river. In the caves are sources of protein from bats and birds. These are caught with the use of huge shatters woven from palm leaves and long poles with strands of rattan thorns that can entangle bat wings readily.
Even in caves, the Tau’t Batu construct habitation structures that are based on a modular sleeping platform(datag) incorporated with a fireplace. The houses in the open hillsides are more elaborate. The granaries are better constructed and utilize ratguards on the posts.
The Tau’t Batu, like all Pala’wan, use the blowgun for hunting small prey. Principal among their musical instruments is the huge two-stringed guitar—the kudlong.