The Pala’wan belong to the large Manobo-based languages of southern Philippines, with two generalized subgroupings. The population number approximately 40,630 and is found in the southern half of the island of Palawan. The Tau’t Batu of Singnapan Valley of Ransang is one of the subgroups occupying a specialized environmental niche. The areas of highest concentrations are in Brooke’s Point (17,875) and Quezon (11,610 NSO 1980). The people, depending on the annual seasonal cycle, move their residences from caves to the open field. One of the unique protein captures are from birds and bats that live in the habitation caves, a subsistence strategy which appears to have been present in the prehistoric Tabon Cave of Quezon.

       The Pala’wan are swidden cultivators. The emphasis is on rice, although this is intercropped with many other cultigens including corn, yams, and sweet potato. Cassava is a preferred staple. The architecture is distinctive, composed of multilevels that correspond to specific functions. Very characteristic of the Palawan swidden cultivator is the use of bamboo, saplings, and other longitudinal material in the creation of grids over the field to aid in the control of the distribution of crops.


Distribution of Ethnic Groups by Provinces
(Arrangement: Population count)
Total National Population 40,630
Abra 9
Agusan del S. 10
Aklan 50
Basilan 9
Batangas 11
Bulacan 81
Cavite 10
Cebu 10
Davao del S. 11
Ifugao 10
Laguna 21
Misamis Or. 10
Negros Occ. 10
Negros Or. 19
Occ. Mindoro 20
Or. Mindoro 10
Palawan 39,421
Pampanga 11
Pangasinan 20
Rizal 135
Romblon 15
Sulu 9
Surigao del N. 55
Tawi-Tawi 50
Zamboanga S. 32
Kalookan 40
Las Pinas 11
Manila 273
Marikina 10
Malabon 41
Makati 10
Muntinlupa 10
Navotas 39
Paranaque 10
Pasay 10
Quezon City 114
Quezon City 10
Taguig 13