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While the formerly Muslim majority population in Mindanao was reduced to 40% as a result of the influx of Christian Filipino settlers in the 20th century, as of 2015 Muslims were reported by the Routledge Handbook of Southeast Asian Democratization as forming an “overwhelming majority” in Palawan, as well as the Sulu Archipelago. However, other sources had earlier reported a 50-50 split between Muslims and Christians—with Muslims concentrated mostly in the south of Palawan.

Not only is Palawan Island considered one of the most captivating tourist attractions in the Philippines, but it is rich in languages and culture as well. Palawan is one of the best-known archaeological sites that carry solid evidence of the country’s ancient past.


Most Palawanos choose to live along upland rivers, while a few opt for the coast. Their primary source of food is agriculture, using the slash-and-burn method. Hunting with blowguns, fishing, and food gathering are also relied on for sustenance. In traditional societies, most of the agricultural tasks are assigned to the women.