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Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island, measuring 450 kilometers (280 mi) long, and 50 kilometers (31 mi) wide.

Palawan is composed of the long and narrow Palawan Island, plus a number of other smaller islands surrounding the main island. The Calamianes Group of Islands, to the northwest consists of Busuanga Island, Culion Island, and Coron Island. Durangan Island almost touches the westernmost part of Palawan Island, while Balabac Island is located off the southern tip, separated from Borneo by the Balabac Strait. In addition, Palawan covers the Cuyo Islands in the Sulu Sea. The disputed Spratly Islands, located a few hundred kilometers to the west is considered part of Palawan by the Philippines, and is locally called the Kalayaan Group of Islands.

Palawan's almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) of irregular coastline are dotted with roughly 1,780 islands and islets, rocky coves, and sugar-white sandy beaches. It also harbors a vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of mountain ranges. The mountain heights average 3,500 feet (1,100 m) in altitude, with the highest peak rising to 6,843 feet (2,086 m) at Mount Mantalingahan. The vast mountain areas are the source of valuable timber. The terrain is a mix of coastal plain, craggy foothills, valley deltas, and heavy forest interspersed with riverine arteries that serve as irrigation.


Palawan consists of 367 barangays and 23 municipalities, and two congressional districts that divide the province into north and south portions. Thirteen municipalities are considered as mainland municipalities, and these are, Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Sofronio Española, Brooke's Point, Rizal, and Bataraza (located south), Puerto Princesa (positioned in the center), and San Vicente, Roxas, Dumaran, El Nido, and Taytay (found in the north). The remaining municipalities are island municipalities, and they are: Busuanga, Coron, Linapacan and Culion (forming the Calamianes group of islands), Cuyo, Agutaya and Magsaysay (the Cuyo group of islands), Araceli, Cagayancillo, Balabac and Kalayaan (Spratly Islands), claimed by Vietnam. The capital Puerto Princesa is a highly-urbanized city that governs itself independently from the province, but it usually grouped with the province for statistical purposes.

It has a total land area of 14,896 square kilometer (km2), which is distributed to its mainland municipalities, comprising 12,239 km², and the island municipalities, which altogether measure 2,657 km². On the average, each municipality has an area of 620 km². On the other hand, the island municipality of Cuyo (4,003 km²) ranks largest in terms of municipal waters. On the latter, the mainland municipality of Sofronio Española has the smallest marine area with only 485 km².

The largest municipalities are situated in the central and northern mainland, and they are: Puerto Princesa (2,106 km²), Taytay (1,390 km²), and RoxasCagayancillo (15.40 km²), Magsaysay (27.70 km²) and Cuyo. (1,220 km²). On the contrary, the smallest local government units are the island municipalities of (57.30 km²). All 24 local government units have 431 barangays as of June 2002


SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palawan

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