One thousand years ago, Chinese traders named the island Pa Lao Yu, or land of beautiful safe harbor because of its many safe places to land their ships.
This is where the relics of earliest settlers were found and have been unearthed and dated 22,000 years ago while its human habitation evidently proved about 50,000 years old.
Some of the tribes known to inhabit the islands such as Batak, Palawan and Tagbanuas may be descendants of the early settlers, who came via ice-age land bridges and of later migrants who came on boats. They were followed in the 13th century by the Indonesians of Madjapahit Empire.
During the arrival of the Spanish, Palawan was ruled by Borneo from Jolo. The Spanish first took over the northern part of the island and worked south from Cuyo and Taytay. The Spanish invaded Palawan in 18th century forcing the Sultan of Borneo to give up its full autonomy. From Taytay, the capital was moved to Puerto Princesa.
Nowadays, Palawan is an island of mixed tribes, who have been pushed to the interior, and of Muslim, Visayan and Tagalog settlers along the borders.