The Tagbanua now inhabit the eastern and western coastal areas of central Palawan Island, living largely within the municipalities of Aborian, Quezon and Puerto Princessa. They are also found in Coron Island, north of Palawan, Northern Palawan, Busaunga Island and Baras coast. The estimated population of the Tagbanua is 129, 691 (OSCC, 1987).
They speak the Palawano language and several dialects like the Tandualanon, Silanganon and Baras in each locality, while they can comprehend Tagalog, Batak, Cuyonon and Calawian languages. (SIL Ethnologue, 1984)
They dress just like the non-tribe lowlanders but some elder men preferto use G-strings for comfort while tilling the field or going fishing.
For building their houses, the forest provides them construction materials such as bamboo and wood for a string frame, anahaw leaves for root and walls, bamboo slats for the flooring.
The basic social unit of the Tagbanuas is their nuclear family composed of a material couple and their children. They are monogamous.
Tagbanua live in compact villages of 45 to 500 individuals. They cultivate rice in swidden or kaingin field that is intercropped with sweet potato, corn, and cassava. Those in the coastal areas indulge in fishing and exchange it with agricultural products for consumption. They also gather forest products such as gum, rattan, and honey for cash. The highest potential source of income for the Tagbanua are handicrafts particularly woodworking, mat making and basketry, the raw materials for which are readily available to them.
The Tau't Batu or Taw Batu means "people of the rock." They were found by the study team to be still residing in their caves-homes although others had already moved out to the open slopes. They occupy
The Singnapan Basin, a bowl shaped valley situated in the southwestern part of the Palawan, bounded by Mt. Mantalingajan on the east and a coastal terrain on the west. On the North lies the municipality of Quezon and on the south, the deeper hinterlands of southern Palawan which are still unexplored. Their population is about 198 (OSCC, 1987) individuals.
The Tau't Batu are very articulate in the Palawan, a language spoken by the different groups in the southern portion of the island and the Tagalog. Lineas and Ukir, both Palawans who married Tau't Batu women. (Peralta, p. 149)
The Tau't Batu are still primitive in their lifestyle, even in the way of dressing. The men still wear G-strings made of bark and cloth and the women wear a piece of cloth made into skirts to cover the lower body. Both of them are half-naked but sometimes women wear a blouse that is not indigenous but obtained through the market system.
The Tau't Batu's artistry is cruder compared to other Palawan group, except in exceptional cases involving basketry. (Peralta, p. 149) Around cave-dwellings, for example, they construct a light and sturdy lattice-work made of saplings lashed together and anchored fast to crevices in the walls to provide access to the caves. The construction does not depend on any major framework to hold the unit against the walls. The anchorage is distributed all along the framework such they the breakdown of one section can be compensated for by the rest of the construction. With conditions varying in different caves, there are modifications and elaboration on the basic datag or sleeping platforms, and lagkaw. or granary. (Peralta, p. 148)
There are two musical instruments known the Kubing and Kudlong aside from the gong.
They are swidden cultivators, practicing multiple cropping with cassava as the major source of carbohydrate. They also produce sweet potato, sugarcane, malungay, garlic, pepper, string beans, squash, tomato, pineapple, etc. Throughout the year, hunting and forging is pursued to complement the carbohydrate diet of the people. Most of the wild pigs are caught through spring traps. (Peralta, p.128 )
They also indulge the sambi or (barter) and dagang (monetary exchange). The trade is specifically for marine fish which the people of Candawaga provide in exchange for horticultural products of the Tau't Batu. Dagang involves forest products like the almaciga, rattan, etc.
The Basic social unit among the Tau't Batu of Singnapan is the ka-asawan or marriage group. This extends from the basic couple, man and woman, to the more complex arrangements of a compound and extended family grouping. The ka-asawahan or households units are further grouped into larger associations called bulun-bulun which literally means gathering. These multi-household bands are physically bounded in the terms of areas of habitation. Each bulun-bulun ordinarily occupies a single cave for residence, or a single house complex in the swidden area. One thing clear is that membership in a bulun-bulun is characterized by th ecosystem of sharing through different types of social and material exchanges, a prominent example being the sharing of food (Peralta, p. 86)
Batak are inhabitants of the northeastern portion of Palawan Island, from the Babuyan River on the south to the vicinity of Malcampo on the north. They are approximately 9, 135 Batak people (OSCC, 1987). They are Malayo Polynesian, with strong affinities to the Central Bisayan group of the Philippine languages. Most men are bilingual in both Batak and Tagbanua.
They practice agriculture, fishing, hunting, industrial arts and trade for economic subsistence activities and the settlement based on geographic locality.
In marriage,the Bataks are free to choose their partner and have to offer the bride price. Bride service in not compulsory, except when the father of the bride demand it. Mostly, they are monogamous and polygamy is rarely practiced. Intergenerational marriage is prohibited but divorce is allowed especially in cases where there is severe marital conflict.
They call their elder leaders Kapitan, and choose them from among the best hunters and fighters. The local group expert on customary law is called Masikampo, and conducts all important meetings of elders.
They believe on the spirits of nature and the supernaturals. They use intermediaries to these spirits called Babaylan.
Cayunonen or Cayunon are mostly found in Cuyo Island, Palawan. They are engaged in swidden farming and fishing. The conversion of the people in Cuyo Island to Christianity has led to the merger of the animistic beliefs of the Cuyonen with the Christian elements to produce a folk Christianity which is the preavailing belief of the Cuyonon.
The Cuyono are believed to be of Malay origin. They are of medium build, brown complexion, and with straight or curly hair. The Cuyonon speak the Cuyuno dialect.
The Palawanon (also known as Palawani or Pinalawan) are still in the stage of being Islamized, i.e., many are recent converts to Islam, while about half of their estimated number are animists. They are mostly found inhabiting the southern interior of Palawan, particularly the areas south of Apu Rauan on the west coast and south of Abu-abu on the east coast. Some are also distributed among the other Bangsa Moro groups in the Balabak-Bugsuk Island group.
The Palawanon closely resemble the Tagbanua (literally "people of the village") and in the past they were doubtless the same people. Some Tausug residents in Palawan call the Palawanon Traan. "people in scattered places". Like the Yakan of Basilan, the Palawanon live in houses out of sight of each other, scattered among their plots of farm lands. Their main occupation is substinence farming, cultivating mainly upland rice.