Balabac Island

Balabac Island is the southernmost island of the Palawan province, and therefore the westernmost undisputed island in the Philippines, only about 50 kilometers (31 mi) north from Sabah, Malaysia, across the Balabac Strait.

Balabac Island
Balabac Island
Location within Palawan
LocationBalabac Strait
Coordinates7°56′31″N 117°0′29″E
ArchipelagoBalabac Group of Islands
Adjacent to
Highest elevation1,867 ft (569.1 m)
Highest pointBalabac Peak
Additional information

Administratively, the island forms the main part of the municipality of Balabac and is divided into 14 barangays (the other six barangays of the municipality are on other nearby islands):

  • Agutayan
  • Catagupan
  • Indalawan
  • Malaking Ilog
  • Melville
  • Pasig
  • Rabor
  • Salang
  • Poblacion I
  • Poblacion II
  • Poblacion III
  • Poblacion IV
  • Poblacion V
  • Poblacion VI

Balabac Island is home to various endemic species. It is the home of birds like the grey imperial pigeon (Ducula pickeringii), Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), blue-headed racket-tail (Prioniturus platenae), and the Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei). The Philippine mouse-deer, a subspecies of the greater mouse-deer (Tragulus napu) can only be found in this island.

The Molbogs, a Muslim ethnolinguistic group, is concentrated in this island. Their livelihood includes farming, fishing and barter trading with the nearby Mapun and Sabah market centres.

Cape Melville Lighthouse on the southern point of Balabac Island, circa 1892


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