Balabac Island

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Balabac
Balabac.jpg
Ph locator palawan balabac.png
Map of Palawan showing the location of Balabac municipality.
Geography
Location Palawan, Philippines
Coordinates 7°57′N 117°01′E / 7.95°N 117.02°E / 7.95; 117.02Coordinates: 7°57′N 117°01′E / 7.95°N 117.02°E / 7.95; 117.02
Archipelago Palawan
Length 31 km (19.3 mi)
Width 17 km (10.6 mi)
Highest elevation 525 m (1,722 ft)
Country
Philippines
Region MIMAROPA
Province Palawan
Municipality Balabac

Balabac Island is the southern-most island of the Palawan province in the Philippines, only about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north from Sabah, Malaysia, across the Balabac Strait.

Administratively, the island forms the main part of Balabac Municipality and is divided into 14 barangays (the other 6 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 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 Sulu, Bangsamoro, and Sabah market centers.

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

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