Brooke's Point, Palawan
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Map of Palawan with Brooke's Point highlighted
|Region||MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)|
|Congr. district||2nd district|
|Founded||June 28, 1949|
|• Mayor||Narciso B. Leoncio|
|• Total||1,303.40 km2 (503.25 sq mi)|
|• Density||47/km2 (120/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
Named after Sir James Brooke, the municipality has become famous for its promotion of ecotourism. It has also earned the distinction of being the original home of the biggest pearl in the world, known as the Pearl of Lao Tzu or the Pearl of Allah; found in its waters on May 7, 1934.
Brooke’s Point is situated in the south-eastern section of Palawan Island, approximately 215 kilometres (134 mi) from Puerto Princesa City. It has a total land area of 85,064.90 hectares stretching about 20 kilometers along the length of Palawan. Brooke's Point is bounded in the north by the Municipality of Sofronio Española, in the south by the Municipality of Bataraza, in the west by the Municipality of Rizal, and in the east by the Sulu Sea.
- Poblacion I
- Poblacion II
- Saraza (formerly Taniongbobog)
The name Brooke’s Point comes from an Englishman Sir James Brooke, first white Rajah of Sarawak and founder of the Brooke Dynasty. It is believed that during one of his voyages, he landed on the tip of an island with a long narrow stretch of land inhabited by native Palaweños and Muslims under the Sultanate of Sulu. Establishing trade and gaining the trust of the people, the name Brooke was so imprinted in the minds of the people that when American scouts came to the land almost a century later, they named it Brooke's Point.
On June 28, 1949, the Municipality of Brooke’s Point was created by virtue of Executive Order No. 232 by then President Elpidio Quirino.
|Population census of Brooke's Point|
|Note: 1990 census includes population of Sofronio Española
before it became a separate municipality in 1995.
Source: National Statistics Office
The town is predominantly Christian with a sizeable Muslim population. Most of the population's Christians are Born-again Christians and Catholics. Other Christian denominations include Church of God International, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and more.
The Catholic Church is located north of the town center while the Evangelical Christian Churches are the Gospel Hall, located north of the town center, the Iglesia ni Cristo, south of the municipal hall, the Church of Christ International's building is located in Old Camp while the LDS Church is in Edward's Subdivision.
Brooke's Point is one of Palawan's main economic centers outside Puerto Princesa, along with Narra, Coron and Cuyo. The town is home to several banks like the Land Bank and Rural Bank of Brooke's Point. Money transfers like Western Union and Money Gram also have branches in the town. There are several pawnshops like M'Lhullier, Cebuana Lhullier, among others. The town also has a Mercury Drug and a Generic Pharmacy.
Commercial Enterprises are thriving. There are many medium-sized stores, mostly located in the town proper. The service sector is also growing with the rise of many commercial establishments. The town's economy is primarily based on agriculture. The town produces great quantity of rice, copra and corn. The Palm oil industry is headquartered in Brgy. Mainit down south. Unlike most of Palawan's town, Brooke's Point does not have white and pristine beaches that draws local and foreign tourist. But because of abundant freshwater resources, the town is one of the most productive in the province in terms of agriculture. Many fruits and vegetables grow in abundance. The fruit and vegetable industries are one of Brooke's Point's potentials that are yet to be utilized.
In addition, the town is also one of the Philippines' gateway to Southeast Asia. Its proximity to Sabah is a strategic advantage. But the lack of infrastructure and inter-governmental agreement between Malaysia and the Philippines hinders the town from being a trading hub. Nevertheless, there is a minimal trade between Malaysia through many of the towns Muslim and Christian population who has relatives in Sabah.
The town also has a potential for mining. But the massive environmental consequences and tribal disputes surrounding the issue offset the mining industry.
Barangay Oring-Oring, located some 7 km from Poblacion proper is the birthplace of the World’s Biggest Pearl; known throughout the world as the Pearl of Allah or the Pearl of Lao Tzu. This 14.1-pound porcelaneous pearl was found in 1934 by a native Muslim in the seas of Oring-Oring. Valued in 1984 at USD $42 million, the ownership of this unique pearl is still in dispute. The clam that gave birth to this pearl can still be found in the possession of the heirs of Panglima Pisi, the original owner of the pearl. It is now kept in the Smithsonian Museum in the United States.
Also in Oring-Oring, another Natural Wonder can be found: the Ocean Spring. A few meters from the shore, submerged in the Sulu Sea are freshwater water springs with clean, fresh potable water.Today, the two identified springs are protected by a well, and is still used by the natives as a source of drinking water.
Mainit Falls and Hot Water Springs can be found 10 kilometers from the town proper, approximately 30 minutes by car. The Mainit Waterfalls not only serve to irrigate nearby fields but also serve as a source of drinking water to the residents living around its vicinity. Although Palawan stands outside the Ring of Fire, hot springs flow a few meters from the waterfall. Its sulfuric waters have been known to attract the Trogonoptera Trojana, a species of butterflies that is endemic to Palawan.
Bakbakan falls, a 64-meter waterfall can also be found in Barangay Mainit. Between Barangays Aribungos and Ipilan, Sabsaban Falls, also a frequently-visited site, acts as a natural boundary between the two towns.
Brooke's Port, believed to have been constructed by Sir James Brooke himself, is a historical landmark in Brooke’s Point. Today, owing to erosion and the constant movement of the tides, only a few stones can still be seen in place.
Brooke's Lighthouse, also believed to have been built by the Englishman. The remnants of the original lighthouse tower are still visible, although the area is now occupied by a new lighthouse.
Addison Peak, locally known as Mount Maruyog, with a height of 1,024 meters above sea level, is the highest point in Brooke’s Point and offers a panoramic view of the town and its surroundings.
At the edge of the town, sharing its boundaries with the Municipalities of Brooke's Point, Bataraza, Sofronio Espanola, Quezon and Jose Rizal is Mount Mantalingahan with an elevation of 2,085 meters above sea level. Mount Mantalingahan is part of a series of mountain ranges that effectively divide the whole of Palawan into the East and West Coast.
The main 'Tabuan' every Monday is must try event. There you can buy fresh produce at a very low price. There are also tabuan in Poblacion II every Friday and at Brgy. Ipilan every Thursday.
The gray colored sand beaches of Brooke's Point is also something worth going at. The weed-free sea floor and medium sized waves is ideal for swimming.
Brooke's Point has a modern sea port that accommodates many cargo ships from Manila, Mindanao, the Visayas and other parts of Luzon. The port also cater numerous fishing vessels. Commercial vessels from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries also make several stops in the port. The port also serves as a docking point for vessels containing commercial goods from Manila and aboad, and also mining related materials to Rio Tuba. The port of Brooke's Point is considered as one of the most profitable ports in Southern Philippines.
The El Nido-Bataraza highway connects the town to other mainland towns and municipalities. Transportation between Puerto Princesa and Brooke's Point is through commercial vans, buses or jeepneys. There is also a private airport located at Lada.
Transportation throughout the town is through tricycle and multi-cabs. The fare is usually 8-10 pesos for the first kilometer. An eight kilometers ride would cost by at least 30 pesos. Multi-cabs have a much lower price; around 20-25 pesos for an 8 kilometers ride. Kuliglig, a machine also used for agriculture, is widely used as means of transportation is rural areas. It's a must try for tourists.
Health facilities in the municipality include a 25-bed capacity secondary government hospital, the Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital; a Rural Health Unit (RHU); Barangay Health Stations (BHS); and private clinics and hospitals. Dental and optical clinics, laboratories, and drugstores are also present and not only serve Brooke's Point, but also neighboring municipalities.
The Palawan State University has its campus in Brooke's Point. In addition, the town is also home to the Southern Palawan Polytechnic College which provides several technical and vocational courses.
There are 9 secondary schools in Brooke's Point. Brooke's Point Christian High School, a Christian-run institution, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus High School administered by the Augustinians are located in the town center. Public secondary schools include the Brooke's Point National High School, Governor Abueg Memorial and Vocational High school, and more. There are also at least 40 public elementary schools.
Brooke's Point has three radio stations, Radyo Natin Brooke's Point, Palawan, Radyo Mo Nationwide and RadioPoint911 that broadcasts to Balabac, Bataraza, Sofronio Española, Rizal, Palawan, and some parts of Quezon, Palawan and Narra. Brooke's Point, along with Coron and Puerto Princesa City, is a site of GMA Network's satellite transmission center. The town is also a telecommunications hub of several companies like Smart and Globe networks. Internet cafes are becoming increasingly popular while the percentage of personal computer ownership is also rising.
Many parts of the town's forests are cleared to give way for agriculture. Slash and burn agriculture is a common practice in the towns interior. Burning of garbage and waste are common, so as illegal fishing. Illegal logging is done on a small basis, but the frequency of this practice has a substantial impact on the town's forest cover. Small scale illegal pet trade also exists. Mynahs, parrots, pangolins among many animals only found in Palawan are poached and traded to other parts of the country and abroad. Although the practice is increasingly common, many of these activities are not known to authorities.
In recent years, the local government with the National government have made several policies and programs to protect the environment. But apathy and corruption hinders government efforts in implementation of the said policies and programs.
- "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
- "Province: PALAWAN". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "An Act Creating the Barrio of Samariniana, in the Municipality of Brooke\'s Point, Province of Palawan". LawPH.com. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "An Act Changing the Name of the Barrio of Taniongbobog, Municipality of Brooke's Point, Province of Palawan, to Saraza". LawPH.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- "Brooke's Point". Provincial Government of Palawan. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "Province of Palawan". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Official site
- Philippine Standard Geographic Code
- Philippine Census Information
- Local Governance Performance Management System
- Sunset Lodge Information and pictures
- Radyo Natin Center Radio station based in Brooke's Point.