Balabac Island

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Balabac Island
Balabac.jpg
Balabac Island is located in Philippines
Balabac Island
Balabac Island
Location within the Philippines
Geography
Location Balabac Strait
Coordinates 7°56′31″N 117°0′29″E / 7.94194°N 117.00806°E / 7.94194; 117.00806Coordinates: 7°56′31″N 117°0′29″E / 7.94194°N 117.00806°E / 7.94194; 117.00806
Archipelago Balabac Group of Islands
Adjacent bodies of water
Area 427 km2 (165 sq mi)
Highest elevation 525 m (1,722 ft)
Highest point Mount Balabac
Administration
Philippines
Region MIMAROPA
Province Palawan
Municipality Balabac
Demographics
Population 40,142 (as of 2015)

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 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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