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Island Municipality
Official seal of Cagayancillo
Map of Palawan showing the location of Cagayancillo
Map of Palawan showing the location of Cagayancillo
Cagayancillo is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 9°28′55″N 121°2′10″E / 9.48194°N 121.03611°E / 9.48194; 121.03611Coordinates: 9°28′55″N 121°2′10″E / 9.48194°N 121.03611°E / 9.48194; 121.03611
Country Philippines
Region MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)
Province Palawan
Congr. district 1st district
Formed 1810
 • Mayor Lourdes C. Lanoy
 • Total 26.39 km2 (10.19 sq mi)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 7,116
 • Density 270/km2 (700/sq mi)
Time zone PST[3] (UTC+8)
Zip Code 5321
Dialing code 48

Cagayancillo is a sixth class island municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines, located between the islands of Palawan and Negros in the Sulu Sea. As of the 2010 census, it has a population of 7,116 people.[2] Cagayancillo is the closest settlement to the Tubbataha National Marine Park. The word Cagayancillo is Spanish for "Little Cagayan."



The farthest provincial limit of the province of Palawan in the east is the island of municipality of Cagayancillo. It is approximately 178 nautical miles (330 km) east of Puerto Princesa City and only 72 nautical miles (133 km) south-west of Antique. It is located near the middle of the Sulu Sea.

There are neither mountain ranges nor forested areas in the municipality. A hilly portion in the north-eastern part of the main island has a slope of 3-82%. The other areas are flat with the highest elevation around 2 to 3 meters. The majority of the island has a sandy loam soil not enough to support a forest.[4]


Cagayancillo is the smallest municipality in the province of Palawan with a total land area of only 2,639 hectares (6,520 acres) as of 2007.[1] The municipality is composed of 31 islands and islets and is subdivided into 12 barangays and two island sitios (Cavili and Calusa) included under the political jurisdiction of Magsaysay.[5][6]

  • Bantayan (Pob.)
  • Calsada (Pob.)
  • Convento (Pob.)
  • Lipot North (Pob.)
  • Lipot South (Pob.)
  • Magsaysay
  • Mampio
  • Nusa
  • Santa Cruz
  • Tacas (Pob.)
  • Talaga
  • Wahig (Pob.)


Cagayancillo belongs to Type II climate wherein there is no distinct wet or dry season. The dry season is usually from December to May with March as the driest month. The wet season is usually from May to November with August as the rainiest month.

The municipality is exposed to both monsoons. The Amihan or north-east winds blow from November to March while the Habagat or south-west winds visit the area from June to October. The summer months from April to June receive the moderate daplak wind from the north-west.


The island was known to the first Spanish settlers in the Archipelago simply as Cagayan. They describe this territory as "two low islets about fifteen leagues from the island of Panay". They ruled these islets from the town of Arevalo in Iloilo by sailing south-southeast from this part of Panay, to the open sea. The islands are surrounded by many low reefs. But the Spaniards were able to discover their narrow entry, avoiding the great danger that awaited ships.[7]

During the early period of Spanish colonizations, these small islets were inhabited by four hundred people, all of whom were very skillful shipbuilders. They were from Panay, and they came to these islets in order to fortify themselves by the reefs, for fear of pirates. Then they undertook to return to Panay in order to dwell there. But many of their women died there. Seeing this, as they were soothsayers, they returned to the islands of Cagayan, from where they set out every year, and scattered themselves over all the islands to build ships. They built the ships of the Spanish Royal Navy in the Philippines, as well as galleys, galliots, and frigates. They also helped in repairing and righting ships. Being the most important people in the islands for the Spaniards, the adelantado Miguel López de Legazpi allotted their islands to the encomenderos of Negros Island. Afterwards, the colonizers found it best to put them under the direct control of the Spanish Crown. Thus, it was governed from the town of Arevalo in Iloilo.[7]

Historically, the islands also became part of Antique Province. It was made into a municipality in 1810, with Omabong as its first mayor.[8]

During the American regime, it came under the jurisdiction of Negros Occidental.

In 1959, the following sitios were constituted into barrios of Cagayan:

  • the sitios of Banted, Nipay, Dool, Cavili, Cabayog and Langtad, as barrio Talaga;
  • the sitios of Ibiok, Panderse, Lato and Gatung-an, as barrio Mampio; and
  • sitio Nusa as Barrio Nusa[9]


Population census of Cagayancillo
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 5,082 —    
1995 6,717 +5.37%
2000 6,348 −1.20%
2007 6,506 +0.34%
2010 7,116 +3.32%
Source: National Statistics Office[2][10]

Historical sites[edit]

Cagayancillo Fort[edit]

Cagayancillo Fort is one of the surviving defense forts in Palawan built during the Spanish Colonial Period. Work on the fort was started in the late 16th century by Father Nicolas Melo and Father Alonso Colosa, but it was not completed till the early 18th century by Father Hipolito Casiano, spanning almost 130 years.[11] The 162-sq. meter (1,740-sq. foot) diamond-shaped fort was built on the coast on a high point on the island and made from sea rocks mixed with lime. Like some of the other Spanish forts in this area, inside is a church surrounded by its massive 12 metres (39 ft) high and 3 metres (9.8 ft) thick walls, providing a safe place for the residents during marauding pirate attacks.[12] The other Spanish Colonial fortifications in Palawan are Fort Santa Isabel in Taytay and Cuyo Fort in Cuyo.


Cagayancillo has a total of 8 public elementary schools with a total of 37 classrooms. A total of 35 teachers are available in school year 2000–2001 for total enrollees of 1,110. This provides an average classroom - pupil ratio and teacher - pupil ratio 1:39. This ratio is above the national standard of 1:50 classroom - pupil and teacher- pupil ratios. Enrollment participation rate is estimated at 85.03% for school year 2000–2001. In secondary education, the municipality has one (1) national high school located in the Poblacion. There were 9 classrooms and 13 secondary school teachers giving an average ratio of 1:52 classroom -student ratio. Secondary school participation rate was low at 69%.[citation needed]

Health services[edit]

There are no hospitals in Cagayancillo.[4] Health facilities in the municipality consist of 1 rural health unit and 4 Barangay Health Stations. In terms of health manpower, the municipality employs 1 municipal health officer, 1 public health nurse, 1 rural health midwife and 1 rural sanitary inspector.


  1. ^ a b "Province: PALAWAN". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Philippine Time zone" Retrieved on 2011-02-02.
  4. ^ a b Arquiza, Yasmin D. and White, Alan T (1999). "Tales from Tubbataha (2nd ed.)". Sulu Fund for Conservation Foundation, Cebu. ISBN 971-569-337-7.
  5. ^ "Municipality of Cagayancillo". National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved on 2011-02-02.
  6. ^ "Background Study Guide of Cagayancillo". SIL Kagayanen Language Team Updates. December 1988. 
  7. ^ a b Miguel de Loarca, Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas (Arevalo: June 1782) in BLAIR, Emma Helen & ROBERTSON, James Alexander, eds. (1903). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803. Volume 05 of 55 (1582–1583). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord BOURNE. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-0554259598. OCLC 769945704. "Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century.", p. 79.
  8. ^ "Cagayancillo" (PDF). Provincial Government of Palawan. Retrieved 9 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "R.A. No. 2103, An Act Creating Certain Barrios in the Municipality of Cagayancillo, Province of Palawan". Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  10. ^ "Province of Palawan". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Muog (2008-01-30). "Cagayancillo Fort". Muog: Spanish Colonial Fortifications in the Philippines. Retrieved on 2011-02-03.
  12. ^ "Things to do and see in Palawan". Lakbay Pilipinas. Retrieved on 2011-02-03.

External links[edit]