Taytay, Palawan

TaytayThe ‘Star of the North’ aptly describe the Municipality of Taytay. Taytay is located in the northern part of the Island of Palawan, an island province located on the western side of the Philippine archipelago. Taytay means bridge in the local dialect. Its name is derived from the “Talaytayan” a native word for a few pieces of bamboo or wood arranged together to form a bridge. This town is one of the oldest in the province of Palawan and rich in historical, cultural and environmental value.

A 17th century Spanish fortress called Fuerza de Santa Isabel is located in the heart of the town which stands as a lasting symbol of a rich historical civilization. Its people, from the original Palawans, Tagbanuas, and cultural groups coming from different places in the Philippines live in harmony, making th eplace a cultural “melting pot” in this part of the coutry.

The early inhabitants of Taytay were the Indonesians and Malays. The Indonesians were brought to the shores by the waves of Mohammedan converts that overran all the areas between the 13th and 15th centuries by taking distinct routes of reaching the Philippines. One of these led to Mindanao and the others proceeded to the strings of islands which constitute the present Province of Palawan. The Malays came from the Madia-as (Panay) and first landed at Cuyo under the leadership of Datu Patuod.  Another batch followed under Datu Magbanua.  Later, these leaders sent deputies to the other undiscovered islands, Macanas and his group were sent to the Calamian, Cabailo and his group to Agutaya, while Cabungon and his group went to Taytay.  Taytay is the first capital (1859 to 1876) of the Province of Paragua (now the Province of Palawan). Today, this town is the biggest municipality in the province in terms of land area. It is a First Class Municipality with 31 barangays abundant in natural resources, made up of communities of fisherfolks and farmers.

Taytay is located 220 kilometers northeast of Puerto Princesa. It is bounded in the north by El Nido, in the south by San Vicente and Dumaran, in the east by Taytay Bay and the Sulu Sea, and in the west by the South China Sea.

Taytay is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. It is the largest municipality of the province and the first capital of Palawan. The biggest freshwater lake in the province, Lake Manguao, and the Malampaya Sound, dubbed the “Fish Bowl of the Philippines”, are located here.

Taytay, which means “bridge” in the local dialect, was established as a Spanish town in 1623. Relics of Taytay’s colonial past can still be found to this day, including a 17th century Spanish fortress called “Fuerza de Santa Isabel”, the Roman Catholic Church of Santa Monica with its thick walls of solid limestone blocks, and the ruins of the old Governor’s Mansion.

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