Palawan Branch Museum


Brief History

The Palawan Museum was formerly a station for museum fieldmen before it was developed into an orientation museum. It preserves, maintains, and interprets the artifacts in situ of the Neolithic habitation site of ancient Filipinos and houses the ethnographic and natural history objects of the province. The Sub-station 2 in Tawa-tawa maintains, preserves, and protects the Tabon Caves Complex located in the Lipuun Point Reservation where numerous archaeological artifacts have been discovered.

The museum was a field station that was turned into an orientation museum after the discovery of Tabon Caves. The extensive archaeological explorations and excavations of the Tabon Cave Complex from July 3, 1962 to June 30, 1965 was initiated by Dr. Robert Fox, an American archaeologist, then the Chief of the Anthropology Division of the National Museum.

The branch is in the town of Quezon in Palawan, 586 kilometers southwest of Manila. Quezon is approximately 148 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa City, the provincial capital. Palawan is home to the Tagbanua, Pala’wan, Tau’t Batu and Batak ethnolinguistic groups and also a sanctuary for rare species of flora and fauna.


Baskets (bayong), dart holders, blowgun (supukan), darts (baslay) with several types of points
Tagbanua ritual paraphernalia: stoneware jar for the rice wine, porcelain plates and bowls to contain areca nuts and betel leaves, gongs and drums, bamboo pole on which hung dried pandan leaves, woven mat
Human bones, ceramics and other archaeological materials with dates ranging from 30,000 years ago to 14th century A.D.
Bamboo segments with indigenous syllabic scripts of the Tagbanua and Pala’wan.
Palawan flora and fauna.

Highlights of the Exhibit

The Pagdiwata Structure is a typical house of a ‘balyanE(ritual specialist) where ‘pagdiwataEritual paraphernalia are displayed. The ‘pagdiwataEritual is a religious practice of the Tagbanua performed to cure sickness or to give thanks after a bountiful harvest or before planting. The colorful and elaborative ritual is executed inside the house of the ‘balyanEwho acts as the medium. Drinking the rice wine (tabad) by participating local manungul jarresidents highlights the ritual.

Manunggul Jar (replica) Ea Late Neolithic burial jar found in Manunggul Cave. It has a cover depicting souls sailing to the afterworld in a death boat. (The original piece is displayed at the Museum of the Filipino People in Manila).

Category/Type of Museum: General

Location, Museum Hours & Contact No.

National Museum, Quezon Branch, Quezon, Palawan, Region IV

By air, Manila to Puerto Princesa is a one-hour flight via Air Philippines or Philippine Airlines. From Puerto Princesa City, Quezon can be reached within four hours by bus or shuttle van. Charing Bus Lines that regularly ply in the area is cheaper.

By sea. Overnight cruise via WG & A Super Ferry or Negros Navigation.

Mondays-Fridays / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm;
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by appointment

Contact Information:
ASBMD, National Museum Central Office; 527-4192


This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
National Museum of the Philippines
Padre Burgos Drive, City of Manila, Philippines