The first Filipino governor of Palawan was Ambrosio Pablo, who took office in 1914.
During World War II, Palawan was divided into two parts-- the Free and the Occupied, each with a governor. Gaudencio Abordo was governor for the Commonwealth while Inigo Peña was for the Japanese-occupied portion.
PEOPLE AND CULTURE
PALAWAN is home to several ethnolinguistic groups: the Tagbanua, Palaw'an, Tau't bato, and the Bataks
They live in remote villages in the mountains and coastal areas. Their ancestors are believed to have occupied the province long before Malay settlers from the Madjapahit Empire of Indonesia arrived in these islands in the latter 12th or 13th centuries. In 1962, a team of anthropologists from the National Museum led by Dr. Robert Fox unearthed fossils at Lipuun Point (now known as the Tabon Cave complex) that were classified as those of Homo Sapiens and believed to be 22,000 to 24,000 years old. With the recovery of the Tabon man fossils and other significant findings in the area , the place came to be known as the Cradle of Philippines Civilization.
Research has shown that the Tagbanua and Palaw'an are possible descendants of the Tabon Caves' inhabitants. Their Language and alphabet, practice of kaingin , and common belief in soul relatives are some of their cultural similarities. Tagbanua tribes are found in central and Northern Palawan. They practice shifting cultivation of upland rice, which is considered a divine gift, and are known for their rice wine ritual called Pagdiwata. The cult of the dead is the key to the religious system of the Tagbanua, who also believe in countless deities found in the natural environment.
The Palaw'an belong to the large Manobo-based linguistic groups of the southern Philippines. Their original homes were located in the interior regions of South Apuruan on the West Coast and south of Abo- Abo on the East Coast.
The Batak, which means "mountain people" in Cuyuno, live in the rugged interiors of northeastern Palawan. Living close to nature, they are a peaceful and shy people. The Batak believe in nature spirits, with whom they communicate throught a babaylan or medium.
The Tau't Bato or "people of rock" is a sub-group of the Palaw'an tribe living in the Singnapan Valley in southern Palawan. They stay inside caves during the rainy season and cam out to engage in kaingin farming during dry season. The tribe is familiar with certain concepts of the market system such as wages, labor, and money.
Native- born Palaweños include the Cuyunons, Agutaynons, and Molbogs. Originally from the island town of Cuyo in northern Palawan, Cuyunons are considered an elite class. They are religious, disciplined and have a highly developed community spirit spirit. The Agutaynons practice a simpler island lifestyle, with fishing and farming as their main source of livelihood. The Molbogs, the original inhabitants of the southernmost island group of Balabac, derive their name from the word "malubog" which means turbid water. Among Palaweños, the molbogs are the ones most exposed to Islamic culture.