Palawan is a group of some 1700 islands on the western side of the Philippine archipelago nestled between the South China Sea to the west and the Sulu Sea to the east. Palawan’s irregular coastline stretches almost 2,000 kilometers long, indented by numerous coves and bays. Highlands and rolling terrain covered with lush forests create a cool and scenic landscape. It is home to at least three distinct tribes of indigenous Filipinos, whose rich history and culture date back over a thousand years. Blessed with natural beauty, an abundance of natural resources, and unique and highly diverse flora and fauna endemic to the islands, it is referred to as the Philippines’ last ecological frontier.
Though its geographic location makes it seem remote to the rest of the country, the quick pace of progress has made the islands more accessible. Its rich deposit of minerals and precious metals has attracted a number of mining companies that have begun large-scale strip mining operations in what were once protected habitats. Urbanization, industrial development and pollution have displaced local tribes and now threaten the islands’ delicate ecosystem.
Director Auraeus Solito traces his roots in Palawan and holds a deep spiritual connection to this mystical place. His mother comes from the Palaw’an tribe whose lineage can be traced back to the earliest settlers of the country. Solito has always dreamed of making a film set in Palawan partly to honor his heritage and also to preserve its rich culture. In this film, he celebrates some of the native mythology and folklore of Palawan amidst the stunning and colorful vistas of the islands.