Palawano of Rizal

The Palawano of Rizal are a tribal group inhabiting the mountains in the west of Palawan.

AFM begins serving the Palawano of Rizal in 2022. Is God calling you to reach out to the Palawano people of Rizal?

About the People

The Palawano of Rizal are a minority tribal group in the west of Palawan. They inhabit the mountains and foothills of Rizal while Christian Filipinos mostly reside in the lowlands and coastal villages. The Palawano of the jungles and mountains of Rizal are cultivators, forest-foragers and hunters, while those in the lowlands tend to be fishermen and shopkeepers. The Palawano of Rizal live in huts made from materials found in the surrounding nature. They live in family groups instead of typical villages, generally with the wife’s family group rather than the husband’s. Their fear of the spirits controls these animistic people, and the children are taught to fear them from their youngest days. The Palawano of Rizal speak both the Palawano and Tagalog languages. Mainly illiterate but bright people, their youngsters have a yearning to learn. On the other hand, the adults fear change and cling tenaciously to the ways of their forefathers.

The jungle-covered mountains in the Rizal region are comprised of sand, gravel, silica, shale and even some precious metal. Rare flowers and animals can be spotted throughout, and eight waterfalls feed many streams. Rizal covers 485 square miles, and its climate is that of a tropical rainforest. Agriculture includes fish, rice, corn, coconut, vegetables and poultry. Quezon is a neighboring town to the northeast, and Brooke’s Point lies to the east.


Thirty-nine percent of the population of Rizal is below the age of 14; 57 percent are between the ages of 15 and 64; those over the age of 64 comprise about four percent. Half of the population is 20 years of age or younger. The other half is over 20. Since 1990, the population of Rizal has more than tripled. There are about four members per household. Roughly half of the population are registered voters. Fifty-three percent of registered voters are men, and 47 percent are women.

About the Project


We look forward to building relationships with the Palawano of Rizal and leading them to Christ as we continue moving further into the jungle and up the mountains. Our prayer is that the Palawano of Rizal will respond to the Holy Spirit and join us in proclaiming the gospel among their friends and neighbors, growing into a self-sustaining movement that outlasts our tenure. We greatly desire your prayers and partnership along the way.

People-Group Facts

  • Population: 51,000
  • Language: Palawano
  • Trade Language: Tagalog
  • Religion: animist