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Puerto Princesa holds medical mission for “Batak” tribe PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 June 2007

PUERTO PRINCESA - The City Health Office (CHO) conducted Tuesday a day-long medical mission for the indigenous people group “Batak” in the mountains of sitio Kalakwasan, barangay Tanabag, some 70 kilometers from this city.

The CHO's medical personnel, led by City Health Officer Dr. Juancho Monserate, provided health services to some 40 Batak families in the area.

It is said that sitio Kalakwasan is the last stronghold of the Batak tribal group.

Monserate said most of the Batak people were suffering from diseases like malaria, measles, tuberculosis and upper respiratory infection.

The Batak tribe earlier appealed to city government for medical help because of most them are suffering different ailments.

Jame Villon, Department of Education’s (DepEd) alternative learning system employee assigned to teach the natives in the area, expressed fear that the Batak's population and its cultural heritage would soon vanish if they continue to be disregarded.

The Bataks, which means “mountain people” in native Cuyono language, live in the rugged interiors of the province.

Living close to nature, the Batak tribes are peaceful, shy people and believe in nature spirits, they communicate through a medium.

The Batak is believed to be the oldest inhabitants in Palawan. They still live as cave dwellers and hunting in the forest with blowguns.

The tribe's population is estimated with 360 members.

Anthropologists believed that the Bataks are related to the other Aeta people found in other parts of the Philippines.

The Batak also bears a resemblance to the Semang and Sakai tribes of the Malay Peninsula.

Beside from the Batak tribe, Palawan is also home to several tribal groups such as Tagbanua, Palaw’an and Tau’t bato.

They live in the remote villages in the mountains and coastal areas, making them susceptible to numerous diseases.

Tagbanua and Palaw’an are possible descendants of the Tabon Caves inhabitants.

The discovery of 22,000 to 24,000 years Tabon man fossils in Quezon town gave rise to Palawan’s image as the Cradle of Philippine Civilization. (PNA)

The Vanishing Batak Tribe


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