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In 1902, after the Philippine-American War, the Americans established civil rule in northern Palawan, calling it the province of Paragua. 1363, the province was reorganized to include the southern portions and renamed Palawan, and Puerto Princesa declared as its capital.Many reforms and projects were later introduced in the province.This was during a period known as the Three Kingdoms.

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Prisoners who tried to escape the flames were shot down.

Others attempted to escape by climbing over a cliff that ran along one side of the trenches, but were later hunted down and killed.

Surviving Buddhist images and sculptures are primarily in and near Tabon Cave.

Because of Palawan's proximity to Borneo, southern portions of the island were under the control of the Sultanate of Brunei for more than two centuries, and Islam was introduced.

Construction of school buildings, promotion of agriculture, and bringing people closer to the government were among the priority plans during this era.

During World War II, in order to prevent the rescue of prisoners of war by the advancing allies, on 14 December 1944, units of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army (under the command of General Tomoyuki Yamashita) herded the remaining 150 prisoners of war at Puerto Princesa into three covered trenches which were then set on fire using barrels of gasoline.

In the early 17th century, Spanish friars sent out missions in Cuyo, Agutaya, Taytay and Cagayancillo but they met resistance from Moro communities.

Before the 18th century, Spain began to build churches enclosed by garrisons for protection against Moro raids in the town of Cuyo, Taytay, Linapacan and Balabac.

After Ferdinand Magellan's death, remnants of his fleet landed in Palawan where the bounty of the land saved them from starvation.

Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler named the place "Land of Promise." The northern Calamianes Islands were the first to come under Spanish authority, and were later declared a province separate from the Palawan mainland.

During the same period, trade relations flourished, and intermarriages among the natives and the Chinese, Japanese, Arab and Hindu.

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