Yunaska Island



Yunaska Island


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Yunaska Island is one of the last frontier islands in the Philippines. The coral limestone mountains, white sand beaches, crystal clear water, and lush vegetation make it an ideal place for relaxation and refreshment. Some of the natural attractions of Yunaska Island include the 110-meter long Batad-an Bridge, which links the eastern and western parts of the island, a freshwater lake called Mt. Apo that’s home to cool breezes and crystal-clear water, as well as the stunning Mount Banaba that towers above the clouds.

Yunaska Island


Yunaska Island is one of the oldest inhabited islands in the Philippines, with archaeological evidence dating back to around 7000 BC. It was colonized by the great Spanish explorer Ponce de León in 1521 and later acquired by the American colonial government as part of the 1898 Treaty of Paris after Spain relinquished its sovereignty over much of the western Pacific Rim. The island’s main town, Sto. Domingo, flourished during this time as a center for trade and commerce between America and Asia. Following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, however, Yunaska Island became strategically important due to its access to the sea, and was closed off from civilians.

In 1968, the government of President Ferdinand Marcos granted Yunaska Island townsfolk their own island council, comprising five members appointed by Marcos with the title “barangay leaders”, divided into four barrios – Barrio Tancogon in Calubian Norte; Barrio Anilaan in Central; Baluya at Epinoo-o East grant and Poblacion on Uwanganpan. During Martial Law (1972–1981), all these local leadership positions were abolished with only a mayor being appointed for the entire island.

In 1978, Marcos signed an executive order that ceded control of Yunaska to Agrarian Reform Secretary “Jovito” R. Salonga and Richard Gordon who was then Secretary of Interior and Local Government (now Department of Tourism), in exchange for urban land with a total area greater than 100 hectares within Metro Manila.


The climate of Yunaska Island is tropical marine, with a summer hot and wet season from May to October, followed by a cooler and drier winter from November to April. The annual temperature range is 21°C – 31°C. Seasonal temperature varies greatly and can bring heavy precipitation such as flash floods with winds, while the dry season maintains more pleasant weather. The extremely toxic jellyfish “Aequorea forskalea” can be found in the waters around the island.

<br>Provincial agricultural produce: mango (“Mangifera indica”), coconut, sugarcane (“Saccharum robustum”) and at some places ginger/turmeric were planted in farm areas; flower seeds of various kinds (safflower oil); fresh vegetables are mostly grown on concessions given to local government units and cooperatives while commercially farming lands have been awarded by huge Philippine corporation. Aquaculture was also introduced gradually after its successful trial run in the vicinity at Punta Sur, Barangay Ma’ap.


Yunaska Island is home to the Ynaga people, the largest indigenous group in Palawan. For centuries, they have hunted and fished the island’s many seas and rivers. The Palawano people of mainland Luzon are Saidaon Aliwatan or good speakers of Yakan. Pre-Spanish period of discovery, the island is also home to cultural traditions and inhabitants of other cultures.

The Palawano people are thought to have inhabited the island since pre-Hispanic times. Following its conquest by Spain in 1574, some Spaniards chose this place as part of their great explorations through South East Asia that later resulted in establishment or maybe improvements of towns like Dapitan or Panglao on mainland Palawan Islands. As for Filipino culture development, a small Chinese community settled at Tumagasan Cove near Tabaco Island during Spanish colonial days; most of the Chinese people later controlled other island communities in Palawan such as Tabaco, Gubat and Talipao.

Ynaga tama or Storytelling is a part of their culture which still present to the Island community although it has been sheltered from outside influences because of natural barrier that surround this Island small like coral reef, sea water or high cliffs . This cultural heritage was lost with time but one can find traces of its passing through oral traditions and invocations made by elder wise men called “Bagwang sa bekombe” (an old man outwitted)


The island is part of the barangay of Ma’ap, in the municipality of Puerto Princesa City. As of 2010, its population was estimated to be around 1,600 people. Among the Palawano people, Tumagasan Cove used to be a much disputed territory throughout the years.

The island was often visited by Moro Datu Lapandula and Rajah Suliman of Panglao which have access way from mainland Palawan Island through Babak district known as gateway to Philippine Asia heritage via different pilgrimage ways like passing by land or sea route well know for its peaceful inhabited islands especially in eastern Mindanao’s northern area.

But after Spanish colonization these lands were used as thick forest other parts are still under local administration control while Mapi’ ya tama of the mainland were used for hunting or farming purposes thus making it a convenient place to settle especially during peaceful times with no significant political instability in Palawan Island; some even call this area as “Uno y Dumagasan” .

Government services

The island is accessible by ferry from Puerto Princesa City or Ma’ap. It is also served by the Puerto Princesa Airport. The small airport has a single asphalt runway, but it can accommodate large jets since it features an extended main runway and another smaller gravel strip for emergency landings. There are no passenger facilities on the island, only a small building that serves as customs and immigration office, and a restaurant.


The island is a popular tourist destination, with activities such as birdwatching, snorkeling, and diving. It also has a small resort area that caters to tourists.


Yunaska Island is a remote island located in the Arctic Ocean, north of Ellesmere Island, and west of Barrow Island. The island is about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) long and 800 kilometres (500 mi) wide, with an area of 318 km2 (123 sq mi). It has a population of around 100 people who live in a single settlement on the southwest coast. The main occupation is fishing and hunting.


What Is The Population Of Yunaska Island?

The island’s population is around 100 people.

Who Lives On The Island?

Only a single settlement exists on Yunaska Island, and it is populated solely by Russians.

What Does The Island Do For Income?

The main occupation of the residents of Yunaska Island is fishing and hunting; both activities generate significant income for them.

How Is The Island Populated?

The island is inhabited by Russians, who arrived there in the early 1890s.

What Languages Are Spoken On Yunaska Island?

Only Russian is used on the island; other languages are not spoken there at all.

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