Island (pop., 2000: 713,539), southwestern Philippines. It is long and narrow and extends northeast to southwest between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. It has a mountainous backbone that runs its entire length, with the highest peak at Mount Mantalingajan (6,839 ft [2,085 m]). The capital is Puerto Princesa. The similarity of Palawan's vegetation with that of Borneo is explained by remnants of a Pleistocene Epoch land bridge that connected the two islands. A coastal plain supports most of the population and is the main agricultural area of Palawan. Scattered settlement and shifting agriculture predominate, with rice as the main food crop. Oil drilling off the northern coast began in 1992.