Palaui Island stands approximately 1.25 kilometers away from mainland Luzon and can be reached in 25 minutes by boat from Port San Vicente, Santa Ana, Cagayan. There can be found mangrove forests on the southern periphery of the island. Relatively flat lands are located in the eastern and southern portions around 50 to 100 meters from the shoreline where the settlements and agricultural lands are located (Mencias, 2008).
The totality of the island is divided into forestland, grassland and farming and residential use. The island is mountainous and mostly forested that made some farmers in the community to engage in some forest activities such as kaingin (slash and burn) to expand cultivation (Mencias, 2008).
PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY
The Indigenous People (IPs) in Palaui Island are a mixture of Dumagats and Aetas who indefinitely came from different places in the region. A certain Pastor Cortez, according to the IPs during the interview, organized the people in the community with the help of the government and some non-government agencies.
In a report of Rosales (2005), the ethnicity in the island is distributed into five groups: Visaya (6%), Agta (8%), Tagalog (2%), Masbateño (2%) and Ilocano (79%).
SOURCE OF LIVING
The Dumagats earn for living through fishing while the Aetas through animal hunting in the mountains. Some residents in the community are also engaged in farming. According to a socio-economic study in 2005, secondary sources of income include caring for livestock, being a hired laborer, sari-sari store owner and engaging in buy and sell business, carpentry and being a caretaker. Some are also engaged in wildlife collection which includes the harvesting of honey during summer season.
Ilocano is the main medium of communication in the community. The Dumagats have their own dialect but there wasn’t a specific name for it. The Aetas are fluent in speaking the Ilocano dialect.