The Tabon Caves is a set of caves in the Lipuun Point Reservation, also known as the Tabon Cave Complex. The reservation is a 138-hectare museum site that lies along the western coastline of Southern Palawan. The caves are named after the Tabon Scrubfowl.
Tabon Cave Complex has 29 explored caves but only seven of which are open for public viewing. It is believed that about 215 caves are known to exist on Lipuun Point. The place before is an island but due to an extensive mangrove development, it is now a cape connected to the mainland of Palawan.
The Tabon Man was discovered in the caves of Tabon, one of the oldest remnants of human inhabitants found in the Philippines. These, together with archaeological artifacts, are cared for by the National Museum. On April 11, 1972, Presidential Proclamation No. 996 declared the cave complex and all of Lipuun Point in Quezon, Palawan, a site museum reservation. This declaration ensures the protection and preservation of the caves and the immediate vicinity from deforestation and destruction.
The skull cap remains of the Tabon Man were discovered in the Tabon Caves. The remains are approximately 22,000-24,000 years old. They were discovered by Dr. Robert B. Fox and his team from the National Museum of the Philippines in 1962. The team also found burial jars, earthenware, jade ornaments and other jewelry, stone tools, animal bones, and human fossils dating back to 47,000 years ago. These fossils are the earliest human remains found in the Philippines.
The archaeological finds indicate habitation from 50,000 to 700 years ago while the limestone formation in the reservation dates back from 25 million years ago, or the Lower Middle Miocene Period, based on geological studies.
The Museum is open every Monday – Friday / 9:00 am - 4:00 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by appointment.
How to Get There
From Manila – Puerto Princesa: Philippine Airlines PAL Express (formerly Air Philippines), Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air have travel routes from Manila to Puerto Princessa (capital of Palawan).
Located in Quezon, Tabon Cave is about 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City. The place can be reached by takign a bus or jeepney ride from the provincial capital to Quezon. It is followed by a pumpboat ride from the Quezon wharf to the caves.
Travel time: 3-4 hours by bus or jeepneys to Quezon and 20-30 minute boat ride from Quezon pier to the caves.
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