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Port Barton, San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines

Port Barton, a gem of Palawan Tourism in the Philippines, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, pristine white beaches, and enticing islands. Initially a settlement of the Tagbanua tribe in 1890, it was known as “Itaytay”. The Tagbanuas led a nomadic lifestyle, moving from one location to another in search of sustenance. They primarily lived on rice cultivated through the “Kaingin” system, which they cooked in handmade pots and bamboo tubes.
In 1933, the region underwent a transformation when an American soldier, Thomas Wales, started a logging concession in Malampaya, Taytay. Among his laborers was a Tagbanua man named “Torse”, recognized for his refined manners and unique abilities. Due to the increasing demand for lumber, the group relocated their logging station to Itaytay. This migration led to an initial exodus of the Tagbanuas into the mountains of Bunuangin, but over time, a blood pact was formed between the newcomers and the indigenous people, facilitating cultural assimilation and the adoption of Christianity by the natives.
With the expansion of logging activities, the population began to grow steadily due to an influx of additional laborers and subsequent intermarriages among the natives. A turning point occurred in the 1940s when English military commander Col. Burton renamed Itaytay Port Barton following a strategic and economic survey of the region.
In 1952, families from Estancia Iloilo, including the Ballesteros, Masadra, Santos, and Buriol families, relocated to Port Barton due to a scarcity of fish in their home province. The newly elected local leader, Tomas Ballesteros, emphasizing the importance of education, spearheaded the construction of a school. The inaugural Port Barton Community School started with forty students, aged seven to forty years old, taught by Rudy Constantino.
Port Barton, originally a satellite community of Kemdeng under Puerto Princesa City, became an independent barangay (local administrative unit) in 1961 thanks to the efforts of Tomas Ballesteros. Later, in 1970, it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the newly formed Municipality of San Vicente under the Republic Act (R.A.) 5821. Today, Port Barton continues to thrive as a tranquil, picturesque haven that bears testimony to its rich, shared history between the native Tagbanuas and the later settlers.