Taytay is a first class municipality in the province of Palawan, an island of the Philippines. It has a population of about 80,000 with the Cuyuno ethno-linguistic group comprising about half of the population while the rest of the populace are a mixture of other Philippine cultural groups coming from as far as Ilocos and down to the southern islands of Mindanao, with majority of the migrants coming from the Central Visayan Islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu and nearby provinces. The municipality has 31 villages with distinct ethno-linguistic characters, making Taytay a melting pot of various Philippine cultures. Since 2002, the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker is the episcopal see of the pre-diocesan missionary Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay.
Before the Spanish colonization, The Kingdom of Taytay was ruled by a monarch noted as followed everywhere at any given time by ten scribes. The crew of Ferdinand Magellan held the Taytay king and queen for ransom after escaping the Battle of Mactan where Magellan was slain. They intended to secure more supplies as they plan to cross into the Moluccas where the Portuguese were, so help can be sought. The native king and his subjects complied with the demands and even added more food supplies than what they asked for. This was duly recorded by Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s chronicler, who was on board in one of the ships when these events took place. Pigafetta also took note of one curious thing in the kingdom. He found the natives fond of cockfighting, long before this pastime was seen or even heard of in the Western Hemisphere.
During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Taytay was formally founded in 1623. Taytay became the capital of the province of Calamianes, the entire territory of Paragua (now Palawan), in 1818; and the province of Castilla, a land area occupying the northern part of Palawan, in 1858.
Archived baptismal records of Cuyo, Palawan show that the last monarch of the Kingdom of Taytay was converted to Christianity and christened Flores de los Santos Cabaylo, which means Cabaylo, Flower of the Saints. No other sovereign royal datu after him ruled in his kingdom.
The historic Taytay Fort, the Fuerza Santa Isabel de la Paragua, built in 1667 under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers and named in honor of Spain’s Queen Isabela II in the 18th century, was used as a military station during that period. This famous relic was originally built as a wooden palisade while the present day coral-limestone fort was completed in 1738. It was mainly used to defend against Muslim warrior-raiders in their colorful war boats while the Spanish soldiers fire at them with their huge cannons. The fort’s small chapel and cannons are still intact.
To date, the 350 year old fort and the nearby Sta Monica Church are the most visible remnants of the Spanish Influence in the municipality.
Land Area and Natural Resources
The municipality is mostly hilly with intermittent flatlands in the southwest. Among the outstanding water features of Taytay are the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape and the Lake Manguao Municipal Conservation Area and Ecotourism Development Zone. Bounded by marine environment on its eastern and western coasts, Taytay is considered as one of the richest fishing communities in Northern Palawan.