There are several versions regarding the origin of the name "Palawan". Some contend that it was derived from the Chinese word Pa lao yu" meaning" Land of the Beautiful Harbours". Others believe that it came from the Indian word 'Palawas' meaning territory. Still others believe that it was derived from a plant which the natives called 'Palwa'. But the popular belief is that "Palawan" is a corrupted form of the Spanish word "Paragua" because the main island's shape resembles a closed umbrella.  The mountain ranges average 3,500 feet in attitude with the highest peak rising to 6,800 feet at Mount Matalingahan. On both sides are virgin islands with rivers and streams serviceable for irrigation. The vast mountains are the source of valuable timber. Palawan's main island measures 425 kilometers long and averages 40 kilometers wide. Palawan has 1,959 kilometers of coastline which is mostly irregular and thus make excellent harbours. Puerto Princesa, the capital city, is the chief seaport and the center of trade and commerce.