Plaza Cuartel is a place with a rich and tragic history. Built by the Spaniards in the 1880’s, it was used during World War 2 as a military camp by the Japanese occupying forces. Hundreds of American prisoners of war were detained on the site from 1942 to 1944, and used by the Japanese army to build the first airport on the island.
On December 14, 1944, fearing the invastion of Palawan by the Allied forces, the Japanese soldiers massacred 150 POW, forcing them into Plaza Cuartel trenches and setting them on fire. Only 11 survivors managed to escape. A commemorative plaque, historical displays and a sculpture are there to remember what is known today as the “Palawan massacre”.