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ABOUT MINDORO PROVINCE
Mindoro Province, Philippines



 
Brief Description | Geography | Climate | Population | Industries |
Language / Dialects | Political Subdivision | Attractions | Planning your Trip
 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The inverted-J-shaped Oriental Mindoro is endowed with some of the Philippine Islands’ best naturescapes. Choose your own beach among the many that abound, from fawn beige to powdery white. Then match the experience with interesting mountain lairs, lakes, rivers, rain forests, wild animals, rare flora and fauna, and pocket communities of the existing ethnic groups. It has maintained its unspoiled environment, all within a rustic agricultural setting.

The province's foremost asset is Puerto Galera, blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbors. Known as the Pearl of Mindoro, it is world-famous for splendid beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites for new and experienced divers alike. There are shallow coral gardens, interesting rock formations, and colorful species to watch, like crabs, shrimps, sea anemones, moray, and trumpet fishes.

Alibatan Island in Baco, noted for its white sand, serves as a breeding place for seagulls and turtles. Corals and oysters can be found all around the area. Also in Baco is Mt. Halcon, the country's third highest peak and a favorite destination for nature tripping and mountain climbing. In Puerto Galera, 423-foot Tamaraw Falls is a series of asymmetrical falls, leading to a grand fall, dropping to the frothy waterbed below. Another attraction within the area is Sabang Beach, a portion of which is tourist-flocked for water sports and a cluster of nightspots popular for evening socials. Beside Sabang Beach is Small La Laguna, with amazingly beautiful coral reefs, and water ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Indulge in a number of special interest tours while in the province, from mountain climbing to trekking, hiking, camping, butterfly watching, game fishing, and adventure trips to the wilderness. Enjoy active water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Visit the Mangyan settlement areas, and find it rewarding to engage in natural cave and waterfall exploration and island hopping."

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GEOGRAPHY

Oriental Mindoro is located 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Luzon. It lies on the eastern portion of the island. It is bounded on the north by Verde Island and the Verde Passage, on the east by Maestro de Campo Island and Tablas Strait, on the south by Semirara Island near Pandarodan bay, and on the west by the province of Occidental Mindoro.

It has a total land area of 436,470 hectares. The province has 39 named and 89 unnamed islands and islets, leaving much of its attractions virgin to visitors, and an untrammeled area to explore.

CLIMATE

Oriental Mindoro enjoys a climate favorable to vegetable growth throughout the year. What is remarkable is that there is neither a dry season nor a pronounced maximum rain period. The location and topography of the island on the western side of the great ocean body is another contributing factor in the rainfall pattern of the province. China Sea, fed by warm water from a branch of south equatorial current, passes between Singapore and Borneo thus keeping the water bodies surrounding the island warm year-round and consequently providing excellent sources of moisture.

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POPULATION

Based on the May 2001 National Statistics Survey, Oriental Mindoro Island registered a total population of 669,000. The people are mostly of Tagalog stock. The ethnic Mangyan tribe consists of various smaller tribes like the Iraya, Alangan, and Tadwanan.

INDUSTRIES

The lifestyles of Mindoreños are basically simple and rural. 70 percent of the populace engage in land and sea agriculture, with only 30 percent living in urbanized centers. The ethnic tribes, Mangyans, are gentle and withdrawn but many of them have managed to integrate into the cultural mainstream, largely in the municipalities of Mansalay, Baco, Puerto Galera, Roxas, and Bongabong. These Mangyans are skilled weavers and craftsmen, producing intricate tribal finery, including baskets, mats, and other items, both functional and aesthetic.

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LANGUAGE / DIALECTS

Visiting Oriental Mindoro does not entail memorizing bits of conventional lines in dialects spoken other than Tagalog, which serves as the predominant dialect. Other dialects spoken are Ilocano and Cebuano. Strains of the Mangyan dialect spoken are Arayan, Alagnan, Buhid, Hunuo, and Tadyawan. The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.

POLITICAL SUBDIVISION

Oriental Mindoro is composed of 15 municipalities, with Calapan City as the capital of the province. The municipalities are Baco, Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Naujan, Mansalay, Pinamalayan, Pola, Puerto Galera, Roxas, San Teodoro, Socorro, and Victoria Gloria.

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ORIENTAL MINDORO IS FAMOUS FOR...

Puerto Galera
The foremost asset of Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbors. Known as the Pearl of Mindoro, it is world-famous for splendid beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites for new and experienced divers alike. There are shallow coral gardens, interesting rock formations, and colorful species to watch, like crabs, shrimps, sea anemones, moray, and trumpet fishes.

Mangyan Tribes
The province’s existing ethnic tribal groups, the Mangyans, are gentle and withdrawn people but many of them have managed to integrate into the cultural mainstream, largely in the municipalities of Mansalay, Baco, Puerto Galera, Roxas, and Bongabong. The Mangyan tribe consists of various smaller tribes like the Iraya, Alangan, and Tadwanan. They are skilled weavers and craftsmen, producing intricate tribal finery, including baskets, mats, and other items, both functional and aesthetic.

Mt. Halcon
Towering 8,488 feet above sea level, Mt. Halcon is the country's third highest peak. It is a favourite destination for nature tripping and mountain climbing. Mt. Halcon is located in Baco. It is accessible in two hours, by taking a jeepney to Baco, the jump-off point.

Tamaraw Falls
The 423-foot waterfalls, situated alongside the road, is actually a series of asymmetrical falls, leading to the grand one, dropping to a frothy waterbed below. The cascading waterfalls is a great attraction to passers-by. Tamaraw Falls is located in Barangay Villaflor, Puerto Galera. It can be reached in two hours by taking a jeepney bound for Barangay Villaflor from Puerto Galera, or Calapan.

Beaches
In nature-blessed Oriental Mindoro, you can choose your own beach among the many that abound, from fawn beige to powdery white. To name a notable few, there are the beaches of Sabang, Suqui, Banilad, Bongol, La Laguna, Small La Laguna, Talipanan, Melco, Punta Guarda, and White Sand, drawing local and foreign water enthusiasts alike with majestic sites ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Sabang Beach
The beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. A cluster of nightspots abound in the area, which make it popular for evening socials. Cottages with entertainment facilities stand close to each other. Low-budget accommodations are available. Sabang Beach is located east of Puerto Galera. It can be reached in 15 minutes from the Puerto Galera pier by taking a jeepney or an outrigger banca.

Banana Festival
Held every March 18 to 19 in Baco, Mindoro Oriental, the festival is a celebration of the abundance of bananas. It features a banana cookfest and a "saba"-(type of banana)-inspired street dancing competition and beauty pageant. Festivities coincide with the town fiesta held in honor of the patron, St. Joseph.

Oriental Mindoro Trekking
The large, wild island of Mindoro, easily accessible from Manila, offers some magnificent trekking experiences. Try ascending Mt. Halcon (2586m), a challenging four-day trek through old-growth rain-forest. Or brave the rugged journey south to the Mt. Iglit-Baco National Park, one of the last homes of the tamaraw, the endangered wild buffalo of the Philppines. Park rangers monitor the tamaraw population carefully, and with their help, trekkers have a good chance of seeing these elusive animals.

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HOW TO GET THERE

Oriental Mindoro can be reached through land and sea transport. From Manila, take the Batangas-Laguna-Tayabas (BLTB), Tritran, and other Batangas-bound buses to the Batangas City pier. From there, take the super ferry boats bound for Calapan, which has several trips per day, or those bound for Puerto Galera. A roll-on-roll-off (RO-RO) ferry is convenient for those wishing to take their private vehicles.

In Mindoro Oriental, a number of jeepneys ply the capital from the neighboring towns and to the interior. Due to ongoing infrastructure development projects all over the province, access from the capital to some outgoing municipalities is difficult.

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