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 worlds 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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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
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
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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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.
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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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
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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MINDORO IS FAMOUS FOR...
The foremost asset of Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera is blessed
with one of the worlds 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.
The provinces 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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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
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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