Mindoro Photos


Apo Reef National Park : Jewel of Mindoro

Apo’s reef fish can finally breathe easier now that a new resolution has been passed. Starting on the 2nd of October 2007, all extractive activities such as fishing, collection and harvesting of any life form will be completely banned from within the park. Ordinance No. 01 was the Apo Reef Protected Area Managemant Board's (PAMB) first law for 2007 and declares the whole of Apo Reef a ‘no-take zone’ – to allow the reef and its residents ample time to recover from years of fishing.

Dwarfed only by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP) is situated 15 nautical miles west of the Philippine municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. It is a major component of the earth’s coral triangle, spanning a total of 27,469ha – 15,792ha for the actual reef and 11,677ha as a protective buffer zone. Just over 30 years ago, the park was one of the world’s premier diving destinations. Godofreido Mintu, Mayor of Sablayan and key to the park’s newfound protection, recalls, “Granted, everyone wanted to see its reefs, but it was much more than that. The entire coast was also a vast fishing ground. Even during the height of its destruction in the 1980s, you could still catch a basket-load of fish in minutes. It truly was the "jewel of Mindoro.”

In biodiversity terms, the numbers are impressive. At least 385 species of fish, from the diminutive Bicolor Blenny to the spellbinding Emperor Angelfish, frolic amidst 190 coral, 26 algae and seven seagrass species. Larger residents and transients include the Manta Ray, Sperm Whale and various types of sea turtle. Sea birds too, are well represented, with at least 46 migratory and resident species, including the famed Nicobar Pigeon, roosting regularly on Apo’s three main islands.

In 2003, another assessment was made. Coral cover was back at 43%. In 2006 it rose to 52%. And if a 20% increase in 13 years isn’t good enough, bigger and bigger fish are returning. “A few months back, divers saw a school of over a hundred Scalloped Hammerhead sharks,” recalls Duquil. Groups of Manta and Eagle Rays have been sighted in ever-higher concentrations. Even giants like the Whaleshark and Sperm Whale are being seen regularly, an indicator that biodiversity levels are returning: and a reef’s biodiversity is a prime indicator of its resiliency – its ability to deal with future threats.In time, the increased fish-stocks generated by the recovering reefs should be more than enough to seed outlying areas sustainably. Adds Mintu, “Nature has its own process of recovering, but it should be aided by human intervention. In the end, everyone will win.”

For more information,
please contact:John Manul
Sablayan Project Manager,
WWF - Philippinesjmanul@wwf.org.ph
Gregg Yan
Information, Education & Communications Officer,
WWF-Philippines920-7923/26/31, 0917-833-4734

Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro

Mamburao is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Republic of the Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Occidental Mindoro. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 30,378 people in 6,259 households.

Mamburao belongs to REGION IV - B (also known as MIMAROPA) by virtue of being a member-municipality of the lone district of Occidental Mindoro. It comprises of 15 Barangays. Mamburao is classified as a 3rd Class, partially urban municipality under the administration of Ex - Mayor Alan T. Aquino.

Our municipality boasts of endless and beautiful shorelines which attracts most of our tourist. A great number of beaches and resorts are secluded in the best spots of our coastline to provide guests the best nature tripping experience our municipality has to offer. Townsfolks also exhibits our famous Filipino heritage of welcoming visitors and tourists. Mamburenyos are so delighted when they are having guest and tourists. Feel the pleasure of staying at Mamburao!


In the heart of the province of Occidental Mindoro, the municipality of Mamburao lies in the level area on the coastal shorelines of the South China Sea and extends far beyond into the interior at the foot mountain. The town is situated along the Mamburao Bay between Tubili point and Mamburao Reef and affords good anchorage. Mamburao River empties into the bay at Southward of Tayamaan and Westward of Balansay. The bay has a good anchorage from northerly and easterly wind, but it is exposed to southwest wind. The Mamburao Reef extends about 3 ¼ miles from Caraoisan point. The first settlement in Mindoro visited by the Spaniards was Mamburao, the Moro strong hold in the island then. On January 1, 1870, Legaspi dispatched his grandson Juan de Salcedo, with Panay forces in fifteen boats they sailed towards Mamburao and destroyed this Mohammedan town and demolished the pirate fort. Juan de Salcedo returned to Panay readily laden with spoils of war and covered with marital glory. On May 3, 1560, Juan de Salcedo and Martin de Goiti join another expedition to Mamburao.

In the early days of Christianity, the village of Mamburao belonged to the third convert district established in Cavite and Mamburao. After which, it became a “Colossal Empire” incorporating three towns and gave birth to the municipality. From the end of the Spanish era to 1902, Sablayan was a barrio of Mamburao. In 1905, Paluan and Abra de Ilog were annexed to Mamburaoas barrios under Republic Act no. 1280. Eventually, those places were created as separate municipalities. In 1949, Sta. Cruz, another barrio of Mamburao, was given an independent status as municipality.

Mamburao’s population at the turn of the century was very sparse due to Muslim invasions and piracy of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Mamburao itself was made the base Muslim piratical raids of the coastal town of Mindoro, Luzon and Visayas. On the later part of the nineteenth century, migrants from Zambales occupied the locality. At the turn of the century, Tagalogs mostly from Lubang, Looc and Paluan and few from Batangas and Cavite, came to Mamburao.

In 1950, Mindoro province was divided into two, Occidental and Oriental. A year later, Mamburao was chosen the capital town of Occidental Mindoro. It begun to progress gradually in the field of agriculture which include fishing and grazing.

At present, Mamburao constituted of diverse culture, language and religious practice.

- - article courtesy by the official website of mamburao - -
Balansay - Rural
Fatima (Tii) - Rural
Payompon - Urban
San Luis (Ligang) - Rural
Talabaan - Rural
Tangkalan - Rural
Tayamaan - Rural
Poblacion 1 (Barangay 1) - Urban
Poblacion 2 (Barangay 2) - Urban
Poblacion 3 (Barangay 3) - Urban
Poblacion 4 (Barangay 4) - Urban
Poblacion 5 (Barangay 5) - Urban
Poblacion 6 (Barangay 6) - Urban
Poblacion 7 (Barangay 7) - Urban
Poblacion 8 (Barangay 8) - Urban

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Occidental Mindoro : The Winning Edge

Courtesy by spygate31

Courtesy by spygate31

Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro : Your GATEWAY to Western Mindoro Island and your HOME of more than a DOZEN Waterfalls

How to Get Here?

Abra de Ilog the Waterfalls Capital is one of the 11 towns in Occidental Mindoro. It is located in the West side of Mindoro Island in the Southern Tagalog region of the Philippine Archipelago.

To get here, there are several RORO trips from Batangas International Port to Matabang Port which take approximately 2 ½ hours.

Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. (MSLI), the origin of which started from this very place takes pride as the major transport vessel not only to the local residents but to the whole province as well hence, Abra de Ilog takes pride as the major GATEWAY to entire Occidental Mindoro.

From Matabang Port, one can hire a tricycle for USD 1.00 or less to get to Poblacion, which is the center of all hubs & activities of the town. Anyone can explore the nine (9) friendly Barangays of the town via tricycle or by taking a walk while enjoying the peaceful scenery.

We are also home to multiple beach resorts which can give Puerto Galera beaches a run for their money. Oriental tourists prefer the Abra de Ilog coast because of its solitude, quietude & serenity. Waterfalls are one of the most visited and loved by local and foreign adventurers. Spelunking and white water rafting can be offered also to those who would like to take extreme challenge of nature.

Brief Profile

The Municipality of Abra de Ilog lies in the northernmost tip of the mainland Occidental Mindoro. It is bounded by Paluan in the West, Mamburao in the South & Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro in the East. It has a total land area of 72, 865.870 hectares, consisting mainly of 70.47% forest land and 20.91% agricultural. Just like the rest of the country, Abra de Ilog experiences dry season during the months of March, April & May. Rainy season starts in June and persists until late November. But unlike other coastal towns Abra de Ilog is located between two ranges of mountain hence; it can have a low of 20.8°C even during summer and a high of 30.1°C during wet seasons.

Its terrain can be attributed to the rugged mountains ranging from the coastline up to the most isolated, untouched land formation going further south. The town has average annual rainfall is 2,262.5 mm to 3,850 mm while the humidity range from 63° to 87° with an average of 75.4°

Based on 2004 Local Government Unit survey, the town has a total population of 23,915, 33.78% of which are Indigenous People (IPs) with almost 1:1 male to female ratio. Lowlanders or Tagalog are 15,835. Electorate population is 12,126. About 90.14% of families belong to poverty level.


There are several occasions being celebrated every year. The likes of which are the Feast of San Rafael Archangel the Patron Saint of Abra de Ilog, Apo Iraya Festival and “Penitensya” Holy Week Pilgrimage.

Our Heritage

Most houses in Poblacion took after its Spanish influence. It can be seen through the architectural designs and the ways of the people themselves.

These Acacia trees are the only one of its kind left during the Japanese occupation. The whole town was totally burned down but these sturdy trees survived the tragedy.


Barangay Udalo is also home to multiple beach resorts which can give Puerto Galera beaches a run for their money. Oriental tourists prefer the Abra de Ilog coast because of its solitude, quietude & serenity.

Casay Beach Resort offers very relaxing scenery on nipa cottages, native hammocks and sailboat. It is the first establishment in the town that has utilized non-fossil fuel as its source of energy. The powers take pride in their solar and wind powered facilities.

Kalong River located in Sitio Camurong is the only inland body of crystal clear water with a distinct white sand riverbank. It is a great come on for both local and foreign tourist.

Luang Baga Cave has been explored by the National Museum staff in 1992 when a number of anthropologist & paleontologist teamed up with our LGU personnel. The data has already been included in the Museum’s Archives.

Lanas Lake. Once a home of Mindoro’s crocodiles. It is almost a hundred hectare body of water located in Barangay Cabacao. Source of the tastiest Tilapia in the neighboring towns.

Agbalala. It is about 115 feet tall with 45 x 75 feet catchments pool. Above it is another breathtaking waterfall which is Agbalala Lovers Falls.

The Apyas Waterfalls is frequent hang-out among the local residents because of its proximity to Poblacion. You can enjoy the whole place anytime of the day paying only Php 10.00 for the maintenance of the place.

The greatest tourist attraction Abra de Ilog can offer is its inhabitants. Nobody can match the warmth, the solidarity, the industry and uniqueness of its people.

Apyas – Height 4.57m, Depth 1.22m, 1.83m top to water surface
Agbalala – 16.46m X 22.86m catchments pool, Height 34.44m, Depth 3.65m Lovers falls – 13.72m X 9.15m Catchments pool, Height 13.72m, depth 2.44m

Let's adventure to Occidental Mindoro!

Mt. Iglit National Park in Calintaan is a sanctuary for the tamaraw, a wild animal found nowhere else in the world. The tamaraw resembles the carabao or water buffalo to wildlife enthusuasts.
Mamburao is a tranquil town with fine beaches. The same have Tayamaan Beach.

Apo Reef National Park in Sablayan between Mamburao and San Jose is acclaimed as the diving mecca of the Philippines. It is 34 km atoll reef with a narrow channel dividing it into two lagoons. The park inludes the bird-populated islands of Binantgaan and Cajos del Bajo.

Presing Park, also in Sablayan, is a five hectare park overlooking the sea; in the middle of the park is a 15th century cannon belived to have been used against Moro pirates in the early day. Pandan Grande Island of Sablayan, has a white sand beach.

The major attractions of the industrial town of San Jose are its three offshore islands. Ambulong Island is a 3000 hectare island with fine beaches, cliffs and abundant coral formations. Ilin Island has a village of shell divers, being abundant in shells and coral reefs. White Island has a long powdery beach where buried turtle eggs are occasionally found.

Lubang Island in the northern part of the province became famous as the hiding of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese world war II straggler found there in 1974.

On the western portion of the island is Tagbac, which more than five kilometer of gradually sloping golden-hued sandy beach lined with coconut trees. Hulagaan Falls in the southeast is a series of falls leading to a stony shore.

Mabil Island off the northeastern coast of Lubang is a favorite fishing ground for sportsmen who croass the narrow channel from Nasugbu, Batangas.

Cabra Island, northwest of Lubang, is another favorite fishing ground of laocal and foreign anglers; it used to be a popular pilgrimage site because of reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin.

Calawagan Resort in Paluan. Have the cleanest bodies of water in the Philippines. It is mountain resort. There's a hanging bridge, tree house, training center, cottages, mini zoo and if your hobbies is mountain climbing, you can visit 15 minutes pool and mainit (hot spring).

Mindoro Lines