Mindoro Photos


Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro

Sablayan was derived from the word Sablay, a Visayan term meaning wave convergence. In the early times, the very location of the town was where the waves from North and South China Sea meet, hence, the name Sablay that later became Sablayan.

Mangyans were the ancient aborigines of Mindoro. They were believed to be of Malayan origin. They were joined in by natives from neighboring islands--mostly Panayeños led by the TANUNGAN during the second Spanish settlement established by Legaspi. Years later, more arrived who, unlike the first migrants, were already converted Christians; and sometime in 1861 migrants increased in population.

The means of livelihood was agriculture, fishing and hunting. Women though were engaged in weaving sigurang, a fiber derived from buri/nipa leaves.

Sablayan then was often subject to raids by Muslim pirates and slave traders so a wooden tower was built--watched round the clock to guard against approaching raiders. This alarm system was augmented in 1896, when four bells of varied sizes--believed to have been manufactured in Spain--arrived from Manila. These bells rang musical chimes.

Upon the arrival of a Spanish priest, a church had to be built. Men, women and children were conscripted to work on it. After ten years of backbreaking arduous toil, the church was made functional sometime in 1896. This church is now in ruins, its bells gone but the biggest cannon standstill atop a small hill near the lighthouse of Parola. The church was abandoned when the town proper was moved to Buenavista.

In 1901, the first American arrived in Sablayan. Due to the outbreak of Fil-American war, Americans burned the town in 1903. It took years before Sablayan was rebuilt.

Sablayan was already a pueblo (town) under the Spaniards when the Americans came. However, when the American Government took over--owing perhaps to its proximity and accessibility to the National Government--it was converted into a full pledge municipality on January 04, 1906 by virtue of Act No. 1820 of the Philippine Commission.

Hon. Godofredo B. Mintu
Municipal Mayor

Hon. Eduardo Gadiano
(Municipal Vice-Mayor)

Sanguniang Bayan

Hon. Manuel Tadeo
Hon. Edwin Mintu
Hon. Romeo Dimayacyac
Hon. Rocky Legaspi
Hon. Amable Urieta
Hon. Efren Dimaculangan
Hon. Salustiana Ani-Dawates
Hon. Roberto Dawates
Hon. Leonilo Nicanor (ABC Pres)
Hon. Jaypee Nardo (SK Pres)

Map of Mindoro (Sablayan highlighted)

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2 Strong Quakes Rock Mindoro, South Luzon

(UPDATE) MANILA, Philippines — Two strong earthquakes rocked Mindoro, Metro Manila and parts of Luzon before noon Saturday, but no casualty or damage was initially reported.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the first quake measuring magnitude 5.3 struck at 11:04 a.m. and was centered 81 kilometers underground.

The second quake measuring magnitude 6.5 struck at 11:09 a.m. and was centered about 107 kilometers deep.

Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum said the epicenter of the quakes were traced at 34-50 kilometers off Mamburao town in Mindoro Occidental, or about 170 kilometers south of Manila.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said reported the first was magnitude 5.6 and the second was a stronger but deeper magnitude 6.1, with the epicenter at 72 km southwest of Batangas, 73 km west of Calapan in Mindoro, or 146 km south-southwest of Manila.

The earthquakes were reportedly felt as far as Apalit town in Pampanga province, about 220 kilometers north of the epicenters, said Solidum. They were also felt in Bataan province west of Manila and Batangas south of the capital.

Solidum also said the quakes were recorded at Intensity 5 in the Mindoro area, notably in Calapan, Lubang and Naujan.

It was felt at Intensity 4 in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Occidental, and in Manila, and Intensity 3 in Quezon City and other places.

Residents of Quezon City reported that the quake was strong enough to make picture frames hanging on walls swing.

Nonetheless, Solidum said there was nothing to worry about.

He said the quakes were caused by underground movements along the Manila Trench.

He said while the magnitude of the quakes were strong, these were not enough to cause damage as they occurred about 80-120 km underground.

“Since it happened deep undersea, there’s no risk of tsunami," he told a radio station. - With a report from AP

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Mangyan Syllabic Script

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The Mangyan Alphabet

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Police set to arrest Mindoro lawmakers

The National police are poised to arrest two Oriental Mindoro cong­ressmen, whom the anti-graft court ordered arrested for failing to appear at their promulgation hearing earlier this week.

Mindoro Representatives Rodolfo Valencia of the First District and Alfonso Umali Jr. of the Second District were convicted in a 14-year-old graft case filed when they were still governor and provincial administrator, respectively.

The Sandiganbayan sentenced Valencia and Umali—along with other provincial officials—to six to 10 years in prison and perpetual disqualification from public office.

The lawmakers could have posted bail for the graft conviction involving the payment of P2.5 million in provincial funds to a private ferry service, but the bench warrant issued for the lawmakers’ non-appearance is non-bailable.

The Sandiganbayan is scheduled to hold a hearing today, when the court is scheduled to take up the bench warrant.

Police Supt. Edwin Diocos of the Detective and Special Ope­ration Division of the Criminal Investi­gation and Detection Group told The Manila Times that the arrest warrants from the Sandi­ganbayan was turned over to the police at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Police referred the warrants to their regional operating units, particularly in Region 4B and in the National Capital Region, based on the addresses of the cong­ress­men, which are in Oriental Min­doro and in Makati City.

“It means arrest for the two congressmen at any opportune time they will be located,” Diocos explained.

Earlier Wednesday, Valencia issued the statement that the graft case is “politically motivated.”

He explained that as the gover­nor, he simply acted to implement a provincial council resolution to extend an emergency loan to Alfredo Atienza, a boat owner, “so that we could utilize his vessel to save lives and properties and implement our rescue and reha­bilitation efforts.”

His province had been struck by three typhoons at the time, and the ferry was a critical link of people in the province to other parts of the Philippines.

“Because of the province’s effective handling of the situation at that time, I was awarded no less than by former President Fidel V. Ramos as ‘Most Outstanding Governor in Calamity Management,’” he added in the statement.
-- Maricel V. Cruz

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The Tamaraw

The Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) or Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo is a small hoofed mammal belonging to the family Bovidae. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines and is the only endemic Philippine bovine. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the greater island of Luzon. The tamaraw was originally found all over Mindoro, from sea level up to the mountains (2000 meters above sea level), but because of human habitation, hunting, and logging, it is now restricted to only a few remote grassy plains and is now an endangered species.

Contrary to common belief and past classification, the tamaraw is not a subspecies of the local carabao, which is only slightly larger, or the common Water buffalo. In contrast to the carabao, it has a number of distinguishing characteristics: it is slightly hairier, has light markings on its face, is not gregarious, and has shorter horns that are somewhat V-shaped. It is the largest native terrestrial mammal in the country.

The tamaraw was first documented in 1888 on the island of Mindoro. Before 1900, Mindoro was unpopulated due to malaria. However as anti-malarial medicine was developed, more people settled on the island. This increase in human activity has drastically reduced tamaraw population. By 1966 the tamaraw's range was reduced to three areas: Mount Iglit, Mount Calavite and areas near the Sablayan Penal Settlement. By 2000, their range was further reduced to only two areas: the Mounts Iglit-Baco National Park and Aruyan.

Initial estimates of the Bubalus mindorensis population on Mindoro was placed at around 10,000 individuals in the early 1900s. Less than fifty years later in 1949, the population had dwindled to around a thousand individuals. By 1953, fewer than 250 animals were estimated to be alive. These population estimates continually grew smaller until the IUCN publication of their 1969 Red Data Book, where the tamaraw population was noted to be an alarmingly low 100 heads. This head count rose to 120 animals in 1975. Current estimates place the wild tamaraw population from thirty to two hundred individuals.


Being an entirely endemic and rare land mammal, Bubalus mindorensis stands as an extremely vulnerable species. Currently, it is classified as a critically endangered species and has been so since 2000 by the IUCN on its IUCN Red List of endangered species. Awareness of the conservation status of Bubalus mindorensis began way back in 1965 when it was classified as Status inadequately known by the IUCN. Enough data was gathered on the tamaraw population by 1986, and the IUCN conservation monitoring center declared the species endangered.

Throughout succeeding surveys conducted in 1988, 1990, 1994 and 1996, the species remained listed on the Red List as endangered. The relisting of the species in 1996 fulfilled the IUCN criteria B1+2c and D1. Criterion B1 indicated that the species' range was less than 500 square kilometers and is known to exist in less than five independent locations. A noticed continuing decline in the population fulfilled sub-criterion 2c, given the condition of the population's sole habitat. Criterion D1 essentially required that a population be composed of less than 250 mature individuals; individual counts of the B. mindorensis population at the time figured significantly lower than this. In 2000, the tamaraw was relisted on the Red List under the more severe C1 criteria. This was due to estimates that the population would decline by 20% in five years or within the timespan of two generations.

Many factors have contributed to the decline of the tamaraw population. Over the course of the century, the increase of the human population on Mindoro has exposed the island's sole tamaraw population to severe anthropogenic pressures. In the 1930s, the introduction of non-native cattle on the island caused a severe rinderpest epidemic among the tamaraw population then-umbering in the thousands. Hunting of tamaraws for food and sustenance has also taken a toll on the species' numbers. The most major factor threatening survival of B. mindorensis is habitat loss due to infrastructure development, logging and agriculture. These factors reduced the population of thousands during the early 1900s to less than 300 individuals in 2007.

Due to the decline of the B. mindorensis population, various Philippine laws and organizations have been created towards the conservation of the species. In 1936, Commonwealth Act No. 73 was enacted by the then-Philippine Commonwealth. The act specifically prohibited killing, hunting and even merely wounding tamaraws, with an exception noted for self-defense (if one were to be attacked by an agitated individual) or for scientific purposes. The penalties were harsh enough to include a hefty fine and imprisonment.

In 1979, an executive order was signed creating a committee specifically geared towards the conservation of the tamaraw. The tamaraw was referred to as a "source of national pride" in the said E.O. The Tamaraw Conservation Project was also established in 1979. The organization has successfully bred a tamaraw, nicknamed "Kali", in captivity in 1999. In 2001, Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act was enacted to protect the tamaraw and other endemic species from hunting and sale. During the 1970s, a gene pool was established to preserve the tamaraw's numbers. However, the project was not successful as only one offspring "Kali" was produced. As of today, only Kali and its mother "Mimi" is left in the gene pooling project. The project was also not improved as the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau shown that the tamaraws were already breeding in the wild. Cloning was not implemented for conservation as the Department of Environment and Natural Resource argued that such measures would diminish the genetic diversity of the species.

A small subpopulation of tamaraw has been found within the confines of the Mt. Iglit Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary on the same island of Mindoro.

As of May 2007, Bubalus mindorensis is on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species where it has been since the species was first put on the list on January 7, 1975. With the listing, CITES recognizes the species as critically endangered and threatened with extinction. Thus, international commercial trade in the species or any derivatives of which, such as the meat, horns or flesh is considered illegal. While commercial trade in the species is prohibited, exchange for non-commercial reasons such as scientific research is allowed.

SOURCE: Wikipedia.org

Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro

Puerto Galera is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 21,925 people in 4,424 households. It is the northwesternmost municipality in Oriental Mindoro.

Puerto Galera is only three and a half hours away from Manila first by bus to the port at Batangas City and then by boat. Tourists can also take the tourist service called the Sikat, from the City State Tower Hotel in Manila from the Batangas City port to Puerto Galera or Sabang Beach, Mindoro.


This coastal town is well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and diving spots. The area was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia. The marine environment has benefited in recent years from the influx of tourist dollars. This has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they gain higher revenue from tourists.

Among the famous beaches in Puerto Galera are Sabang Beach and White Beach, which have an active nightlife with numerous bars and restaurants. Both beaches also have an array of first-class and economy-class accommodations.

Sabang beach is the main destination for foreign tourists, while White Beach remains popular with local travelers. Since 2001 White beach has seen uncontrolled development. New restaurants and places to stay are rapidly encroaching on the beach itself and little remains of the once charming beach. Puerto Galera town is a pleasant but sleepy Philippine town with few attractions. It has a large central catholic church and a Pier area, with a selection of bistros and cafes.

Behind the beaches are the huge and generally unexplored mountain ranges of central Mindoro. A particular local attraction is the nine hole golf course perched on the hillside above White Beach which commands spectacular views over Puerto Galera's natural harbor and the Verde Island Passage. Mangyan tribes are scattered over the mountains sides - some of the more remote tribes have no contact with the outside world. Of the eight tribes on Mindoro, the Iraya are the largest. They are based in the Puerto Galera area.

Puerto Galera has become the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from the Sabang area. The diving generally focuses around the areas either side of Escarceo Point which is famous for its current rips. Strong currents are a feature of the diving in Puerto Galera and it is good advice to employ the services of an experienced local guide or dive centre. There are upwards of thirty dive sites all within a 5-10 minute banca ride from Sabang Beach. Marine life is highly diverse. 180+ species of nudibranchs are found in the area and most species of fish can be seen A variety of wrecks have been sunk over the years in addition to the one genuine wreck of an engine of a WWII Japanese patrol boat.

Puerto Galera is also one of the main [technical diving]destinations in Asia. Technical Diving International - [TDI] has many dive centers in the area, offering the full range of TDI courses from Basic [nitrox] to advanced [trimix].


In the summer of 1998 there was some extensive coral bleaching around Medio Island and a large section of shallow reef ('Coral Gardens') was virtually destroyed. Recent evidence has shown it have almost recovered with a larger diversity of coral species, replacing the prolific table corals.

In 2006 two large super-typhoons damaged the shallow areas around Escarceo Point. Many of the faster growing coral species were destroyed to a depth of 6m. This represents about 5% of the coral reef in the area.

Over the past ten years large numbers of crown-of-thorns (COTs) starfish have migrated to Puerto Galera from adjacent areas. While most of the reef is unaffected, a few sites show COTs density in the thousands/per hectare. A program run by the local dive shop association has removed tens of thousands of COTs since 2005. Whether this has any real impact on the long term health of the coral reef remains to be seen. Control is made by injecting the COTs with a solution of swimming pool PH-control chemicals. The COTs are killed while the chemical remains safe for the reef.

By 2008 the density of COTs had greatly reduced, down to a 'normal' range of 30 per hectare. This seems to have been a natural reduction, rather than due to any collection program.
A study by the University of the Philippines in the 1980s, found that the Batangas, Puerto Galera area has the highest diversity of marine species in the world. It forms the centre of the golden triangle - The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia - renowned for their coral and fish species.


Puerto Galera is politically subdivided into 13 barangays.
San Antonio
San Isidro
Sto. Niño

SOURCE: Wikipedia.org

Liezel Garcia: The Pride of Puerto Galera!

Dubai / Pride of Puerto Galera

Age: 23
Birthdate: 20 December
Place of Birth: Oriental Mindoro
Height: 5’1”
Weight: 105 lbs.
Racial Descent: Filipino
Civil Status: Single
Occupation: OFW (office work)
Educ. Attainment: Mass Comm.
School Last Attended: PolytechnicUniversity of the Philippines
Interests (other than singing): Dancing, acting
Favorite Singers: Beyonce Knowles, Celine Dion
Musical influences: Mariah Carey, Beyonce Knowles, Kyla, Lani Misalucha, Jaya, Sarah Geronimo, Ella Mae Saison
Discovering my voice: When I was very young, my grandmother and I would get up at 5:00 a.m. She would teach me Tagalog songs and we’d sing together. I remember I started singing in public since I was three years old.
First song ever performed: Dalagang Tagabukid
Musical instrument I can play: Guitar (basic chords only)
Musical instrument I’d like to learn: Piano, drums
Greatest achievement: My two greatest achievements: when I finished college and when I was chosen as a finalist in PDA
Biggest frustration: I want to be a model but I know I’ll never be one because I’m too small
Greatest Dream: To be a professional singer
Song of my life: On The Side Of Angels

Quote Me: “You should fight for your life even thru trials… we need to grow, explore and move on.”

Notes on Zhel:
Probably her lola had great dreams for Zhel, thus the early morning trainings at 5:00 when she was too young to even appreciate what it could mean for her later in life.All she knew was that people would go crazy over her whenever she was given the microphone and made to sing in public.

She was able to use this talent as she grew up, gaining popularity in her hometown as she reaped first prizes in local singing contests.Now that she has moved on to a grander scale, it’s just too bad that her lola can’t watch and hear her sing anymore.

But what her lola can’t hear, perhaps her father can.He was never there to listen to her in her every singing contest; he left the family when she was six years old and was never heard from again until she was 20, then disappeared again.Maybe, inside the Academy, her voice will be able to reach out to her father and make him come home again.

Source : PinoyDreamAcademy.ph
Please Vote for Liezel!
send to 231 (Smart, Talk N' Text) or to 2331 (Globe, TM, Bayan Wireless)

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Mindoro Lines