AFTER taking a Roro vessel from the Batangas pier, you reach Abra de Ilog, one of the entry points into Mamburao, capital of Mindoro Occidental.
Mindoro Occidental is the western part of the island province of Mindoro, south of Batangas.
The drive from the Abra de Ilog pier on the cement-paved Mindoro West Coast Road follows the ridge of high rolling mountains on one side and rice fields on the other, with intermittent glimpses of the Mindoro coast. It’s an arresting vista, but investors have yet to arrive.
Mamburao, though quite accessible, is relatively undiscovered. There are few tourist arrivals. Unlike rough and rowdy Puerto Galera, in neighboring Mindoro Oriental, Mamburao is laid-back. Almost as if it’s set in the ’60s, the sleepy town, like any community where farming and fishing are dominant, shuts down at dusk.
Occidental Mindoro is basically an agricultural province. Principal products are rice, coconut, peanut and abaca. The waters on its western coast comprise one of the most important fishing grounds in the country. But here, the sea and rice fields are still the fixed boundaries of a man’s life.
While its natural, economic and political shortcomings, lack of trademark produce, and other problems have all added to its provincial backwater reputation, Mamburao is also a land unspoiled by mass tourism, where mountains drop to blue coastal waters, and sandy beaches lined with swaying palm trees.
It’s a setting that could be the next place for eco-tourism without the messy and amateurish planning of other destinations. It even has a good airport (now used by a flying school and for chartered planes), which adds to its tourist potential.
Mamburao has a long coastline of unpopulated sandy beaches in rustic surroundings, similar to those of small towns in the outer Hawaiian Islands. The abundance of its possibilities can be seen in a day it takes to drive around the town and back.
The landscape changes from grassy hillsides to green rice paddies, mangroves and flat savannah. Numerous rivers and tributaries flow from the mountains of Occidental Mindoro down to Mamburao and the neighboring towns.
A cruise down the Mamburao river is everything a river cruise should be: slow, peaceful, with only the sounds of nature to accompany you down the riverbend and back.
A trek through uncharted rocky trails leads you to unspoiled pool springs and waterfalls and gives you a thrill of discovery.
The town proper hums with small-town activity in the day. The municipio, though in the middle of repairs, is a hive of town servants going about their workaday tasks.
The farmers are working the land, the children are in school, the fishermen’s catch are in beds of ice in the wet market, or on a roro bound for Manila, and the retailers sell their goods ferried in from Batangas and Manila. It’s economic activity all right, but it needs a boost.
Something is happening here. Change is coming – in a good way. A concerted public campaign to get everyone involved has begun.
Beyond the lure of using its physical beauty is a socio-culture development plan for a town that can finally stamp its identity on such products as vinegar, fish sauce and bagoong under the Mamburao brand.
Elma Tejada is in the mayor’s team as tourism officer, a Mambureño who came back after years of working abroad. She represents the new breed of movers who are not just waiting for development to happen, but are also taking charge of their future. She and a few others are slowly changing the face of Mamburao for the next generation.
The Mamburao Planning Evaluation Report made by an independent body of architects, planners and engineers, was a first step in this direction.
Mayor Anthony Villarosa says, “There must be a plan that will generate development to a higher stage and that will mean growth for Mamburao, so that its people will have higher incomes similar to their counterparts in developed towns and cities in the country. A strategy that will spread benefits to the people and bear fruits that will be sustainable over time. At the same time, I do not want a ‘Divisoria’ type of urban sprawl in Mamburao. Urban growth should be ordered and should happen as aesthetically as possible.”
It’s a call for all Mamburenyos to pitch in, so that it can find its place in the sun.
Formerly called Mait, Mindoro was known to Chinese traders even before the coming of the Spanish.
In 1570, the Spanish began to explore the island and named it “Mina de Oro” (mine of gold) after finding some of the precious metal, though no major gold discoveries were ever made.
In the early years, Mindoro was administered as part of Bonbon, now Batangas. Early in the 17th century, the island was separated from Bonbon and organized into a corregimiento. Mindoro became a regular province in 1921.
On June 13, 1950, it was divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro. The plains of Occidental Mindoro are inhabited by the Tagalogs and the remote forested interior by the Mangyans, who lead a semi-nomadic existence.
How to get there
1. From Manila by bus to Batangas pier (JAM, JAC and Tritran Terminals in Cubao or Buendia)
From Batangas pier to Abra de Ilog pier (two-hour roro vessel, Montenegro Shipping Lines)
Abra de Ilog pier to Mamburao (tricycle, jeepney)
2. From Manila by private car to Batangas pier (take SLEX and Star Tollway and exit at Balagtas, Batangas). Drive your car onto the ferry to Abra de Ilog pier.
Once in Abra de Ilog, head directly to Mamburao via the main national road (30 minutes).
3. Chartered plane lands in Mamburao airport (40 minutes’ flight from Manila to Mamburao)
For details and inquiries, call Elma Tejada, Mamburao Tourism Office, at t 091..., or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Matapos ang halos anin na buwang pagtatago sa batas, sumuko sa mga awtoridad kahapon ng umaga Pebrero 16, 2009 ganap na alas 8:00 ng umaga sila Board Member Randolph "Randy" Ignacio, dating bokal at ngayon ay Provincial Asst. Agriculturist Peter Alfaro at Gaspar Bandoy Sr. close in security ni Former Mayor Joel "big J" Panaligan ng Mamburao.
Sa bisa ng warrant of arrest na inisyu ni Judge Ulysses Delgado RTC branch 44 Mamburao noong Setyembre 2008 sa kasong "Serious Illegal Detention" na isinampa sa kanila ng mga kaanak ni Romulo De Jesus Jr., isang public school teacher sa nabanggit na bayan.
Matatandaang sinampahan ng kasong Serious Illegal Detention sila Ignacio, Alfaro, Bandoy at Atty. Judy Lorenzo ng COMELEC sa ginawa nilang illegal na pag kulong kay De Jesus, kasagsagan ng bilangan noong 2007 local election. May mga hawak di umanong pekeng balota si De Jesus at involved sa ballot switching kaya nila ito ikinulong.
Ang tatlo ay sinamahan ni PNP PD P/Supt. Caessar Daniel T. Miranda sa kanilang pagsuko sa RTC branch 44 sa bayan ng Mamburao.
Nakakulong na sa Mamburao Provincial Jail sila Ignacio, Alfaro at Bandoy habang nakakalaya pa si Atty. Judy Lorenzo ng COMELEC. Walang inirekomendang bail ang korte sa kanila dahil heinous crime ang Serious Illegal Detention. Mariboy Ysibido
Another eleven (11) Mangyan Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Elementary Education graduates passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) given by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) in September 2008.
Some of these board passers are already teaching in Mangyan community schools as professional and volunteer teachers.
1. Erol Antaw, full-time teacher, Mangyan Education Center (MEC, a private secondary school) in Bait, Mansalay
2. Atoy Tugas, full-time teacher, Akliang Primary School, Bongabong
3. Noel Taywan, municipal-funded teacher, Paitan Elementary School
4. Nelsa Banay, municipal-funded teacher, San Roque Elementary School
Taywan and Banay teach a class composed of Mangyans and Tagalogs (lowlanders).
5. Mayette Espiritu, Tauga Diit Primary School in Bongabong
6. Laarni Reyes, Iblagon Primary School in Roxas
7. Uyan Rag-op, Abintang Primary School in Bulalacao
Espiritu, Reyes and Rag-op are currently on their community service as volunteer teachers as part of their college scholarship grant received from Mangyan Mission (MM).
8. Rolyn Banay
9. Alicia Baruyot
10. Jessica Gawid
11. Darwin Ondoy
The last four are fresh graduates who opted to pass the LET first before taking on the responsibility of teaching. Some took their oath as professional teachers last December 6 at the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) in Lucena City.
Some of these Mangyan LET passers were MM scholars and Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO) scholars. MM scholars are expected to complete one year of community service in different Mangyan communities after they finish their degrees. They receive Php 2,000.00 as their monthly allowance as teachers.
Two other Mangyans passed the LET given last April.
Today, Oriental Mindoro has 172 Mangyan teachers educating children and youths in far-flung Mangyan villages. Out of these 172, forty (40) are LET passers.
Mangyans find it difficult to pass the LET because their English comprehension is not that good and they find it difficult to express themselves in a language rarely heard and used in their communities.
Mangyan Heritage Center Blog
“ALAMAT NG MGA PUTING MANGYAN”
(Myth of the White Mangyans)
An I-Witness documentary
Aired last January 28, 2008
GMA-7 / Pinoy TV
Howie Severino travels to Mindoro to investigate the legend of “lost tisoys,” a tribe of Mangyans called Olandes, mountain people in Mindoro descended from shipwrecked Dutch sailors.
Various people give conflicting accounts, including a scholar who proclaims that the “white Mangyans” are a myth, along with other popular beliefs such as Mangyans with tails.
But are the white Mangyans really a myth? In a Mangyan tiangge in the remote village of Bait, Howie is told of Mangyan tisoys in the local high school. He finds them there and learns they come from a mountain community called Panaytayan.
But it is not what he expected.
Descending not from Dutch sailors from centuries ago, the tisoys are four children of a Dutch priest who married a Mangyan and has lived in splendid isolation for four decades. He is now among the foremost experts on Mangyan culture. In the village, he has set up institutions designed to teach and preserve ancient tribal practices such as the script, music, and weaving.
His daughter Anya is a 23-year-old tisay who proudly calls herself a Mangyan and is following her father’s footsteps in championing the Mangyan while presenting a new face of the tribe to the outside world.
She accompanies her bahag-clad, betel-chewing uncle Anheng as he ventures down the mountain to town, faces of the old and the new Mangyan. As Anya and her siblings age and produce families of their own, the myth of the Olandes village may yet become a reality.
Cinematography: Egay Navarro
Director: JJ Villamarin
Field producer: Rommel Bernardo
Executive producer: Ella Evangelista