Scroll down for Pinamalayan, Gloria, Socorro and more....

Calapan City is a 3rd class city in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is the capital city of Oriental Mindoro and known as the "Gateway to the Golden Isle". According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 116,976 people in 20,929 households.[1]

Calapan City also serves as the gateway to the Oriental Mindoro province with the implementation of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway, an integrated Roll On-Roll Off project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that extends further to the southern part of the Philippines. The Calapan City Seaport is the largest and busiest seaport in the Mindoro island with ships that travels to and from the Batangas City International Seaport. Calapan City is 45 minutes away from Batangas City and is accessible by ferry boat and RORO ships.

Calapan was formerly a small village before the establishment of the first Religious District in Baco. The District convent was transferred to Calapan in 1733 and began its jurisdiction over the Northern Mindoro Ecclesiastical Area.In the early 18th century, the town only occupied a strip of land stretching from Ibaba to Ilaya in a cross-shape facing the present church and cut-off by the river. Later on, succeeding barrios were founded

In 1837, the capital of the province was moved from Puerto Galera to Calapan. When Mindoro became a part of Marinduque on June 13, 1902, the provincial capital was once again moved to Puerto Galera. In November 10, 1902, Mindoro was detached from Marinduque. In 1903, Calapan once again became the provincial capital.[2]

When Mindoro was detached from Marinduque on November 10, 1902, Baco, Puerto Galera and San Teodoro were annexed to Calapan in 1905 under Act. 1280, adding a total area of 843 km2. of land. In 1902, under Act 2824, the three (3) municipalities gained their independence.

In 1919, the boundary dispute between Calapan and Naujan was adjudicated by Presidentes Agustin Quijano of Calapan and Agustin Garong of Naujan over a portion of the territory of what is now known as the present boundary. The portion of agricultural area was awarded to Naujan, thus, making the area of Calapan much smaller as compared to that of Naujan which is now considered as the biggest municipality of the province.

At present, Calapan has an area of only 250.06 km2 (according to LMB). It has also jurisdiction over the three (3) Baco Islets on the Calapan Bay and the two (2) Silonay Islets.

The City of Calapan has been transformed as a component city on March 21, 1998. Its conversion was based on Republic Act 8475, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Fidel Ramos on February 2, 1998. In a plebiscite held on March 21, 1998, majority of Calapeños ratified the conversion of Calapan into a city. It is the first and only city in the province of Oriental Mindoro.[2]

Since its creation as a city, Calapan has witnessed significant strides in commerce and industry, infrastructure and social services. New commercial establishments were opened providing employment and income opportunities for the residents. An expanded program on social services delivery, particularly in health care and education, were undertaken. The city’s physical infrastructure was upgraded which includes the construction of new roads and drainage facilities, as well as a new City Government Center. Tourism was boosted with the opening of inland resorts and new hotels.

Calapan City was hit by tropical depression Quedan and heavy moonson rains on December 11, 2005 resulting in massive flooding all over the city and nearby municipalities. It was reported that 60 out of the 62 barangays were affected by floods due to the swelling of the Bucayao River, a river located at the southern part of the city that spans seven barangays, and a landslide occurrence in the Bucayao dike.

On December 18, 2005, PAGASA issued the final bulletin of TD Quedan. However, as it moved farther away from the country, eastern and southern Luzon still experienced continuous rains which resulted in renewed breaching of the temporary dike in Calapan City.

National Response-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited Calapan City on December 7, 2005 to personally assess the situation and presided over the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) emergency meeting with concerned local government officials in Oriental Mindoro and turned over 200 sacks of rice to PDCC Oriental Mindoro and City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) Calapan City.

On December 8, 2005, Ms. Arroyo presided the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) emergency meeting at the National Disaster Management Center.

Senator Manny Villar also donated 1000 boxes of repacked rice and 1000 boxes of used clothing on December 11, 2005.

Local Response-The City Government established a community kitchen at Jose J. Leido Jr. Memorial National High School evacuation and provided assorted relief goods to more than 100 affected families.

The city is host to numerous higher education institutions. The Divine Word College of Calapan (DWCC), a Catholic college run by the Divine Word Missionaries is currently the largest institution of higher learning in the city and the province of Oriental Mindoro. Other private institutions of higher learning include the St. Anthony College - Calapan City (Information Technology, Nursing & Tourism), Luna Goco Medical Center and Colleges (Nursing and Medicine), Southwestern Luzon Maritime Institute Foundation and Filipino Academy of Scientific Trades(Maritime Studies), AMA Computer Learning Center (Information Technology), and CLCC Institute of Computer Arts and Technology (Information Technology).

There are currently two public higher educational institutions in the city. One is the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology. The other is the City College Of Calapan which was opened last June 2008 through the initiative of City Mayor Salvador Leachon.[3]

Calapan City has seven national high schools (NHS), the largest of which is the LEMNAHIS. Other public high schools include the Ceriaco Abes Memorial National High School (MNHS), Parang NHS, Canubing NHS, Managpi NHS, Pedro V. Panaligan MNHS, the Community Vocational High School, and the LEMNAHIS Bucayao Annex.

The Catholic Church also runs the Holy Infant Academy,while DWCC also maintains a Basic Education Department

Public elementary schools are organized into three districts. They are the Calapan West, Calapan South and Calapan East Districts.

The city is served primarily by the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital which is also the largest hospital in the province. There are also numerous private hospitals in the city such as the Maria Estrella General Hospital,Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative, Sta. Maria Village Clinic and the Luna-Goco Medical Center.

In addition, the city has well-equipped public health centers providing free health check-ups and basic medicine supplies to all residents. These public centers are being funded and supported by the City Health and Sanitation Department.

The Sinkaw Festival derives its name from “sining kalabaw" or carabao arts, a creative artistic painting competition with no less than the carabaos as “canvasses.” This festival honors the city's native “beasts of the burden” as an eternally indispensable partner in farming and, essentially, a special tribute to the farmers’ industry.

The city and provincial governments also maintain separate libraries and museums. Moreover, the Calapan City Plaza which is located in front of the old city hall in San Vicente East is one of the city's famed attractions because of its unique features that includes a statue of a Mangyan man standing beside a tamaraw. The statue has now become the most famous landmark of the city.

San Vicente Central

J.P. Rizal Avenue which is named after the Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal, in San Vicente Central, is Calapan City's busiest street.

San Vicente Central is one of Calapan City's barangays and serves as the commercial and financial center of the city. Some of the big establishments in San Vicente Central are the Hotel Mayi, the tallest building in Oriental Mindoro; the Citimart Island Mall and Cinema; Robinsons Galleria,the Calapan City Public Market; GE Mart (Golden Eagle Mart); Globe Telecom; Smart Communications Wireless Center; Caballero Marketing; People's Arcade; Good Morning Enterprises and Juanita Mart.

Major Philippine banking institutions have established their local branches here including the Philippine National Bank, Metrobank, Chinabank, Bank of Commerce, Banco De Oro, Landbank of the Philippines, Allied Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank, The Country Bank, and the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

San Vicente Central is divided by J.P. Rizal Avenue which is lined by several commercial establishments.

Chinese Calapenos make up the majority of the vendors. On the other hand, a growing number of Muslim merchants from the southern Philippines also constitutes a minority group.

   History of Pinamalayan.... (scroll down for town of Gloria History and Occidental Mindoro)

Source: Mindoro Yearbook (1955)

A group of adventurous immigrants left Marinduque for an unknown destination. After many days of voyage, the “Council of Elders” of the group gazed at the rainbow on their westward bound. One of the crews shouted, “ipinamalay”; the voyagers decided to charter the sailing vessel towards the rainbow proceeding to “Lumang-bayan”, what is now called Pinamalayan. The town of Ipinamalay (now Pinamalayan) is close to the shore on the river of the same name about 2-3/4 miles- southwestward of Bugot Point. The Pinamalayan River whose source originates from the mountains north of the town empties at the mouth of the old Lumang-Bayan River. Stretching from Mount Dumali in the northeastern part of the island (751 miles) high and prominent, the coastal trends southward with a succession of sweeping curves towards Pinamalayan Bay to Duyagan Point.

The town is bounded on the north by Babahurin Hill and extends towards the northwest which meets the town of Pola. Towards the south and north, the town lies on an extensive plain and is low and flat towards the south direction to Balete and up to the boundary of Bongabon.  The history of the town has its ancient beginning antedating far back with the advent of the Marinduque settlers in the early part of the 18th century who landed on the shores of the old settlement at Lumang-bayan. The first village was implanted there by the newcomers pushing back the pagans into the interior. In the course of time and subjected by the ravages of Moro piracy, the natives had to fight back the buccaneers as well as the tulisanes at the end of the 19th century. The old Lumang-bayan was the town up to its transfer to the present site on or about 1914. The Recollect Order first established a part of the second ecclesiastic district of Naujan and extend as far as Bongabon,, assigning St. Agustine as its titular (Patron Saint).


The pattern of this town’s territorial expansion dated back during the Spanish time when the villagers of Pinamalayan, Pola, Sumagui, Anilao and Bongabon belonged to one ministry district. That pattern was closely adhered to in the later part of the Spanish regime from 1888-1890. It was organized as a permanent settlement with Juan Morente, Sr. as gobernadorcillo and succeeded by his son, Juan Morente, Jr., as Captain (Mayor) in 1890-1894. When the revolution broke out against Spain, Pinamalayan took up arms and underwent some government changes under the provisional Malolos government headed by Juan Medina in 1898. In the Filipino-American War, the American forces took possession of the town, placed it under a military regime from 1901 to 1902; appointed Cornelio Nable as its first President under the new civil government.


Reorganized on April 28, 1904 under Act No. 1135 of the Philippine Commission, the municipalities of Bongabon and Pola were annexed to Pinamalayan as barrios. In the following year, on January 4, 1905, under Act No. 1280, the municipality of Pola was annexed to Pinamalayan as a barrio. In 1914, Pinamalayan was organized as a regular municipality. Since then, a new town site has been proposed, selected and surveyed for expansion. This new town site was planned by Governor Juan Morente, Jr. and Mr. Thomas I. Weeks. 

In January 1912, Pola was separated from Pinamalayan as township and in 1920, Bongabon was separated from Pinamalayan as a municipal district under Act No. 2824 of March 15, 1919. Agriculture and business developments gradually increased with opening of roads.

On or about January 20, 1942, the Japanese Army from Calapan occupied the town and appointed Carlos Aguilocho and M. Medina as occupation Mayors. On or about January 15, 1945, the American Army from San Jose landed at Pinamalayan and liberated it from the enemy. Substantial progress has been made in the rehabilitation of the town since 1946. Municipal roads were repaired and extended, three big bridges were constructed (Balete, Nabuslot, and Lumambayan), a water system and a new market were constructed, a puericulture center and the beautification of the town plaza were undertaken. In 1948, Quinabigan was declared a national sub-port. The town is composed of six big barrios, namely; Lumang-bayan, Quinabigan, Nabuslot, Panggulayan, Maligaya, and Balete.


As presently constituted after the separation of Pola and Bongabon, the present area is 556 sq. km. or 55, 600 hectares. The population which was 2, 437 in 1903 increased to 8,606 in 1918. By 1939, the population increased to 16, 086 or 46% between the two census periods. By 1948, it jumped to 21,754 or an increase of 5,668 between 1939 and 1948 or 22%. This abrupt rise has been due mainly to the facilities of good transportation system. The population is mostly Tagalog who came from Batangas and Marinduque, Pinamalayan, one of the ranking producers of coconuts, exported 850 pounds of copra valued at P2, 000,000 in 1950.


It accounts for a variety of fish products from the sea; some fish ponds are now being developed; ranked second to none in the manufacture of wooden shoes, a distributing center of retail and wholesale trade for Sibaly and Bongabon, it has a busy market in the poblacion and a barrio market at Nabuslot. It is not only a coconut region, but it is also a retail and wholesale trade center.

Source: Mindoro Yearbook (1955)
Pinamalayan’s semi-circular waterfront affords excellent anchorage for vessels of inter-island type and visited weekly by steamers direct from Manila via Marinduque. It also affords an anchorage for ocean-going vessels in the sub-port of Quinabigan where copra is shipped every three months. It stands mid-way in the national high way to Bongabon and to Calapan. The Borbon and Halcon buses make this town a terminal and transport system. In the field of communication service, it has postal and telegraphic services, serving a wide area of 21,000 souls. It boasts also of its 2 light houses, one at Punta Dumali and other in town proper.

The assessed value of private property was P361, 317.75 in 1916 to P791, 622.00 in 1920. Former presidents: Cornelio Nable (1901-1902), Juan Aguilocho (1902-1903), Vicente Dominguez (1903-1904), Florencio Morente (1905-1906), Juan Morente (1907-1912), Jesus Dominuez (1913-1915), Jose Benitez (1915-1916), Elias Semilla (1916-1919), Carlos Aguilocho, Francisco Laurea (1925-1928), Anacleto Villamin (1928-1929), Conrado M. Morente (1929-1930, 1931-1934), Felipe Venturanza (1934-1938), (1938-1940), Dr. Abelardo Bunag (1941-1942), Carlos Aguilocho (1942-1943), Manuel Medina (1943-1945), Thomas B. Villamin (1946-1947).Dominador Madrid (1948-1951), Dr. Pio Baldos (1952-1955).

Patron Saint: San Agustin, April 25.

Classification: Third Class


Source: Oriental Mindoro: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Year 2000 A.D.

By: Florante D. Villarica 

The town of Pinamalayan is close to the shore at the mouth of the river of the same name. The town’s name was said to be taken from the word “ipinamalay” which means to make aware or to show the way. According to an old story, the early settlers of this town came from Marinduque. While they were on their way to Mindoro in their big bancas, they encountered turbulent weather and lost their way. They prayed to God Almighty for deliverance and guidance, whereupon, the weather cleared and a rainbow appeared on the horizon. The crew shouted “ipinamalayan” (it was made known). 

They followed the direction of the rainbow believing that at its en lies a pot of gold and good fortune. They finally landed at what is now Barangay Lumambayan and established the first settlement which they named Pinamalayan. They found good fortune in the new land which brought them prosperity because of the good soil and abundant resources.

Some other sources attribute the name Pinamalayan simply to the fact that the area was once a vast area planted to rice, hence the name “pinagpalayan” or “Pinamalayan”. Since then the place grew and became a town. However during the entire 18th century, Pinamalayan was one of the coastal areas frequently attacked by Moro Pirates. People were decimated and many field to the interior for safety. In spite of all these, the town site remained in that place until 1916 when it was transferred by the Americans to its present site.


In the year 1888 the territory of Pinamalayan included the settlements of Pola, Sumagui, and Anilao. At that time, the gobernadorcillo was Juan Morente, Jr., who assumed position until 1898 when the uprising against the Spanish government broke out. Morente Jr. joined the revolutionary forces as a captain. Juan Medina replaced him as the town head. When the Spaniards surrendered, Morente Jr. became governor of the province of Mindoro while Cornelio Nable was appointed as the municipal president.

In April 28, 1904 under the American government, the towns of Pola and Bongabon were consolidated with Pinamalayan by Virtue of Act 1155. It was only in January 12, 1912 when Pola regained its status as a regular town. Bongabon likewise regained its township status in March 1919 under Act 2824.

During the American period, the town was transferred to its present site. The American planners made sure that this new town will be laid out properly according to a planning system of wide symmetrical vertical and horizontal roads with proper drainage facilities. A big plaza was further constructed in front of the municipal building. Pinamalayan still stands as a model in town planning to all the municipalities in Oriental Mindoro.

When the Japanese occupied Mindoro in 1942, Dr. Abelardo Bunag, the mayor, joined the underground movement. The Japanese appointed Carlos Aguilucho followed by Manuel Medina until the Americans returned in January 15, 1945.The town steadily grew from 1947 to 1990 under various administrations. There are now two private colleges and three secondary schools and several Barangay high schools. A private sports complex may be found in Zone I. Interesting tourist destinations include the beaches of Pili, Banilad and Ranzo. At the peak of Mount Longos, one can see the paranomic vista of the stretch of sea that separates eastern Mindoro from Marinduque and the Tres Reyes islands. Other areas that would interest mountaineers are the towering ranges of Mt. Dumali, Mt. Beyer, Mt. Worcester, the Agus Hill and Bongol Point. 

Source: History of St. John the Baptist Parish

Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD
The middle of 17th and 18th century was the height of Spanish-Moro Wars that during this century, Moro raids broke loose in Mindoro. Many residents were killed or captured and sold in the slave markets in the south. Others more fortunate ones fled for their lives to other provinces. In fact, its history throughout the 17th and 18th century (1600 – 1800) about 200 years was practically a story of constant struggle between the native and the Moro pirates.

Pola, because of the strategic location of the Pola Bay, became a convenient stop over and launching area of the Moro’s sporadic attacks against the larger settlements of Naujan and Calapan. From the coast of Pola, they can see the approaching enemies either on the northern or the southern side. Consequently, Pola’s population never grew up because many inhabitants were dispersed deeper into the hills to avoid the hostilities and being captured by the Muslims.

The Moros established two strongholds: in Mamburao and in Balete, Calapan. From these two bases, the Moros sailed forth to attack the defenseless villages, destroying properties and subjecting the natives into slavery. As a result of these depredations, the whole villages in the eastern part of the island including Pola were destroyed and as such, abandoned by some of the inhabitants. Thus, a gloomy picture is presented: the villages were wiped out from the Mindoro map. A document from Mexico revealed that in 1754 alone, 21 Pola residents representing 18% of the population were captured by the Moro raiders. At the height of the Moro raids, the Recollect Missionaries gave up the island of Mindoro in 1776 for several reasons: one of which was the lack of personnel brought about by the raiders who either kill or capture for ransom the helpless missionaries.

Pola was well on its way while its neighboring village of Pinamalayan was doomed to its end when the Provincial Government requested Manila to force the Pinamalayan settlers to move to Pola in 1843. This was particularly recommended by the Naujan parish priest, a Tagalog secular priest Baltazar Narvaez. It was because Pinamalayan and Mansalay were totally deserted by the natives for fear of Moro attacks.


This was primarily due to the 1836 Moro raid, where Pinamalayan was left in disarray with a very few survivors: 19 adults, 7 dependents and about 5 houses. These few survivors rallied behind their Cavesa de Barangay Teniente Agapito dela Cruz, a young man from Aklan and petitioned the authorities for a grace period of just one year to increase the number of houses and settlers in Pinamalayan. The promised increase did not come in one year, but the settlers’ decisive move, led by Teniente Dela Cruz, saved Pinamalayan from extinction.

For a long time, the Spanish authority was unable to put to an end the Moro depredations. The successful expeditions of Governor General Simon de Anda in 1762 – 1764 and 1770 – 1776 served to put an end to the piracy, but no sooner had the Spanish forces been withdrawn, piracy was resumed.

By: Edgar C. Genabe

Municipal Tourism Coordinator - Pola
Source: Second Bahaghari Commemorative Issue (2001) 

The Conception
During the transmigration era and man’s search for fortune and self-fulfillment, a group of migrants from the shores of Marinduqe sailed to sea aboard big bancas. Along their journey, they encountered a turbulent weather and lost their way. With the horizon filled with fog, they continued their course to an unknown destination. They prayed to God for deliverance and guidance, whereupon, the haze cleared out and a rainbow appeared in the skyline. Beneath it is a green and abundant land with wide plains and slight terrain. The crew shouted “Ipinamalay na!” Superstitiously, they believed that it was a sign of luck and they would find good fortune. They chartered towards the rainbow and anchored at the beach south of Pili Point in Lumambayan.

These people afterwards found prosperity in the place and decided to stay permanently. They cultivated vast plantation of rice. However, during the larger parts of the 17th and 18th century, Moro Pirates from Panay, Romblon and Tablas frequently attacked the area to loot residents’ valuables. People were decimated and many were forced to flee into the interior for safety. When the bandits had no more to seize, they left and acclaimed the place “Pinagpalayan”.

As a permanent settlement, the place was organized by Juan Morente, Sr., who was then the Gobernadorcillo (1888 – 1890). The territory of Pinamalayan covered Pola, Sumagui (Bansud), and Anilao (Bongabong) during that time. He was ascended by his son, Juan Morente, Jr., who assumed position until 1894. When the uprising against the Spanish broke out in 1898, Juan Morente, Jr. joined the revolutionary forces as a captain. Juan Medina replaced him as town head. The municipality further contributed its part on the history by taking up arms against the Spaniards, led by Medina.

Immediately upon signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ceded the Philippines to the United States, the American Government placed Pinamalayan in military rule and the civil government that followed under the Philippine Commission of 1902. Cornelio Nable (1901 – 1902) was appointed the first Municipal President, followed by Juan Aguilucho (1902 – 1903). It was administered under a special grant, as there was no sufficient fund available for the establishment of a regular organized municipality. Bongabong and Pola were sheltered as its barangays by virtue of Act 1155 in April 28, 1904 under the administration of Vicente Dominguez (1903 – 1904).


Florencio Morente then seated from 1905 to 1906. First election was conducted in 1907, and Juan Morente, Jr. became the first elected municipal president. It was in 1914 when the town was made a typical municipality, Pola in 1912, Bongabong in 1920 and so was Sibale. He (Morente Jr.) then was appointed as the first Filipino Governor replacing Carl L. Stone (1913 – 1914) under the Filipinization Policy of Governor General Francis Button Harrison.

Source: Second Bahaghari Commemorative Issue (2001) 

The Founding
The old town site, the present Barangay Lumambayan, is situated between two rivers (Pinamalayan and Macanlig), one of which is too close to the seashore. This accounts for the impossibility of the expanding of the town proper. For the fast growing influx of population, a move was set forth to transfer the town to a better location. The fact was brought off by Governor Juan Morente, Jr. and Thomas Weeks, the Provincial Treasurer. The Municipal Council, under the leadership of President Jesus Dominguez, also in 1914, acted on the selection of the town site – one that will be the choice of the great majority of the inhabitants. In one of the regular meetings, prominent citizens of the towns as far as Balete (Gloria) were invited. People flocked in front of the municipal building in Lumambayan to witness and vote for the place they want. Barangays Quinabigan and Panggulayan were placed for consideration. The method of selection was through “viva voce” voting. The council set a place of assembly for all those favoring Quinabigan and another for Panggulayan. Majority of the people gathered for Panggulayan, so thus chosen.
One more administration passed before the formal founding occurred –Jose Benitez took office from 1915 to1916. It was in the year 1916, during the term of Municipal President Elias Semilla, when the transfer took effect. The Municipal Council led by Florencio Morente as committee chairman bought lots form the constituents. Few of those who were willing were: Esteban Miciano, Diego Mangante, Jose Lucero, Gregorio Justiniano, Euberto Llave, Juan Francisco and Jose Nieva. The latter donated land for the roads.
The American planners made sure that this new town would be built properly. Thus, they introduced a grid of network of wide roads with proper drainage system. A big plaza was constructed in front of the municipal building. The town of Pinamalayan still stands as a model in town planning among all the municipalities of Oriental Mindoro.

On the same year, the National Highway connecting Pinamalayan to Calapan and southern municipalities was proposed. Two seats, by Carlos Aguilucho and Francisco Luarca (1925 – 1928) and Anacleto Villamin (1928 – 1929) transcended before the main road was completed. In 1931, at the time of Conrado Morente (1929 – 1934), the National Highway was finally opened publicly, thus improving mobility, communication and commerce. Other thoroughfares, such as those connecting Pola and Naujan were made accessible in 1932, while that interstate towards Bongabong in 1939.

Felipe Venturanza took office in 1934 up to 1938, followed by Carlos Aguilucho in 1938. When the Japanese occupied Mindoro in 1942, Dr. Abelardo Buñag, the Mayor (1941 – 1942), joined the underground movement. The Japanese appointed Carlos Aguilucho, followed by Manuel Medina until the Americans returned in January 15, 1945.

World War II greatly hampered the construction of the roads and even destroyed projects on the way. Bridges were bombed by dynamites; schools and buildings were used as firewood by Japanese soldiers; houses were dilapidated; and municipal buildings were burned.

The town suffered multifarious losses from the immense fire set in 1944. Many lives were lost— either killed in guerilla warfare, died of hunger and sickness due to lack of medicine. Not a few were punished inhumanly.

After the war, restoration was given priority. The town steadily grew from 1947 to 1990 under various administrations. Among which were: Tomas Villamin (1946 – 1947); Dominador Madrid (1948 – 1951, 1956 - 1967); Remegio Pio Baldos (1952 – 1955); Santos Frane, OIC (1967 – 1968); Jose Reynaldo Morente, Jr. (1968 – 1972); Crispulo La Rosa ( 1973 – 1979); Emilina Baldos (1980 – 1986); Reynaldo Mambil (1986 – 1987); Lydia Olea, OIC (1988); Manuel Morente (1988 – 1995); Aristeo Baldos (2004 – 2007); and Hon. Wilfredo L. Hernandez, Sr. (1995 – 2004, 2007 – Present).







Town of  Gloria is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 54,122 people in 10,170 households. The town was previously a barangay called "Maligaya", and was the largest barangay during the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal. Politicians from the place, led by Nicolas Jamilla Sr., a former guerrilla leader, battled for the conversion of Maligaya into a new town. They named it after the daughter of the president, Gloria, who was 10 years old at the time and became the Philippines' 14th President in 2001. Jamilla became Gloria's first mayor. Maligaya was retained as name of a barangay in the poblacion.

Indeed Gloria was once part of the Municipality of Pinamalayan. Early settlers of the place were migrant families from Marinduque who settled in Barrio Tambong sometime in 1915. In 1930, when the Municipality of Pinamalayan was traversed by a national road, the settlers of Tambong moved westward and occupied the area along the road. Through the then Provincial Board Member Alfredo Mendoza, Tambong was divided into two barrios, the first retained its original name while the second became "Maligaya" (meaning "happy"), a name alluded to the settlers happiness brought about by the bountiful yield of their agricultural crops. The residents of the twenty-five (25) barrios namely: Maligaya, Kawit, Malusak, Balite, Dalagan, Tinalunan, Calamundingan, Bulbogan, Langang, Banus, Agus, Batingan, Papandungin, Malamig, Tubag, Malayong, Malubay, Mirayan, Guimbonan, Agsalin, Manguyang, Banutan, Boong-Lupa, Tambong and Maragooc grouped together and petitioned for the separation of their barrios from their mother Municipality of Pinamalayan.

The petition was granted on October 1, 1964 through Executive Order No. 117 issued by the then President Diosdado Macapagal. Executive Order No. 140 issued on February 25, 1965 by the same President defined and fixed the boundaries of Gloria as a new municipality. On December 24, 1965, however; the Supreme Court nullified the new municipality's corporate existence. Gloria was finally recognized as a distinct municipality on June 9, 1966 when Housebill No. 6107 sponsored by the then Congressman Luciano Joson was enacted into law and later to be known as RA 4651.

The Municipality was named Gloria, primarily as a token of gratitude to President Macapagal whose daughter is named Gloria and secondarily from the word "glory" due to the settlers "glorious" existence in Barrio Maligaya.

This Barrio later became the Poblacion and the official seat of the municipal government. Nicolas M. Jamilla, Sr. became the first Mayor of Gloria by virtue of his appointment by the then President Diosdado Macapagal. He served from 1964 to 1967. He ran in the local election of 1967 and won. The first session of the appointed members of the Municipal Council was held in the residence of Mr. Albino Janda. The town's official function was held in this house from February 1964 to November 1965; then in the residences of Genaro Olavidez from March to June 1965 and Arsenio Arriola from July 1965 to 1973.

The name of the following barangays were changed: Bulbugan to Sta. Maria; Dalagan to San Antonio; Malusak to Narra; Batingan to A. Bonifacio; Tubag to Macario Adriatico; Tinalunan to Gaudencio Antonino; Langang to Sta. Theresa and Calamundingan to Lucio Laurel. Bulaklakan and Alma Villa were created as additional barangays later. In 1968, the municipality received a two-hectare donation from Gloria Realty Development Corporation which became the site of the Municipal Building in 1972. Under the leadership of Mayor Jamilla, the municipality bought a total of ten hectare lot in the ensuing years which became the site of the Municipal Cemetery, Sports Center, Agricultural Center, and Breeding Station and the Medicare Hospital.

--First Appointed Municipal Officials-- Oct. 2, 1964-Dec.31, 1967 Hon. Nicolas M. Jamilla Sr.- MunicipalMayor Hon.Valerico Agoncillo - Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Alfredo Rofuli - Municipal Councilor Hon. Agapito Agoncillo - Municipal Councilor Hon. Ernesto Miciano - Municipal Councilor Hon. Miguel Mabolo - Municipal Councilor Hon. Leon Jarabe - Municipal Councilor Hon. Joe Sevilla - Municipal Councilor Hon. Agustin Abao - Municipal Councilor

--First Elected Municipal Officials--

Jan. 2, 1968 -Dec. 31, 1971 Hon. Nicolas M. Jamilla Sr.- Municipal Mayor Hon. Valerico Agoncillo - Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Ernesto Miciano - Municipal Councilor Hon. Alfredo Rofuli - Municipal Councilor Hon. Elesio Medina - Municipal Councilor Hon. Leonardo Nieva - Municipal Councilor Hon. Miguel Mabolo - Municipal Councilor Hon. Rustico Sigue - Municipal Councilor

--Elected Municipal Officials-- Jan 1972-Dec. 1975

Hon. Nicolas M. Jamilla Sr.- Municipal Mayor Hon. Valerico Agoncillo - Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Dominador Magdalita - Municipal Councilor Hon. Nicandro Fabon - Municipal Councilor Hon. Alfredo Rofuli - Municipal Councilor Hon. Ernesto Miciano - Municipal Councilor Hon. Miguel Mabolo - Municipal Councilor Hon. Rustico Sigue - Municipal Councilor Hon. Francisco Viduya - Municipal Councilor Hon. Alberto Medran - MunicipalCouncilor

--Sannguniang Bayan Members-- Jan. 1976 - March 3, 1980 Hon. Nicola M. Jamilla, Sr - Municipal Mayor Hon. Valerico Agoncillo - Municipal Vice Mayor Hon. Sotero Punzalan - S.B Member Hon. Godofredo Selda - S.B Member Hon. Alberto Medran - S.B Member Hon. Dominador Magdalita - S.B Member Hon. Jesus Perez - S.B Member Hon Reynaldo Dimalibot - S.B Member Hon Gaudencio Sigue - S.B Member Hon Macario Espiritu - S.B Member Hon Miguel Mabolo - S.B Member Hon Nicandro Fabon - S.B Member Hon Olegario Rodriguez - S.B Member Hon Emmanuela Mantaring - S.B Member

--Elected Municipal Official-- March 3, 1980 - April 15, 1986 Hon. Nicolas M. Jamilla Sr.- Municipal Mayor Hon. Valerico Agoncillo - Municipal Vice Mayor From March 3, 1980 to Sept 1983 Hon. Sotero Punzalan - Municipal Vice Mayor (Succeeded V. Agoncillo who died) From Sept. 1983 to April 15, 1986 Hon. Godofredo Selda - S.B Member Hon. Alberto Medran - S.B Member Hon. Dominador Magdalita - S.B Member Hon. Jesus Perez - S.B Member Hon. Reynaldo Dimalibot - S.B Member Hon. Leonardo Nieva - S.B Member Hon. Gaudencio Sigue - S.B Member Hon. Macario Espiritu - S.B Member Hon. Miguel Mabolo - S.B Member Hon. Nicandro Fabon - S.B Member Hon. Olegario Rodriguez - S.BMember Hon. Emmanuela Mantaring - S.B Member

--Municipal Official-- After 1986 EDSA Revolution April 16, 1986-Nov. 1987 Hon Amando Medrano - Municipal Mayor Hon Felix V. Jarabe - Municipal Vice Mayor Hon Jimmy de Castro - S.B Member Hon Vicente Laurel - S.B Member Hon Glen Caspe - S.B Member Hon Teotimo Saway - S.B Member Hon Haminiano Sigue - S.B Member Hon Timoteo Sario - S.B Member Hon Romeo Castillo - S.B Member Hon Arlene Onte - S.B Member

Gloria is politically divided into 29 barangays.

  • Agsalin
  • Agos
  • Andres Bonifacio
  • Balete
  • Banus
  • Banutan
  • Buong Lupa
  • Bulaklakan
  • Gaudencio Antonino (Sitio Sigue)
  • Guimbonan
  • Kawit
  • Lucio Laurel
  • Macario Adriatico
  • Malamig
  • Malayong
  • Maligaya (Pob.)
  • Malubay
  • Manguyang
  • Maragooc
  • Mirayan
  • Narra
  • Papandungin
  • San Antonio
  • Sta. Maria
  • Santa Theresa
  • Tambong
  • Upper Banus
  • Alma Villa
  • Balete Centro

Mt. Manguyang Camping Site - is a scenic spot in the southwest portion of Gloria town. Although frequented by Boy Scouts of the Philippines campers from Bulbugan Elementary School of the nearby barangay of Santa Maria, the promising Mt. Manguyang Camping Site has not yet been largely explored by locals.

  • Walang Langit Falls - boasts of an eighty-foot waterfalls in Barangay Boong Lupa. It is famous locally because of the cold atmosphere in the falls.
  • Bulaklakan Tree Farm - is just that - a tree farm. In recent years, though, most trees have been harvested.
  • Bighani Beach Resort-is a beach that more of people was visiting here to enjoy the swimming.


Socorro is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 37,176 people in 7,355 households. An inland town at the junction of the Pola Road, Socorro has developed into a progressive and dynamic municipality. In the last 20 years, roads have been paved, the market re-built and employment has risen. Agriculture still provides the main industry with rice, fruits, and coconut products dominating. Citrus products like calamansi, dalandan and pomelo are also abundant here together with rambutan and lanzones. Fresh fish from Lake Naujuan at the northern end of the municipality and Balut are also important products. There is a large Mangyan population in the more remote parts of the municipality, and programs of assistance for these people have been implemented.


Baco is a 4th class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

Baco is located on the northern part of Oriental Mindoro. It is bounded to the north by the Verde Island Passages, to the east by Calapan City and Naujan to the south by Santa Cruz and Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro province, and to the west by San Teodoro.

Mt. Iglit-Baco Natural Park
Home of the Mangyans and the Tamaraws

The Park is the habitat of the endemic Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), which is one of the most seriously endangered large mammals. Because of the endangered Tamaraw, the Park was initially established as "game refuge and bird sanctuary". The Park has been declared as an ASEAN Heritage site. Other forms of wildlife can also be found in the Park like the Phil. Deer, Wild Pig and Mindoro Cloud Rat as well as a number of bird species which are endemic to the island such as Mindoro Imperial Pigeon, Mindoro Scops Owl, Black-hooped Coucal, Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker and Heart Pigeon.

Mount Iglit-Baco National Park covers large areas of the central part of the island of Mindoro on the Philippines. It is situated near Mt. Baco (2,488 m a.s.l.) and Mt. Iglit, the latter reaching 2,364 m a.s.l. Unfortunately, the island is among the most deforested parts of the archipelago. Less than 3% of primary forests have been preserved there. Remnants of lowland rain, mountain and cloud forests with critically threatened endemic animal species are protected in the national park. Article Source:

Victoria is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines


  • Mina de Oro Institute of Science and Teechnology (MIST)
  • Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT)
  • ARABEL Technical School
  • ACMCL College

High School

  • Macatoc National High School(MNHS)
  • Good Shepherd Academy(GSA)
  • Oriental Mindoro Academy (OMA)
  • ACMCL College
  • Aurelio Arago Memorial National High School
  • Alcate National High School

Bansud is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
Bongabong is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

The annual activities in Bongabong are as follows:

  • Feast of St. Joseph and Sulyog Festival, March 19
  • Bongabong Foundation Day, December 7


  • St. Joseph Academy
  • Labasan National High School
  • Vicente B. Ylagan National High School
  • Masaguisi National High School
  • Dayhagan National High School
  • Carmundo National High School
  • Kaligtasan National High School
  • Morente National High School
  • Cawayan National High School

Pola is a 10th class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 31,938 people in 6,400 households.

Pola is the birthplace of Vice President Noli de Castro and Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition Plus Big Winner Ejay Falcon.

Map of Oriental Mindoro showing the location of Naujan

Naujan is a 1st class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

2010-2013 Directory
  • Municipal Mayor : MA. ANGELES CARANZO-CASUBUAN Municipal Mayor
  • Sangguniang Bayan : DEIN Z. ARAGO , Municipal Vice-Mayor
  • Administrator's Office : ENGR. MABELLE S. GOMBIO, Municipal Administrator
  • Planning and Development Office : RACQUELITA M. UMALI,OIC-MPDC
  • Budget Office : LILIA M. TAMARES, MBO
  • Accounting : CARINA CORRO,Accountant
  • Treasury : ARLEEN B. GUTIERREZ, Treasurer
  • Engineering : PRECY H. OLMOS,BO
  • Social Welfare and Development : ABSTINENCIA DE GUZMANMSWDO
  • Agriculture : ELY VARGAS, Agriculturist
  • Assessor : VIRGILIO AÑONUEVO, Assessor
  • Health : DR. MARY JEAN MANALO, Health Officer
  • General Servicer Office : EDNA LLAMOSO, OIC-MGSO

Roxas is a 3rd class Partially Urban municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

Founded by Andres Torrefiel in November 15, 1948, it was formerly known as Paclasan, originally a part of Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro, then a barrio of Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. It was named after President Manuel A. Roxas, the first town to be named as such. 

Located about approximately 180 km (2–3 hours ride) from the main capital city of Calapan, Roxas is one of the smallest municipality of Oriental Mindoro province, with a total land area of 8,526 hectares of up-land, lowland, and coastal areas.

Municipal Mayor -Jackson C. Dy
Vice Mayor - Mrs. Bolet Dimapilis

Mae Talens
Jun Bacay
Elsie Galaran
Edward Soriano
Lee Baculinao
Bong Fabon
Cezar Baticos
Johnny Advincula

Located about approximately 180 km (2–3 hours ride) from the main capital city of Calapan, Roxas is one of the smallest municipality of Oriental Mindoro province, with a total land area of 8,526 hectares of up-land, lowland, and coastal areas.

Banking and Other Lending Institutions Educational institutions

Secondary Schools

Telephone / Radio / TV and Cable networks

The town has many beach resorts located at Barangay Dangay.

Mansalay is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines

This town is notable for its indigenous Mangyan population. The municipal hall is located on the upper land of Mansalay Town proper, in front of a Medical Care Hospital. Nearby is the church and the only Catholic School, Sta. Catalina Catholic School. Sta. Catalina is the town's patron saint.

Catholic School, Sta. Catalina Catholic School. Sta. Catalina is the town's patron saint.

Its people relies heavily on fishing and farming to survive and earn a living. Because of meager income opportunities, Mansalay has produced a large number of Overseas Filipino Workers who excel working abroad

The town has many beach resorts located at Barangay Dangay.

Puerto Galera is a 1st Class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.[1] According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 21,925 people in 4,424 households.[2] It is the northwesternmost municipality in Oriental Mindoro.

Puerto Galera is only three and a half hour 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 Scuba 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.

Puerto Galera is a listed by the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World, and is the only bay in the Philippines to be listed there.[3]

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.Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach are considered part of Sabang with resorts lining the beaches. Big La Laguna Beach is popular for local swimmers and snorkelers. 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 mountain sides - some of the more remote tribes have virtually 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 is among the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from Sabang Beach. 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 more than 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 many species of fish can be seen. A variety of wrecks have been sunk over the years in addition to the one 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.


This coastal town is well known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and Scuba 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.

Puerto Galera is a listed by the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World, and is the only bay in the Philippines to be listed there.[3]

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.Big La Laguna Beach and Small La Laguna Beach are considered part of Sabang with resorts lining the beaches. Big La Laguna Beach is popular for local swimmers and snorkelers. 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 mountain sides - some of the more remote tribes have virtually 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 is among the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from Sabang Beach. 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 more than 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 many species of fish can be seen. A variety of wrecks have been sunk over the years in addition to the one 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.


Occidental Mindoro
The province of Occidental Mindoro is characterized by successive mountain ranges, valleys and plateaus with rolling grazing lands along the coast. Occidental Mindoro is gifted by nature with highly fertile soil and rich fishing grounds. Its virgin jungle and inaccessible wild mountain terrain has protected its wildlife, among them, the world famous Tamaraw.

More than seventy percent of the total land area of Occidental Mindoro is composed of forest reserve, timberland, national parks/ game refuge and bird sanctuary/ wilderness areas, military reserve, civil reserve and fishpond.


According to the 2000 Census on Population and Housing (CPH), Occidental Mindoro has 3.2% of the Southern Tagalog Region (STR) population.  The province has a total population of 380,250 with a growth rate of 2.45.  Among the municipalities of Occidental Mindoro, San Jose has the largest population composed of 29%. Maburao, the capital only has 8% of the total population. Moreover, only the population in the municipality of Lubang decreased by 0.84%.  Forty-eight percent of the population of Occidental Mindoro is composed of female while the 52% are male.

Tourist attractions in 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.



Occidental Mindoro is the western part of the island of Mindoro, south of Batangas. It is bounded on the north by the Calavite Passage, on the east by Oriental Mindoro, on the west by Apo East Pass, and on the south by the Mindoro Strait.


Occidental Mindoro consists of high rolling mountains in the east. To the west are coastal plains where the towns are situated. Numerous rivers flow from these mountain ranges: Pagbahan and Mamburao-Matamayor in the north, Mompong and Amnay in the center, and Caguray and Busuanga in the south. The climate is dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year. The province lies in the path of destructive typhoons.


Mindoro, formerly called Mait, was known to Chinese traders even before the coming of the Spanish. In 15 70, 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. Missionaries became active around Ilin Island off the southern tip, Lubang Island off the northern tip, and Mamburao. Moro raids later forced them to abandon these places. In 1754, the Muslims established strongholds in Mamburao and Balete (near Sablayan). From there, they launched raids against nearby settlements. An expedition sent by Governor Simon de Anda put an end to these raids.

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 orga- nized into a corregimiento. In 1902 the island of Lubang, which was formerly a part of Cavite, was annexed to Mindoro. In the same year Mindoro and Lubang were annexed to Marinduque when the latter became a regular province. Mindoro became a regular province in 1921. On June 13, 1950, under Republic Act No. 505, Mindoro 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. Extensive tribal settlements of Mangyans in the province belong to such sub-groups as the Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Buhid, Hanunuo, and Bangon. The Mangyans are simple people. They were once coastal dwellers driven into the mountains to avoid religious conversion by the Spaniards, raids by Moro pirates, and the influx of recent migrants. They now lead a semi-nomadic existence. Mangyans live in loose clusters of up to 20 bamboo huts with thatched roofs and raised floors. They sometimes are away from their families for many weeks in search of food. Men wear a loincloth of pounded bark while the women have a coil of woven nito, a sturdy black vine, and rattan around their hips. Mangyans practice animism and are superstitious.


Occidental Mindoro is basically an agricultural province. The principal products are rice, coconut, peanut, and abaca. The inhabitants are also engaged in cattle and poultry raising, logging, and fishing. The waters on the west coast comprise one of the most important fishing grounds in the country. Hunting along the banks of the Busuanga River can yield deer, wild boars, and tamaraw.



Lubang Island
The Lubang Island group consists of about four (4) islands and some islets is located northwest of the northern end of Mindoro Island, west of Batangas and offshore west-south-west of Manila. It is bounded on the west by vast South China Sea and on the South by the Calavite Passage. Separating Lubang Island from Mindoro is the Calavite Passage and from Batangas the Verde Passage.

The largest island is Lubang, 30 km by 10 km in area, and up to 417 meters high on Mount Gonting. Close east of Lubang lies Ambil Island, oval shaped with mean diameter of 6 km and 645 m high on Mount Benagongon.The second largest island is Golo Island, situated close southeast of the southern end of lubang. In the northern most end of Lubang lies Cabra Island. Lubang group of islands were discovered in the 16th century by Spanish sailors. They found the islands as inhabited, except Ambil, where a volcanous activity was reported. In 1694, the Spain passenger ship "San Jose" run on the south coast of Lubang reef, and sunk, about 150 settlers and 15 sailors were killed. It was reported that during Spanish time two ships sunk off the coast of the island.Lubang Island comprises of two municipalities, Lubang and Looc, broken down into 25 barangays. Lubang and Looc municipality are two of the eleven municipalities of Occidental Mindoro. The surrounding of Lubang Islands can be best viewed at Gozar Air Station of the Philippine Air Force on top of Mt. Ambulong. The island is served by an airport and sea port.

Lubang Island is one of the attractions of the province of Occidental Mindoro which is comparable to Puerto Galera of Oriental Mindoro.  The island offers diverse terrain and rarely visited forests. With its stunning tropical beaches, fabulous coves, reefs, cliffs, mountain, richly forested slopes and rich fishing grounds.Another interesting spot is the Hulagaan Falls and beach, located in Barangay Binacas.  Hulagaan Falls is a series of falls leading to a stony beach. It is accessible via a thirty-minutes boat ride from Binacas and twenty minutes trek.  For adventurers, hikers, trekkers and mountain climbers the  most exciting way to Hulagan is by foot.

There are several ways to reach Lubang Islands just off the coast from Batangas Province. Moreta Shipping Lines has the MV Conchita and MV Nikki, which leave Manila to Tilik on Tuesday (Nikki) and Saturday (Conchita) at 12:00 Midnight. MV Catalyn B of San Nicolas Lines, Inc. leaves Manila to Tilik on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:00 P.M.  The trip through MV Conchita and MV Nikki take six hours while MV Catalyn B takes eight hours. By day break you will be at the town's harbor in Barangay Tilik. Star Lubang which leaves  CCP Complex, Manila daily at 7:00 AM except Wednesday takes four and a half hours to reach Tilik Port, Lubang. Moreta Shipping lines is located at Pier 8 of the Manila North Harbor with telephone number (632)7216480 and (632)276701 while Asuncion Shipping Lines is in Isla Puting Bato at Pier 2 of the Manila North Harbor with telephone number (632)2434595. Phone number of Star Lubang is (632)831-99-76 and is located at CCP Complex, Manila.You can also take chartered flight from Manila Domestic Airport to Lubang . Travel time is around 30 minutes. You can also take chartered flight from Manila Domestic Airport to Lubang . Travel time is around 30 minutes.

 Governor of Occidental Mindoro and Congresswoman are Josephine Ramirez Sato and Ma. Amelita C. Villarosa, respectively.


Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro
Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro
Mayor of Mamburao, Voltaire Anthony Villarosa, son of Congresswoman Amelita Villaroa
Mayor of Mamburao, Voltaire Anthony Villarosa, son of Congresswoman Amelita Villaroa

Mamburao is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. It is the capital municipality of Occidental Mindoro. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 34,487 people and has 20,344 registered voters (2010). The town has an approximate land area of 33,950 hectares.

A Flat terrain characterized topography of the land and rolling land, the inner portion is mountainous. Mamburao River is the largest and longest river that surrounds the poblacion area. It has its mouth on the northern side of Barangay Balansay and on the Southern side of Barangay Tayamaan. The rivers that traverse the are the Tuguilan, Sug-sugin, Maculbo and Talabaan River. There are also 4 (4) creeks that pass the different barangays which include Baboy creek and Igsu creek


The first settlement in Mindoro to have been visited by the Spaniards was the village of Mamburao, which according to accepted history made this village the Moro stronghold in the island. Early on January 1, 1560, Legaspi dispatched his grandson Juan de Salcedo with a combined Panay Forces in 15 boats, sailed from Mamburao and destroyed this Mohammedan town and demolished the pirate port. Salcedo returned richly laden with spoils of war and covered with martial glory. On May 3, 1560, another expedition was sent from Panay which included Salcedo and Martin de Goiti and touched at Mamburao.

In the early days of the propagation of Christianity, the Village of Mamburao belonged to the third convent district established at Calavite. Mamburao later became a ‘colossal empire”, for it either incorporated three towns or gave birth to the municipality. From the end of the Spanish period in 1902, Sablayan was a barrio of Mamburao as barrios. Under Act 1280 in 1905, Paluan and Abra de Ilog were annexed to Mamburao as barrios. All these places however, eventually were created as separate municipalities, In 1929, Sta. Cruz, a barrio of Mamburao, was also given independent status as a municipality.

Before the separation of Sta. Cruz from Mamburao, the latter had an area of 1,050 square kilometers, or 105,000 hectares. The population of Mamburao in 1903 was only 894, in 1939, it increased at 4,423, and in 1948 it jumped to 5,571. Literacy percentage then was 46.6%.

Mamburao’s population at the turn of the century was very sparse because it was depopulated during the Muslim invasion and piracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Mamburao itself was made the base of Muslim piratical raids of the coastal towns of Mindoro, Luzon and Visayas. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, Mamburao was peopled again by immigrants. The first batch if immigrants were Ilocanos who came from Zambales. Among the pioneering settlers were Simon Agpalo, Juan Ladao and Hermogenes Alcaide. Agpalo came in with his relatives, the de Jesuses, the Regudos and Ladaos. Simon Agpalo settled in Mamburao in 1860. At the turn of the century, Tagalogs came to Mamburao. Most of them came from Lubang, Looc, and Paluan, but some came from Batangas and Cavite.

By June 13, 1950, the entire province of Mindoro was divided into two Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, with Mamburao chosen as capital for Occidental Mindoro. The capital of Occidental Mindoro can be reached from the north via Batangas City to Matabang Port at Abra de Ilog – and on the South entrance thru Caminawit Port- San Jose approximately 32 and 170 kilometers distance respectively through national highways.

In the year 1974, Poblacion was divided into eight (8) barangays. In October, 1972 under Presidential Decree No. 86, there ware Barnagays Poblacion 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8. The barangays were headed by the barangay Chairman and six (6) councilmen duly elected by the assembly.

On May 17, 1997, Barangay election was held. The total reorganization of Barangay Officials was undertaken headed by the Punong Barangay ad six (6) Kagawads. In the recently held 1997 Barangay Elections, the composition of barangay officials includes the Punong Barangay, seven (7) Barangay Councilors and one (1) Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman as Ex-Officio Kagawad.

Presently, Mamburao is composed of Fifteen (15) Barangays, with an approximate land area of 33,950 hectares.

Contact person
Office of the Mayor
Municipal Building
Municipal Compound
Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro
+63 (43) 711-7950
(+632) 000-0000000


Mamburao is mainly accessed through two means. The most popular way of getting there involves taking a two and a half hour ferry trip from Batangas Port to Abra de Ilog. There is an average of ten trips a day. These trips are conveniently scheduled to give travelers the freedom to choose an appropriate trip schedule according to their needs. Upon arrival at Abra Port, Mamburao is less than an hour away via the various modes of public transportation available at the port itself. The ride to Mamburao in itself is a pleasurable experience due to the greatly improved road surface and breathtaking scenery along the way.

For those who can afford it, small chartered flights from Manila are also available. Travel time for these flights is usually around 45 minutes to an hour. Aside from this, the local government has plans of re-opening the Municipal airport to commercial flights to attract more tourists.

Hotels and Resorts

-    La Gensol Plaza Hotel and Restaurant                
-    Mindoreños Hotel and Restaurant                        
-    Traveller’s Hotel and Restaurant
-    Palm Beach Resort
-    Balay Hangin Beach Resort
-    Paradise Beach Resort
-    Sunrise Beach Resort
-    Vista Del Mare Beach Resort
-    La Playa Beach Resort
-    Bill’s Hillside Resort
-    Fatima Beach Resort

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 (21/2 hr RORO vessel via Montenegro or Baleno Shipping Lines.
     Abra de Ilog Pier to Mamburao take a van or bus 30-45 mins
2.  From Ali Mall bus terminal take Dimples bus lines, it will take you to Mamburao.
     The bus actually travels to    San Jose but accommodates passengers to towns on its way.
3.  From Manila by private car to Batangas Pier (take SLEX and exit at Balagtas, Bats) to Batangas Port onto a   RORO vessel to Abra de Ilog Pier. Once in Abra de Ilog, head directly to Mamburao via main national road (30 mins).
4.  Chartered plane from Domestic airport lands in Mamburao airport  (40   mins flight from Manila to Mamburao).

Daily Ferry Boat Trips as of March 2, 2009
Batangas to Abra
       Montenegro SL- 2am, 4am, 930am, 1pm, 5pm, 10pm
       Baleno SL – 4am, 11:30am, 3:30pm, 8pm

Abra to Batangas

       MontenegroSL – 2am, 6am, 10am, 1pm, 5pm, 9pm
       Baleno SL- 8am, 3pm, 6:30pm, 12mn

Posted 5/30/08
To the editors:

            I would like to contribute a rejoinder to the article “Black American Fighters in the Philippine-American War” published in the May 2 – 8 issue of your magazine.

            Here is a little known episode, probably an insignificant historical footnote, but documented true story of another black American who deserted his troops to join the Filipino “insurektos” waging their last-ditch resistance against the American occupying forces in the island of Mindoro.

            Here’s the story as culled from the book “Mindoro from the Dawn of Civilization” authored by this writer.

            Arthur Howard, an African-American, was a member of the California Volunteeer Regiment. This regiment had a colorful and glorious history of combat in the Mexican Wars and the earlier “Luzon Pacification Campaign”.

            Howard felt common cause with the dark-skinned Filipinos who were called “niggers” and “brown monkeys” by the fair-skinned American soldiers. He was himself a victim of discrimination.

            He had a final falling out with his superiors when he was suspected of having taken a shot at Gen. Frank Lawton during the skirmish with Filipino troops on Dec. 19,1900.

            Feeling that he stood little chance of getting a fair trial, he escaped from the US Army barracks in Batangas, bringing with him assorted arms and ammunitions and crossed the choppy Verde Island channel on a small sailboat to the coast of Calapan, Mindoro in the dead of the night.

            He formed a rebel unit of 200 locals and stationed themselves in Barrio Camilmil just outside the town perimeter.

            On July 29, 1901, The American Forces under Major R.K. Evans of the 30th Company, 2nd Batt., 13th Infantry landed in Calapan. There was no resistance on the shore. Howard and his band retreated inland to the forested area near Naujan Lake and joined forces with other “rebulusyunario” headed by rebel governor Ramon Atienza who assumed the rank of  colonel of the Mindoro command.

            Time and again, Howard and his Filipino comrades eluded the dragnet laid down by the Americans.

            The succeeding month of July and August were frustrating ones for the pursuing US forces who changed to a new tack in their strategy.

            A new commander in the person of Major William J. Pitcher succeeded Maj. Evans on August 25. Major General H. Franklin Bell was the new commander of the Southern Tagalog Region.

            In exasperation to pin down Howard and the elusive natives, Gen. Bell ordered a scorch-earth policy in their campaign. The brutality of the US army’s counter guerilla offensive left an indelible black mark in the history of the “American Pacification Campaign” in Mindoro, next only to the well known Balangiga campaign in Samar.

            Non-combatants, women and children were caught in the crossfire. Village people were rounded up (hamleted).  Houses were burned. Domestic animals were slaughtered. Rice and other crops were confiscated on suspicion that rebels would benefit from them. A cholera epidemic caused by the devastation and ruthlessness of  the occupying American and Macabebe forces further debilitated the beleaguered populace.

            On the night of August 24, 1901, the colorful saga of Arthur Howard, the Black Rebel of Mindoro, came to an end. Howard’s capture paralled that of the treacherous surrender of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela.

            Macabebe spies posing as native farmers sought audience with the Black Chief. When they got inside the hut, they drew their arms concealed under fruit and vegetable baskets and held the surprised leader hostage. On signal, their American masters, who were just waiting at the outskirt, rushed into the rebel stronghold and promptly subdued the native guards.

            Howard was put in chain and brought back to Luzon to face Court Martial.

            In April 1901, the Court, for lack of evidence, acquitted him of the charge of attempting to assassinate Gen. Lawton.

             He was made to renew his pledge of allegiance to the US government and after a lengthy debriefing period was admitted back into the service.

            Hostilities in the whole Philippine Islands had by then ceased and peace and order had been restored under the “benevolent” stewardship of the American “fathers” in Washington.

            Howard, because of his familiarity with local conditions and excellent rapport with the natives was appointed to head a Philippine Scout contingent in the province of Batangas.


(Ref: National Arch., Washington, RG No. 350 (P.R.) entry 1919 at H.Q. Battalion 30th Infantry, Camp Wallace, Manila, July 24, 1901.)



Florante D. Villarica

115 Bishop Quarter Lane

Oak Park, Il., 60302-2672

Peace and quiet !  Think of Mindoro, all the time.
Peace and quiet ! Think of Mindoro, all the time.

Archeological studies have revealed that the unheralded land known as Ma-I or Ma-It, more than 300,000 years ago (ice age) was part of a chain of islands that formed a “land bridge” connecting Europe, Asia and Australia. Millions of animals passed thru this “land bridge” and many hunters followed. According to anthropologists, what is now known as the Philippine archipelago was then a contiguous land mass settled by human beings over a period of about 250,000 years. 

            The stone-age people who traversed the “land bridges” can still be traced in the many current artifact and archeological finds in Mindoro and environs.

            One of the early theories advanced by noted anthropologist H. Otley Beyer was that the physical differences among the Filipino people is due to “wave of migration” that he postulated. He said that the Australoid-Sakai pygmy type, dark skinned kinky-haired people from Southeast land bridges from Australia first settled here. They became the forebears of the present day Negritoes and Aetas. In Beyer’s theory, the Mangyans of Mindoro could have descended from the “secomd wave” of migration composed of proto-malays. This is another group of pygmy-type, brown but straight-haired people who entered the land bridge from Borneo and Palawaan some 15,000 to 12,000 years ago. This is followed by successive waves of migration by seafaring  indo-malay tribesmen who settled in the coastal areas and plains along the rivers.

            This theory however is now being refuted by contemporary geologist,  anthropologist, pre-historians and linguists, foremost among them is Professor J. Landa Jocano, who says that people speaking  malay-based dialects were living in the archipelago thousand of years ago. They could not accept Beyer’s assumptions that by examining the tools, you can determine the race of man who made them.

            Well, the present thinking among scholars seems to favor the later theory advanced by the Jocano group.

             Anyway, it is a given fact that cultures are dynamic and not static. The Mangyans of Mindoro survived through change and development in the outside world  They have adopted some of the old customs and traditions of the lowland  tribes (the tagalog and visayan) who came later, but because of the long isolation in the interior wilderness, they failed to assimilate with the more advanced culture of the lowlanders who are more exposed to the developments of the outside world. (contributed by Florante Villarica).

                                  Mindoro Under Spanish Colonial Rule


            In the 16th century when Spain declared Las Islas Filipinas as part of their vast colonial empire, Mindoro, like the other islands in the south which used to be among the chain of commercial trading posts during the pre-hispanic era, gradually lost its prominence.

            Trade and commerce in the whole archipelago became the monopoly of the Spaniards. There was only one trade route- (the Galleon Trade route from Manila to Mexico via Acapulco- crossing inland to Vera Cruz- then across the Atlantic Ocean to Sevilla, Spain). All other trading in the archipelago ceased, except for small inter-island commerce between the provinces and the burgeoning city of Manila which eventually became the center of commerce and industry in the Far East.

            The only role Minolo had in the Galleon Trade was its being a station for repairs and provisions. Puerto Galera, which means port of galleons, was born and the bay facing Baco and Calapan was named Varadero Bay (repair bay).

            For three centuries under Spanish rule, Mindoro retrogressed from what used to be an important trading post during the pre-hispanic period, into a mere supplier of timber and forest products to the neighboring island of Luzon.


                        The Moro Raids and its Devastating Effect on Mindoro


            It was during this time when the incessant moro raids almost brought Mindoro back to the wilderness. From 1599 to 1852, muslim terrorist raiders, in their fast vintas, sporadically pillaged and plundered the coastal areas of the Christianized provinces  of Luzon and Visayas but it was Mindoro that suffered most because this island was geographically, the most ideal staging area for attacking the settlements in the  Visayas. Also, its countless bays, shallow inlets and rivers provide them the best refuge from pursuing bigger Spanish gunboats..

            The fiercest and most devastating attack occurred on October 23, 1753. The governor of the province, Corregidor Don Jose Pantoja and assistant parish priest, Fr. Felix de la Consolacion, fearing capture, fled to Batangas in a small sailboat.

The whole town was razed to the ground. The parish priest of Calapan, Fr. Andres de  Jesus Maria, who refused to leave his flock, was captured and brought to Jolo as hostage. Many of his parishioners were also boarded and sold to slavery. Fr Andres died under captivity before he can be ransomed. He is the first martyr and victim of “kidnap for ransom” by muslim extremist.

            In the year1757, an official report on Mindoro stated that the following towns were totally destroyed: Minolo, Camurong, Ilog, Sto. Tomas, Mamburao, Sta. Cruz, Dongon. Pinamalayan, Balete, Sumague, Bongabong, Wasig, Manaol and Bulalacao. Only Calapan and Naujan remained, but with very reduced population.

            Peace finally returned to Mindoro after the last moro raid in 1852. An official census revealed that the population, after all those difficult years, have dwindled down to only 3,807 in the whole big island of Mindoro. It was like going back to the Jurassic period.



                                            Re-population of Mindoro


            In 1801, Military Governor (Corregidor) Nicolas dela Torre ordered the re-population of Mindoro. He invited the Mangyans to settle permanently in the coastal areas. Families from neighboring provinces were enticed to emigrate with generous offer of land and farm equipment. Many from Batangas, Cavite, Marinduque and Panay settled in the areas near their origin. Even people from as far as Ilocos who were involved in the famous “Basi Revolt” and prison inmates from Tondo were welcomed.

            Mindoro steadily increased in population with the coming of settlers and officials from different places in the country. It has become a virtual melting pot. It continues to be that way up to the present. Mindoro is now made up of families of pioneering settlers and industrious traders with roots and affiliations reaching as far as Northern Luzon, Bicol, the Visayas and Mindanao.


                      The Role of Mindoro Leaders in the Philippine Revolution


            It is not known to many that Mindoro has its own local sons who played significant roles in the historic Philippine revolution against Spain.

            The very first uprising in Mindoro occurred in the town of Sucol (now Bongabong) on May 22, 1898. Juan M. Naguit, leading a rag-tag band of  bolo and spear-wielding insurektos stormed the stone fortress shouting “Ngayon na mga kasama”. The uprising soon followed in the other towns until it reached the capital town of Calapan.

            The first attack in Calapan, San Vicente bridge on June 1, 1898, was led by Froilan Abriul.He was killed in the three-hour battle and his corpse was left floating in the river for two days. A second attack was mounted on June 4, this time from Calero and Ilaya but again the insurektos  led by Marcelo Alcala were repulsed and driven back in disarray to  Bulusan by the combined forces of Spanish guardia civil and civilian volunteers composed of ilustrados and mestizos.

            The third and final attack was on June 29. This time regular troopers from Gen. Miguel Malvar’s Batangas regiment landed on the shore of Calapan with full battle equipment (rifles and cannons). The Katipuneros was commanded by Col. Alfonso Panopio of Bauan. Immediately they commenced attack and together with the locals easily subdued the beleaguered defenders. Governor Rafael Morales surrendered on July 1, 1898 ending 328years of Spanish rule in the island province of Mindoro.

            The first appointed revolutionary civil governor was Agustin Liboro of Paluan, a close friend and compadre of President Emilio F. Aguinaldo while the military governor was Capt. Daniel Sambong of Cavite.

            There was a quick succession of governors from 1899 to 1901: Juan Morente, Jr., Col. M.A. Muniz, Manuel Alveyra, Estanislao Cayton, Arturo Edwar, Deogracias Leyco and Ramon Atienza. Morente was from Pinamalayan and Alveyra was from Lubang. The rest were from Cavite and Batangas.

            The Philippine Revolutionary Government was however short lived. Aguinaldo’s reign ended upon his surrender to the Americans in Palanan on March 1901.




                        Mindoro under the Wings of the American Eagle


.The American Expeditionary Forces based in Manila Bay arrived in Calapan Bay on July 28,1901 in four gunships: USS Sacramento, USS Viscaya, USS USS Liscum and USS Annapolis. Felix Lopez, a local official, welcomed the invading troops waving a white flag aboard a banca as he approached the warship Annapolis.

The invading troops landed and occupied the government offices unmolested.

The local government was immediately organized. Captain Roberts S. Offley assumed the post as provincial governor, Thomas E. Weeks was treasurer and public works supervisor and Don Fernando San Agustin y  Geronimo, a Filipino, was secretary and deputy governor.

In 1907, the Philippine Assembly was established  and Macario Adriatico of Calapan was elected as the first representative of Mindoro..


                        Mindoro politics and Development (circa 1907 to 1940)


            Two political factions dominated the political firmament of Mindoro.The faction led by Mariano P. Leuterio was called Leutersita and the party  by Juan Luces Luna was called Lunista. There was a continuing exchange of positions as governor and representative between the two groups with Leuterio getting the upperhand in late thirties up to the outbreak of  WWII.

            There was significant development in Mindoro during the “American Period”. Roads and bridges were constructed. Calapan wharf was extended to accomodate inter-island ships. The biggest public works project was the 68 kilometer road from Calapan to Pinamalayan which was started on January 14, 1915. The P30,000 projectl traversed seven (7) major rivers,  (Bucayao, Panggalaan, Mag-asawang tubig, Borbocolon, Malayas, Subaan, Pula (Catiningan). The project was finally completed and inaugurated in 1932. The construction of the Mag asawang tubig bridge, (the longest at that time)  costing P82,000 followed.

            The road to Baco Puerto Galera was started in 1930. On June 1, 1939, the road connecting Bansud and Bongabong was inaugurated by no less than  the First Lady Dona Aurora A. Quezon.

            The opening of new roads brought rapid development. It opened up vast areas in the interior and many new barrios and settlement sprouted along the highway. This however, pushed back further into the interior the Mangyan aborigines due to the advances of new settlers.

            This was the socio-economic situation of Mindoro before the outbreak of World War II.



  By Ante Villarica

              The Japanese Occupation and Post-WWII Rehabilitation of Mindoro


World War II was declared between America and Japan on December 7 after the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor. The actual invasion of the Philippines started with the simultaneous landings in Lingayen, La Union and Infanta in both the western and eastern seaboards of Luzon on December 22, 1941. They advanced and conquered Manila and all neighboring provinces on January of 1942.

            In Mindoro, Japanese occupation started with the landing on the beach at sitio Kapihan (now Parang), Barrio Silonay,Calapan. They were virtually unopposed. Remnants of the Philippine Constabulary and reservist volunteers of the USAFFE, formed clandestine armed units which retreated to the wooded interior. Eventually, two guerilla factions emerged –the Mindoro Bolo Batallion under the command of Major Ramon Ruffy and the Beloncio Unit under Capt. Esteban Beloncio.

            There were several minor skirmishes but no significant encounter between the Japanese and guerillas. The quarrel between the two groups, who were supposed to be allies, caused more detriment to the resistance movement.

            The only important development in the province was the establishment on October 1943 of an advance communication post of the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) command. Two Americans and six Filipino experts headed by Major Lawrence H. Philips were clandestinely ferried by submarine from Australia to the northwestern shore of Mindoro. They chose an area in Mt. Calavite between the boundaries of Paluan and Abra de Ilog.This spy post played a vital role in the course of the war because it was the most advance position,  providing a sweeping commanding view of the sea lanes around southern Luzon and Manila Bay area. All ship movement were monitored and reported to SWPA causing destruction and sinking to Japanese shipping due to submarine attack.

            In the towns, the Japanese continued government functions by appointing pre-war officials who were willing to collaborate and replaced  those who opposed. Raul T. Leuterio and Felipe Abeleda were retained as representative and governor respectively. Four mayors were replaced: Efipanio Cueto of Calapan by Antonio Luna; Abelardo Bunag of Pinamalayan by Manuel Medina; Cirilo Gaba of Naujan and Fermin Barreto of San Jose, who went underground, were also replaced.


                        The Martyrdom of Bishop William Finneman


            The Apostolic Prefect of Mindoro was Bishop William Finneman, SVD. Although a German native, the bishop earned the enmity of  Japanese commander Captain Wakabayashi owing to his refusal to allow the use of the convent as quarter for  Japanese  high officers. He also complained about the high handed treatment of his Filipino parishioners by Japanese soldiers.

            When Wakabayashi was replaced by a harsher and more brutal commander, Captain Ishida, the bishop was invited by the dreaded KEMPETAI to the garrison. He never returned. It was learned from eye witnesses that, after days of detention, the bishop was loaded in a motor launched and was dumped alive with a stone weight tied to his neck, at the deepest portion in the waters of the Verde Island passage between Calapan and Batangas.

            The three-year Japanese occupation period was a horrible time for the people of Mindoro. Many evacuated to the farms and barrios in the countryside where food was more available. Commerce and government were at a standstill and many Japanese atrocities were committed.


                           American Landing in San Jose, Mindoro


            General Douglas McArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific, marked his return to the Philippines when he landed in Leyte on October 20, 1944. This was followed shortly (October 25-27) by the biggest naval battle in the world when the Japanese, in a last ditch effort to throw back the Leyte landing, launched a three-pronged attack by a combined task force made up of the biggest and mightiest battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers supported by land-based bomber and fighter planes. This naval battle although dubbed historically as the “Battle of Leyte Gulf” was actually fought mainly in the Sibuyan sea and Tablas Strait. A triangle between Mindoro, Romblon and Marinduque. The biggest battleships in the world the Musashi and the Yamato, both  figured in the battle of Sibuyan sea. The 68,000 ton super battleship  Musashi  was sunk and its sister, the “invincible” Yamato,  was severely crippled. Many other capital ships were sunk causing the Japanese to withdraw. It was the most decisive defeat of the Japanese Imperial Navy  in the whole Pacific campaign.

            Military historians say, that next to Leyte, the landing in Mindoro  was one of the boldest during the pacific war. Mindoro was the stepping stone to the invasion of Luzon.

            The Americans under William C. Dunckle landed in San Jose on December 15, 1944. He was supported by a naval flotilla composed of 73 landing crafts and three battleships under the command of Rear Admiral Arthur  D. Struble. While there was little opposition from the Japanese land forces who mounted a rear-guard defense before withdrawing to the mountains, the landing forces encountered suicide kamikaze attacks that tolled heavily on ships and naval crafts bringing in men, materiels and provisions.

            An airfield was immediately constructed. It became the base of operation of all the campaigns launched in Luzon and the Visayas.

            Allied Forces entered Calapan on January 2 and the whole island of Mindoro was liberated on January 30, 1945.


                           Post-War Rehabilitation of Mindoro


            The end of the war saw a vigorous rehabilitation of all sectors. Schools were opened and new ones established in different towns. Regular land and sea transportation were resumed, consequently enhancing trade and commerce. There were 24 sawmills with more than 1000 workers registered in 1948. The logging and lumber industry boomed and Mindoro ranked second only to Zamboanga as the biggest exporter of logs. But the forest cover was drastically reduced from 85% to 35% in just a short period of time (1951).

            Agriculture gained impetus with the influx of new settlers from the neighboring provinces and the opening of new lands left by the logging operations.  Rice, coconut and orchard crops like calamunding and citrus were cultivated. It was during this period when the towns of Victoria, Roxas, Gloria, Socorro and Bansud were established.


The Birth of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro



            The most important event in the decade of the fifties is the division of Mindoro into two provinces.

            By virtue of Republic Act  No 505 filed by Rep. Raul T. Leuterio, the twin sister provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro were born. RA 505 was signed into law on November 15, 1950.

            Calapan remained as capital of Oriental Mindoro While Mamburao was designated as capital of Occidental Mindoro. Conrado Morente, the incumbent, remained as governor of Oriental Mindoro while Damaso V. Abeleda was appointed as interim governor of Occidental Mindoro until the 1951 election. Leuterio, the author of the bill creating the two provinces retained his position as representative of both provinces until 1953.

            Since then, the two provinces went their separate development in the political and socio-economic sphere..

            One historical event that drew world-wide attention was the surrender in 1974 of the Japanese soldier Sgt. Hiroo Onoda,  who managed to survive in the mountains of Lubang Island for almost 30 years believing the War was still on. He is known as the “Japanese Straggler”, the last soldier to surrender in  WWII.

            In Oriental Mindoro, one of the most significant event at the turn of the 20th century is the conversion of Calapan as a component city on March 21, 1998.

The first city in the island of Mindoro has gone a long way from its lowly beginning as a swampy village by the mouth of a river, to what it is now, the hub of commerce, industry and government in the MIMARO Region”


(A more concise and adequate detail of events and personalities in the evolution of the Island of Mindoro to the current twin provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro can be read in the book “Mindoro from the Dawn of Civilization” by Florante D. Villarica)







Introduction to Mindoro
   Mindoro is a turtle-shape island made up of two contiguous provinces, Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro. The island is the seventh biggest in the Philippines with a total area of 10,224.51 sq.kms. (4,364.72 for Oriental Mindoro and 5,879.85 for Occidental Mindoro). It lies southwest of the coast of Luzon and northwest of the main Visayan group of islands.
                Calapan City , the capital of Oriental Mindoro, is forty-five kilometers south of Batangas City and 130 kms. south of Manila . Oriental Mindoro’s municipalities are Naujan, Pinamalayan, Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco , Victoria , Pola, Socorro, Gloria, Bongabon, Bansud, Roxas, Mansalay and Bulalacao.
                The province is bounded on the north by Verde Island and the Verde Island passage: on the east by Maestro de Campo Island (Sibale) and Tablas Strait ; on the south by Semirara Island near Pandorokan Bay ; and on the west by the Province of Occidental Mindoro . Providing the natural dividing barrier between the two provinces is the vast jungle-capped mountain ranges that stretch from north to south with the majestic Mt. Halcon towering at 2,586 meters followed by Mt. Baco at 2,215 meters  and many other lesser but nonetheless imposing  heights between them.
                Occidental Mindoro, the sister province on the western side of the island facing China Sea, consists of  eleven municipalities with Mamburao as its capital and San Jose, its biggest town, as the commercial hub of the province. The other towns are Abra de Ilog, Calintaan, Magsaysay, Paluan, Rizal, Sablayan and Sta. Cruz. Looc and L:ubang are situated in Lubang Island in the north  extending almost parallel and directly west of  Balayan Bay  in Batangas province.
                The big island of Mindoro is dotted with hundreds of smaller islands and islets around it,  many of them are still unnamed  and uninhabited. Numerous rivers and streams traverse  the coastal plains. There are several lakes but the most important and best known is Naujan Lake , the fish habitat of the famous “banglis”, “banak”, “simbad” and “Langaray” and the breeding water-hole of migratory ducks from China .
                The present population of the island (more than 700,000 in Oriental and more than 300,000 in Occidental)are composed mainly of migrants from the neighboring provinces of Batangas, Cavite , Quezon, Marinduque, Romblom and Panay . There are also a sizable number of Ilocano settlers particularly in the town of Victoria and some areas in Magsaysay, Rizal and San Jose .
                Both provinces (Oriental and Occidental) are the home of ethnic tribesmen collectively known as Mangyans. These aborigines, who are the earliest inhabitants of the island, dating back from the early Pleistocene period, reside in the mountainous interior. They are divided into six distinct linguistic groups, namely Iraya, Alangan, Tadyawan, Buhid, Batangan and Hanunuo. The Hanunuos, who live in the southern mountains of Mansalay and Bulalacao and the Tadyawan in the central part have retained the old mangyan  syllabary (script) that carries early Indo-malay influence.
                Mindorenos  are proud of the fact that there are three things that cannot be found anywhere else in the world except in Mindoro: (1) the peace-loving indigenous Mangyan;(2) the majestic Mt. Halcon, the fourth highest mountain in the Philippines, and (3) The  fierce Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), a  rare specie of wild buffalo now facing extinction. These three gems of Mindoro compose an acronym based on the first syllables of their names –MA-HAL-TA.  This word, MAHALTA, is now used to describe the best in Mindoro . It can also mean, Mahal Kita, Welcome Goodbye and, Godspeed.
Mindorenos fight to protect their Forest
Posted by: Avigail Olarte | June 9, 2006 at 8:29 pm
Filed under: Environment Watch
IN 1994, Mindoro experienced its worst flooding in years. Heavy flash floods left many people dead, thousands were rendered homeless, and around P1.2 billion worth of goods and properties were damaged.
Mindoreños blamed the disaster on logging activities on the island. At that time, residents already raised fears over the island’s fast diminishing forest cover and the damage it will cause in the future.
True enough, when a series of flash floods hit Oriental Mindoro late last year, many of the villages were flooded. Again, thousands of people were displaced and P150-million worth of agricultural products were wasted. The massive flooding was partly due to the collapse of a dike in the town of Naujan, which consequently affected nearby towns; but the damage brought by the heavy rains would have been mitigated had the island’s forest and soils been better preserved.
In the 1950s, Mindoro had 967,400 hectares of forest. Today, the forest cover has diminished to 50,000 hectares, or a huge forest loss of 95 percent, according to the Alliance Against Mining (ALAMIN), a broad coalition of Mindoreños opposed to mining.
ALAMIN, along with other civic groups, Church leaders and the local government of Oriental Mindoro, are now waging a serious campaign against the entry of large-scale mining companies in their province.
Mining, they say, will further destroy their island, which is already “severely deforested” due to past logging and slash-and-burn practices.
“Because of deforestation, the farmers have already experienced droughts in summer and destructive floods in the rainy season. There is fear that the siltation of rivers, and consequently, flooding, would be made worse by strip mining, and that any floods would carry mine wastes into lowland communities,” the London-based Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links said in a report on Mindoro.
Just last month, ALAMIN sent a team on a lobbying mission across Europe. They spoke to members of the UK Parliament, investors, journalists, and nongovernmental organizations, discussing their opposition to mining, and in particular, the entry into Mindoro of a UK-based mining company.
“Considering the critical condition of Mindoro’s environment, the prospect of an environmental disaster in the island is not difficult to imagine,” ALAMIN said. “The deluge of large-scale mining applications in the province is very alarming.”
Mining is one of the top causes of massive deforestation, according to environment experts. In the Philippines, the Haribon Foundation has reported that “the largest and most direct causes of deforestation” are mining, large-scale logging, and land conversions.
The destruction of the country’s forests has also been described as the “most rapid and most massive in the world.”
As of last year, 35 national conservation priority areas are being threatened by mining tenements, and 32 other protected areas overlap with existing mining tenements, Haribon said.
It is estimated that the country’s forests will be reduced to 320,000 hectares of primary forest by 2010, if the present rate of deforestation continues.
Following the passage of the Philippine Mining Act in 1995, Mindoro saw a deluge of mining applications. The applications covered 367,796 hectares or 36% of the island territory; mostly in the ancestral lands of the Mangyans, where critical watershed areas and wildlife habitat are located.
This is precisely why the local government, along with several sectoral groups, have been campaigning against the entry of Crew Gold Corp.
Crew, through the locally registered Aglubang Mining Corp. Inc., intends to develop a large-scale nickel-cobalt mining project in an area straddling the Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.
The current concession area consists of 9,720 hectares and mining activities will mainly be concentrated in the town of Victoria.
Called the Mindoro Nickel project, it is listed among the government’s 24 priority mining projects. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines also sees the project as “one of the country’s five potentially major international-class mines,” and is expected “to produce amongst the cheapest nickel in the world.”
But for the people of Mindoro, the estimated $1-billion worth of potential investments the project will bring will not compensate for the destruction of their forests, the loss of biodiversity, diminished agricultural productivity, sedimentation of river waterways, and the flooding and erosion.
“The Mindoro Nickel Project is incompatible with the sustainable development agenda of the provincial government which is anchored on food security, eco-tourism and agro-industrial development,” the local government said in a resolution.
“Mining corporations should refrain from imposing their profit-driven agenda and in manipulating the national government’s bureaucracy, which have become too accommodating in promoting the plunder of our environment in exchange for investments,” it added.
It also doesn’t help that Crew proposes to dump its tailings on the sea bed through a process called submarine mine tailings disposal or STD. This is said to be a highly controversial process and is “effectively banned in Canada and the USA.”
The original exploration permit for the Mindoro project was issued in 1997 and renewed in 1999. It was said to be the first permit to be renewed in the Philippines under the mining law.
In 2000, the Aglubang Mining Corp. obtained its Minerals Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) for a certain portion of the concession area. The MPSA secured them rights “to develop and exploit the resource” over a 25-year period.
There were petitions, letters of protests, rallies and demonstrations, and at least 25,000 signatures were collected against the mining project. In 2001, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through Secretary Heherson Alvarez, revoked the MPSA. On November that year, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo upheld the department’s decision.
The local government of Mindoro and the Mangyans considered this a victory. The provincial board of Oriental Mindoro even passed in 2002 a 25-year Mining Moratorium. This prohibited any person or business entity from engaging in “land clearing, prospecting, exploration, drilling, excavation, mining, transport of mineral ores,” in the area.
But in 2004, Arroyo revoked the order of cancellation and reinstated the MPSA. Arroyo, at that time, announced what she called her “10-point legacy agenda,” which, among others, promises the creation of 10 million jobs before she steps down in 2010. The revitalization of the mining industry, she said, will allow her to achieve this target.
Following the three consecutive floods that hit Oriental Mindoro in December 2005, the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan issued a pastoral statement calling on Arroyo to respect “the overwhelming opposition of the people of Oriental Mindoro against the proposed mining operation.”
“The large-scale mining will result to more floods and disasters,” the letter reiterated, and warned that legal actions will be taken should Crew Gold continue with its operations. Crew has so far managed to complete 1,200 drill holes and test pits in Victoria, as part of the exploration stage of the project.
Crew, according to ALAMIN, has temporarily vacated the area following a large protest rally in January. Fr. Edwin Gariguez of ALAMIN says the company will definitely come back, as Crew fully intends to proceed with its operations in Mindoro.
But the local communities will not allow this to happen, and that is why both local and international groups are stepping up their campaigns against Crew, and all large-scale mining activities, in general.
Meanwhile, the Mangyan communities in Victoria are continuing their reforestation program. Banana and rambutan trees now cover a portion of the mining area and lanzones seedlings are now being planted.
Sablayan - A 1st class municipality in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Philippines.

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 islandsmostly 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 sizesbelieved to have been manufactured in Spainarrived 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 overowing perhaps to its proximity and accessibility to the National Governmentit was converted into a full pledge municipality on January 04, 1906 by virtue of Act No. 1820 of the Philippine Commission.

San Jose is a 1st class municipality in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Philippines.

San Jose is considered the main commercial port in the province. It is named after its patron saint, St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. Most of the people are Visayans, Batangueños and Ilocanos.

San Jose is the center of entertainment and business in the province. Major banks such as Philippine National Bank (PNB), United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Allied Bank, Metrobank, Landbank, Philippine Veterans Bank, have local branches and even fast food chain Jollibee has started operations in San Jose.Mr. Donut has started to operate too.

 Major schools in the province include Divine Word College, Montessori de San Jose, Philippine Central Island College (PCIC), I-NET Asia Technological School, Inc. and the Occidental Mindoro State College.