Thursday, July 28, 2011

Region 4B - MIMAROPA


        MIMAROPA is one of the regions of the Philippines. It is one of two regions of the Philippineshaving no land border with another region, Eastern Visayas being the other, and is designated as Region IV-B. The name is a portmanteau combining the names of its provinces, which are:Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan.
On May 23, 2005, Palawan and Puerto Princesa City were moved to Western Visayas by Executive Order No. 429. However, on August 19, 2005, President Arroyo issued Administrative Order No. 129 to hold the earlier EO 429 in abeyance pending a review. As of 2010, Palawan and the highly urbanized city of Puerto Princesa still remain a part of this region.

        Executive Order No. 103, dated May 17, 2002, divided Region IV (Southern Tagalog) into Region IV-A (CALABARZON) and Region IV-B (MIMAROPA).
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 103 on May 17, 2002 which subdivided the Southern Tagalog provinces which comprised Region IV into two regions – Regions IV- A and IV-B, to promote efficiency in the government, accelerate social and economic development and improve public services. Region IV-A is now known as CALABARZON- which stands for the provinces of CAvite, LAguna,BAtangas, Rizal and QueZON). Region IV-B on the other hand, is now known as MIMAROPA which stands for the island provinces comprising the region - MIndoro (Oriental and Occidental), MArinduque, ROmblon and PAlawan. EO103 also transferred the province of Aurora to Region III in Central Luzon.
        Executive Order 429 moved Palawan to Region VI on May 23, 2005. After this move, Region IV-B began to be called MIMARO instead of MIMAROPA.
        However, Palaweños criticized the move, citing a lack of consultation, with most residents in Puerto Princesa City and nearly all municipalities preferring to stay with Region IV-B. Consequently, Administrative Order No. 129 was issued on August 19, 2005 to address this backlash. This order directed the abeyance of Executive Order 429 pending the approval of an implementation plan for the orderly transfer of Palawan from MIMAROPA to Region VI. Thus, it is not yet clear if the transfer of Palawan to region VI is already done and final creating confusion on whether to address the region as MIMARO or MIMAROPA.

Marinduque - Lenten Mecca Of Southern Tagalog

        Known as the smallest province in the Southern Tagalog region, Marinduque has the shape of a human heart floating on a clear blue sea. 

        The island province is characterized by undulating hills, picturesque valleys, sheer seaside cliffs, interspersed with patches of flatland on different parts of the island. The soil is fertile but marked in certain spots by large stony areas, making wide continuous farming difficult. Deposits of iron, copper, and lead are found and mined in the province. 

        During the yearly Lenten season, a myriad of tourists, from the ardent devotee to a mere observer, flock to Marinduque to witness the very popular Moriones Festival. A biblical character in the person of the Roman centurion, Longinus, comes alive as the towns of Boac, Mogpog, and Gasan celebrate Moriones. It is a religious festival, which links the story of Longinus with Christ’s Passion and Death. It is celebrated during the observance of Holy Week, or the week before Easter, which also happens to be in the middle of the Philippine summer.

        The heart-shaped island of Marinduque rests on the Sibuyan Sea and is located south of Manila between the Bondoc Peninsula at the southeastern portion of Luzon and Mindoro Island. It is bounded on the north-northeast by Quezon, south by the island of Romblon, west-southwest by Oriental Mindoro, and west by Batangas. The island province has an aggregate land area of 95,920 hectares, including four major islets and eight minor ones.

Political Subdivisions
Marinduque consists of  6 municipalities :

1     *Boac
2     *Buenavista
3     *Gasan
4     *Mogpog
5     *Sta. Cruz
6     *Torrijos.

        The Marinduqueños speak a unique blend of Tagalog and Visayan dialects, with traces of Bicolano. The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.

        Marinduque has two pronounced seasons: dry form December to May, and wet from June to October. The average monthly rainfall is highest in October, and lowest in April.

        The island of Marinduque is known to have been first peopled by the Malays and the Mangyans. They were believed to be governed by the Bonbon settlement in Batangas, which was founded by the Bornean datus, Dumagsil and Balkasusa.

        Legendary stories narrate that the original name of the island was “Malandik,” describing the gently slopping terrain of the island’s highest peak, Mt. Malandik. When the Spaniards came, they found it difficult to pronounce the word, so they called the island Marinduc. Through constant usage, Marinduc became Marinduque.

        In 1571, Marinduque was appointed an encomienda under Dr. Pedro de Mesa. At about the same time, Christianity was introduced by Fr. Diego de Herrera. In 1590, the island was subsumed under the government of Mindoro. Nine years later, it became a province under the Philippine Republic. However, in 1902, all of Mindoro was annexed to Marinduque, and Marinduque to the province of Quezon. It was in 1920 when the province gained full provincial stature under Repuclic Act. No. 2280.

Tourist Attractions:

Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker
The marker stands at the site of the bloodiest battle fought in the island between the Philippine Revolutionary Forces and the Americans. The “Battle of Pulang Lupa” was the first known major battle won by the Filipinos over the Americans. The area is surrounded by dense vegetation making it an ideal place for camping.

Battle of Paye Marker
This is another marker that serves as a reminder of the battle on July 31, 1900 between the Filipinos and the Americans. Despite inferior weapons, the Filipinos defeated the Americans.

Blessed Biglang-Awa Miraculous Shrine

It houses the patroness of the province.

Boac Cathedral
This cathedral is a mere 10-minute walk from Boac town proper. It was built in 1756 in honor of the Blessed Virgin of Biglang Awa (Immediate Succor). It was here where Filipinos and Spaniards took refuge from pirate attacks. The architecture is Filipino-Hispanic Gothic with much of the original structure – the façade the main body, the belfry, and the altar – faithfully preserved. Stained glass windows, though a later addition, adorn the walls and enhance the age-old beauty of the church.

 St. Ignatius of Loyola,  Marinduque

Sta Cruz Church, Marinduque

Marcopper Mining Corporation Mine Site
The mines of Marcopper Mining Corporation (MMC) used to produce 20 percent of the country’s copper supply. Prior to the temporary suspension of its permit to operate, a guided tour around the mine site was organized by the MMC. It has facilities like swimming pools, bowling lanes, basketball/tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course. This will be re-opened to the public once environmental measures to protect Boac River are in place

Bathala Cave
The Bathala caves are said to be mystical and a repository of psychic power emanating from various points of the universe. There are believed to be seven caves composing the complex.

The Caves of Bathala are eight different caves, named Church Cave, Secret Cave, Python Cave, Cemetery Cave, Lihim Cave, Underground Cave, River Cave and Kay Mendez Cave. Situated in a 19 hectares area, around 700m.

The biggest cave is called Kuweba ng Simbahan (Cave of the Church), as it was used for worship. It was believed to be the home of Amang Bathala, the Supreme God of the Tagalogs, the indigenous inhabitants of the Philippines. 

The next were the Samahang Tatlong Persona Solo Dios, who stayed at the cave for a long time during the early 1900s. This sect was formed in Mount Banahaw in Quezon by Agapito Illustrisimo. They believe that Banahaw and Bathala Cave are spiritually connected. They still have a center at the cave.

The next cave is 100m away and called Cemetery Cave, as it was used as a burial site. .

The Python Cave is guarded by numerous living pythons. The strange thing is, that the snakes are normally dangerous and aggressive,

Tres Reyes Islands
Serving as favorite haunts, delightful picnic grounds, and dive spots in Marinduque are the islets named Gaspar, Melchor, and Baltazar, collectively known as Tres Reyes Islands.

White Beach
One of the most frequented beaches in the province is a stretch of white sand beach called “White Beach”. To provide temporary shelter to picnickers, makeshift huts have been built along the seashore.

Molbog Sulfur Spring
At the base of the inactive Mt. Malindig volcano is the therapeutic and natural healing water of Molbog Springs. Two swimming pools with slightly sulfuric waters ofter relaxing respite to visitors.
Paadjao Falls. This is a series of gently cascading falls, culminating in a 10-foot deep pool of crystal-clear waters. It is an ideal place for picnicking or camping.

Mt. Malindig

Mt. Balagbag

Kawa-Kawa Falls, Sta Cruz, Marinduque


Marinduque Provincial Capitol

Buyabod Port

Tres Island Cove

Gaspar Pebble Beach

Chateau du Mer Beach Resort

Festivals :

Moriones Festival
Annually, during the observance of Holy Week, a biblical character in the person of the Roman centurion, Longinus, comes alive as the towns of Boac, Mogpog, and Gasan celebrate the Moriones Festival. It is a religious festival, which links the story of Longinus with Christ’s Passion and Death.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The town fiesta of the municipality of Boac falls on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. During this day, a religious civic-military celebration is observed throughout the town, capped by an evening procession in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Special Interest :

Tawak Drinking
This is local wine making and drinking observed every Good Friday in Marinduque. “Tawak” is a concoction made of mint leaves.

This is Marinduque’s indigenous custom of welcoming and honoring friends and visitors. The ceremony starts with the procession of the “mamumutong,” a group of men and women, chanting greetings before the visitors whom they regard as deities.

This is a kind of musical instrument found in the province. The “Kalutang” consists of two pieces of wood, graduated in sizes, to produce different note ranges, with which bands of 10 to 12 people make music.

The Legend of “Mara-Undok” Dance Drama
It is equally at this time that the local theater group stages the dance form of the “Legend of Mara-Undok” which narrates the origins of the islands.

The waters of Marinduque harbor a wealth of underwater riches. Numerous dive spots are scattered around the island’s waters simply waiting to be rediscovered. The more popular ones are found off the coast of the islands of Maniwaya, Natangco, Salomague, and Tres Reyes. There is a dive resort in Boac, Marinduque.

There are many choices when it comes to beaches in Marinduque. Try the white beaches of Torrijos and Sta. Cruz islets. Snorkel for butterfly and lion fishes in Amoingon Coast in Boac

Mountain Trekking
Mountain trekking and camping are pursuits to enjoy in Mt. Malindig around Buenavista and Torrijos. Birdwatchers can catch sighting of local wildlife and raptors in flight.

Oriental Mindoro - The Islands' Loveliest Harbor

        The inverted-J-shaped Oriental Mindoro is endowed with some of the Philippine Islands’ best naturescapes. Choose your own beach among the many that abound, from fawn beige to powdery white. Then match the experience with interesting mountain lairs, lakes, rivers, rain forests, wild animals, rare flora and fauna, and pocket communities of the existing ethnic groups. It has maintained its unspoiled environment, all within a rustic agricultural setting.

        The province's foremost asset is Puerto Galera, blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbors. Known as the Pearl of Mindoro, it is world-famous for splendid beaches, coral reefs, and exquisite dive sites for new and experienced divers alike. There are shallow coral gardens, interesting rock formations, and colorful species to watch, like crabs, shrimps, sea anemones, moray, and trumpet fishes.

        Alibatan Island in Baco, noted for its white sand, serves as a breeding place for seagulls and turtles. Corals and oysters can be found all around the area. Also in Baco is Mt. Halcon, the country's third highest peak and a favorite destination for nature tripping and mountain climbing. In Puerto Galera, 423-foot Tamaraw Falls is a series of asymmetrical falls, leading to a grand fall, dropping to the frothy waterbed below. Another attraction within the area is Sabang Beach, a portion of which is tourist-flocked for water sports and a cluster of nightspots popular for evening socials. Beside Sabang Beach is Small La Laguna, with amazingly beautiful coral reefs, and water ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.

        Indulge in a number of special interest tours while in the province, from mountain climbing to trekking, hiking, camping, butterfly watching, game fishing, and adventure trips to the wilderness. Enjoy active water sports such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming. Visit the Mangyan settlement areas, and find it rewarding to engage in natural cave and waterfall exploration and island hopping."

        Oriental Mindoro is located 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Luzon. It lies on the eastern portion of the island. It is bounded on the north by Verde Island and the Verde Passage, on the east by Maestro de Campo Island and Tablas Strait, on the south by Semirara Island near Pandarodan bay, and on the west by the province of Occidental Mindoro.

        It has a total land area of 436,470 hectares. The province has 39 named and 89 unnamed islands and islets, leaving much of its attractions virgin to visitors, and an untrammeled area to explore.

        Oriental Mindoro enjoys a climate favorable to vegetable growth throughout the year. What is remarkable is that there is neither a dry season nor a pronounced maximum rain period. The location and topography of the island on the western side of the great ocean body is another contributing factor in the rainfall pattern of the province. China Sea, fed by warm water from a branch of south equatorial current, passes between Singapore and Borneo thus keeping the water bodies surrounding the island warm year-round and consequently providing excellent sources of moisture.

        The lifestyles of Mindoreños are basically simple and rural. 70 percent of the populace engage in land and sea agriculture, with only 30 percent living in urbanized centers. The ethnic tribes, Mangyans, are gentle and withdrawn but many of them have managed to integrate into the cultural mainstream, largely in the municipalities of Mansalay, Baco, Puerto Galera, Roxas, and Bongabong. These Mangyans are skilled weavers and craftsmen, producing intricate tribal finery, including baskets, mats, and other items, both functional and aesthetic.

Language / Dialects
        Visiting Oriental Mindoro does not entail memorizing bits of conventional lines in dialects spoken other than Tagalog, which serves as the predominant dialect. Other dialects spoken are Ilocano and Cebuano. Strains of the Mangyan dialect spoken are Arayan, Alagnan, Buhid, Hunuo, and Tadyawan. The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.

Political Subdivision
Oriental Mindoro is composed of 15 municipalities, with Calapan City as the capital of the province. The municipalities are

  1. *Baco
  2. *Bansud
  3. *Bongabong
  4. *Bulalacao
  5. *Calapan City
  6. *Naujan
  7. *Mansalay
  8. *Pinamalayan
  9. *Pola
  10. *Puerto Galera
  11. *Roxas
  12. *San Teodoro
  13. *Socorro
  14. *Victoria
  15. *Gloria

        Mindoro, the seventh largest island in the Philippines, was founded on February 2,1921, by the members of the Spanish mission. They occupied the southern and northern tips of the island but were soon driven away by Muslim hordes. The Muslims later built strongholds in the island from which they launched attacks against Manila. They were later vanquished by the forces of Simon de Anda.

        In the early years of Spanish rule, Mindoro was administered as a part of the province of Batangas, then known as Bonbon. It was separated from Batangas, with Puerto Galera as its capital, during the 17th century. In 1902, the island of Lubang was annexed to Mindoro, which gained full provincehood in 1921. In 1950, the island was divided into two separate and autonomous provinces through Republic Act No.505, designating the eastern portion of the island as Oriental Mindoro, with Calapan as its capital, and the western part as Occidental Mindoro, with Mamburao as its capital.

        Every November 15, the people celebrate the Sanduguan Festival. It is a re-enactment of the first historical trade and cultural contact between the natives of the island of MA-l (Mindoro) and traders from China. Sanduguan is derived from the native word ""Sandugo,"" which literally means ""blood brother."" The festival is done in consonance with the founding anniversary of Mindoro Oriental.

Tourist Attractions:

This man-made garrison was constructed by the Jesuits during the early part of the Spanish era. Kuta is the oldest Spanish fortress in the country. It has old Spanish cannons and a Spanish boat. It is located in Anilao, Bongabong, and can be reached in an hour by taking a jeepney bound for Anilao from the town proper.

Baluarte in Lumang-Bayan
This site features a watchtower on top of a hill, overlooking the bay, built by the Christian settlers to warn the townspeople of Muslim raiders. It is located in Lumang Bayan, Naujan, and can be reached in 30 minutes by taking a jeepney from the town proper.

The Cross at Muelle
This marble cross is one of the historical landmarks of Puerto Galera. It was erected. to commemorate the sinking of the battleship, Canonero Mariveles, at the Manila channel on November 18, 1879. It is located in Puerto Galera town proper, a 5-minute walking distance from the poblacion center.

Simba Bato
This is an old church with a chapel constructed on its original site. It is located in Barangay Bancuro, Naujan, and is accessible in 45 minutes by jeepney from the town market going to Barangay Bancuro.

Mangyan Settlement
Ethnic groups known as the Buhids are found in the mountains of Batongan and Sienge. The settlements are located in Barangay Dulangan, Baco. To get there from the town proper, take a jeepney bound for Dulangan. Travel time is two hours.

Baclaran Mangyan Settlement
This is an area reserved for the Mangyans under the auspicies of Father Erwin Thiel, SVD Missionary. It is located in Puerto Galera, a short 30-minute walk from the town proper.

Excavation Museum
"This museum houses several collections of Chinese and Siamese pottery, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It also contains Ming Dynasty burial jars as well as a fine collection of shells. This is a facility of the National Museum. The museum is located in Puerto Galera town proper, a 5-minute walking distance from the pier
of Puerto Galera.

Mt. Halcon
Towering 8,488 feet above sea level, Mt. Halcon is the country's third highest peak. It is a favourite destination for nature tripping and mountain climbing. Mt. Halcon is located in Baco. It is accessible in two hours, by taking a jeepney to Baco, the jump-off point.

Tamaraw Falls
The 423-foot waterfalls, situated alongside the road, is actually a series of asymmetrical falls, leading to the grand one, dropping to a frothy waterbed below. The cascading waterfalls is a great attraction to passers-by. Tamaraw Falls is located in Barangay Villaflor, Puerto Galera. It can be reached in two hours by taking a jeepney bound for Barangay Villaflor from Puerto Galera, or Calapan.

Alibatan Island
The island measures five hectares and is noted for its white sand. The place serves as the breeding place of seagulls and turtles. Corals and oysters can be found all around the area. The island is also called "Target Island" because Americans who stayed in San Jose used this place for bombing practices in 1946. It is located in Baco, and can be reached in an hour through a motorized banca from the market square bound for Alibatan Island.

Buyayao Island
It is a rocky island, except for the area facing Buyayao Peninsula. Big snakes called "sobre kama" are found in the mountains. The water around the island is suited for deep-sea fishing. It is located off the coast of Mansalay, and can be reached in 30 minutes by motorized banca from Mansalay market.

Hidden Paradise
The attraction consists of a natural spring with a swimming pool and picnic cottages. It is located in Baco, and can be reached in 45 minutes by taking a jeepney bound for the Calapan market.

Suqui Beach
This is a public beach with cottages and other facilities. It is a favorite place for the local people, especially during the summer. It is located in Suqui, Calapan, and can be reached in 15 minutes by taking a tricycle from the town proper.

La Laguna Beach
This an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are a number of resorts that offer accommodation and other travel and aqua sports facilities to both domestic and international tourists. It is located in La Laguna, Puerto Galera, and can be reached in 30 minutes from the town proper of Puerto Galera by taking a jeepney bound for La Laguna.

Sabang Beach
This area is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. A cluster of nightspots abound in this area, which make it popular for evening socials. Cottages with entertainment facilities stand close to each other. Low-budget accommodations are available. It is located east of Puerto Galera, and can be reached in 15 minutes from the Puerto Galera pier by taking a jeepney or an outrigger banca.

Small La Laguna
Contrary to its name, Small La Laguna is bigger than La Laguna, and has more facilities. It has coral reefs, and its water is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. There are diving equipment for rent at nearby dive shops. It is located beside Sabang Beach, and can be reached in 20 minutes from the pier by taking a jeepney bound for Sabang.

Talipanan Beach
This area is not as busy as the other beaches in Puerto Galera. Thus, it is an ideal site for private swimming. It is located in Puerto Galera, and can be reached in 40 minutes by taking a jeepney or an outrigger boat from the town pier.

White Sand Beach
The white sandy strips of this beach offer excellent opportunities for swimming. Resorts in this area provide entertainment facilities for tourists' greater amusement and leisure. It is located in Barangay San Isidro, Puerto Galera, and is accessible in 30 minutes from the town proper by a jeepney or a boat.

Punta Guarda Beach
This beach is far from the busy areas of Puerto Galera; thus, it is ideal for those who seek privacy and retreat. It is located in Puerto Galera, Occidental Mindoro, and can be reached by taking a 10 minutes' jeepney ride from the town proper, to about one kilometer on the beach mark. The distance left will have to be covered on foot.

Melco Beach
It is a beige-colored sandy beach with cottages for rent. It is located in Roxas, Occidental Mindoro, and can be reached in 10 minutes by a banca from the pier.

Banilad Beach
The place is a good spot for picnicking and swimming, especially during the summer. It is located in Pili, Pinamalayan, and can be reached by taking a jeepney to the port of Barangay Wawa, then an hour’s ride by motorized banca to the beach.

Bongol Beach
It is a secluded beach, with a two-kilometer white sand beach. It is located in Bongol, Pinamalayan, and can be reached in two hours by boarding a Bongol-bound jeepney from the town proper of Pinamalayan and then a tricycle to the beach area.


Bansudani Festival
(January 17-19; Bansud, Mindoro Oriental). A thanksgiving ritual for bountiful harvest which coincides with the town fiesta. It features dances and cultural presentations by schools and barangay communities.

Feast of the Divine Savior

(January 17 –19; Bansud, Mindoro Oriental). Highlight is an agro-trade fair.

Feast of the Sacred Heart
(February 14-15; Bansud, Mindoro Oriental). Highlight is an agro-trade fair.

Banana Festival
(March 18-19; Baco, Mindoro Oriental). A celebration of the abundance of bananas. It features a banana cookfest and a "saba"-(type of banana)-inspired street dancing competition and beauty pageant. This coincides with the town fiesta in honor of St. Joseph.

Sulyog Festival
(March 19; Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro). A religious festival in honor of St. Joseph. It is celebrated by way of the Sulyog (Suli and Niyog) Festival through dances, flats, and cultural shows.

Bahag-hari Festival
(April 24; Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro). A colorful celebration highlighted by street dancing, a parade of colorful floats, and a different kind of Moriones Festival.

The Sabutan Festival and Mini- Trade Fair
(April 25-29; Mabitac, Oriental Mindoro). It showcases the different native products of the province, mainly from Sabutan.

Lechon Festival and Gabi ng Pakulo
(June 24; Pola, Oriental Mindoro). A religious festival in honor of St. John the Baptist, coupled with a festive social affair, usually, a banquet, preceded by a pagoda and the parade of lechon (roast pig). Its most interesting feature is the Gabi ng Pakulo, a combination of street dancing and all sorts of cultural entertainment, performed by different barangays on the streets of Pola.

Feast of St. John The Baptist / Lechon Festival
(June 24; Pola, Oriental Mindoro). At the Lechon Festival, or Parada ng Lechon, in local parlance, roast pigs or lechon garbed in creative costumes are paraded around the town to the accompaniment of gay chanting and "buhusan" – a customary practice during the San Juan Bautista feast, which involves water dousing. A selection of the best from among the lechon entries follows, along with a free-for-all banquet open to the townsfolk and visitors alike.

Biniray Festival
(June 29; Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro). A grand pagoda show as a way of thanksgiving for the blessings from the sea. Other highlights are street dancing, a parade of spectacular floats, and cultural presentations of schools and communities.

Pakapya-agtike Festival
(July 25-27; Socorro, Oriental Mindoro). This festivity features cultural shows, a parade of floats, and street dancing on the last day, showcasing agricultural bounty. Schools, barangays, and tribal communities participate. The festival is a thanksgiving offering to the town patron, the Holy Family.

Sayaw Lahi Festival
September 10; Naujan, Oriental Mindoro). A festival featuring all native dances performed on the streets by different schools and barangay communities. Other highlights are the school band competition, live-band concerts, and awarding of outstanding Naujenos.

Kapakyanan Festival
(October 14-15; Victoria, Oriental Mindoro). Kapakyanan means abundance. The festival focuses on the bountiful harvest of fruits and crops. Its highlights are street dancing and a beauty pageant with agriculture as the central theme.

Pamugu-an Festival
(3rd week of October; Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro). It is a festive reunion of different Mangyan tribes. There are sports events, such as the Palaro ng Lahi, cultural presentations, product demonstrations, and "Barakalan" or "baratillo" or sale of native products.

Sanduguan Festival
(Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro). It revives the barter trade between the Mai natives and the Chinese traders. This week-long festivity features an agro-trade fair. There is a historical parade, re-enactment of the barter trading, and the Indakan sa Sanduguan, a street dancing competition. Considered as the biggest and the most innovative festival in the province, it also features art and historical contests, workshops, and contemporary and ethnic cultural shows.

Feast of Santa Catalina
November 26; Mansalay. Oriental Mindoro). Highlight is the Palarong Lahi, an array of games very native to Mindoreños, and Filipinos, joined in by all game enthusiasts.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
(December 8; Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro). Highlight is an agro-trade fair.

San Teodoro Founding Day and Immaculate Conception Feast
(December 8; San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro). Highlight is the Tiyakad, a dancing event wherein stilts masters systematically march and sway to the delight of the viewers; a very funny and entertaining event.

Coco Festival
December 8; San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro). It is a religious festival honoring the Immaculate Conception. It features street dancing, a parade of floats, and other activities centered on the town's agricultural bounty, the coconut.

Special Interest:

Orriental Mindoro is ideal for trekkers who want to see wildlife and enjoy testing hikes without the complications and risks of needing climbing gear for dangerous ascents. Mt. Halcon is the highest point on the island of Mindoro. Draped in high-altitude forest, cut by clear rivers and studded with pristine rock formations, it is considered one of the country's finest trekking peaks. The summit is often wrapped in clouds, but on a clear day, provides a breathtaking view over the plains of Mindoro and southern Luzon, where Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Mayon loom in the distance. Other trekking site is Mt. Calavite.

Mountain Trail
The recently established Puerto Galera 'Mountain Trail' also called the Tabinay-Talipanan Trail, is a fairly easy introduction to the mountainous interior of Mindoro Island. The two-to-three-day walk begins in Tabinay, southeast of Puerto Galera and winds past three mountains - none of which are major summits - before emerging on the white sands of Talipanan beach, on the northwest side of town.

Underwater, Puerto Galera is a feast for the eyes. Having enjoyed the protection afforded by its marine sanctuary status for years, the coral reefs are alive and vibrant. Spear fishing is banned, and local dive operators forbid the taking of anything except pictures on the dive sites. Most of the deeper dives are along walls and drop-offs and currents can be strong. It is best to dive with an experienced divemaster or instructor to avoid problems. At least 16 dive centres are located along the beaches of Sabang, Small Lalaguna, Big Lalaguna, Coco Beach and Encenada Beach resort in Varadero Bay on the south coast of the isthmus. Local operators boast there are at least 25 dive sites within 20mins of any dive centre.

The mountains of Mindoro are composed of largely of limestone, and the island is dotted with caves, almost none of which have been explored or mapped. One that has been explored - though not completely - is Luyang Baga ('Lung Cave', a reference to a large lung-shaped speleothem hanging near the cave's mouth) in Barangay Cabacao, Abra de Ilog.

Puerto Galera is best known as a diving destination, but other action sports are starting to sprout up - mountainbiking being one of the most enjoyable. In Calapan, there's a keen group of local enthusiasts, bike shops, plenty of trails and amazing views. The sport seems set to blossom in this area.

Occidental Mindoro - Marine Wonderland Of Luzon

        Dubbed as "Marine Wonderland," the fantastic land that is Occidental Mindoro is endowed with marine beauty from its virgin forests, beautiful white sand beaches, islands and islets rich in marine life, coral gardens, mysterious caves, and cascading waterfalls. 

        It has one of the country's wondrous secret hideaways, the Apo Reef, which is regarded as the second largest in the world. This 34-kilometer reef in Sablayan, which is located in Apo Island, is acclaimed as the best in Asia and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Cajos del Bajo, which are surrounded by waters with over 500 species of marine life and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400 to 500 kaleidoscopic coral species. 

        Mt. Iglit in San Jose is a game sanctuary for the tamaraw, a wild animal found nowhere else in the world, bearing a resemblance to the Philippine buffalo, commonly known as carabao. Mamburao boasts of an elongated strip of beach with natural and rustic surroundings. In Lumang Bayan, Sablayan, a five-hectare park overlooking the sea, known as Presing Park, is frequented by promenaders. 

        Occidental Mindoro is a diving paradise with so much to offer divers out to discover several unexplored shoals and atolls. The areas around Ambulong Island, Ilin Island, White Island, and Pandan Grande offer a fertile diving ground surrounded by exquisite coral reefs and colorful marine life, ranging from exotic fish to exquisite seashells. 

        Every 25th to 27th of April, residents of San Jose celebrate the Saknungan, a 3-day thanksgiving festival highlighted by streetdances and parades. Saknungan is a Mangyan term which means ""bayanihan"" or the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and unity at work - the spirit portrayed by the Mindoreños day-to-day, especially during the planting and the harvesting seasons.


        The entire island of Mindoro, which is separated from the Southern Luzon mainland, is composed of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro. These two provinces are separated by a mountain range, running through the entire length of the island, which serves as a natural and political boundary.

        Occidental Mindoro is situated along the western part of the island, located south of the province of Batangas in Southern Luzon. On the north, it is bounded by Verde Island Passage, on the west and the south by Mindoro Strait, and on the east by Oriental Mindoro.

        The topography of Occidental Mindoro is generally rugged, with narrow strips of coastal lowlands. Its terrain is characterized by successive mountain ranges, valleys, and elongated plateaus, with rolling lands along the coastal region.

        The province has two pronounced seasons: the dry season from November to April, and the wet season during the rest of the year. It is shielded from the northeast monsoon and tradewinds by mountain ranges but is vulnerable to the southeast monsoon and cyclonic storms. The average annual volume of rainfall is 2,000 mm. Temperature ranges from 30.7 to 16.4 degrees Celsius.

        Tagalog is spoken by 69.78 percent of the people. Other dialects are Ilokano (10.63 percent), Hiligaynon (6.47 percent), and Kinaray-a (5.84 percent). The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.

Political Subdivision
        Occidental Mindoro is politically governed by a Provincial Governor, as in other provinces and municipal mayors. It is divided into eleven municipalities:

*Abra de Ilog
*San Jose


        Prior to the coming of the Spaniards in 1571, Mindoro was already known to the Chinese merchants who plied the waters to conduct their commercial expeditions. Trading relationship existed between the Philippines and China, particularly, in the eastern part of the island. For this reason, after Miguel Lopez de Legaspi discovered the island in 1569, Goiti, as master of camp, sailed to Mindoro on May 8, 1570, and encountered the Chinese merchants. But even as they transacted business with the islanders, to the amazement of the Spaniards, there had already been signs of Hindu and Pagan influence in the place.

        The earnest conquest of Mindoro began in 1570 in the district of Mamburao, when Juan de Salcedo subjugated the inhabitants under the Spanish authority. The early names of Mindoro were Mai and Mina de Oro. The latter is a contraction of the Spanish description of the phrase which means ""gold mine."" Although there were no major gold discoveries, panners and Mangyans have found gold in small quantities in the rivers of Baco, Binaybay, Bongabong, and Magasawan Tubig.

Tourist Attractions:

Parola Park
This park's foremost attraction is a historic watchtower which allowed the natives to prey on Muslim vintas. Located in Lumang Bayan at Sablayan, it was erected in 1861. In 1896 it was equipped with bells to warn residents of impending raids. Later, a church was built which withstood the elements for ten brief years, but which is now in ruins. A cannon used to defend the town is all that stands at a promontory to remind generations of its past. It can be reached in 3 hours from the airport by bus.

Presing Park (Parola) (Lumang Bayan, Sablayan; 3 hours from the airport by bus)
It is a five-hectare park frequented by promenaders who seek rest and relaxation. Overlooking the sea, the park enjoys cool breeze blowing landwards, which relaxes taut nerves. At the middle of the park, a 15th century cannon, believed to have been used against the Moro pirates, is on display. A grotto of Our Lady of Fatima is visible at the far end of the park.

Mt. Iglit (San Jose; 40 minutes from Manila by plane or by sea)
Mt. Iglit is one of Mindoro's reservation areas, declared as a game sanctuary for tamaraws, wild animals found nowhere else in the world. The tamaraw bears a close resemblance to the Philippine water buffalo, commonly known as carabao. However, it is smaller and has shorter horns growing straight upwards forming a V, instead of curving wide open like that

Ambulong Island (San Jose, Occident Mindoro)
The 3,000-hectare Ambulong Island is one of the three islands found in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. It is characterized by white sand beaches, cliffs along pillars jutting out of the water, and underwater caves. Coral gardens and tropical fish are abundant in several coves. The coral gardens and the white sand beaches are fantastic. A fisherman's village is located at the sheltered side of the island.
Ambulong Island is also a jump-off point to some of the dive spots in the area, such as the Iling Point, Baniaga Reef, Ambulong Bank, Dungan Reef, Sardines Reef, Apo Reef, and Manadi Island. These dive sites are about an hour away by pumpboat from the Caminawit Port.

Apo Reef National Park (Apo Island, Sablayan; 2-3 hours by bus/jeepney or pumpboat from the capital to Sablayan)
One of the dive sites frequented by most divers in Occidental Mindoro is the Apo Reef. It is acclaimed as the best in Asia, and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. It is a 34-kilometer reef, located 20 miles west of Mindoro proper, with a narrow channel running east to west, dividing this reef into two lagoon systems, north and south. Underneath, the clean waters, fine white sand, and numerous corals are visible.
The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Caios del Bajo, which have a variety of birds that can irresistibly lure birdwatchers. The surrounding waters are abundant with marine fauna and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400-500 kaleidoscopic coral species. Marine life includes varieties of sharks, stingrays, and manta ray

Ilin Island (San Jose; an hour by pumpboat from Caminawit Port to Ilin)
Ilin Island is the biggest among the group of islands located in San Jose. It lies between San Jose and Ambulong Island. The area abounds in shells which can be obtained inexpensively on the island. The villagers from the nearby areas are generally shell divers. Ilin Island has five beaches, some of which are fringed with reefs making passage impossible during low tide.

Lubang Island (northwest of Occidental Mindoro and west of Batangas; approximately 69 nautical miles from Manila; an hour by plane, 6 hours by boat)
It was in this island where a Japanese soldier named Hiroo Onoda was found in 1974. He surrendered as a prisoner of war after 30 years of hiding in the mountains. Another Captain of the Japanese Imperial Army, Fumio Nakahira, held out for another six years before being discovered in April 1980 at Mt. Halcon in Mindoro.
On the western portion of Lubang is Tagbac which offers more than five kilometers of a gradually sloping, hued, sandy beach lined with coconut trees. Tagbac is around 20 minutes from Lubang town proper by jeepney. Favorite swimming areas are Tilik Beach and Canu Beach.
Another interesting spot is Hulugaan Falls, located in Barangay Binacas in the southeast portion of Lubang. Hulugaan Falls is a series of falls leading to a stony beach. It is accessible via a one-hour ride from Tagbac and a 20 minute trek.

Ambil Island (north coast of Lubang; an hour by pumpboat from Tilik Pier in Lubang)
An interesting attraction of Ambil is the scenic Besay Falls, which is a 20-minute walk from the center of Barangay Tambo, passing through a rice plantation and a carabao pasture. Besay features a series of waterfalls, each cascading into a crystal clear basin, about five meters in diameter.

Cabra Island (southwest of Lubang; 30 minutes by pumpboat from Tagbac port in Lubang)
The island is generally flat with golden sandy beaches on the southwestern part and magnificent rock formations along the east coast. Cabra used to be a popular pilgrimage site because of reported apparitions of the Blessed Virgin there. Like Ambil, Cabra is also a favorite fishing ground of local and foreign anglers.

Pandan Grande Island (Sablayan; 3 hours by bus and 15 minutes by pumpboat)
Pandan Grande Island is a 30-hectare islet surrounded by a white sand beach and is also the site of a 20-room divers' lodge made of native cottages. This beautiful little coral islet is located with snorkelling distance from a submarine drop-off, inhabited by schools of reef. A yacht ride may be taken to the island.

Tayamaan Beach (Barangay Tayamaan, Mamburao; 6 hours by bus to Mamburao then a tricycle ride to the beach)
It is a one-hectare beach lined with coconut trees. The beach is ideal for swimming and is frequented by local residents. It has picnic cottages lined along the beach that can be rented to tourists.

White Island (Manadi, Barrio Ilin, San Jose; 15 minutes by pumpboat from Caminawit Port)
It has an almost mile-long beach with smooth and powdery white sand. The tranquil and peaceful island is an ideal place for swimming, scuba diving and fishing. Turtle eggs are occasionally found buried in the sand, and visitors are cautioned to keep them undisturbed.

Calawagan River Resort (Barangay Alipaoy, Paluan; 6 hours from Mamburao by jeepney)
Run by the municipal government, it is a one-and-a-half-hectare resort situated on a riverbank at Barangay Alipaoy, 1.5 kilometers from the town proper. Since 1976, it has been operated and managed by the local government, servicing local residents and those from neighboring towns who frequent the area for picnics and excursions. Picnickers are requested to bring their own food, since there are no restaurants available.

Mamburao Beach Resort (Barangay Fatima, Mamburao; 30-minute tricycle ride from Paluan to the town proper)
This resort is within a completely secluded cove covering 14 hectares of developed beach resort amidst coconut trees. It has a four-kilometer long light grey sand beach. The place is ideal for swimming, boating, scuba diving, wind surfing, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and water skiing. Water sports facilities such as glass-bottomed boat, speedboat, hobbie cat, and outrigger boats are available for the guests.

Mina de Oro Beach Resort (Barangay Inasakan, Ilin Island; an hour by boat from surrounding islands)
This resort serves as a jump-off point to other attractions of the island of Ilin. There are ancient burial caves of early Chinese traders, ethnic fishing villages, and numerous dive sites from which to view many tropical fishes. Lush foliage encircle the clear blue waters of the South China Sea. There are scuba diving facilities, a 6.8 CTM compressor, seaport facilities, diveboats, and PADI and NAUI-certified instructors.

Beaches/Natural Springs
Mamburao boasts of an elongated strip of beach with natural and rustic surroundings. One of the province's luxurious resorts, the Mamburao Beach Resort offers cottages to tourists. Local residents frequent the beaches of Tayamaan. Paluan has resorts located at Barangay Marikit, Lipaoy, and Tubili. A partially developed resort presently managed by the local government, called Calawagan Resort, has a natural spring which attracts local tourists. Sablayan has coral reefs that are found at nearby islets. Pandan Isalnd has fine beaches to offer, though still partially developed. Popular tourist spots in San Jose are the beaches along its coastline and the islands which are accessible from the mainland .


Saknungan (San Jose; April 25-27)
An exemplary showcase of Mindoro's cultural heritage and resources, it is a three-day festival which commences with the annual celebration of the province's blessings. Saknungan is a Mangyan term which means "bayanihan" or the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and unity at work. This is portrayed by the Mindoreños in their day-to-day activities, especially during the planting and harvest seasons. The three-day festivity is highlighted by street dance and a parade. Also held are agro-industrial and techno trade fair, drum and bugle parade/contest, bikathon, Juego de Anillo, cultural dance competition, palo sebo, hulihan ng baboy, cultural presentation, awards and fellowship night.

Special Interest:

Deep Sea Scuba Diving
Go for a dive and savor the panorama of your life, with a breathtaking view of the world's second largest coral reef, schools of fish in shoals and atolls, and sunken vessel sites. Take pride in the precious marine heritage of the Philippine republic.

Swimming and Snorkeling
These are pleasures which fit the affordability level of the average tourist, local or foreign. The waters of Mindoro Occidental are pristine and pure, unvisited as most of its shores in comparison to more popular ones.
Sightseeing. Pay exciting visits via island hopping to conversation sites, natural parks, reservation areas, and animal sanctuaries, notably the wildlife reserves covering the endangered tamaraw species.

Palawan - The Philippines' Last Frontier

        The island province of Palawan has been declared as a nature sanctuary of the world, and for good reason. It is wrapped in a mantel of rainforests, outstanding dive sites, majestic mountains, primeval caves, and pristine beaches. It is surrounded by a coral shelf that abounds with varied and colorful marine life. It boasts of exotic flora and fauna, like the mousedeer and the scaly anteater, that are found nowhere else.

        Palawan waters are among the best in the world, not only for diving but also for fishing. A diver's paradise, it has miles of sub-surface coral and rainbow reef walls which surround the coasts and coves teeming with rich marine life.

        The El Nido Marine Reserve in Miniloc, El Nido, occupying an area of 96,000 hectares, is a popular nature spot in the province. It boasts of diverse ecosystems, such as rainforests, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone reefs as well as a variety of fishes, like manta ray and the sea cow or ""dugong,"" known as the world's rarest marine mammal. It is now one of the country's premier destinations, blessed with amazing natural scenery, and considered as a sanctuary for various forms of wildlife.

        Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City is where the Honda Bay can be seen. The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs, bordering fabulous beaches and small resorts which have become the favorite water sports destination of local and foreign tourists alike.
The province boasts of extraordinary scenic wonders. African animals from Kenya in Africa - giraffes and elands, zebras and gazelles – co-exist with endemic Philippine animals, like the Palawan bearcat, mousedeer and peacock (pheasant), in the Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Busuanga, considered one of the province’s most amazing sites. Another sanctuary found in Rio Tuba Village, Bataraza is the Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. This island is a haven for birds that rest and converge two hours before sunset, after a day's flight.


        Palawan is approximately 586 kilometers southwest of Manila, between Mindoro Island on the north, Borneo on the south, China Sea on the west, and Sulu Sea on the east. Its total land area of 1,489,655 hectares spreads across the peripheral islands of Busuanga, Culion, Linacapan, Cuyo, Dumaran, Cagayanes, and Balabac. Its main island measures 425 kilometers long, and 40 kilometers wide. Puerto Princesa, the capital city, is the chief seaport and the center of trade and commerce.

        A chain of mountain ranges cut down the length of the main island. The mountain heights average 3,500 feet in altitude, with the highest peak rising to 6,800 feet at Mount Matalingahan. The vast mountain areas are the source of valuable timber. The terrain is a mix of coastal plain, craggy foothills, valley deltas, and heavy forest interspersed with riverine arteries that serve as irrigation.

Political Subdivision

The province is subdivided into one city, Puerto Princesa, and 23 municipalities:

  1. *Aborlan
  2. *Agutaya
  3. *Araceli
  4. *Balabac
  5. *Bataraza
  6. *Brooke’s Point
  7. *Busuanga
  8. *Cagayancillo
  9. *Coron
  10. *Cuyo
  11. *Culion
  12. *Dumaran
  13. *El Nido
  14. *Española
  15. *Kalayaan
  16. *Linapacan
  17. *Magsaysay
  18. *Narra
  19. *Quezon
  20. *Rizal
  21. *Roxas,
  22. *San Vicente
  23. *Taytay


        There are 52 dialects in the province, with Tagalog being spoken by 28 percent of the people. Other major dialects are Cuyunin (26.27 percent), Pinalwan (11.08 percent), and Ilongo (9.6 percent).

        The province has two types of climate. The first, which occurs in the northern and southern extremities and the entire western coast, has two distinct seasons – six months dry and six months wet. The other, which prevails in the eastern coast, has a short dry season of one to three months and no pronounced rainy period during the rest of the year. The southern part of the province is virtually free from tropical depressions but northern Palawan experiences torrential rains during the months of July and August. Summer months serve as peak season for Palawan. Sea voyage is most favorable from March to early June when the seas are calm.

Political History
        A form of indigenous political structure developed in the island preceding the coming of the Spaniards, wherein the natives had their non-formal form of government, an alphabet, and a system of trading with sea-borne merchants.

        When the Spaniards came, the northern portion of the province was assigned as the Calamianes Group while its southern portion remained part of the Sultanate of Sulu in the 16th century. The Spaniards built a stronghold in Taytay, as evidenced by a fortress called Fort Santa Isabel, which in 1818 was designated as capital of Calamianes province.

        However, it was the Americans who established the province of Paragua in 1902, with Cuyo as the capital. Eventually, in 1905, the name was changed to Palawan and the capital moved to Puerto Princesa by virtue of Republic Act 1363.


        The history of Palawan may be traced back 22,000 years ago, as confirmed by the discovery of bone fragments of the Tabon Man in the municipality of Quezon. Although the origin of the cave dwellers is not yet established, anthropologists believe they came from Borneo. Known as the ""Cradle of Philippine Civilization,"" the Tabon Caves consist of a series of chambers where scholars and anthropologists discovered the remains of the Tabon Man along with his tools and a number of artifacts.

There are several versions regarding the origin of the name ""Palawan."" Some contend that it was derived from the Chinese word ""Pa-Lao-Yu"" meaning ""Land of Beautiful Harbors."" Others believe that it came from the Indian word ""Palawans"" meaning ""Territory."" Still others say that it was derived from a plant which the natives called Palwa."" But the popular belief is that ""Palawan"" is a corrupted form of the Spanish word ""Paragua"" because the main island's shape resembles a closed umbrella. 

        Spanish colonial structures like forts and lighthouses exist in the province. In Taytay, the historic Santa Isabel Fort is located. Built in 1667, under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers, the fort was used as a military station during that period. A small chapel and a cannon are still in the site. In Cuyo, one of the oldest and unique forts is found. The fort was built during the early Spanish period, purposely to protect its people from its enemies. Within its walls are a church, a convent, which now houses a Perpetual Adoration chapel. A historical landmark in Brooke's Point is the Port Miller and Lighthouse Tower. Port Miller is a cemented water tank constructed as a source of potable water for the natives and the settlers. The original lighthouse tower constructed by Sir James Brooke is still visible but much of the area is now occupied by a new lighthouse tower. In Balabac, a century-old beacon to seafarers, called the Melville Lighthouse, was used to guide ancient marine vessels landward. Presently, it is a familiar landmark to the local folks.

        Palawan is a champion of nature preservation. A unique institute called the Irawan Crocodile Farming Institute is located in National Road, Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City. Also known as the hospital for sick and disabled crocodiles, the institute aims to preserve and conduct further research studies on endangered crocodile species. It also institutionalizes the use of the raw materials derived from crocodile skin for common purposes. The place, moreover, also maintains a mini-zoo, featuring some of Palawan's endemic animals.

        Many Manila-based fishing operations have built fortunes from the flourishing fish trade, supplying Manila and other points of Luzon with produce from the sea. Moreover, Palawan engages in the nation's most intensive environmental management program. The provincial government has mobilized its citizenry to actively participate in various environmental conservation and protection programs, such as the ""Bantay Gubat"" for forest protection, and the ""Bantay Dagat"" for the marine life preservation.

Tourist Attractions:

Puerto de Sta. Isabel.
The historic Taytay Fort, built in 1667, under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers, was used as a military station during that period. The fort's small chapel and cannon are still intact. Constructed in 1667-1738, it is under the National Museum of the Philippines.
It is located in Poblacion, Taytay, Palawan, reachable in eight hours of land travel. From the Malvar Terminal in Puerto Princesa, one can take a Taytay bound jeepney or bus and get off at the Taytay church. The fort can be reached by a three-minute walk from the church. Taytay is 215kilometers from Puerto Princesa City.

Cuyo Fort.
Built during the early Spanish period, purposely to protect the people from their enemies, it is considered as one of the most ancient and unique forts in the Philippines. Within its walls are the church, the convent, and the only Perpetual Adoration chapel in Palawan. Cuyo, incidentally, became the second capital of Palawan from 1873 to 1903. Completed in 1680, the fort is a historical naval structure that was built during the early part of the Spanish colonial period. Three forts were constructed to protect its ancestors against the attacks of "" Moros"" which were prevalent during the 15th to 18th centuries.
It is located in Poblacion, Cuyo, Palawan, an hour and 30 minutes by air and 24 hours by sea from Manila. Cuyo can be reached from Manila via the Air Pacific Airways. It is also accessible by sea from Puerto Princesa City and Iloilo province via MV Milagrosa, and from Manila, via MV Asuncion.

Cagayancillo Fort.
It was built on the coast atop a small mountain. It is made of sea rocks mixed with lime. This old fort served as a church, ground force, and safety place of the residents during attacks staged by pirates and marauders. It is located in Cagayancillo, Palawan.

Melville Lighthouse.
It is still in use after more than 100 years. It serves as guide for international vessels which pass through the Balabac Strait. It is located in Poblacion, Balabac Island, Palawan.

Plaza Cuartel.
Former site of a Japanese garrison, it is a few yards from the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. 143 American soldiers were burned inside a tunnel during the World War II. It serves as a Memorial Park in honor of local heroes, and American soldiers.

Culion Cathedral.
It is managed by Jesuits in Culion, Palawan

Port Miller & Lighthouse Tower.
A historical landmark in Brooke's Point, Port Miller is a cemented water tank constructed as a source of potable water for the natives and the settlers of the municipality. The original Lighthouse Tower constructed by Sir James Brooke is still visible but much of the area is now occupied by a new lighthouse tower.
It is located in Brooke's Point, Palawan, about 192 kilometers south of Puerto
Princesa City or 3-5 hours by land. Buses and jeepneys depart daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm from Puerto Princesa City.

Palawan  Provincial Capitol

Tabon Museum.
Visitors must come to Tabon Museum for orientation before proceeding to the Tabon Caves Complex. A lecture on Palawan pre-history, the archeology of Tabon caves; the ethnology (study of different tribes) of Palawan, and other related information are presented here. The museum houses some of the archeological diggings and other artifacts. It is presently under the supervision of the National Museum of the Philippines.
It is located in Quezon, Palawan. About 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, the town of Quezon can be reached by taking a bus or jeepney ride from Puerto Princesa City. A tricycle can be hired to take one to the museum. It takes 3-4 hours by bus or jeepney to Quezon and 5-10 minutes by tricycle to the museum.

Palawan Museum.
Under the management and supervision of the Natural Historical Foundation of Palawan and City of Puerto Princesa, Inc., it is an institution that showcases the history, culture, music, arts, and crafts of Palawan. Its exhibit shows the archeological, ethnological collections, such as jars and porcelain, hunting and trapping tools used by the early ancestors, musical instruments, brassware, and some artifacts from the Tabon Caves and antique diggings from Cuyo during the Spanish Era. The museum is also provided with a library where books on Philippine and Palawan history, anthropology, archeology, entomology, literature, and flora and fauna can be found. There are also magazines, pamphlets, write-ups, and other publications about Palawan, which are helpful to researchers’ works. It is located in the city proper of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

Palawan State College Museum.
This museum features archeological artifacts and prehistoric diggings, which include fossils and crude tools of ancient man.
It is located in the city proper of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, from where one can take a tricycle and ask to be let off at the school. Travel time is 5-10 minutes.

Palawan Puerto Princesa National Museum.
This museum showcases the history, culture, music, arts and crafts of Palawan. On exhibit are archeological, geological, ethnological collections, such as jars and porcelain, hunting and trapping tools used by ancestral man, musical instruments and brassware, some artifacts from the Tabon Caves,as well as antiques and Spanish era artifacts found near Cuyo. Books on Philippine history, anthropology, archeology, entomology, literature, and flora and fauna are also found. Museum hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn, and 2:00 p.m. to 5: p.m., Monday to Friday except Wednesday. A minimal fee to get in the museum is charged.
It is located at the Old City Hall Building, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City. From the city proper, one can take a tricycle or multicab plying the Rizal Avenue route.

Immaculate Conception Church.
In 1872, a Spanish expedition proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the patroness of Puerto Princesa. On that same year, the first mass was celebrated in the same place where the present cathedral now stands. It was almost a century later in 1961 under the late Bishop Gregorio Espiga that the cathedral was built. Its angular structure, different from most churches, provides visitors an interesting glimpse of unconventional religious edifice.
It is located in Barangay Liwanag, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City, between 5-10 minutes from the city proper.. Take a public utility vehicle and ask to be let off in front of the church located midtown.

Batac Tribal Community.
One of Palawan's indigenous groups, the Bataks are mountain people who dwell in the river valleys north of the provincial capital. They are of Negrito stock, and since only less than 500 of them thrive today, they are considered a ""disappearing people.""
Batak Settlement sites are on the slope of Cleopatra's needle, a 1,593-foot sharp mountain peak in Northern Palawan, and also found in Sitio Riandcan in Tagabinet, Tanabag Concepcion, Langogan, and Roxas. Sitio Riandacan is about 3 kilometers from Barangay Maoyon, Palawan.

Calauit Game Preserve & Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is a unique game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and endangered endemic animals of Palawan.
Established on August 31,1976 by virtue of Presidential Decree No.1578, this was initiated in response to the appeal of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife when former President Ferdinand Marcos attended the 3rd world Conference in Kenya. By virtue of RA 7611 (SEP), administrative jurisdiction of DENR was given to the local government of Palawan, effective December 31,1993. Management of the area is the responsibility of the PCSDO (Palawan Council of Sustainable Development Office). It is located in Calauit Island, Busuanga, Palawan.

Palawan Butterfly Garden.
It is the home of different species of butterflies endemic to the province, also found in Southeast Asia. It is located in Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City while the Palawan Lepidoptera Farm can be found in Brgy. Tiniguiban, Puerto Princesa City.

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (formerly Crocodile Farming Institute).
It aims to preserve and conduct further research studies on endangered species of crocodiles. One of the structures is a ""hospital"" for sick and disabled crocodiles. It also intends to make good use of the raw materials derived from crocodile skin. The place also maintains a mini-zoo featuring some of Palawan's endemic animals, under the supervision and management of DENR-PAWB. Visiting hours are from 1 :30 to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 nn, and 1 :00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays. Feeding time is every Monday and Thursday afternoon.
It is located in National Road, Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 30-40 minutes’ travel from the city proper. One can take a tricycle and get off at Barangay Irawan where the crocodile farm is located. A jeepney could be hired to get to the place.

Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm.
The colony encompasses a 37-hectare scenic farm planted with coconut palm trees, rice, and other crops cultivated by the prisoners and their families. The prison has about 4,000 population and many inmates live with their families in so-called rehabilitation areas. Within the farm is Balsahan River, known for its cascading waters coming from the nearby mountain. Iwahig is more like a modern farm, rather than a prison, where prisoners toil their farms unguarded and are allowed to earn an income by working in the many shops which turn out various handicrafts, most popular of which are the handcarved items made of mahogany wood. The farm is definitely a good shopping stop for tourists.
It is located in Barangay Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 35 minutes by tricycle from the city proper. One can take a jeepney along Valencia Street or may hire a tricycle/private vehicle going to the penal farm. It is located 16 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa.

Tabon Caves.
Known as the ""Cradle of Philippine Civilization,"" Tabon Caves consists of a series of chambers where anthropologists discovered the remains of crude man and his tools. Anthropological significance came to the fore with the discovery of the remains of the 22,000 year old Tabon Man in one of its interiors, along with other artifacts decades ago.
The caves are located in Lipuua Point, Quezon, Palawan. About 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, the place can be reached by taking a bus or jeepney ride from the provincial capital to Quezon. It is followed by a pumpboat ride from Quezon wharf to the caves. Travel time is 3-4 hours by bus or jeepney to Quezon and 20-30 minutes’ boat ride from Quezon pier to the caves.

Tubbattaha Reefs.
It is a marine sanctuary located in the Middle Central Sulu Sea, 98 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Princesa City. Declared a World Natural Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization {UNESCO) on December 1993, it is under protective management by the Department of National Defense {DND). It is under technical supervision by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) & the Department of Environment & Natural Resources {DENR).
It is located in Cagayancillo town, Palawan. Trips to Tubbattaha from mid-March to mid-June are all vessel-based and require planning for a minimum of six weeks prior to departure. To reach the place, take a 70-minute flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa City. From the airport, a shuttle bus takes you to the dive boat. Boat ride from Puerto Princesa City takes approximately 12 hours.

Coron Reefs.
Seven enchanting lakes surrounded by craggy limestone cliffs attract hundreds of nature lovers to this island in northern Palawan, near the town of Coron.

El Nido Marine Reserve.
Occupying an area of 96,000 hectares, this popular nature spot boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. It is now one of the country's premier tourist destinations. Blessed with extraordinary natural scenery, El Nido is, the sanctuary of various forms of wildlife. Countless varieties of fish are also found here. Manta rays are a common sight; when in season, divers may see one of the world's rarest marine mammal, the sea cow, known locally as ""dugong.""

Accommodations are available at El Nido Resorts on the Miniloc and Pangulasian Islands. El Nido Resorts are noted for their hidden lagoons, palm forests, orchids, and offshore cruise points. Apart from the cozy accommodations, recreational facilities and aqua sports equipment are also available for tourists. Tours to the resort are possible through Ten Knots Corporation.
The reserve is located in Miniloc Island, El Nido. From the Manila Domestic Airport, a charter plane flies to mainland El Nido, from where a pumpboat is taken for a trip to Miniloc Island where the resort is situated. Travel time is two hours by plane from Manila, 45 minutes by pumpboat to the resort area.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
A world heritage site, this natural wonder features an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river, reputed to be the world's longest, that winds through a spectacular cave before emptying out in to the South China Sea. This river flows within a deep cavern under rugged limestone and marble cliffs, special features of the park. Known as one of the world's wonders, this river stretches eight kilometers deep into an underground lagoon with crystalline waters. Within the hallowed recesses, one winds through the tunnel aboard a paddle boat with outriggers to be enthralled at every turn which reveals stalactite pillars, rock formations, and domed amphitheaters.
The park is located in Bahile, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Located 81 kilometers from the city proper, the place can be reached through Barangay Cabayugan to Sabang, from where one could take a pumpboat ride to the Underground River, or hike through a monkey trail. An alternative way to reach the river is through a hired pumpboat ride from Bahile wharf. Travel time through Barangay Cabayugan is 1 1/2 hours' jeepney ride and 10 to 15 minutes’ pumpboat ride or 1 1/2 hours’ hike.

Honda Bay.
The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs bordering fabulous beaches which have become the favorite swimming, snorkelling, and diving destinations of local residents and tourists. These islets are the Cannon (Cowrie) Island, Bat Island, Lu-Ii Island (derived from the word ""lulubog-lilitaw"", meaning floating and sinking island, is visible only during low tide), Meara Marina, Starfish Island (known for its fine white sand and clear water that teems with starfish), Snake Island (an island with a long stretch of fine white sand shaped like a snake), Pandan Island, and Senorita Island (the breeding site of lapu-lapu fish). Lodging facilities are available for overnight stays in the islands of Meara Marina and Starfish (Sandbar Resort).
The bay is located in Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City. About 12 kilometers east of Puerto Princesa City is Sta. Lourdes wharf where pumpboats could be hired to take tourists to the island of their choice. Some islands require an entrance fee; others are privately owned, thus, permits from the owners are necessary. Sta. Lourdes wharf is 25 minutes away by hired tricycle or jeepney. A pumpboat ride from the wharf to the different islands is from 15 to 50 minutes.

Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary.
This island is a haven for birds that converge here two hours before sunset, to take their rest after a day's long flight.
It is located in Rio, Tuba Village, Bataraza, Palawan. About 236 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City, the town of Bataraza can be reached by bus or jeepney which departs daily from the city. From Bataraza, proceed to Rio Tuba and then take a pumpboat ride to Ursula Island. Bataraza is 5-6 hours’ drive from Puerto Princesa City. The bird sanctuary is about 2 hours’ pumpboat ride from Rio Tuba.

Vista Luz Picnic Grounds.
It offers facilities like cottages and picnic huts. Locals come on weekends for swimming and picnicking. The biggest hut called the pavilion is good for groups up to 100 persons. Two cottages, each with two beds, electric fan, and private bathroom are available for an overnight stay.
It is located in Circulation Road, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 5-7 minutes by tricycle from the city proper via Circulation Road. It is two kilometers away from the airport.

Nasin-aw White Beach and Silica Beach.
It is a seaside fun place for those who wish to indulge in marine pleasures, without leaving the confines of the city. The fine white sand and clear waters of White Beach make it a perfect spot for swimming. A few picnic tables were installed but an overnight stay is not possible since there are no accommodation facilities here.
It is located in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 5-7 minutes by tricycle from the city proper. The beach is two and a half kilometers away from the airport


Baragatan sa Palawan
(3rd week of June; Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). A grand celebration of the founding of the civil government of Palawan, its highlights are the LGU Trade and Food Fair, and colorful parade with participation from the different municipalities and private sectors, featuring the ethnic groups and the coronation of Ms. Palawan.

Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual
(full moon of December; Aborlan town proper, Palawan). It is a Tagbanua tribal ritual asking the gods to heal the sick. It is also a thanksgiving ceremony.

Tarek Festival
3rd week of January; Aborlan town proper). For the Tagbanuas, it is a dance ritual comprising the observance of the Pagdiwata. For the Batak tribe, it is a form of war dance.

Lambay Festival.
It is a Batak ritual that signals the start of the hunting and gathering season.

Cuyo Fiesta
(August 28; Cuyo town proper, Palawan). Soot-covered revelers perform the Ati-Atihan street dance to frenzied drumbeats.

Puerto Princesa City Foundation Day
(March 4; Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). It is a celebration of the founding anniversary of the city highlighted by the crowning of Ms. Puerto Princesa.

Pista y ang Kagueban
(3rd week of June; Magarwak, Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). It is a festive reforestation dance by practically all people from different walks of life with activities, such as the performance of the environmental artists of Puerto Princesa City, through songs and dances.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception
(November 29 to December 8; Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). A grand celebration in honor of the city's patroness, it is highlighted by a fluvial parade along Puerto Princesa Bay or Caracol, Tabuan and nightly cultural presentations by the different barangays of Puerto Princesa.

Light a Tree
(December 1; Mendoza Park, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). Lighting of the giant Christmas Tree signals the start of the holiday season.

Feast of Immaculate Conception
(December 8 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). It is a grand celebration in honor of the city's patroness, highlighted by a parade of colorfully adorned floats with images of the Virgin Mary.

Paskuhan at Kantahan sa Kapitolyo
(December 15-23 Provincial Capitol, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan). It is a special occasion reliving the Christmas spirit with activities like Carol Singing, Payanig sa Kapitolyo, Tunog Tao, and Parada ng Lechon to celebrate the holiday season.

Special Interest :

Archeological Exploration.
The activity can be fun and endlessly appealing to both new and perennial visitors to Palawan. Visit the Tabon Caves and be enthralled by the chambers which yield knowledge about life 50,000 years ago.

Canoeing / Boat Riding.
Go to the subterranean St. Paul River and be mesmerized by the crystal stalagmites and stalactites which illumine the river ripples with their sheen.

Wildlife Center.
Visit wildlife conservation centers like the Wildlife Sanctuary on Calauit Island and the Crocodile Farm at Irawan.

Marine Sports / Scuba Diving.
Engage in marine sports and scuba diving at Honda Bay where colorful shallow reefs abound, and where a mangrove offers opportunities for water sports. Get a thrill out of shark sightings in the waters of Tubbattaha. Aqua sports like jetski and kayak can be enjoyed at a variety of resorts and recreation centers island-wide.

Combine swimming with country walks up to the winding hilly terrains of Nagtabon Beach and the El Nido cliffs.

Swimming / Scuba Diving / Snorkelling.
These can be pleasurable at El Nido where facilities for these sports are excellent. While there, go raft riding in the hidden lagoon. Do the same on the white sandy beaches of San Clemente where sun tanning is perfect.

Island hopping and guided tours can take you to destinations around Palawan, like the Iwahig Penal farm, the Culion center, and the museum in the heart of Puerto Princesa City.

Romblon - Marble Country Of The Philippines

        Recognized as Marble Country of the Philippines, Romblon is famed for its rich marble deposits. Marble, however, is not the province’s only treasure. 

        Existing in relative isolation from the rest of Luzon, Romblon retains much of its Spanish legacy and its natural attractions are largely unexplored. Lining the shores of the province’s three major islands – Romblon, Sibuyan, and Tablas – are some of the best, most unspoiled beaches in this part of the country. Ringed by palm-fringed white sand, these beaches boast a wealth and variety of marine life offshore. Inland, there are a number of waterfalls and an inland salt lake.

        Located almost at the center of the Philippine archipelago, the province of Romblon lies in the Sibuyan Sea. It is composed of three islands: Romblon (main island), Tablas Island, and Sibuyan Island. It has a total land area of 135,690 hectares. It is bounded on the north by the province of Marinduque, on the south by Panay Island, on the east by Masbate, and on the west by Mindoro. From Manila, it is about 187 nautical miles or 169 air miles. Largely mountainous and rugged in terrain, the islands of Romblon are volcanic in origin. The highest peak is 2,057 meters above sea level.

The climate in Romblon is characterized by seasons that are not very pronounced. November to April is relatively dry and the rest of the year is wet.

Language / Dialect
        The people of Romblon speak a variety of Visayan dialects, notably a mixture of Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Aklanon, and other minor tongues. Tagalog is widely understood, and English stands as the medium of communication in business and trade.

Political subdivision
Romblon has 17 municipalities, which are further subdivided into 213 barangays.

  1. Romblon
  2. Banton
  3. Concepcion
  4. Corcuera
  5. San Jose
  6. Alcantara
  7. Calatrava
  8. Ferrol
  9. Looc
  10. Sta. Fe
  11. San Agustin
  12. San Andres
  13. Odiongan
  14. Sta. Maria
  15. Cajidiocan
  16. Magdiwang
  17. San Fernando

        The early aborigines of Romblon were believed to be the Negritos from Panay and the Mangyans from Mindoro. It was in 1582 when the Loarca expeditionists came to the islands and named them collectively as “Lomlon.” A secular clergy administered the province until 1635.

        In 1818 Romblon was annexed to the province of Capiz and made into a political and military station. The Americans, who came to rule in 1901, appointed a civil government to run the local affairs. About a century later, in 1917, Romblon became an autonomous province. But it was only in 1947 when this was promulgated by Republic Act. 38.

Tourist Attractions:

St. Joseph Cathedral and Belfry (poblacion, Romblon)
The Recollect fathers built the oldest Roman Catholic church in the province out of limestone and brick in the 15th century. The structure is embellished with rich architectural detail.

Fort San Andres (poblacion, Romblon)

Guarding the hills of San Andres in Romblon town proper, this coral brick structure once served as a lookout point for marauding pirates during the Spanish era. Today, Fort San Andres is being used as a weather station.

Bishop’s Palace (Brgy. Lonos, Romblon)
Constructed out of clay bricks by the first Bishop of Romblon, Msgr. Nicolas Mondejar, it serves as the official residence of the Bishop of Romblon.

San Agustin Park (town proper, San Agustin, Tablas Island)
San Agustin is a sprawling hectare of greens by the bay. It offers an undisturbed view of ships passing through Romblon Pass and, on clear days, a view of the islands of Romblon and Sibuyan.

Santa Fe Trail (Santa Fe, Romblon)
The mountain-zigzag road leading to Santa Fe where one can see the beautiful Tablas Strait, Looc Bay, the neighboring island of Panay, San Jose, and Boracay Islands.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting (Sibuyan, Romblon)
The sheer jagged peaks of Guiting-Guiting rise 2,075 meters above sea level in the middle of Sibuyan Island. Wild and unexplored, the mountains present a challenge to seasoned climbers. Hiring experienced guides is a must. Wild ferns, orchids, and bonsai dot the rugged trails. The summit provides views of the entire island and neighboring Romblon and Marinduque.

Guyangan Caves
Believed to be the burial site of our ancestors and has the oldest depositories of 'Ikat' or 'Banton Burial Cloth' in Southeast Asia . Centuries-old coffins made of hollowed logs were discovered in the caves. Guyangan caves was discovered in 1936 and not after the war. It is located in the island of Banton, Romblon

Mablaran Falls (Linawan, San Andres, Romblon)
Set amidst lush foliage, the waterfall cascades into a 20-foot deep pool of cool, blue-green water. This is one of the most frequented picnic and swimming spots in town, although picnickers are advised to bring their own food and gear.

Mainit Falls (Brgy. Patoo, Odiongan)
Earning its name from its warm waters, Mainit Falls is a three-tiered cascade that forms three deep pools ideal for bathing. Visitors are advised to bring their own food, drinking water, and gear as the area is secluded and undeveloped.

Tinagong Dagat (Brgy. Talisay, Calatrava, Romblon)

Measuring 40 meters in diameter and about seven fathoms at its deepest, this “Hidden Sea” is a circular pool of saltwater barely 10 meters from the sea on the northmost tip of Tablas Island. It is home to several species of saltwater fishes and seashells. The route to Tinagong Dagat traverses a shoreline of sheer cliffs, interesting rock formations, small coves, and a fishing village/

Cantingas River (Taclobo, San Fernando, Romblon)

It is a natural swimming pool; the water is crystal-clear, odorless, tasteless, and ever-flowing; one could quench his thirst while swimming. Around four kilometers away from the poblacion, it has a cottage with a conference hall.

San Jose (San Jose, Romblon)
The coastline of San Jose town harbors some of the most beautiful and isolated beaches in the province. Notable are the ones located in Barangay Lunas and Bignay. Access to the coastal village is limited to bancas. Horses are the major means of transport to visit inland villages.

Cobrador Island (Romblon, Romblon)\

Cobrador is the largest among the islets dotting the seas around Romblon. It is reputed to hold deposits of rare black, gold, and green marble. The best sweetsop and papaya are also grown here. The other treasures of Cobrador Island are its beaches – the most prominent being the wide expanse of fine white sand for about one kilometer on the eastern side of the islet.

Bonbon Beach (Brgy. Lonos, Romblon)

Stretching for almost 50 meters, this great expanse on the eastern shores of Romblon Island boasts of fine white sand and a gradually sloping ocean floor. Right across the beach is a small islet accessible by foot at low tide. The islet has a secluded swimming area on a short stretch of fine white sand.

Tiamban Beach (Brgy. Lonos, Romblon)
Covered with fine white sand, this stretch of beach is narrower than Bonbon but almost as long. It is located due north of Bonbon Beach.


Biniray Festival (January)
Held in early January, the celebration begins with a fluvial parade at sea and ends with merrymaking in the streets of the capital.

Special Interest :

Mountain Climbing
Mt. Guiting-Guiting is the highest peak in Romblon. It is considered to be among the more formidable mountains in the country. Rising a little more than 6,000 feet above sea level, its rugged terrain presents a challenge, which lures mountaineers to scale its peak. This mountain straddles the towns of Magdiwang, San Fernando, and Cajidiocan in the island of Sibuyan. From the ports of San Agustin or Romblon, board the ferry bound for the town of Magdiwang, the jump-off point. Once in Magdiwang, inform the Mayor’s Office of your climb. The office provides assistance to climbers.

Make a circling tour covering the historic Fort San Andres, the beaches of Look and Odungan, a fisherman’s boat ride to Sta Fe, a swim at the pebbled beaches of Alcantara, and the capital island where a sweeping view of the province from the hilly terrains may be had. Include a trip to San Agustin where one can view the seven-tiered falls of Dubduban-bita and an observation cruise off the shore of Tablas in Calatrava. Here, take a spellbinding look at the menancing big boulders of Romblon, looking like titans from out of the deep, which guard the entrance to the bay.

Swimming is fun at Romblon, particularly along the foamy beachwaters of Logbon with its powdery white sands, and the beaches of Cobrador Island and Alad.

Diving enthusiats will find the underwater of Calagunsao Beach in Alcantara as well as the ocean floor of San Jose a storehouse of experience. Here, the big black boulders common only in Romblon surround the coastline of the province, like mighty walls of a medieval port.

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