Monday, May 11, 2015

Occidental Mindoro Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Mt. Iglit National Park
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.

Apo Reef National Park
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
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.

Ambulong Island
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
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.
Hulugaan Falls

Hulugaan Falls, Brgy. Binacas, Lubang Island located in the southeast portion of Lubang Island, Hulugaan Falls is a series of falls that cascades down to a stony beach.

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

Occidental Mindoro, known as the “Home of the Indigenous Mangyans,” is a province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. The province consists of 11 municipalities with Mamburao as the provincial capital. To the west of the province is the South China Sea and Palawan is located in the southwest, across Mindoro Strait. Batangas is in the north of the province, separated by the Verde Island Passage.
Occidental Mindoro is characterized by mountains, rivers, hills, valleys, wide plains and some small water lakes. The northern part of the province has relatively fewer plains, while the southern parts have wider flatlands. Most of the plains are cultivated fields, with few remaining untouched forests. Mountain ranges converge in the two central peaks of the province, namely Mt. Halcon in the north, and Mt. Baco in the south. The major river systems of Occidental Mindoro are Mamburao River, Pagbahan, Mompong, Biga, Lumintao, Busuanga and Caguray. 

Major languages spoken in the province are Tagalog, Ilokano, Visaya, Kapampangan, Bikolano, Mangyan, and other mainstream languages in the country. The indigenous people in the province are the Mangyans, consisting of 7 distinct tribes. They occupy the interior, specially the highlands. Mangyans have inhabited the island since pre-history. They are believed to have originally travelled from Indonesia and settled for good in the island. Today, Mangyans number to only around 80,000 but there is no accurate accounting of them since many still live elusively, avoiding contact with lowlanders. 

Occidental Mindoro has two distinct weather types: rainy season and dry season. Rain begins to fall in the province in late May. The months of August and September are the wettest periods, with storms directly passing through the area. On the other hand, the dry season starts in November. March and April are the driest periods, with cloudless skies and parched earth characterizing the general area. 

Occidental Mindoro is an agricultural area devoted to the production of food. Rice production is the leading activity and source of seasonal employment in the province, participated by almost 80% of the population, including children. Rice, corn, onions, garlic, salt and fishes are some of the relatively abundant products of the province in exportable quantities. Mangoes, cashew nuts, bananas and some other fruits are grown in upland orchards. Peanuts are also grown in some parts of the province, as well as cassava, sweet potatoes, ginger, and other minor crops. 

Forest resources include timber and minerals, among them gold, copper, silver, chrome, and non-metallic minerals such as lime for making cement, and greenstones for ornaments. Timber groups include many species of hardwoods, such as mahogany, and other types of trees in high demand for durability.

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