Baby, JetSet, Go Destination Guide: Mindoro Occidental

Mindoro Occidental is a fast-developing region located on the backside of a large island facing the China Sea. Its location is strategic in relation to national and international shipping routes, and thus, the region flourishes in trade, investment, and commerce. Mindoro Occidental has five seaports and four airports, giving easy access to people wishing to visit its numerous tourist destinations. The principal town of San Jose is some 50 minutes away by plane from Manila while the capital town of Mamburao is a 45-minute plane ride from mainland Luzon.

History

Before Spanish navigators set foot in Mindoro in 1571, Chinese merchants have already been frequenting the eastern part of the island to conduct trade. When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi discovered Mindoro in 1569, the Spaniards were amazed to discover that the islanders have been transacting with Chinese merchants. Hindu and pagan influences were also apparent. Spanish conqueror Juan de Salcedo claimed Mindoro in the name of Spain in 1570. The name of the province is a contraction of the Spanish term “mina de oro,” which meant gold mine. The province was divided in two – Occidental and Oriental Mindoro – in 1950.

Places to See

Mindoro Occidental is an ideal destination for nature lovers with its tranquil beaches, national parks, cliff formations, marine life, and rich flora and fauna. Mt. Iglit National Park in Calintaan is home to the tamaraw, animal specie similar to the carabao found nowhere else in the world. Apo Reef National Park in Sablayan is a divers’ haven while the capital, Mamburao, is known for its fine beaches including Tayamaan Beach. Other tourist destinations include the bird-populated islands of Binantgaan and Cajos Del Bajo, Presing Park, Pandan Grande Island, the three offshore islands off the town of San Jose, and Hulagaan Falls.

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