Map of the Philippines with Oriental Mindoro highlighted
|Region||MIMAROPA (Region IV-B)|
|• Type||Province of the Philippines|
|• Governor||Alfonso Umali, Jr. (Liberal)|
|• Vice Governor||Giddy On Flory (Liberal)|
|• Total||4,238.38 km2 (1,636.45 sq mi)|
|Area rank||30th out of 81|
|• Rank||34th out of 81|
|• Density||190/km2 (480/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||49th out of 81|
|• Independent cities||0|
|• Component cities||1|
|• Districts||1st and 2nd districts of Oriental Mindoro|
|Time zone||PHT (UTC+8)|
|ZIP code||5200 to 5014|
|ISO 3166 code||PH-MDR|
|Spoken languages||Tagalog, Mangyan, English|
Oriental Mindoro (Tagalog: Silangang Mindoro, Spanish: Mindoro Oriental) is a province of the Philippines located in the island of Mindoro under MIMAROPA region in Luzon, about 140 km southwest of Manila. The province is bordered by the Verde Island Passage and the rest of Batangas to the north, by Marinduque, Maestre de Campo (or known as Sibale but official name is Concepcion) Island, Tablas Strait and the rest of Romblon to the east, by Semirara and the rest of Caluya Islands, Antique to the south, and by Occidental Mindoro to the west. Calapan City, the only city in the island, is the provincial capital.
Oriental Mindoro is touted as the country's emerging eco-tourism destination. In 2005, the Philippines was found to be the center of marine fish biodiversity and the home of the most diverse marine ecosystem in the world, by American biologists Kent Carpenter and Victor Springer. Most of the endemic species in the Philippines are found in the Verde Island Passage between Mindoro island and the main island of Luzon. The passage houses 2,983 individual species of algae, corals, crustaceans, mollusks, fishes, marine reptiles, and marine mammals, based on a study conducted by scientists Carpenter and Springer in 2005.
Our study indicates, however, that there is a higher concentration of species per unit area in the Philippines than anywhere in Indonesia, including Wallacea... Special attention to marine conservation efforts in the Philippines is justified because of the identification of it as an epicenter of biodiversity and evolution.
UNESCO, declared Puerto Galera a biosphere reserve under its Man and the Biosphere Programme in the 1970s. The Verde Island Passage is at the apex of the so-called Coral Triangle – the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia – which has the distinction of being the "global center of marine biodiversity".
World War II wrought heavy damages, death and pain to the people of Mindoro. However, social conditions continued to exist without any definitive changes. After the war, reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure and economy took place which ended with the division of the island into two provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro on June 13, 1950, by virtue of the Republic Act No. 505.
In the decades after the war, the island continued to become one of the preferred areas of new settlers coming from the overpopulated provinces in the Philippines in search of the new land. Apart from the hope to become landowners or to have better tenancy conditions, the guerrilla war (Huk rebellion) in Central Luzon was an important factor for migration. Under the settlement program of the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA) which was founded on June 18, 1954, families from Central Luzon were settled in the Bongabong-Pinamalayan area. This project ended in 1956 after the settlement of 606 families (3,636 people) on 8,600 hectares of public land. Since then new settlers have incessantly migrated to Mindoro until today.
There is currently a conflict going on between the Military and insurgents. On March 6, 2010, eleven soldiers were killed and seven were hurt in a gunbattle with New People's Army in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro.
The province has a total land area of 4,238.4 km²; with the western portion of the province being mountainous or rugged, hills and flood plains are widely distributed in the eastern portion. Mount Halcon, standing 2582 m above sea level, is the 18th highest mountain in the country and is the province's and island's highest peak. Lake Naujan, the fifth largest lake in the country with an area of approximately 8,125 ha of open water, is located at the northeastern part of the island and the province.
Oriental Mindoro's rich and arable land is suitable for agriculture. It is producing large quantities of rice, corn, coconut, vegetables and fruits like calamansi, banana, rambutan, marang or uloy, lanzones and durian. For that, Oriental Mindoro is also known as the Rice Granary and Fruit Basket of Southern Tagalog. It still is the Banana King and Calamansi King of the region. Its total agricultural area is 169,603.34 hectares. Based on agricultural statistics, 85,244 hectares are devoted to palay production while 21,671 hectares to coconut plantation. The province, for the past years, registered an average of 1 to 2 million cavans as surplus in rice production.
Oriental Mindoro has no distinct wet or dry seasons. Average temperature ranges from 26 to 32 °C (79 to 90 °F). The province experiences maximum rainfall during the months of June to October. Relative humidity is registered at 81%.
Oriental Mindoro is composed of 14 municipalities, with one city, Calapan City serving as the provincial capital.
|Population census of Oriental Mindoro|
footnote= Source: National Statistics Office
Based on the 2007 Census of Population, Oriental Mindoro had a population of 735,769, which is higher by 53,951 from the year 2000, resulting in an annual population growth rate of 1.06% during the seven-year period. It increased to 785,602 in the 2010 census, making it the most populous province in the region.
The province is largely rural, with 70% of the population engaged in agriculture and fishing and with only 30% living in urban centers. Tagalog is widely spoken in the province. Other languages spoken are Ilocano and Cebuano. Dialects of the Mangyan language are Arayan, Alagnan, Buhid, Hanunoo, and Tadyawan. Most of the population are of Roman Catholic conviction.
The indigenous people of Oriental Mindoro are the Mangyans (Manguianes in Spanish, Mañguianes in Old Tagalog), 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 traveled from Indonesia and settled down for good in the island.
Oriental Mindoro evokes images of a genuine tropical paradise – white sand, crystal clear water, lush green forests covering majestic mountains and splendid waterfalls. With its largely unspoiled natural beauty, the province has much to offer in terms of tourism and other economic opportunities. Special interest tours such as mountain climbing, trekking, camping, caving, bird watching, island exploration, adventure trips, windsurfing, scuba diving, tek diving, scuba macro photography, snorkeling, keelboat and dinghy sailing are among the exciting recreational activities possible.
Access from Luzon thru the Batangas ports mostly goes thru the Verde Island Passage to reach the key entry point of Oriental Mindoro - Puerto Galera. In November 2004, Puerto Galera was voted a member of the UNESCO affiliated ‘The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World. PG is blessed with one of the world's most beautiful natural harbors which also protects ships, yachts and bancas from strong typhoons sweeping in from the Pacific during the rainy season. The Puerto Galera Yacht Club is likewise based here, and runs the Sailing Scholarship Fund, financed by donations and the proceeds from regattas, for the training of more than 100 local children who have brought in medals and awards in the yearly yacht and small boat events. PGYC runs yearly yachting and national dinghy events open to the local and international sailing community to promote the sport of sailing and responsible sailing tourism in the islands.
Puerto Galera, known for lovely white sand beaches and the unfortunate accompanying honky tonk bar scene on some key beaches, is more famous for its exquisite dive sites with a biodiversity of marine life in and around the coral reefs. Interesting UW rock formations and coral gardens are home to colorful marine life, like the numerous species of nudibranch, mantis shrimp, sea anemone, moray and sea fan sea horses. The seas off the coast boast passing dolphin pods, the rarer whaleshark and is part of the migratory small whale route from the Visayas.
Towering 8,488 feet (2,587 m) above sea level, Mount Halcon in Baco, is the country's third highest peak. It is a favorite mountain climbing destination for ecologically aware groups. Oriental Mindoro is also perfect for birdwatching activities of local and migratory species, and is home to mammals like the Tamaraw, an endemic straight-horned water buffalo, reptiles and plant species found nowhere else. Oriental Mindoro is also called and known now as the Lupain ng mahalta. Tamaraw, various flora and fauna found on slopes of Mount Halcon and the native Mangyans, all together add vibrancy to the colors and the richness of nature and culture of the province.
Other tourist destinations include:
Higher education institutions in the province:
A member of the Philippine delegation is 16-year old Abien Fred Agarap who created a computer program designed to protect a computer system from infections and improve its security and stability without committing errors.
Reavis, the ultimate anti-virus
“During my late freshman year, my adviser asked me to remove computer viruses from USB storage devices using the Command Prompt. It was then that I developed my interest in computer programming,” said Agarap.
The Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro native initially enjoyed helping the school community clean flash drives, but the tedious task of typing codes time and again eventually motivated him to automate the process by creating his own computer program.
Dubbed Reavis, the program surpasses existing antivirus programs through a four-wall defense protection system that operates simultaneously. To complete a computer scan in 6 seconds, the program consumes only 13-percent of the CPU resources.
According to the young IT whiz, he is not after the money or the potential fame his project will bring. “I’m here just to solve the problem,” he said. 
Awards and Recognition of Abien Fred Agarap:
A treatment to clotting disorders
Bradley Saunders from Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro is the youngest of the bunch. The 15-year old shared that his curiosity with blood clots started when he fell down chin first and wounded himself while playing basketball.
“I hurried home and told my grandmother what happened. Luckily, she had some all organic powdered coffee, which she applied on my chin to stop the bleeding. That basketball accident lit the bulb for my next investigatory project,” he said.
Saunders sought to determine the combined effect of coffee bean, mung bean, and rice grain in the blood clotting of a normal human blood sample.
The findings may have a potential role in the treatment of dengue hemorrhagic fever and in the management of other coagulation disorders. The mixture can also serve as first aid treatment for shallow wounds.
“If the practice becomes recognized, people who live far from hospitals can use thishome staple to prevent infections,” he added. “The organic mixture blocksthe bacteria pathway and coagulates blood at a faster rate, making it as effective as first aid treatment to stop bleeding.”
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oriental Mindoro.|
Isla Verde Passage
|Sibuyan Sea / Marinduque|
|Sulu Sea||Tablas Strait / Romblon|