The Province - The Golden Isle

The History of Mindoro
Chinese Traders
Early in the 12th century, the 10 Datus of Borneo arrived and settled in Panay Island and the rest of the Visayas.
Before the Spaniards came in 1521, trade and commerce already existed between the people of Mai or Minolo (the former name of Mindoro) and the Chinese traders from the Kingdom of Cathay (China). A Chinese historian Chau Ju-Kua gave an account on the honesty of the early Mindoreños. According to him, it was the custom of the people of Mindoro to take with them whatever Chinese goods they liked, and even if one could not distinguish one from the other, the Mindoreños would always return to pay the Chinese traders.
During those days, settlers lived abundantly from the fruits of the soil. They had their system of agriculture and tool implements for farming, hunting and fishing.
Spanish Rule
Three hundred years after, the Spaniards arrived. Like Chau Ju-Kua, a Spanish historian likewise recorded the business activities existing between the people of Mindoro and the Chinese traders.
Because Mindoro was a Moslem settlement, it took Spain 85 years to conquer Puerto Galera which they later converted into a shipbuilding and repair station. The province became famous during the Galleon Trade days which lasted for 200 years. Then Juan de Salcedo discovered gold in Mindoro, thereby calling the place “Mina de Oro, ” meaning gold mine. The Spanish religious orders tried to evangelize the Mangyans but failed. In 1679, Calapan was founded and the progress of Mindoro went underway.  
American and Japanese Rule
With the coming of the Americans, trade and commerce increased between Batangas and Mindoro. When the American educators who were called “Thomasites” arrived in early 1900, health and education steadily improved. But this suffered a setback in 1942 when the Japanese invaded Calapan and controlled the whole island down to Bulalacao. They constructed a railway and built ports to transport coal, rice and animals. They shipped them to Batangas where many of the imperial army officers held offices during World War II.  
Republic Act 505 was signed into law separating Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro. On November 15, 1950, Oriental Mindoro became a province with Calapan named as provincial capital. Years later during the time of Pres. Diosdado Macapagal, Rep. Luciano Joson of Mindoro authored a bill creating the Municipality of Gloria in honor of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who was then a young girl.
Soon after Oriental Mindoro became an independent province, what inspired the people then was its golden promise. The island was considered as a goldmine of agricultural, mineral, aquatic and natural resources. But its gifts had not been fully tapped.  
Mindoro Today – A Paradise Island
A look at the whole province today reveals the key factors why the Golden Isle has indeed been rewarded with monumental opportunities virtually manifested in the past celebration of its golden anniversary which reminisced the ties of brotherhood that its ancestors forged with Chinese merchants. Such is the glory that the past relives; the enthusiasm that the present provides; and the optimism the future offers.  
The Leadership
Oriental Mindoro, the "Paradise Island" has eventually been recognized as one of the country's economic centers and finally emerged as a prime destination for tourists, travelers, businessmen, investors and families.
From the time that Hon. Rodolfo G. Valencia (RGV) assumed mandate initially as Congressman from 1988-1992, eventually as Governor from 1992-2002, then again as Congressman from 2004 up to the present, he has vigorously pursued development programs which directed Oriental Mindoro to progress and growth.
Up to 1987, the watershed of the province (approximately 43,000 hectares) was almost destroyed due to the legalization of logging operations upon the issuance of Timber License Agreement (TLA) 378. Through the efforts of Valencia, together with the other leaders of Mindoro NGOs, including the religious sector, the TLA was successfully cancelled when he took the congressional seat in 1988. The cancellation of the TLA has enabled thousands of hectares of Oriental Mindoro's watershed to re-grow and rehabilitate for the future generation. Currently, Mindoro's mountains benefit from a massive agro-forestry program where various types of forest trees and agricultural crops are planted both in the highlands and lowlands, regaining the verdant splendor of the province.
Eventually given mandate as Provincial Executive in 1992 to date, Valencia, rising above the quagmire of corruption, intrigues and bickerings, directly confronted the shipping monopoly and negotiated the entry of more players in the market.
Valencia also saved the ecology of the province by refusing to allow mining operations in Oriental Mindoro despite pressure of top leaders of the country. Valencia categorically stated that he would support whatever is good for the majority of his constituents.
Other problems such as illegal gambling, illegal fishing, prostitution and drug trafficking were strongly dealt with through serious campaigns anchored on moral upliftment and maintenance of peace and order. Said endeavors earned recognition for Oriental Mindoro as among the most peaceful provinces in the region by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
RGV's effective leadership has won not just the trust and confidence of his constituents but even the accolades and respect of his peers, colleagues and other government officials, including former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos who cited him as Outstanding Governor in Calamity Management and former Pres. Joseph E. Estrada who awarded him as Outstanding Governor.

Provincial Profile


"Vital Link to the Visayas through the Strong Republic Nautical Highway"
North – Verde Island
East – Maestro de Ocampo Island and Tablas Strait
South – Semirara Island
West – Occidental Mindoro

• Land Area : 4,364.72 sq. kms.
• City : 1
• Congressional Districts : 2
• Municipalities : 14
• Barangays : 426


• Estimated Population : 751,681 (for 2009)


Rugged terrain and irregular coastline, numerous rivers and streams traverse the province but none are navigable by large vessels.


Vast array of unique species and subspecies, broad spectrum of fauna and flora from Luzon, Palawan and the entire region.


• Income Classification : 1st Class

The People:

Warm and friendly, Mindoreños welcome each visitor with open arms, indicative of their genuine hospitality. Generally, Mindoreños experience life in simple ways. Largely rural - 70% of the province’s population is engaged in agriculture and fishing - with only 30% living in urban centers. They also enjoy the luxury of fresh air and the sweet scent of the countryside.

The Dialects:

Visiting Oriental Mindoro does not entail one to memorize bits of conversational lines in dialects other than Tagalog. As the national language, Tagalog is widely spoken in the province. Also, the people are equally conversant in the English language.

The Climate:

The climate in the province is generally mild throughout the year with no distinct dry and wet season. Average temperature is between 26 – 32 Degrees Celsius. This is good news to visitors as it gives them the whole year to explore the depths and heights of the province.

How To Get There:

Oriental Mindoro is only 45 minutes away from the Batangas International Port. With about 50 round trips daily on a 24/7 schedule, visiting the island becomes a pleasurable trip.

   Sea Vessels:
• Starlite Ferry
• Mt. Samat
• Shipshape Ferry
• Besta Shipping Lines
• Supercat Fast Ferry
• Montenegro Shipping Lines

About 30 minutes travel time is all it takes from the Manila Domestic Airport or the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to any of Oriental Mindoro's airports located in Calapan City, Pinamalayan and Mansalay.

   Airports in Oriental Mindoro:
• Calapan City
• Pinamalayan
• Mansalay
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                        Rodolfo G. Valencia                                               Reynaldo V. Umali
                     Congressman 1st District                                         Congressman 2nd District

                     alfonso-umali                                            vice-governor-Bonz-Dolor
                         Alfonso V. Umali Jr.                                           Humerlito A. Dolor
                                Governor                                                         Vice-Governor

Board Members:

First District                                   Second District

Hon. Patrick M. Dela Rosa               Hon. Ramil O. Dimapilis
Hon. Ryan Z. Arago                        Hon. Ferdinand Thomas M. Soller
Hon. Roberto L. Concepcion           Hon. Flor M. De Roxas          
Hon. Abraham R. Abas                    Hon. Corazon F. Agarap
Hon. Romeo G. Infantado                Hon. Martin S. Buenaventura
                                                   Hon. Alfredo H. Viana
                                                   Hon. Myrra Krisma Normina F. Mendoza
                                                   Hon. Edwin G. Hernandez


              Calapan City                                                       Naujan
              Paulino Salvador C. Leachon                                           angie-casubuan
              Mayor: Paulino Salvador C. Leachon                      Mayor: Ma. Angeles C. Casubuan
              Vice-Mayor: Antonio S. Perez Jr.                                 Vice-Mayor: Dein Z. Arago 
              Puerto Galera                                                      Victoria     
             Hubbert Christopher A. Dolor                                            Alfredo G. Ortega Jr.
              Mayor: Hubbert Christopher A. Dolor                    Mayor: Alfredo G. Ortega Jr.
              Vice-Mayor: Jaime V. Delgado                               Vice-Mayor: Luis S. Castillet Sr.

               Pola                                                                   Socorro  
              Leandro P. Panganiban                                       Rolando F. Arreola
               Mayor: Leandro P. Panganiban                             Mayor: Rolando F. Arreola
               Vice-Mayor: Raul A. Pagcaliwagan                        Vice-Mayor: Marvin G. Umbao

               San Teodoro                                                       Baco  
              Apollo E. Feraren                                        Graciano P. Dela Chica
               Mayor: Apollo E. Feraren                                     Mayor: Graciano P. Dela Chica
               Vice-Mayor: Aquilino S. Arguelles                           Vice-Mayor: Dionisio D. Hernandez


              Pinamalayan                                                       Gloria    

             WILFREDO-HERNAN                                          Mayor-Loreto-S.-Perez
              Mayor: Wilfredo L. Hernandez Sr.                           Mayor: Loreto S. Perez
              Vice Mayor: Roberto A. Morente                            Vice Mayor: Romeo D. Alvarez

              Bansud                                                               Bongabong

              RONALD-MORADA                                          HERCULES-UMALI

               Mayor: Ronaldo M. Morada                                     Mayor: Hercules A. Umali
              Vice Mayor: Donato M. Manato                               Vice Mayor: Alfonso A. Montalbo

              Roxas                                                                 Mansalay

             JACKSON-DY                                             Mayor-Jose-Ildefonso-M.-Mal

               Mayor: Jackson C. Dy                                            Mayor: Jose Ildefonso M. Maliwanag
              Vice Mayor: Violeta L. Dimapilis                               Vice Mayor: Renato T. de Lara



              Mayor - Ernilo C. Villas
              Vice Mayor - Teresita S.Bantugan 





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