Brief Background of Oriental Mindoro
Chinese Traders/Spanish, American, Japanese Rule
Early in the 12th century, the 10 Datus of Borneo arrived and settled in Panay Island and the rest of the Visayas. Three hundred years after, the Spaniards came in 1521. A Spanish historian recorded the trade and commerce existing between the people of Mai or Minolo ( a barrio of Puerto Galera) and the Chinese traders from the Kingdom of Cathay(China).
A Chinese historian Chao Ju-Kua gave an account on the honesty of the early Mindorenos. It was the custom of the people of Mindoro to come and take with them whatever goods they like, and even if one could not distinguish one from the other, the Mindorenos would always return to pay the Chinese traders.
Because Mindoro was a Moslem settlement, it took 85 years for Spain to conquer Puerto Galera which they later converted into a ship building and repair station. Mindoro became famous during the Galleon Trade days which lasted for 200 years. Juan de Salcedo discovered gold in Mindoro and he called the place "Mina de Oro" (Gold Mine). The Spanish religious orders tried evangelizing the Mangyans and failed. In 1679 Calapan was founded. With Calapan, the progress of Mindoro started to develop. With the coming of the Americans, trade and commerce increased between Batangas and Mindoro. When the American educators (called "Thomasites") arrived in early 1900, health and education steadily improved. But there was a setback in 1942 when the Japanese invaded Calapan and controlled the whole island down to Bulalacao. The Japanese constructed a railway and built ports to transport coal, rice and animals. These were shipped to Batangas where many of the Imperial army officers held offices during World War II.
Independence 50 Years After
On November 15, 1950 Republic Act 505 was signed into law separating Oriental Mindoro from Occidental Mindoro. Calapan became the provincial capital with 14 other municipalities. Inspite being rich in natural resources, in agriculture and fisheries, Mindoro remained undeveloped.
Mindoro Today - A Paradise Island
Oriental Mindoro is now recognized as one of the country's economic centers and emerging as a prime destination for tourists, travelers, businessmen, inverstors and families.
Peaceful Province in Reqion IV
The development of program initiatives launched in the last decade have paved the way toward progress and prosperity. Improvements in power and energy, transportation and communications, roads and bridges, housing and livelihood, education and sports, as well as the peace and order situation have reached notable proportions.
Gateway to the Rest of the Archipelago
The province is a vital link to the rest of Southern Philippines, the CALABARZON region, the rest of Metro Manila, and now even to Visayas and Mindanao via the Nautical Highway.
It is only 45 minutes away from the Batangas International Port and 30 minutes via air from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
With about 50 round trips daily on a 24/7 schedule, the province not only offers pleasurable trips but definitely a good business zone. It has 3 airports in Calapan City, Pinamalayan and Mansalay.
9th Tourist Destination
As the country's seventh largest island, Oriental Mindoro is a haven for pristine white beaches, flowing streams and wondrous waterfalls, green forests, vast agriclutural lands and other abundant natural resources.
It takes pride in being cited as the 9th Top Tourist Destination in the country by the Department of Tourism (DOT), which is the result of gargantuan efforts to preserve the lush forests and to maintain the enchanting beaches and pristine blue waters.
Country's Food Basket
Mindoro Island has emerged as the Food Basket of the country upon winning the Gawad Sapat Ani 2000 Award meant for food producers in the country. It is also known as the Philippines' Banana and Calamansi King.
Agriculture and fisheries are the province's top source of income. Aqua cultured fish and prawns augment the local economy.