08 May 2011

Oriental Mindoro: The Golden Isle

"When Spaniards discovered the Philippine archipelago they called this island with a rugged terrain and an irregular coastline "Mina de Oro" (Mine of Gold) - a gold mine of agriculture, mineral and aquatic resources. Since then, Oriental Mindoro came to be known as the Golden Isle."
-- from http://www.filipinianacalapan.com


When I told some of my friends that I'll be going to Mindoro, most of them instantly asked: "Puerto Galera?" And I said no. I've never been to Puerto Galera, but I'm so sure that there are more "gold" aside from this famous beach in Oriental Mindoro.

Via RO-RO (roll-on roll-off) vessel, our trip from Port of Batangas to Port of Calapan is approximately 2-3 hours. If you want a faster transport, you can take the SuperCat that can get you to Oriental Mindoro in just an hour or less.

We rode the Besto Shipping Lines. It took us almost 3 hours! It's one slow ferry. :|

Trip with my two best brothers, Glenn and Ely.

Upon reaching Calapan City, it's another 2-3 hours drive to Mansalay. Along the way, we saw rice fields, rice mills, rice fields, rice mills and rice fields. Did I mention rice fields? Haha! No wonder this province is known to be the Rice Granary of Southern Tagalog. It's just a nice sight while traveling. The green fields, blue sky, white clouds, colorful clothed farmers, carabaos.. :)

The farmers saw us taking their photos, and they were
kind enough to wave and smile back at us!

Our first stop, Cabalwa Beach. It's a long stretch of white sand in Barangay Cabalwa in Mansalay. As far as I know, this is open to everyone. No entrance fees. I tried googling Cabalwa Beach, but no blogs or articles are written about it. I guess this place is still waiting to be discovered, though a private resort owned by a German is in the works.

Ely and I walking towards the rocky part of the beach.
Photo taken by Glenn Pareno

If you walk a few more kilometers, you will be greeted by rocks of various shapes and sizes. Literally, this is one 'rocky' beach. There were too many rocks that this friend of mine even thought of balancing pieces of rocks to create his masterpiece.

Ely, taking a photo of his 'rocky' masterpiece

We also found this heart-shaped geofact. I'm amazed how Mother Nature came up with this piece of art. Or this is a sign that I'll soon find the love of my life? Haha! Just kidding. I'd like to believe that this is a mark telling us that we should really love and take good care of our natural wonders. :)

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huwaw! lovely place! I wanna visit this place din! :)