About the Philippines
The Philippines is an island nation off the southeast coast of Asia made up of a chain of 7,000 islands extending 1,100 miles. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited, and the majority of the people live on the 11 largest islands.
The islands are usually struck by five or six typhoons a year, which trigger landslides and tsunamis that cause great damage. Several active volcanoes and earthquakes also cause frequent damage.
The Philippines is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Half of the country’s area is covered by forests that contain thick groves of bamboo and approximately 9,000 other kinds of flowering plants. One thousand varieties of birds can be found there, while the waters surrounding the islands are teeming with more than 2,000 species of fish
The Philippines is one of the most westernized nations in Southeast Asia as a result of strong 20th century American influences. Filipino music, art and dance contain elements of American culture.
Many Muslims and tribal groups have distinct cultures based on indigenous traditions.
The majority of Filipinos live in small towns or villages in clusters of houses built on bamboo stilts with walls made of palm leaves and bamboo and roofs of thatched palm leaves or corrugated iron.
While Filipinos take great pride in their homes, many of the urban poor must live in slums where houses of makeshift construction are little more than squatters’ shacks. Water is hauled from public faucets or cisterns. Malnutrition and diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and malaria flourish in these conditions.
Based on the May 2001 National Statistics Survey, Oriental Mindoro Island registered a total population of 669,000. The people are mostly of Tagalog stock. The ethnic Mangyan tribe consists of various smaller tribes like the Iraya, Alangan, and Tadwanan.
Tagalog is the predominant dialect in Oriental Mindoro. Other dialects spoken are Ilocano and Cebuano. Strains of the Mangyan dialect spoken are Arayan, Alagnan, Buhid, Hunuo, and Tadyawan. The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.
Oriental Mindoro is located 15 kilometers off the southwest coast of Luzon. It lies on the eastern portion of the island. It is bounded on the north by Verde Island and the Verde Passage, on the east by Maestro de Campo Island and Tablas Strait on the south by Semirara Island near Pandarodan bay, and on the west by the province of Occidental Mindoro. It has a total land area of 436,470 hectares. The province has 39 named and 89 unnamed islands and islets, leaving much of its attractions virgin to visitors, and an untrammeled area to explore.
Oriental Mindoro enjoys a climate favorable to vegetable growth throughout the year. What is remarkable is that there is neither a dry season nor a pronounced maximum rain period. The location and topography of the island on the western side of the great ocean body is another contributing factor in the rainfall pattern of the province. China Sea , fed by warm water from a branch of south equatorial current, passes between Singapore and Borneo thus keeping the water bodies surrounding the island warm year-round and consequently providing excellent sources of moisture.
About Oriental Mindoro
Spaniards first arrived in Mindoro in the 16th century and initially administered it as part of Batangas. The island gained full provincial status in 1921. In November 1950, the island was divided into the provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.
Oriental Mindoro (Filipino: Silangang Mindoro; Spanish: Mindoro Oriental) is a province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. Its capital is Calapan City and occupies the eastern half of the island of Mindoro; Occidental Mindoro is the western half. To the east of the province lies the Sibuyan Sea and Romblon. To the north is Batangas across the Verde Island Passage. The Semirara Islands of Antique are to the south.
Oriental Mindoro is famous among tourists for Puerto Galera. This municipality, only a few hours from Manila, boasts splendid white beach resorts and diving spots. For the adventurous Mt. Halcon, on the western border of the province, provides one of the most challenging mountain climbing experiences in the Philippines.
See Wikipedia for more information about Mindoro.
Oriental Mindoro relies on tourism and agriculture, especially fruits, for its income. 70% of the population is engaged in agriculture and fishing; the remaining 30% engages in commercial and other livelihood means.