MIMAROPA: Nature’s well-known secrets

Article Index

Occidental Mindoro • Oriental Mindoro • Marinduque • Romblon • Palawan

 

About the region

The MIMAROPA region consists of a chain of islands stretching southwest of the main Luzon landmass. MIMAROPA is a portmanteau of the names of its five provinces: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. The many cities, towns and villages in this region offer a wealth of cultural attractions to visitors – historic churches, merry festivals, and delicious food - while the gorgeous beaches, dive sites and other natural wonders give travelers numerous reasons to keep coming back for more.

 


How to get there and go around

By air. Domestic airlines such as Zest Air, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Seair have frequent flights to various regional airports: San Jose in Occidental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Tablas in Romblon, and Gasan in Marinduque. Flights take roughly 45 minutes to one hour.

By land and sea. Getting to MIMAROPA from Metro Manila is possible via a combined land and sea route. Bus companies such as Southstar Liner, TRITRAN, De la Rosa Liner, and Lucena Lines have terminals at Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) corner Taft Avenue in Makati, Ali Mall Compound in Cubao, and along EDSA in Quezon City; these bus lines offer rides to two ports in mainland Luzon that serve roll-on, roll-off ships going to MIMAROPA.

Getting to MIMAROPA from Metro Manila is possible via a combined land and sea route. Bus companies such as Southstar Liner, TRITRAN, De la Rosa Liner, and Lucena Lines have terminals at Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) cor. Taft Avenue in Makati, Ali Mall Compound in Cubao, and along EDSA in Quezon City. these bus lines offer rides to two ports in mainland Luzon that serve roll-on, roll-off ships via the Batangas or Lucena ports, depending on the destination.

The Batangas Port serves ships going to Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Romblon. Lucena Port, on the other hand, serves ships going to Marinduque.

Alternatively, travelers may take a ferry directly from Manila to either Puerto Princesa, Palawan (a 20-hour trip) using Superferry or to Romblon (a 10-hour trip) using MBRS Lines.

Upon arrival, travelers have several public transportation options for getting around the various MIMAROPA provinces: choose from FX/AUV transport, local buses, and the ubiquitous tricycles and jeepneys plying provincial thoroughfares.

 


Where to stay

From affordable bed-and-breakfast inns to luxury hotels, there is a wide range of accommodations in the region to suit the budget any traveler:

To learn more, see the following links:

Places to stay in Oriental Mindoro | Places to stay in Occidental Mindoro
Places to stay in Marinduque | Places to stay in Romblon
Places to stay in Palawan

 


What to eat

Fresh seafood is widely available throughout the entire MIMAROPA region: mussels, oysters, shrimp, prawns, and dozens of varieties of fish, all prepared in a style unique to each province.

The dry, crunchy uraro or arrowroot cookies are a specialty of Marinduque. With a simple, clean flavor that is slightly sweet and buttery, these flower-shaped cookies are often brought by visitors to take home to their relatives.

The sarsa of Romblon is a local delicacy made of coconut and tiny river shrimp. Wrapped in coconut leaves and then boiled, this dish offers a very interesting and tasty contrast of flavors and textures.

Oriental Mindoro has the suman sa lihiya, a sweet, square-shaped dessert made of glutinous rice and wrapped in palm leaves. Also known as Mindoro tamales, these filling pastries are usually eaten topped with a generous dollop of coco jam. For the truly adventurous, Palawan offers more exotic fare, such as the mangrove-boring mollusk known as tamilok. As a dish, it is typically eaten raw with a splash of coconut vinegar or calamansi juice to taste. Aficionados frequently claim that tamilok has a texture reminiscent of oysters, but a more delicious taste.

 


What to buy

Each province has local handicrafts and specialties that set it apart from its neighbors. For instance, Marinduque has a tradition of producing high-quality hardwood furniture from narra, gmelina and acacia, primarily in the town of Mogpog. Romblon, on the other hand, is famed for its marble deposits; the island’s pier is a marketplace for fine decorative pieces, furniture items, vases and souvenir items.

 

For Tour Operators & Travel Agents

Department of Tourism: Overseas Offices
DOT: List of accredited establishments

Or see our article on this topic for a list of major travel agencies in the Philippines:
For tour operators and travel agencies: Doing business in the Philippines

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