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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Abra de Ilog Pier » Your Lovely Gateway to Occidental Mindoro

Welcome arch at the gate entrance of Abra de Ilog Pier
I was browsing through photos on my mobile phone from my last hometown vacation and found this snaps taken at the Abra de Ilog Pier. I found the snapshots lovely and posted it here. Being a Mindore├▒o, I passed this place countless times and these are the amazing scenes I tend to ignore.

Well, when I travel back to my hometown, I don’t usually think of the touristy things to do there like taking photos and stuff – and I’m a bit guilty of not featuring my own province here on this blog (well, I guess I have to do something about that).

Maybe it’s because I tend not to think of my hometown as a tourist destination, unlike those places with famous beaches, or a historical church or some overrated resort. What I see, whenever I’m traveling back to Mindoro, is a collection of vivid images in my mind that together make up the idea of a special happy place, a “home”, or at least the idea of a small, almost unknown, peaceful and solitary hometown – a perfect hide-out and the pleasure of a small town life, not meant to be shared with others.

Sepia sunset at sea with water reflection taken at the pier
Drama at the Pier: Passengers are treated with this amazing scene while waiting for the RoRo to leave the pier
Looking at this stunning scenes, I felt like, yeah why not be a tourist in my hometown? Why not get off the beaten track and find new places to explore, no matter how simple or how far and how common they can be - basically, all I need is to look. Occidental Mindoro is beautiful in its own amazing way! 

Fiherman sailing at the sea with amasing view of coastline
Occasional motorized banca passing along the ferry
Well, let me start at the Abra de Ilog Pier, the gateway to the Province of Occidental Mindoro.

Ferry / RoRo passngers looking at the amazing view of the island
Taking a glimpse: You will be tempted to look...and reminisce

The gateway to my hometown

In 1988, during the administration of Occidental Mindoro Governor Peter Medalla, Jr., a concrete pier was constructed in Abra de Ilog. The travelers started using it in 1992.

Pasengers entering the Ferry at the Abra de ilog pier
Now boarding
The Port of Abra de Ilog is considered as the northern gateway to my hometown and the province of Occidental Mindoro. It is about two and a half hours by Roll-on roll-off ships (usually called RoRo) and an hour by fastcraft from the port of Batangas going to the Municipality of Abra de Ilog.

Passengers at the Abra de Ilog Pier ready to board the Ferry / Roro
Shadows on the ramp: Passengers ready to board the ferry
Pasengers boarding Roro / Ferry at the Abra de Ilog Pier in Occidental Mindoro
Hurry, let's take the best spot!
There is a rumor that time that the original plan was to build the pier in Paluan being closer to Mamburao, the capital town of Occidental Mindoro. It is also safer there because Paluan is situated at the natural “hook” land formation at the tip of the province, which serves as a cove with natural defense against big waves during typhoon. However, owners of shipping lines, being residents of Abra de Ilog and also politically active in the province, is said to lobby on the pier’s location. Well, that's Mindoro politics

View of Abra de Ilog coastline as seen from the ferry
Little ramp: Unfinished concrete ramp at the pier 
Abra de Ilog is located in the Northeastern part of Occidenal Mindoro, bounded in the North by the Verde island Passage; in the Northeast by the well-known Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro; in the South by Mamburao and in the West by my lovely hometown – the Municipality of Paluan.

Roro Ferry docked at the pier in Occidental Mindoro
Ferry peacefully docked at the pier
The Abra de Ilog pier is situated at Sitio Matabang of Barangay Lumang Bayan which is on the northern coast of mainland Occidental Mindoro facing Verde Island passage to North. The port projects about 230 meters north from the main road and 150 meters from the shoreline.

Photo of Abra de Ilog Pier in Occidental Mindoro Philippines
The 65 m rock causeway connected to an 85 m RC pier with RoRo ramp at its end
If via land access, Abra de Ilog is accessible through land transportation from the capital town of Mamburao with a distance of about 31 kms and by passenger and cargo ferry service from the Batangas City with a distance of 25 nautical miles. The Port is  approximately 7 km from the town proper of Abra de Ilog and is accessible via main national road. It can also be reached by pump boats (motorized bancas) from the Port of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro.

Captured colorful sunset at the pier
Consider yourself lucky if you happen to catch this amazing sunset at the pier

Miscellaneous Information
Port Area: 4,707.62 sq.m.

Contact Information:
MATABANG PORT, ABRA DE ILOG                                 
Terminal Management Office, Port of Abra de Ilog , Matabang, Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro
Leonardo C. Villena – Officer-in-Charge
Tel. No.  0918-427-1040
Port Authority: Port Management Office of Calapan
San Antonio,  Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro 
Telephone: (043)2886187and Tel/Fax 2881687
Mr. Felix M. Barcala - Port Manager

References:  {Retrieved: 06 Dec. 2012}
» Candelario, Rudy translated by Walata, Benjamin. "History of Abra de Ilog"
» Philippine Ports Authority. Port of Abra de Ilog, Philippines General Info.

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Yodi Insigne
Yodi Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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