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San Jose Occidental Mindoro Tourism - More Than A Gateway - Island Adventure, White Beaches & Reefs


Travel Guide: San Jose Occidental Mindoro Philippines - Tourism Video, travel destinations, island adventures, white beaches, reefs. San Jose is a municipality in Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. San Jose offers an off-the-beaten-path charm for tourists who shun the crowded and over-commercialized spots in the country. The major attractions of San Jose are its three offshore islands - Ambulong, Ilin, and White Island (also called Manadi). San Jose is also a favorite jump-off point to the world-class diving site - Apo Reef Marine Park.

0:00 Intro to San Jose tourism spots & destinations 0:09 About San Jose Occidental Mindoro 0:25 How to Get to San Jose (Travel Guide) - from Manila to San Jose (by plane or by bus) 0:47 Manati Island or White Island - Brgy. Pag-asa San Jose Occidental Mindoro 2:17 Bahura Reef - Brgy. Pag-asa San Jose Occidental Mindoro 3:23 Inasakan Beach - Swimming, Camping, Sun Bathing 4:49 Grace Island Resort - San Jose Occidental Mindoro 6:18 San Jose Pasalubong Center

San Jose, officially the Municipality of San Jose (Tagalog: Bayan ng San Jose), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. Facebook Page: Tourism San Jose Official This video is part of Arawatan Festival 2020 Entry No. 7 : San Jose Tourism Promotion Video - NASASABIK AKONG MAKITA KANG MULI VIRTUAL TOUR CONTEST Arawatan Festival, tampok sa pagdiriwang ng Anibersaryo ng Occidental Mindoro “ARAWATAN” is a native term among the Mangyan that connotes “unity”, “cooperation” and “helping each other”. This is an annual historic event in Occidental Mindoro where the people of this province of various religious congregations, beliefs, and political differences, varying ethnically & indigenous people, customs and traits are strongly “unified.” Each year, the people of Occidental Mindoro, the students, professionals, businessmen, government officials, together with the rural folks and indigenous people participate in the activities. The usual celebration highlights exhibition of this province natural attractions, agricultural, coastal and marine products, street dancing, fairs, sports, competition, parade of beauties and recognition to achievers or outstanding performers of the province. It is celebrated every 11th day of November in celebration of the Province of Occidental Mindoro’s founding anniversary.



MGA KWENTONG PAMANA

A Commemoration to 2021 National Heritage Month
Written by Mr. Rudy A. Candelario


Municipality of San Jose Occidental Mindoro historical sites map



1. Archaeological Site at Sitio Bubog, Brgy. Pawican


The settlement of the first inhabitants of San Jose. From July 13-August 15, 2015 a group of archaeologists from UP, led by Professor Alfred Pawlik discovered that Iling Island, specifically, Sitio Bubog of Brgy. Pawican, at present, was inhabited by people belonging to the hunter-gatherer society.  The said group excavated shell adzes from the island. After being subjected to carbon dating in a laboratory in Australia, it was determined that the shell adzes were used for cutting wood by the hunter-gatherers 6500 - 6250 years before the birth of Jesus Christ 


2. Ingbanwahan of Iling Proper


The first community visited by the Spaniards in Mindoro. Historian Dr. Gregorio Zaide wrote that in 1571, Captain Juan de Salcedo with boatloads of Visayan & Spanish warriors, visited Iling Island, on their way to Mamburao to drive the Muslim pirates from their headquarters. The old settlement which they visited is now called Ingbanwahan which originally came from a Visayan term meaning “Pinagbayanan”. Captain Juan de Salcedo reported to Gov.-Gen. Martin Lopez de Legazpi that the inhabitants of this community are peace-loving people. 


3. Minanga Cove & Lighthouse at Ambulong Island


The hiding place of marauding pirates and the guide of seagoing vessels in the southern portion of Mindoro Strait. In an article published in Singapore, in 1849, the late Dutch researcher & SVD priest, Fr. Antoon Postma, read that the Muslim pirates sought shelter in the cove or sheltered bay of Ambulong (Minanga Cove), during stormy weather.  In 1860, the Spanish colonial government built a lighthouse on the hill located in the northwestern part of the island. When the elements of nature destroyed the lighthouse, the American government built a more durable lighthouse on the same hill in 1901.  The structure is still standing up to the present time.


4. Mangarin Fort (Kuta)


A structure used to defend the inhabitants of Mangarin against the marauding pirates.  In 1844, the parish priest of Mangarin, Fr. Pedro Soto de San Juan Bautista, led his parishioners in building this stone fort with four cannons.  Day and night, guards were assigned at the fort and every time they see the colorful sails of the pirates’ vinta in Mindoro Strait, they ring the bell on the watchtower to warn the inhabitants of impending danger. The pirates stopped marauding Mangarin when, the defenders of the fort killed some of them with the use of the bronze cannons.  


5. Old Spanish Church


The house of worship where two Spanish friars declared holy by the Catholic Church had celebrated mass.  In 1850, Fr. Pablo Bienzobas de San Antonio de Padua, encouraged the parishioners of Mangarin Parish to build a stone church which would also serve as stronghold (baluarte), whenever the pirates attack their settlement.  The inhabitants upon hearing the ringing of the bell at Mangarin fort would hide inside the massive walls of the stone church.  Old records at the archives of the Order of the Augustinian Recollect, mentioned that St. Exequiel Moreno and Blessed Diego de Sanvitores celebrated mass inside this church.  


6. Old Canteen of Philippine Milling Company


The building where passengers of ships docking at the south western portion of Mindoro Strait used to come and wait for the train from Central.  Built as a canteen in 1912, near the wooden wharf of Caminawit by the owners of Mindoro Sugar Company (later renamed Philippine Milling Company), this structure also served as a waiting place of passengers who wanted to go to Central to work at the sugarcane plantation & sugar mill.  Oftentimes, they waited for the train to arrive from Central for several hours. The canteen supervisor used to utter this joke to the passengers:  “You come and wait.”  Later on the words joined and became “Caminawit,” the name of the community where the canteen is located.  In 1971, the second floor of this old building was used as the broadcast studio of DZYM-AM, the first radio station in Occidental Mindoro 

 

7. Murtha Airfield


An old community of the Mangyans which played an important role in the liberation of the Philippines. In 1944, during the liberation of San Jose from Japanese occupation, this airfield was constructed by the engineers of the Allied Armed Forces.  It was named in honor of Colonel John Murtha, commander of the 310th Bombardment Wing who died when the fighter plane of a Japanese kamikaze pilot dove and exploded in the battleship carrying him and other by the Allied Armed Forces to liberate other parts of the Philippines from Japanese occupation.  Warplanes from this airfield were used to liberate other parts of the country from the occupation of Japanese soldiers.  After the war, Upper Mangyan, the old name of the place where the airfield was located, was changed to Murtha. 


8. McGuire Airfield


This airfield was also constructed by the Allied Armed Forces, in 1944, during the liberation of San Jose from Japanese occupation.  It was named after Major Thomas McGuire, an ace pilot of the U.S. Air Force.  Like Murtha Airfield, warplanes from this airfield were used by the Allied Armed Forces, to liberate other parts of the Philippines from Japanese occupation.  After World War II, it was converted into a commercial airport by the national government and was inaugurated by President Elpidio Quirino, in 1951.  Great improvements were made by the government to this airport, through the years and it contributed much to the progress of the municipality of San Jose.


9. Gabaldon Building of Siete Central Farm School


The only Gabaldon type of school building which is still standing in San Jose.  This building of Siete Central Farm School, which was the 3rd educational institution opened in San Jose, after Iling Elementary School & Caminawit Elementary School was constructed in 1913.  This type of school building was named after Representative Isauro Gabaldon, who sponsored in the Philippine Assembly the bill which allotted one million pesos for the construction of school buildings for elementary school pupils. During World War II, this building was also used as a garrison by the Japanese soldiers who occupied San Jose. 


10. First Post Office of San Jose


This building was used as first post office of San Jose, when this town was created by Gov.-Gen. William Cameroon Forbes, on May 1, 1910.  During World War II, this building was also used as a garrison by the Japanese soldiers. When a building was constructed at Pandurucan, to house the permanent post office, Holy Family Academy used this structure as its library in 1957.  Only minor repairs were made in this structure.  Despite existing for more than a century, this building is still standing.


11. Central Heritage Park    


A park created to perpetuate the memory of the most progressive community in the island of Mindoro, in 1912.  When Philippine Milling Company ceased to operate, during Decade 70s, its buildings were dismantled and its reusable equipment & machineries were sold to sugar millers at Iloilo.  Pioneers of Central felt extremely sad for the demise of the once progressive company.  To remind the people of the physical appearance of the center of the sugar company, Brgy Captain Amado Tan set aside an area at the exact location of the sugar mill, beautified the surroundings and constructed a concrete stage with replicas of the important structures of Philippine Milling Company.  


12. Hilltop, Central


The place where the airplane carrying then Manila Auxiliary Bishop William Finnemann, SVD, DD landed in 1934.  The bishop administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to thousands of children of workers & employees of Philippine Milling Company.  He was the first bishop who visited the sugar mill & sugarcane plantation.  When the Apostolic Prefecture of Mindoro was established in 1936, he was installed as the first bishop of the ecclesiastical territory in the island.


13. Site of St. Joseph School


The site where the buildings for the classrooms of a Catholic school founded by Fr. Carlos Brendel, SVD were erected.  Called as St. Joseph’s School, this educational institution gave quality education to the youth of San Jose and neighboring municipalities, who became leaders in various fields of endeavour.  In 1960, when Southern Mindoro Academy was acquired by the SVD fathers, this secondary school became an exclusive school for girls.  One of the alumni of this school is Representative Josephine Ramirez-Sato, the longest serving public official of Occidental Mindoro.  St. Joseph’s School closed in 1984. 


14. Site of Southern Mindoro Academy


The site where the building of the first secondary school in the south western part of Mindoro was erected in 1945. That year, Professor Gabriel Fabella and his fellow educators, founded in Central, Southern Mindoro Academy (SMA). When soldiers of the Allied Armed Forces who liberated San Jose on December 15, 1944 left the municipality, one of the long quonset huts in Pandurucan, which they used as living quarter, was bought by the incorporators of the school and converted into classrooms. In 1960, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) bought SMA and renamed it as Divine Word Academy.  Years later, it became known as Divine Word College-San Jose. 

    

15. Statue of Liberty  


The statue erected to perpetuate the memory of the liberation of San Jose by the Allied Armed Forces, from Japanese occupation on December 15, 1944.  In 1947, the first graduates of Southern Mindoro Academy (SMA) implemented their project of acquiring a statue of liberty and donating it to the municipal government, to commemorate the liberation of San Jose by the Allied Armed Forces from Japanese occupation.  Mayor Isabelo Abeleda happily received the donation.  It was erected at the western part of the town plaza.  Many years later, the statue was transferred in front of the municipal compound, near the entrance.  


16. Second Landing Site


The portion of the beach in San Jose where approximately 300 soldiers of the Allied Armed Forces first landed.  From Leyte, the liberation forces proceeded to San Jose on December 15, 1944 and made this part of the beach of Brgy. San Roque, at present, as their Second Landing Site.  Aside from soldiers, supplies, ammunitions, transport vehicles, tanks and heavy equipment were unloaded in this area. Airfields were hastily constructed at strategic places in San Jose.  Warplanes from those airfields helped liberate many places in the Philippines from Japanese occupation.


17. Adoration Chapel of Iling Proper


The old church at the center of the mission station founded by the Spanish missionaries at the south western part of Mindoro.  Improved and beautified in 2013 by Fr. Fernando Suarez, MMMP, this house of worship was already being used by the Catholic faithful in the Island of Iling.  This was formerly a wooden chapel built by the Spanish friars, when they made Iling as a mission station in 1820.  After many years, they installed at the belfry of this chapel a church bell with the inscription “Aπo 1843.” 


18. St. Joseph Cathedral


The church where the seat of the vicar apostolic of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose is found. This house of worship was a former parish church built by Fr. George Koshinski, SVD in 1961.  In 1983, when the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose was created and Bishop Vicente Manuel, SVD, DD was installed as the apostolic vicar, this church was elevated to the status of a cathedral for it became the center of an ecclesiastical territory.  The cathedral was made wider by members of Basic Ecclesial Communities in Occ. Mindoro.  In 2001, the Cathedral Renovation Committee headed by Ms. Fe Ronquillo-Arrastia was created.  With the financial support of the Catholic faithful here and abroad, the cathedral was renovated and made bigger.


19. Santisima Trinidad Church


The tourist magnet church in Iling Island.  This is a church constructed by “the healing priest” Rev. Fr. Fernando Suarez, MMMP, founder of the religious congregation Missionaries of Mary Mother of the Poor (MMMP).  Structurally, the brick-clad edifice is a modern adaptation of Romanesque architecture; it has a floor area of nearly 600 square meter, and has its own choir loft. The Byzantine inspired structure is made of banal solid wood featuring 40 sacred icons, 12 apostles and the last supper. A painter from Israel came and volunteered to paint the sacred icons, apostles and picture of the last supper inside the church.


20. Old Mangarin


The center of the first parish created by the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, in the south western part of Mindoro, in 1683.  A stone fort was constructed here to defend the parishioners against the marauding pirates. However, since the center of the parish was located between two rivers, it was frequently flooded.  The inhabitants, led by Fr. Valentin Diaz delos Sagrados Corazones de Jesus y Maria requested the government to transfer it to another place. The government granted their request.  In 1866, the barrio site of Mangarin was transferred to the place where it is located at present.




CEBU PACIFIC FLIGHT SCHEDULE

Manila - San Jose - Manila
Effective February 1-28, 2021


CEBU PACIFIC Airlines FLIGHT SCHEDULE Manila to San Jose Occidental Mindoro
CEBU PACIFIC Airlines FLIGHT SCHEDULE from Manila to San Jose Occidental Mindoro


Department of Tourism (DOT) Accredited Acommodation Establishments in San Jose
as of October 28, 2020. 

Are you looking for safe, comfortable, and classy hotels amidst the new normal? Hotels that care not only for your comfort but also suit your budget. Hotels that serve an appetizing and affordable menu and provide great ease as good like home. Hotels of such are available here in San Jose. 

Experience solicitude and amenity in the  Department of Tourism (DOT) Accredited Acommodation Establishments in San Jose as of October 28, 2020. The following have fulfilled all the requirements for accreditation under a Community Quarantine Zones upon the issued Administrative Order No. 2020-002-A, also known as "Guidelines on the Operations of Hotels and other Accommodation Establishments".

Where to Stay DOT Accredited Acommodation Hotel Establishments  San Jose Occidental Mindoro
Where to Stay  - DOT Accredited Acommodation Establishments/ Hotels in San Jose Occidental Mindoro

Check out their Facebook Pages:

    ~
G-Star HOTEL
    ~ Hidden Haven Hideaways Inn
    ~ Jazmine Royale
    ~
Jds San Jose
    ~ Samonte Mini Hotel
    ~ Sikatuna Town Hotel


TourLISTA: An Innovative Approach to Cure Primitive Statistical Difficulties

The Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Jose through the Municipal Tourism and Community Development Office (MTCDO) successfully conducted an orientation to DOT Accredited Accommodation Establishments (AEs) around San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last January 21-22, 2021, discussing the new digital application called “TourLISTA”, proposed by Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wherein tutorial on how to properly manage the said app is the main highlight of the meeting. The said meeting was supervised by Senior Tourism Operations Officer, Ms. Ann Roxanne J. De Vera together with the MTCDO Staff.

The project “TourLISTA” or the Tourism Live-Inventory and Statistics of Tourist Arrivals of DOT-MIMAROPA and DOST, is a web-based information system that functions to consolidate the database of all tourist arrivals from Accommodation Establishments (AEs) and Tourist Attractions (TAs) in the MIMAROPA region. Also, TourLISTA is armed with geographical information system which can indicate the location of all registered Accommodation Establishments (AEs) and Tourist Attractions (TAs) in the area. To ease the analysis of data, TourLISTA is also capable of analyzing the statistics of the encoded data and can easily generate reports based on the requirements of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The use of this application will bring convenience, efficiency, and innovativeness to Accommodation Establishments (AEs) and Tourist Attractions (TAs) coordinators, eradicating the tourism reporting difficulties wherein it can also provide accuracy and reliability of data. Thus, the Department of Tourism-MIMAROPA is highly encouraging the Accommodation Establishments (AEs) and Tourist Attractions (TAs) to support and begin to use the app as it can possibly create a massive change to the tourism industry. 

Furthermore, the Municipal Tourism and Community Development Office (MTCDO) will continue to facilitate this “TourLISTA” Project particularly to non-DOT Accredited Accommodation Establishments (AEs) and Tourist Attractions (TAs) to also extend assistance to them and to spread awareness on the integration of technology to business and tourism industry.



Additional Spot Soon!

The San Jose Board Walk

Location: Airport Road, Barangay San Roque, San Jose Occ. Mindoro

Perspective of the Construction of Aroma Beach Boardwalk (Phase 1) - San Jose Occidental Mindoro
San Jose Boardwalk Perspective

The beginning of a livelier and more appealing Aroma Beach, and as the Phase 1 of the construction of Boardwalk commences January 23, 2021 - another remarkable story was written in the history of San Jose.

Local Government Unit of San Jose headed by Municipal Mayor Romulo M. Festin, together with Congresswoman Josephine R. Sato, SP Member Michelle Festin-Rivera, Department Heads, and LGU employees attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Aroma Beach Boardwalk. The said project is under Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) with the Php15,960, 887.86 total funds. 

Hon. Rivera, the former Municipal Focal Person on Tourism of San Jose, is emotional while looking back on the challenges that the pursuance of the project have gone through before its implementation. She also emphasized the important contribution and collective effort of all the persons behind the project, especially the Department of Tourism - MIMAROPA and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).


Construction of Boardwalk San Jose Occidental Mindoro


Mayor Festin reminisces how beautiful Aroma Beach was and how it became an important part of his life and other San Joseños. He is exultant in this fresh start of San Jose and in bringing back the fascinating and active past of Aroma Beach through the said project.

Aroma Beach and Boardwalk Billboard San Jose Occidental Mindoro


Meanwhile, Congresswoman Sato iterates her memories of the Aroma Beach. She related the lives of San Joseños to the beach: how calm it is and how disturbed it is during storms. According to her, we won't be exempted from any challenges but if we unite and practice camaraderie, we can surpass these struggles with ease. 

The event concluded on the highlight of the program, the traditional burying of the time capsule initiated by the elected officials and personalities.



Safe Travel with the Tourist Police Unit (TPU)

Activation of the San Jose Tourist Police Unit - Occidental Mindoro



The Philippine National Police (PNP) Occidental Mindoro led by PCOL Hordan T. Pacatiw conducted a Pre-Coordinating Meeting for the Activation of Tourist Police Unit (TPU) in the province of Occidental Mindoro last February 16, 2021 at Occidental Mindoro Multi-purpose Hall, Camp Winston S Ebersole, Brgy. San Roque, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

PLTCOL Andres C. Tejerero, Chief, PPPU, discussed the last requirement regarding the approval of the application for the activation of the TPU and the roles of concerned agencies in securing the safety and protection of the domestic and foreign tourists/travelers in the province as the New Normal commences.

During the open forum led by PLTCOL Rolando A. Culiao, it has been agreed upon that TPU will be designated into the different entry and exit points in the province like airports and seaports. Accordingly, they also identified some of the prominent tourist attractions in San Jose and Sablayan where TPUs could do rounds. However, some tourist attractions from other municipalities are also allowed to request for TPU. Further, they also discussed the updates regarding the conceptualization of the Memorandum of Agreement and its relevance and timeliness for the gradual re-opening of the tourism industry in the province. 

The said meeting was attended by various association presidents and representatives from San Jose and Sablayan together with PLTCOL Danilo U. Driz, OIC - San Jose Police Station, Ms. Sylvia T. Salgado, Senior Tourism Operations Officer – Sablayan, Ms. Isabel J. Castillo, Senior Tourism Operations Offices – Provincial Tourism Office, Hon. Andres D. Dangeros, Municipal Mayor of Sablayan, Hon. Jose Franco Mendiola and Ms. Ann Roxanne J. De Vera, Senior Tourism Operations Officer – San Jose.


San Jose Tourism Improvements

ASSESSMENT FOR THE TOURISM RIDGE ROAD PROJECT
Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro

Tourism Ridge Road Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro


The Municipal Tourism and Community Development Office (MTCDO), in coordination with the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) and Municipal Engineering Office (MEO), through the support of barangay officials, had successfully conducted a Survey and Geo-tagging for the proposed Concreting of Tourism Ridge Road Project (DPWH-DOT Convergence Program - Tourism Road Infrastructure Program) Leading to Tourist Destinations in the entire island of Ilin, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro


The said assessment for the road-building project started from Brgy. Pawican passing the five (5) more Barangays naming Buri, Bangkal, Ilin Proper, and Labangan Ilin, and ended up in Brgy. Ansiray. Its target was to construct roads from specific Tourist Destinations connected to the main road.

Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro

Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro


Accomplishing this road concreting assessment would help to determine the feasibility of the Ridge Road Project leading to different tourist destinations and would establish strong linkages among different barangays of this island. 


Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro


This project would be advantageous not only in promoting and supporting the different tourist destinations in particular but definitely to the residents of the community in general, enabling them to consume lesser time in traveling from one barangay to another, ensuring a more efficient transport such as goods and local products in the area and also can open a portal that leads to the generation of more employment, which can help to uplift the economic status of the inhabitants and its nearby communities.
Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro

Ilin Island, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro


FESTIVALS

PANDURUCAN PAROL FESTIVAL

A Tradition, a Masterpiece and an Emblematic Symbol of Christmas. Welcoming the Christmas season can be considered as one of the most momentous experiences throughout the year. It’s the season to be jovial and grateful and is a time worth spending with loved ones, doing meaningful activities to cherish and linger for life. Filipino Christmas celebration is branded as vibrant, lively, and definitely twinkling, undoubtedly because of the most iconic symbol of Christmas, the lanterns or locally known as “Parol”. The star-shaped lanterns are exhibited dangling outside the house along the busy streets, particularly in provinces and small towns, regardless of its designs, whether simple or intricate. Parol is more than just a representation of Christmas, it is something that symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness especially in these trying times of virus outbreak, and also signifies Filipino’s innate goodwill and exceptional craftsmanship during the Christmas season.

We San Joseños have our own way of commemorating Yuletide season and that was through the annual celebration of “Pandurucan Parol Festival”, a competition every 1st day of December through the pursuance of the Ordinance No. 870, Series of 2018, aiming to showcase the creativity and expertise of every San Joseños in crafting Christmas lanterns.




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