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FAST FACTS

/ 12:07 AM May 08, 2014

Jutting southwest of Manila and northwest of Mindoro Island, Lubang in Occidental Mindoro, is composed of seven islets. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the west by the West Philippine Sea and on the south by the Mindoro Strait. It is separated from the Luzon mainland by the Verde Island Passage, assessed by experts as the center of the world’s marine biodiversity.

The fourth-class municipality (annual income: P25 million-P35 million), located 75 nautical miles southwest of Metro Manila, is one of several towns in the Lubang island group.

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Population: About 25,000

Livelihood: Farming and fishing

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Best time to go: October to May

There are no banks nor automated teller machines (ATMs) on the islands.

Getting there

Take a bus or van from Taft Avenue in Manila to Calatagan (a ride of about 3 hours) or Nasugbu town (about 2 hours) in Batangas where ferry boats bring passengers to Barangay (village) Tilik in Lubang town, Mondays through Sundays. Fares: Bus, P180; van, P350; boat, P400.

Ferries in Calatagan and Nasugbu take 2-3 hours to reach Tilik. Call 0921-4229226 (God’s Grace Ferry Services); 0999-3576665 and 0909-2671693 (MB Magnificat). Ferries from Manila to Tilik are being awaited.

From Tilik, tourists can hire tricycles, vans and boats. Call Norlie Tividad for van rentals (0907-9655831) or Nestor Masangkay for tricycle rentals (0910-4096228). No public vehicles ply Lubang’s roads. All vehicles are for hire per route or per day, but fare rates are regulated by the municipality.

Visitors should register with the Lubang Tourism Office at the municipal hall and pay the user’s fee per site (P25).

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For registration, tour guides, homestays and vehicle/boat rents, call Lubang Mindoro Tourism Officer Gina Julaton at 0921-4224387.

Travel tips

Bring water and food.

Wear rubber shoes with good traction and long-sleeved tops, light mountain pants and hat.

Bring extra batteries for cameras and waterproof your gadgets/belongings.

Leave heavy stuff at home.

Bring insect repellant and anti-allergy medication for bites or allergies from trees or leaves.

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