Lubang Group of Islands
Occidental Mindoro is a province of unparalleled natural beauty, and this can be seen in the Lubang Group of Islands, an archipelago of fantastic beaches and crystal blue sea in the northwest of the northern end of Mindoro.
The four main islands of Lubang Group of Islands are Cabra Island, separated by a deep, three-kilometer-wide channel from Lubang Island, then Ambil Island and finally Golo Island. The three smaller islands are Talinas Island, Malavatuan Island and Mandaui Island.
1. Cabra Island is mostly wooded and about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long, rising to a height of about 60 metres (200 ft). It has a lighthouse at the northwest end of the island.
2. Lubang Island is about 125 square kilometres (48 sq mi), being over 25 kilometres (16 mi) in length and up to 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) wide.
3. Ambil Island is an extinct volcanic island rising to over 760 metres (2,490 ft) and is about 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) in area. During the earlier part of the Spanish Colonial Era, Ambil was reported to be in eruption. But when it was climbed by German scientist Carl Semper in the latter part of 19th century, he found no evidence that it has erupted in historical times.
4. Golo Island is long, narrow and flat lying, and is about 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) in area.
The islands were originally settled by Visayan peoples starting about 30,000 years ago. By 1900 the islands were inhabited by both Tagalog and Visayan peoples. The Spanish built a fort on Lubang Island, the San Vicente Bastion, on the western point of the entrance to Port tilig.
Lubang's recent history includes the curious story of Hiroo Onoda, a former army intelligence officer who was one of the last Japanese soldiers to surrender after World War II. He hid in the jungles of Lubang Island when the Allies reclaimed the Philippines, and engaged in continuous guerilla warfare against the United States and later against Philippine Commonwealth troops and paramilitary police, refusing to believe the war was over. He was officially relieved of duty in 1974, 29 years after the end of World War II.
How to get there
From Batangas, ferries are available most days of the week with routes to Lubang Island and take around six or so hours.