Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines

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When we say Occidental Mindoro, most may likely associate the province with the famous Apo Reef and Pandan Island in Sablayan, when it comes to tourist spots. To get there–and in different towns in the province—is the unassuming yet promising town of Abra de Ilog.

Abra de Ilog, which simply means “opening of a river,” is a serene and quiet town that serves as the only gateway to Occidental Mindoro. Probably what makes the town busy and noisy in a day is when a RORO ship docks in its port, carrying with it hundreds of locals and tourists alike eager to visit what Occidental Mindoro has to offer.

But one needs not to look farther. Abra de Ilog is an emerging destination tourist can add to their travel destinations.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Abra de Ilog Port Photo by Ramir G. Cambiado

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Welcome to Abra de Ilog Photo by Ramir G. Cambiado

Monkey DividersWhat To Do in Abra de Ilog?

1. Bike Around Town

Abra de Ilog is an emerging place for bike enthusiasts. Recently, it has opened trails around town, through the initiative Padyak Tamaraw Bike Ride, where locals and visiting bikers can marvel at the raw beauty of the town in two wheels. Indeed, what more could be more enjoying than biking around town and getting fit while being in a place so scenic and peaceful?

There are the two trails that are now open for mountain biking for beginners and intermediate bikers. The first one will lead you towards the Puerto Galera side, consisting of uphill and downhill ride. However, the road to Oriental Mindoro is still not yet finished. Cemented pavements good for biking is only within Abra de Ilog. Nevertheless, bikers still get a pleasant view of the town’s array of mountains, its port, and the sea, as well as get to pass by Mangyan villages located on the hillside.

The second trail, meanwhile, showcases three waterfalls that can be explored in a day—Papali, Agbalala, and Apyas Falls. See below for sample Day Trip Itinerary.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Bikers 1 Photo by Life on Frames Photography

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Bikers 2 Photo by Life on Frames Photography

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Biking Trail 1

2. Chase Waterfalls, Explore Rivers, and Dip in the Seas

Abra de Ilog boasts of several waterfalls that surround the town. As written earlier, the most popular of which are Papali, Agbalala, and Apyas.

According to locals, there are still unexplored falls which are yet to be opened to the public.

As for the sea, Abra de Ilog has Munting Buhangin Beach in Barangay Udalo, which is a 20-minute boat ride away from the port. Pick-ups from the port to the beach need to be pre-arranged. There is an array of resorts to choose from there.

This white beach boasts of rock formations displayed by the seaside that is partnered with the vibrant calmness that is offered by the sun, the sand and the waves, and the sea.

You can also arrange for a tour in the nearby Kalong River.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Biking Trail 3

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Sights in Occidental Mindoro by Ramiro G. Cambiado

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Agbalala Falls by Ramir G. Cambiado

3. Visit Communities of Iraya-Mangyans

It has been said that 40 percent of the population of Abra de Ilog are the Mangyan, specifically the Iraya group.

Iraya-Mangyans have adopted the lowland people’s way of living, especially through the way they dress. They are also skilled in weaving and handicrafts.

In the town, one of the most evident villages of the ethnic group is located in Barangay Lumang Bayan, located near the port.

Aside from Abra de Ilog, Iraya-Mangyans live in other towns in Occidental Mindoro like Palaun, Sta. Cruz, and Mamburao, as well as in some places in Oriental Mindoro.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Mangyan Village

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Motorbike along Trail 1 by Ramir G. Cambiado

Monkey Dividers

Where to Stay in Abra de Ilog?

Iraya Hotel, named to pay tribute to Iraya-Mangyans, is the only hotel in Abra de Ilog.  A 24-hour stay costs PHP 1,500.00. Rooms are clean and comfortable with a single bed, good for two persons only. It also has TV, built-in telephone and side table.  Bathrooms have a heater.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Iraya Room

Monkey Dividers

Where to Eat in Abra de Ilog?

At the port, there are a bunch of eateries to choose from. But I suggest you try Iraya Restaurant for its big lomi serving as well as other food options like bulalo, silog orders, and pancit at a very affordable price.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Iraya Restaurant

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Iraya Cafe

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Iraya Hotel Facade by Ramir G. Cambiado

Monkey Dividers

How to Get There?

1. From Manila, ride a bus going to Batangas Port. Travel time is two hours.

2. Book a ticket via Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc (MSLI) going to Abra de Ilog. Travel time is three hours.

3. From the port of Abra de Ilog, walk a little further to go to Iraya Hotel.

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. Photo by Ramir G. Cambiado

Monkey Dividers

Tricks and Tips

1.Do not opt for the 2 am RORO Schedule bound to Abra de Ilog. During the wee hours up to morning, it is low tide in Abra de Ilog. Chances are your itinerary will be affected because of the delay of the RORO.

2. If you are coming from Puerto Galera, you may take a boat ride going to Abra de Ilog in Balatero Port. From White Beach, ride a tricycle going to Balatero Port. Fare costs PHP 120.00. The boat ride from Balatero Port to Abra de Ilog Port is PHP 250.00 each. Estimated travel time is two hours.

3. Coordinate with the local tourism office of Abra de Ilog if you are going on a bike trail. Contact Mr. Geoffrey Panganiban, local tourism designates and email him at
[email protected].

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Lighthouse by Ramir G. Cambiado

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro

Abra de Ilog Town Proper

Monkey DividersTravel Budget Breakdown

Manila to Batangas Port- PHP 175.00

Batangas Port to Abra de Ilog Port: PHP 260. 00

Batangas Port Terminal Fee: PHP 30.00

Tricycle Fare: Php 30.00

Room Accommodation: PhP 1,500.00

Food Per Meal: PHP 120.000

Abra de Ilog Port to Batangas Port: PHP 260. 00

Abra de Ilog Terminal Fee: PhP 10.00

Batangas Port to Manila- Php 175.00

Monkey Dividers

Sample Itinerary

Day Trip Bike Ride

6pm-8pm Manila to Batangas Port

10am-1am Travel Batangas to Abra de Ilog

2am-5am Rest/ check in at Iraya Hotel

5am-6am Breakfast

6am-7am Start bike trail to Papali

7am ETA Papali

7am-8am Rest

8am-8:30am Bike to Agbalala Falls up to registration area

8:30-9:00 Trek to Agbalala Falls

9am-10:30am Rest

10:30am-11:00am Descent

11:30am-11:45am Travel to Apyas Falls

11:45am-12:30pm Rest/Dip in Apyas Falls

12:30pm-1pm Travel back to hotel

1pm-2pm Lunch

2pm-3pm Rest

4 pm- 7 pm Travel back to Batangas Port

7pm-10pm Back to Manila

Two Day Sample Itinerary

Day 1

6pm-8pm Travel to Batangas Port from Manila

10pm-1am Travel time from Batangas Port to Abra de Ilog

2 am Rest/ Check in to Hotel

6am-7am Breakfast at restaurant

7am-3pm Tour Papali, Agbalala, and Apyas Falls

3pm-4pm Go back to hotel or visit an Iraya-Mangyan community

4pm-6pm Rest

6pm-7pm Dinner

Day 2

7am-8am Breakfast

8am-10am Trek to Kalong River

10am-1pm Rest and Lunch

1pm-2pm Travel to Munting Buhangin Beach

2pm-5pm Rest by the beach

5-6pm Travel back to hotel

6pm-7pm- Dinner

7pm-9pm Rest/ Prepare for Departure

10pm-1am Travel from Abra de Ilog Port to Batangas Port

1 am- 3pm Travel back to Manila

Monkey Dividers

About the Writer

Travel Guide to Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro_Gelyka is a wild heart, free-spirited, 20-something Filipina who lives life traveling, writing, and meeting people. When not on the road, she is either beating deadlines for an article assignment or babysitting her one-year old nephew. She lives in Makati City. E-mail her at [email protected] or check her thoughts on travel, life, and love at 

 

 

 

 

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Comments 4

  1. A dream come true. Maybe you would not mind but I am one pf the pioneers in promoting Abra de Ilog as a new haven for tourist… In fact , I have several pictures of beautiful spots taken on different time and location. I consider myself an amateur photographer , coz for me it is just a hobby . I am from Tibag, Abra de Ilog, Thanks for promoting our town in the outside world to make a difference so that economic well being of the people will be expected . I take my hatch off in your nice endeavor

  2. Salamat Gelyka for this good information about Abra de ilog great pictures to go with details.
    Ive been to oriental Mindoro and was always intreged about Abra . I have a good feeling that this place has a lot of tourism potential for the not to distant Future
    CHEERS From GlennO (Toby Sure)

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