Beauty of Bulalacao (Oriental Mindoro, PH)

“It’s a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

_CSC_1349Whenever a person tells me that they consider themselves beach lovers, I would often ask their idea of a perfect beach. Some says the beach should have an unobstructed view of the sea. Others would say it should have clean shoreline and crystal clear water. Most of those that I know would just say – it has to be relaxing.And I just have to agree with all their reasons. The perfect beach getaway is one that I can hear the sea breeze humming to my ears, the waves rolling on the shore, with my bare feet sensing the sand beneath its sole, no screaming children, no sea of tourists and big umbrellas blocking the ocean view, and perhaps a good book to keep me company while I await the sun to set.Isn’t this too ambitious to ask for? Well, no. Especially that the Philippines is a country blessed with a seemingly endless coastline – serene and beach worthy. So, if you’re looking to enjoy complete solitude on a dazzling beach, you’ll definitely want to check the untouched islands of Bulalacao in Oriental Mindoro.DSC_1666Bulalacao, a coastal town in southern Oriental Mindoro is virtually an untouched and a must-visit eco-tourism spot. It is said to be the home of the Hanunuo (a tribe of stone age primitive Mangyans). Bulalacao maybe that sanctuary you are looking for to escape the stressful city life.

Trivia: The town, whose name according to myth was derived from a bird of death known to locals as “bulalacao”. Sounds creepy but the attractions the place offers is the opposite since it is teeming with beautiful natural spots.DSC_1729According to their tourism office, Bulalacao has thirteen outlying islands dotted with a handful of beaches to count in a day, each beach has its own charm. The whitest sand beaches around Bulalacao are on Buyayao Island, Tambaron Island, Target Island and Aslom Island.  I was fortunate to have visited both Tambaron and Aslom Islands.

ASLOM ISLANDDSC_1913 DSC_1884

Aslom Beach is an ideal tropical getaway. The island’s name came from the Cebuano word “aslom”, meaning sour, because of the abundance of sampaloc trees bearing the sour fruit.  The unblemished splendour of the island is ideal for beach bumming and exploring the marine world. The island has a crescent-shaped sandbar that stretches about 500 meters. The water is crystal clear and some lovely trees add charm to the place. There are no other establishments or restaurants on the island. While the island is private, travellers can stay for free during the daytime, however staying overnight is not allowed.

TAMBARON ISLANDDSC_1773 DSC_1761Tambaron Island is a rocky-mountainous island. It is pretty close to mainland Bulalacao and is just about 30-45 minutes from Bulalacao Bay depending on sea conditions. The island offers white sandy beaches, colourful marine life, pastoral trails and a quiet environ. Unlike Aslom, one can stay overnight in this island since it is usually the ideal jump off point for island hopping in Bulalacao.

How To Reach Bulalacao:

These are the possible options you may take if you want to visit Bulalacao.

  1. From Manila, book a ticket and plane your way to the domestic airport of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. From San Jose ride a bus bound for Bulalacao.
  2. Another way is to ride a RORO Bus from Cubao. These buses go directly to Bulalacao via Batangas Port. The fare range isPhp700-800 (this includes the boat ride from Batangas Port to Calapan Port in Mindoro. Travel time takes 8-10hrs). Once in Calapan, ride a van or a bus bound for Bulalacao.
  3. Lastly, you may take a bus going to Batangas Pier/Port from Alabang Terminal. Then ride a ferry boat (like Supercat) from Batangas, or a RoRo ship that will take you to Calapan Port. From Calapan Port, you’ll see vans going directly to Bulalacao.DSC_1744Once in Bulalacao, proceed to Bulalacao Bay and hire motor boats that can be rented from P600 to P 1,500 per day depending on the number of islands you would want to set foot on and your haggling skills.

Where To Stay in Bulalacao:
There are no “hotels” in Bulalacao but there are inns and houses where spare rooms have been converted to cater for a the increasing number of visitors.DSC_1763South Drive Inn & Grill –  0928 503-3327

San Rosa Inn – 0918 385-1433

Felipa Lodge – 0928 705-7035

Tambaron Island Green Beach Resort – 0920 339-2595

Thelma’s Paradise – 0907 440-1299

You may also contact the tourism office:
Oriental Mindoro Tourism Office | Tel (+63) 43 286-7046 | Fax (+63) 43 441-0306 |

E-mail : ormindorotourism@yahoo.com | www.ormindoro.gov.ph

8 thoughts on “Beauty of Bulalacao (Oriental Mindoro, PH)

  1. tinawid namin noon ang Mindoro island…we started the trek from barangay Cerveza sa Calapan, ang daming limatik, kaya kawawa ang mga porters namin na Mangyan dahil nakabahag lang, dinali ng mga limatik ang mga yagbols nila kaya nagkandadugo-dugo singit nila hanggang hita…inaatake pa rin kahit pinapahiran namin sila ng sabon…kami naman, pinasok ang mga sapatos kaya nararamdaman namin ang lumalapot na dugo habang umaakyat kami…yong kasama ko, nadale sa mata, yong isa sa tenga mabuti sa bukana lang ng butas kaya natanggal agad…hinanap namin ang source ng Amnay River, marami palang waterfalls pero mababa lang kaya hirap kami kahit may gamit na life raft na hiniram namin sa Phil Navy….there’s a stark difference sa terrain ng island, dahil pagdating namin sa tuktok, ang bumulaga sa amin paglabas sa gubat ay yong kung inglesin ay “undulating wave of cogon grass”, halos walang katapusan as far as the eyes can see…ang kikitid ng trails..no choice kami….from the top, where we stayed for a night sa isang cattle ranch (akala nila NPAs kami!), I decided na humiwalay sa group na magpapatianod sa ilog hanggang sa makarating sa dagat – sa Mamburao na, na other side na ng island….ako naman, namundok kasama ang dalawang batang Mangyan na guides ko…dahil may bagyo, “nanganak ” ang mga ilog!…dumami ang tributaries at malalakas ang agos, pati ang mga guides ko nagulat at natakot, pero alanganin nang bumalik sa itaas, kaya halos maubusan kami ng lakas sa kalalangoy makatawid lang sa kung ilang ilog…mga gamit ko basa lahat…bago dumilim narating namin ang isang barangay sa paanan ng bundok – lubog sa baha hanggang baywang!…nakitulog kami sa bahay ng isang kagawad…kinabukasan, madaling araw pa lang, lakad uli sa baha hanggang marating namin ang highway…iniwan ako ng mga bata…inumpisahan kong maglakad hanggang sa Mamburao kung saan may PAL airport/ station, mabuti na lang may dumaang pampasaherong jeep, pero puno kaya sumabit ako….pagdating ko sa airport, ang mga kasama ko nagbibilad na ng mga gamit na puro basa…the following day, we took the flight back to Manila….anim lang kami noong mga sira ulo na gumawa ng plano habang nag-iinuman…yong isa pala, binangungot sa Calapan pa lang dahil sa takot…sinabayan kasi kami ng bagyo….sigaw ng sigaw habang tulog, ng: “where?…where?…where?”, nang magising sabi niya, nanaginip daw siyang napahiwalay sa amin at naligaw!

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