Blessed with amazing and world class wonders, the heart of Occidental Mindoro, guarantees everyone with unforgettable rendezvous with its warm people, rich culture and diverse nature – let’s wonder the beauty of Sablayan!
The mountains and forests of Sablayan are home to diverse flora and fauna, some of which are endemic to the island, and harbor great rivers, lakes, caves and waterfalls. Its museum and parks offer a historical and recreational experience. Its surrounding islands shine with their white sand on waters teeming with vivid and superb marine life.
But more than its marvelous scenery, both inland and underwater, Sablayan takes pride of its people with the rich culture of the indigenous Mangyans and the inborn hospitality of Sablayeños.
Paradise to enjoy
Apo Reef: Good for Diving and Snorkelling
Sablayan also owned the world-famous Apo Reef National Marine Park, which is considered as Asia’s largest atoll-like reef, the second largest in the world next only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It is a 34 square kilometer reef that has a thin channel separating the reef into two lagoon systems and serves as habitat of more than 350 marine species such as sharks, sea hawks, manta rays, stingrays and other tropical fishes and invertebrates.Divers and tourists both take delight in this sight to behold. Beneath the clear waters, divers can indulge the pristine white sand bottom with a vibrant array of 400 -500 coral species have been recorded to live there.
How to Get There
San Jose, Occidental Mindoro is the gateway to Sablayan by air. AirPhil Express, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air have regular flights to San Jose from Manila, travel time takes 45 minutes. From San Jose airport, take a short ride by tricycle to bus terminal, then hop to a bus going to Sablayan, fare is a little over P100.00, for a travel time of two-and-a-half to three hours. There are also air-conditioned vans that can be rented from the airport although it costs higher at P3500.00 and up.
From Sampaloc, Manila, there are air-conditioned Dimple Star Buses that go to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro passing in Sablayan, fare to Sablayan is P800.00 inclusive of the ferry and terminal fee in Batangas Port, last trip is 8PM from Sampaloc. They also have terminal in Alabang. Contact No: +639086315495 and +639086964803.
From Cubao, RoRo buses going to San Jose also stop at Sablayan.
For budget travelers, the cheapest way to get to Sablayan from Manila by land and sea is to go to Batangas Port for P167.00 fare (as of February 2012 , cheaper on DLTB buses at P133 ) for a travel time of two-and-a-half to three hours, then catch a ferry to Abra de Ilog at P260.00 plus P30.00 terminal fee (as of February 2012), a two to two-and-a-half hours boat ride, and hop on to a Roro Bus or a Dimple Star Bus from Abra de Ilog at P220.00 (as of February 2012) for another three hours ride by bus. If there are still available bus from Batangas Port better arranged your seats from there as the buses are usually get filled even before reaching Abra de Ilog. Alternatively there are vans from Abra de Ilog to Sablayan though rare, charging at least P250.00 per passenger.
Montenegro and Besta are the ferry operators in Batangas Port to Abra de Ilog. Please verify the schedule if you are taking a ferry, their sites are not updated, you may call Montenegro at (043)723-6980 / (043)723-8294 or the Port of Batangas hotline at (043)7238243.
Going to Apo Reef, tours are managed and controlled by the local government of Sablayan, Contact No: Ate Norie/Ate Helen +639284659585, Email: amazingsablayan[at]yahoo[dot]com or ecotourism_sablayan_occmdo[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]ph . Boat rental as of February 2012 is fixed at 7,500 (good for 10-12 persons) for 36 hours (payable in eco-tourism office). Entrance fee in Apo Reef is P225 per person for Filipinos and P450 for foreigners (payable in eco-tourism office). Tour guide is optional, but in case you need one (which I think not), it is P750.00. Snorkel and mask set can be rented also at the tourism office for 100.00/set, so as the tents at P150.00 that is good for two persons and P300.00 good for 4-5.