• About
  • History & Culture
  • Top Attractions
  • Planning a Trip
  • Events
  • Travel Resources
  • Itineraries


Officially the Municipality of Mansalay, is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 54,533 people.

This town is notable for its indigenous Mangyan population. The municipal hall is located on the upper land of Mansalay Town proper, in front of a Medical Care Hospital. Nearby is the church and the only Catholic School, Mansalay Catholic High School. Sta. Catalina is the town's patron saint.

The town also has a wide ammonite formation area discovered in the 1940s. Since then, thousands of ammonite fossils have been discovered. Due to the complexity and vastness of the collection found in the area, the town has been called the Ammonite Capital of the Philippines. Various local and international scientific institutions have conducted research on the ammonite formations of Mansalay. Scholars have argued that due to the natural significance of the area to Southeast Asian pre-history, the site has a big chance of being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site or a UNESCO Geopark Reserve. It is 144 kilometers (89 mi) from Calapan.



Mansalay is politically subdivided into 17 barangays.

BarangayPopulation (2016)
B. Del Mundo8,208
Don Pedro3,077
Santa Brigida2,083
Santa Maria1,980
Villa Celestial1,649
Santa Teresita4,711



Population census of Mansalay
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

Brief History

Mansalay was formerly a barrio of Mangarin during Spanish times. Its name was derived from the Mangyan words un man malay which means “I don’t know.” In 1905, it was consolidated with Bulalacao, Caluya, Managarin and Tikling with the seat in Bulalacao. Mansalay became a separate municipality during the term of Cong. Mariano P. Leuterio.

Buktot Beach in Mansalay

Buktot Beach gets its name from the word "buktot", which means "hunchback" in Hiligaynon. The shores of Buktot Beach plunges gradually into the sea, like that of a hunchback. The beach has coarse, cream-colored sand, with thorny aroma trees lining the shore. Both ends of the beach have sharp, jagged rocks extending into the sea. Buktot Beach has about 12 cottages for rent and a designated cooking area. Visitors are advised to bring their own charcoal should they plan to grill their food. They can also rent outrigger boats, and paddle to nearby beaches. Backpackers can freely set up their tents for overnight stay at the beach. Right across the stretch of deep sea is Buyayao Island, 30-minutes away by boat.


Mansalay Ecopark

Mansalay Ecopark rests on the hills of Barangay B. del Mundo, overlooking the lowlands and the sea (Tablas Strait). While the ecopark's development have stopped abruptly, you may still visit the place for its 360-degree views and breezy atmosphere. Other than these, the ecopark serves as a pilgrimage site during Holy Week. Fourteen Stations of the Cross are erected along the dirt road going to the two view decks of Mansalay Ecopark. The first view deck is located right after the Stations, while the second is located at the next hill, with a telecommunications tower as its landmark. Thus, you may opt to trek from the Stations to the view decks (1.5 hours), or simply ride a motorcycle going straight to the second view deck itself.


Palaypay Burial Ground

Palaypay Burial Ground is a rocky islet in the middle of a mangrove farm. It is where Mangyans permanently store the remains of their departed, after burying them for nine months to a year in their backyard. The ritual of digging out the remains from their backyard and transferring them to a cave is called "pangutkutan". At the middle of the islet is a nipa hut, which serves as a station for coast guards. The cave where the bones are kept is found behind this hut. The cave is known to house the skeletal remains of about a hundred Mangyans. However, 2010 police reports indicate rampant theft of the remains. Today, only a few scattered bones could be seen in the cave. Palaypay Burial Ground is about 100 meters away from the coast, and can only be reached by foot during low tide.


Panaytayan Mangyan Settlement

Panaytayan Mangyan Settlement was developed into a tourist-friendly community by Antoon Postma. A notable Dutch anthropologist and paleographer, Postma has been living with the Mangyans since 1965. Postma, considered one of the experts in deciphering ancient script in Asia, and his Mangyan wife, Yam Ay, work together towards promoting and conserving the rich Mangyan heritage. Panaytayan Mangyan Settlement is an upland Mangyan community that is home to an estimated 500 Mangyan residents. With the help of Antoon Postma, the community has become focused on education, particularly on the preservation of the Hanunuo script and language. Visiting the settlement, you'll find a primary school, a chapel, a basketball court, houses made of nipa, and a small hut that serves as the community's receiving area.


Planning a Trip

Pre-departure planning is important. Here are certain things you should watch for and plan for.


Check with the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country to find out if you will need a visa to visit the country of your destination, especially for an extended period of time. Some countries have extremely detailed and complicated entry/departure laws, and treat visits of a week or two very differently from longer stays.


If you’re traveling to one area, check the cost of living there. If it’s high you’ll probably want to budget more carefully and save some money before leaving. The lower the cost of living the less you’ll have to save, but be sure to have a back up reserve in emergency cases.

General Tips

Talk to other people who have done a similar trip.

If you don’t know anyone personally, try any of the dozens of online travel web sites full of first-person travel stories covering every possible type of trip.

Plan big and loose. Read everything you can about the area.

There may be sights and attractions you didn’t know about. A rough outline of your trip might have three or four target points and a variety of ways to get between them.

You don’t want to find out that the weather isn’t what you thought, or the guide book was incorrect, after committing to 6 weeks in a specific spot.

Some trips will allow you more leeway than others. Travel plans in Asia can often be made day-by-day while summer travel in Europe should be organized at least a few weeks ahead, unless you’re prepared to hunt around for hotel rooms and train seats.

Set up a pre-trip time-line so you don’t end up with a full todo list your last week of work or school.

Things to consider are doctor’s visits for a check up, inoculations, and prescription refills; purchasing plane tickets; renewing passports and obtaining visas and other documents.

Check your insurance coverage abroad and purchasing additional travel insurance if needed. Don’t forget visiting friends and family members!

The longer the trip, the lighter you should pack. This might seem strange, but it’s true you can afford to lug a heavy bag around for a week or two, but do you want to have anything extra for a year?

Stick to the absolute basics and know what you can and cannot buy at your destination(s). There’s no point in bringing 6 months of toothpaste to Europe or buying a sarong at home to take to the tropics. If you are visiting several climates, try to arrange it so you visit the warmer places first and coldest last. That way you can purchase sweaters and long pants and not have to carry them any more than needed. Alternately, visit cold climates first and then ship unneeded layers home — or sell them off.

A good rule of thumb is to bring one outfit for the hottest day you’re likely to encounter, one for an average day, and one for the coldest.

Make sure everything goes with everything else (if that’s important to you), and remember that layers are always best.

Be prepared for uncomfortable trips. You will often find yourself in a busy, cramped, economy class environment and it could be for many hours – especially long plane trips.

If you want to arrive at your destination refreshed and able to enjoy the sights, then try a good quality travel pillow to support your head, some ear plugs to block out the screaming babies, and an eye cover to block out the sun or cabin lights.

Just avoid those cheap U-shaped pillows from airport shops – your head drops forward and you wake up with a stiff neck.

Make contact with the locals before you go.

Maybe you have a friend-of-a-friend or a foreign exchange student from high school you remember, or just found a friend through a travel web site; almost everyone is happy to welcome a foreign visitor to their home town. This might be as elaborate as a home-stay for a few weeks, or just coffee in their home town or dinner at a locals restaurant.

Pamugu-an Festival

Locals of Mansalay, Mindoro Oriental celebrates every October 17-23 the "Pamugu-an Festival." It is a festive reunion of different “Mangyan” tribes. There are sports events (Palaro ng Lahi), cultural presentations, product demonstrations and “Barakalan” or “baratillo” of native products.


Travel Resources

Travel planning is about more than just knowing where you're going. Prepares to navigate, take control and be ready for anything. This section helps you steer clear of disaster and stay open enjoy the unexpected.

Quick Tips

  1. Banks– Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Some banks are closed for lunch.
  2. Emergencies– For police, dial a local phone number; for ambulance call a hospital.
  3. Internet Access– Wifi is standard in most hotels and free in many coffee shops.
  4. Mail– Buy stamps at the Post Office. Convenient post offices are located all cities. Most are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
  5. Safety– Pickpocketing can be a common problem. It is suggested for men to keep wallets in their front pocket. Purse snatching also occurs at times.


Getting in from the airport and other arrival locations. Travel planning is about more than just knowing where you’re going. Prepares to navigate, take control and be ready for anything. This section helps you steer clear of disaster and stay open enjoy the unexpected.

  1. Plane– Flights arrive at the main airport near city center. If flying from European cities, you might land at a connecting airport. There is a tourist information office at the Terminal E, international arrivals, open 8am to 6pm.
  2. Train– A train station is on the lower level of the airport. To get into the city, follow the marked signs.
  3. Taxi– From the airport there is a flat-rate for the 1-hour trip, depending on traffic. Hotels charge up to $80 for shuttle service.
  4. Train & Bus– Trains and buses arrive a city center. This is the transportation hub for the city and is surrounded hotels.

A perfect place for exploring on foot, with local shops around every corner. You will eventually walk somewhere, it’s just going to happen. If you don’t like crowds, uneven cobblestones, heavy traffic or narrow sidewalks, take a taxi or rent a scooter.

Latest Post