San Teodoro

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San Teodoro

Officially the Municipality of San Teodoro, is a 4th class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 17,904 people.

The municipality is classified as partly urban. It has a total land area of 34,100 hectares (84,000 acres). Mineral deposits found in the area are gold and iron.


San Teodoro is 32 kilometers (20 mi) west of the province's capital, Calapan, 19 kilometers (12 mi) east from Puerto Galera, and about 140 kilometers (87 mi) south of Philippine capital Manila. It is located on the northern part of Oriental Mindoro. It is bounded to the north by the Verde Island Passage, to the east by Baco, to the west by Puerto Galera, and to the south by Santa Cruz in Occidental Mindoro province.


San Teodoro is politically subdivided into 8 barangays




Population (2010)



























Population census of San Teodoro



±% p.a.





































Source: Philippine Statistics Authority


The town of San Teodoro was called "Subaan" during the Spanish times however the town center and seat of government was located at what is now Lumangbayan. Officially, Subaan and its neighboring town Baco, were "visitas" of Calapan, the cabecera(capital) of Oriental Mindoro.

In 1828, the visita was headed by Gobernadorcillo Ysidro Crisostomo. He was succeeded by Gobernadorcillo Juan Sextol in 1830. When Subaan became a visita del pueblo y cabecera de Puerto Galera in 1840, Candido Fulgencia’s position was reduced to "Cabeza de Barangay". This was also the title conferred on Marcelino Crisostomo in 1841.

Subaan and Baco were again annexed to Calapan in 1852. Melchor Alcones Felix was elected gobernadorcillo with Rufino Arcon and Justo Arandia as cabezas de barangay of 2 barangays. In 1856 they were replaced by Domingo Artillero and Bernardo Arenillo. There were just 3 barangays in 1889 and the cabezas were Faustino Artellero, Telesforo Fernandez and Modesto Alcones. When Subaan was declared a sovereign municipality (pueblo) in 1892, the new gobernadorcillo was Juan Rojas. In 1897, it was Ruperto Arce but the title Gobernadorcillo was changed to "Capitan Municipal". When Capitan Juan Rojas won the election again, it made him the only official who had been addressed by 3 different titles in his capacity as mayor of Subaan. He was the last gobernadorcillo because after his term, it was changed to capitan municipal. He was the last capitan because when Mindoro fell to the hands of the revolutionaries, he took oath under the emissary of Gen. Miguel Malvar on July 1, 1898 as "Presidente Municipal". Pres. Rojas was the first and the last leader of Subaan under the Revolutionary Government of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

Before the turn of the century, Subaan had four cabezerias: Ylag, Tacligan, Bigaan and Pauican plus Subaan Proper (Lumangbayan) which in turn had 7 sitios namely Agbiray, Calabugao (both named after adjacent rivers), Bulaso, Calero, Calumpang, Tanak and Tubigan. During those times only the coastal areas were populated as water boats were the only mode of transportation between barangays. Bigaan was an exception because it had 10 inhabitants despite being inland.

Kayaking Adventure in San Teodoro

Opened in 2012, Whitewater Kayaking in San Teodoro is a nice attraction for those who wants to take a different challenge other than water sports in Puerto Galera.

Due to limited kayak, guests are required to book two days in advance by contacting the municipal tourism office.

More than just an exhilarating experience, whitewater kayaking in San Teodoro also gives an opportunity for cultural immersion. With its lush vegetation and friendly locals, this will definitely complete your island getaway.


Arigoy River is free to visit but if you plan to do do Whitewater River Kayaking, the fee is P1,200/head which includes the transportation of the kayaks, the guides, safety gear, and the environmental fee.


Aras Cave

Aras Cave is the second highlight in San Teodoro, after Whitewater Kayaking in Arigoy River. Visiting Aras Cave, you would have to trek for 40 minutes, pass by four to five brooks, and one steep ascent lasting about 10 minutes. Inside, the cave is elongated like a narrow tunnel. It has a lofty ceiling filled with bats. Reaching the end of the cave takes about 15 minutes. It's dark and slippery, so be sure to wear sturdy sandals or shoes, and have a flashlight in hand. Two particularly interesting sights in the cave are the large ceiling openings located at the middle and at the end. The first looks like a well-lit stage, while the second opens up to the sky with trees standing above the limestone rocks. To visit Aras Cave, visitors are advised to hire a guide (P300/group) from the Barangay Hall of Bigaan.


Tukuran Falls

Tukuran Falls is a series of gentle cascades and turquoise-toned swimming holes accessed from the village of Calsapa, about 45 minutes south of Puerto Galera. They are refreshing and photogenic, but go early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the tour vans that frequent the place, thanks to a newly sealed access road to the trailhead. A guide (P300) is mandatory for the 30-minute walk from the trailhead.

The walk involves several river crossings, so wear appropriate footwear. If you don't want to walk you can ride in a carabao-pulled cart (P450). This is a worthwhile community tourism project but the locals can be overly aggressive in courting your pesos; one guide is plenty for a group of four (although you may be encouraged to take one guide per person).

The turn-off to the falls is clearly signposted on the National Hwy about 1km south of San Teodoro proper; from the highway it's about a 10-minute drive to the parking area near the trailhead.


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.

Coco Festival

It is a religious festival honoring the Immaculate Conception. It features street dancing, a parade of floats, and other activities centered on the town's agricultural bounty, the coconut.

Happens every December 8.


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.


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