- History & Culture
- Top Attractions
- Planning a Trip
- Travel Resources
Baco is a 3th class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is one of the oldest towns in the province. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 30,167 people in 5,717 households.
Baco is located on the northern part of Oriental Mindoro. It is bounded to the north by the Verde Island Passage, to the east by Calapan City and Naujan to the south by Santa Cruzand Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro province, and to the west by San Teodoro.
Baco is located in the northern part of Oriental Mindoro. It is 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) from Calapan.
Baco is politically subdivided into 27 barangays.
|San Ignacio (Dulangan III)||1,986|
|Santa Rosa I||1,884|
|Santa Rosa II||1,702|
|Baras (Mangyan Minority)||1,626|
|Lantuyang (Mangyan Minority)||996|
|Population census of Baco|
|Source: Philippine Statistics Authority|
Baco was formerly called Voco, Bato and Bacoy. It was the official capital from 1575 to 1679. The original settlement was in the coastal barrio of Tabon-Tabon but was later transferred, due to Moro raids, to Libtong (now Lumangbayan). In 1898, the people under the leadership of Capt. Cervullo Leuterio rose against the Spaniards and later, against the Americans. In 1902, Baco, together with San Teodoro, were incorporated to Calapan by virtue of Act No. 1824. Baco became
a separate municipality in 1920 by virtue of Act No. 3498.
Alpaparay Falls is a park-like picnic grove with a three-storey waterfall and two minor, cascading waterfalls. The immediate attraction is the three-story waterfall, located just across the picnic area. The picnic area is a cleared ground walled by trees, but has no benches or cottages. It has, however, a stone plateau and a small hydroelectric plant with a water mill. Due to its engineer’s death, however, the hydroelectric plant was not finished and never generated electricity. Following the water upstream, you may cross three bamboo bridges and walk along cemented pathways. For about 15 minutes trekking up, you’ll find two water basins about 12 feet deep each. The first basin has several elevated areas to dive from, while the second basin is more intimate and secluded. Located at the end of the trek, the second basin is walled by limestone, and can be reached by scaling a slippery trail.
Karayrayan River flows at the foot of Mt. Halcon, and is surrounded by two nature resorts and a few Mangyan houses. The river gushes over boulders and small catch basins. The current is quite strong that you might get carried away. A steel hanging bridge crosses the river, going to a Mangyan village up the mountain. The bridge also used to be one of the jump-off points to Mt. Halcon. Karayrayan River has two nature resorts. Tagbungan Mountain Resort (P30/head) is a vastly landscaped resort with two swimming pools and an access to the river. Meanwhile, Kambal-Bato Mountain River Resort (P30/head) features a series of overflowing swimming pools, whose water rushes from Karayrayan River.
Mangyan Heritage Museum
Mangyan Heritage Museum is a modest two-storey museum inside Dolce Vita di Jo Resort, just 20 minutes away from Calapan City. The ground floor displays souvenir items and arts and crafts the Mangyans themselves made, and a few anthropology books on Mangyan culture. The second floor exhibits a collection of artifacts of Mangyan culture, underwater archaeological finds, and makeup of Mindoro’s underlying geological structures. Central to the museum are the artifacts of the Mangyan heritage. These include their mode of fashion, accessories, and ornaments, their musical instruments, hunting and kitchen equipment, and most importantly, their written language. The Mayan script is etched on bamboo such as their flutes and spears. On the other hand, the archaeological artifacts include bones, shells, pottery shards predating the Spanish regime, and porcelain bowls taken from Spanish galleon wrecks in the sea of Puerto Galera.
Mayabig River is a community river reserved for swimming, washing clothes, irrigation, and unfortunately, white stone mining. Facing Mt. Halcon, the river is wide and shallow, with one select deep area for jumping off from a cemented ledge. On an ordinary day, kids back-dive into the deep area, some wash their clothes from the riverbank, while others rummage among the rocks, looking for white stones. Meanwhile, part of the water is redirected into a canal, where the water is used for the rice fields in the area. Cottages nearby can also be rented out for P200 each.
Mt. Halcon is notorious among trekkers as one of the country’s toughest mountains with its rugged terrains and steep slopes, often made more difficult by the unpredictable weather. Rising at 2,586 meters above sea level, the peak of Halcon is the highest point in Oriental Mindoro. Taking about 4 days to climb, Mt. Halcon features arduous steep trails through dense jungles, ridges, waterfalls, and river crossings, with spectacular scenic views and exotic flora and fauna. Travelers are advised to physically and mentally prepare months ahead of time.
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.
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.
Banana Festival, held every March 18 to 19 in Baco, Oriental Mindoro, is a celebration of the abundance of bananas. It showcases the different varieties of banana like the Senorita, the Latundan, the Lacatan and the Saba. It also features a banana cookfest and a “saba”-inspired street dancing competition and beauty pageant. Festivities coincide with the town fiesta held in honor of the patron, St. Joseph.