Live and love life from a Filipino Perspective
South-east Asia is on the road to an ever-increasing scramble to become the world’s premiere tourist destination. Even the Philippines is now well under way in creating a regional cluster to compete against the ever-growing market of tourism. Enter Region IV-B: MIMAROPA – a group of island provinces consisting of Mindoro (Oriental and Occidental), Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan. The eco-cultural tourism destination of the Philippines.
The goal: to pull together the island provinces into one tourism destination focusing on each others’ strengths.
Along with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the private, the public and the academic sectors have been brainstorming ways to revamp the local tourism industry as it faces heavy competition from neighboring countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand. Knowing the threats and the strengths of each province and competition, the three-day workshop resulted in a clear target for the provinces as each one focuses on its strengths.
Occidental Mindoro prides itself as one of the best dive spots in the world with the Apo Reef – a protected National Park and one that has been in the shortlist of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is the largest atoll-like reef in the Philippines and visited by thousands of tourists each year.
Oriental Mindoro takes its cue from its small, but diverse ecosystem, where each natural resource is within minutes from each other. It is a place where white sand beaches, mangroves, rapids, coral reefs and overlooking views are easily accessible by local transport. It is also included in the list of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World. And of course, it is also the cheapest among all MIMAROPA destinations.
Marinduque is known all over the world for its unique Moriones Festival, which is a colorful gathering of costumes and a parade held in five of the towns in the province. Its crowning glory is Bellarocca resort – the Philippines’ own little piece of Greece.
Romblon is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines, but despite that, the different islands of the province leaves many tourists eager to explore them all. From mountain ranges to beaches and their Looc Bay Marine and Sanctuary, it is a tourist destination where people bring home a piece of the province created by its culturally entrenched artisans.
Finally, Palawan – a province that needs little introduction for its eco-tourism prowess. Known all over the world for its strong preservation initiatives, world-class resorts and diverse ecology, Palawan is one of the big players in the industry that can put MIMAROPA in the tourism map of the world. While the province has many natural resources it can boast about, perhaps its pride and glory is the Puerto Princessa Underground River – one of the New 7 Wonders of the Nature.