Located on the coast of the West Philippine Sea, the island region of MIMAROPA is composed of the provinces of *Mi*ndoro (divided into Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro), *Ma*rinduque, *Ro*mblon, and *Pa*lawan. The region is known for its white sand beaches, its diverse marine life, and its simple way of life.
While this island region may not be the most popular destination in the country, it’s certainly starting to gain some steam.
The region is rich with natural resources, making it a great diving spot for those hoping to make friends with sea turtles and fish. There’s the Apo Reef in Occidental Mindoro, which has more than 500 species of coral. There’s also the Tubbataha Reefs in Palawan, which CNN Travel considers to be one of the world’s best diving spots.
MIMAROPA is also the place to go island hopping. Palawan is home to Honda Bay, Bacuit Bay, and Taytay Bay, all of which are popular destinations for locals and foreigners. Most of these tours come with a seafood lunch on one of the islands.
For those who want to go off the beaten path, the region has a number of quiet and secluded beaches. Northern Pandan Island in Occidental Mindoro has white sand and clear waters that rivals Boracay, minus all the tourists. Meanwhile, Oriental Mindoro has its Bongol and Banilad Beaches.
Romblon is also another place to check out if you want some peace and quiet, as it’s usually not a province visited by tourists. Check out its Bonbon Beach.
There are also a few places to hike here for those mountaineers out there. There’s Oriental Mindoro’s towering Mt. Halcon. It’s such a difficult hike that you’re required to get a permit from the local tourism office before you’re allowed to climb it.
Another challenge is the jagged trail of Mt. Guiting-Guiting in Romblon province.
Filipino religiosity is alive and well in MIMAROPA, especially in the province of Marinduque. Head over here during Holy Week and you’ll catch the Moriones Festival. Locals reenact the Passion of Christ, complete with the crucifixion. While some may see it as an act of masochism, locals see it as a way to atone for their sins.