The island of Mindoro boasts one of the beautiful mountainscapes wrapped with rich culture and colourful heritage, plus promising and captivating tourist destinations. We are privileged to be part of the inaugural flight of Clark to San Jose by Philippine Airlines by the Department of Tourism – Mimaropa Region and the Local Government Unit.
Excited the team really is, we disembark conveniently through the Clark International Airport. With less than an hour direct flight to San Jose, the team arrived on time and enjoyed the warm welcome of San Jose Team.
The LGU San Jose Mangraw Dance Group and Chorale performed in a seemingly impeccable style. Goosebumps crawled through my arms listening to the beautiful blending of angelic voices within the arrival of the new San Jose Airport Terminal. Light snacks and beverages of local sources are offered as we exited the terminal building.
Before the tour starts, we are privileged to have a sumptuous lunch with Municipal Mayor Romulo “Muloy” Festin. He gladly shared to us the potentials of his dear town of San Jose in terms of tourism, education and business.
The tours are facilitated by the energetic tourism team, Ms. Ann and Jude. Our heartfelt thanks for the hospitality and information about San Jose. Being privileged to be at the table with the ever supportive Mayor Muloy. We are joined also by the winners of the 2018 San Jose Pageant, Ms. Jeny Ann delos Santos, the reigning Binibining San Jose, and Mr. John Kim Vergel, Ginoong San Jose 2018, now the 2019 Philippine Contingent to the Mr. National Universe to be held in Thailand.
Visit the Dap-Ayan Center for the Culture and the Arts
San Jose is one of three places approved by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCAA) of budget to build a cultural center to foster the local artists needs to express and display their crafts. During our visit, San Jose’s exquisite photographers’ masterpieces are on display. I am amazed for the different and astounding compositions, seemingly at par with experts in National level.
The Dap-Ayan Center for the Culture and the Arts is located at a seashore with a panoramic view of the sea. According to Tourism Front desk Staff Jude, various cultural activities and learning sessions are held here throughout the year, thus, fostering the locals’ craftsmanship and talents.
M/V Grandiya located along the Airport Road of San Jose, its iconic ship facade would lead you to unique gastronomic experience. The interiors of the restaurant features a chic design and high ceiling. There are private rooms for intimate gatherings and small group meetings and mini conventions.
Diko’s House of Roasted Chicken and Grilled Ribs is one of the spots in San Jose to spend the night outs and after office events. Their menu involves grilled meats and seafoods. What is unique with this restaurant are its catchy meal set names like Biyaheng Langit and Biyaheng Dagat.
The Flavoured Salted Eggs of Occidental Mindoro State College – visit where these unique flavoured salted eggs are made. We are privileged to observe its process and taste its different flavours. My favorites are garlic and adobo flavour. This is one of the best bring home gifts from San Jose.
Tamaraw Gene Pool – located at Brgy. Manoot, Municipality of Rizal and about an hour away from San Jose town proper, be amazed to see the only Tamaraw living in captivity – Kalibasib. You can actually see and interact with Kalibasib during its feeding time.
Going here is already an adventure, as you have to cross a hanging bridge with a cool view of the river and mountains beyond. There is a pasalubong store nearby selling mini replicas of the tamaraw.
Devil’s Mountain – famed for its sharp spikey summits that can be seen from afar. This is one of the mountains that defines the unique horizon of San Jose. According to the tourism, best to view during summer and sunset, where the summit seems to be ablaze.
Bato-Ili Mangyan Village – the LGU of San Jose has distinct programs protecting the Indigenous People of San Jose, the Mangyans. The Bato Village is perched on a sprawling rolling hills landscape seemingly at par of Batanes’.
Central Heritage Park – each town has its own rich history within its borders. In San Jose, they are preserving and promoting their Central Heritage Park. It holds the ruins of an old sugar mill dating back during the American Occupation. It also has the remains of an old steam locomotive covered in rust. We have also rolling tour to the Old Post Office and the historical Gabaldon Building which is actually a garrison of the Japanese during the World War II. Best to listen intently with your tour guide during the tour to understand the vital history these spots behold.
Seasons Hotel and Convention Center, the official residence of the Familiarization Tour Group. The hotel features a high ceiling and spacious open air lobby with interesting furniture and interior. We are assigned in a double sharing room. The air-conditioned room features a flat screen TV set, set for coffee and beverages, towels and spacious bathroom. The shower has warm and cold water. If visiting San Jose, I recommend this hotel, its amenities and location is a plus factor. Season’s Hotel is accredited by the Department of Tourism.
Richblitz Sweets Pasalubong Center – ranging from trinkets to take home sweets, this is one of the main pasalubong centers in San Jose. From Seasons Hotel and Convention Center, you can charter a tricycle to bring you here.
San Jose Public Market – nothing beats in experiencing the local public market. Being a gateway to different trades and products, the San Jose Public Market holds a plethora of products and fresh produce.
The Familiarization Tour lasted for two days, however, the experience is enriching and unforgettable. San Jose is truly another amazing destination in the MIMAROPA region. It not only boasts beautiful landscapes and rich heritage, but also, amazing beaches and islands waiting for the tourists to come. San Jose is more than a gateway of the region. It is a haven of artisans, craftsman, and beautiful people. Our heartfelt thanks too to Sir Rey Gabriel of DOT-IVB for his service during the tour.
To arrange your trips, contact the San Jose LGU at +63 929 448 8315 or +63 977 825 9679 or +63 43 459 0340 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Transportation in San Jose
Main town public transportation is dominated by tricycles and fares starts at Php12.00, as of writing.
There are jeepney routes to municipalities of Rizal, Magsaysay and Calintaan.
The San Jose Northbound Grand Terminal is located in Purok Bagong Silang that houses the public bus and vans en route to Abra de Ilog and Manila.
Southbound terminal in Brgy. Pag Asa holds the Oriental Mindoro routes.
- There are Public Utility Van Franchises approved by the DOT, like Omtranscoop that services Calapan and Abra de Ilog routes. Southern Mindoro Transport Cooperative (SMTA) and MATSCOOP also serves the Abra de Ilog route.
- Manila bound bus lines includes RORO Bus Liner, Partas Bus Liner, Narpin Bus Liner, and Ceres.
San Jose is connected to its island barangays of Ilin and Ambulong via a daily public boat.
Sea Outbound destinations also include routes to Semirara (3 hours), Caluya (4 hours), Culasi (8-9 hours) and Coron (4-6 hours approximate), travel hours depending on sea condition.
Philippine Airlines Clark to San Jose Route (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday)
Book your flights conveniently through Philippine Airlines Website.
Cebu Pacific Air Manila to San Jose (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)