Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park
ASEAN Heritage Parks
|Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park - The refuge of the Tamaraw|
|Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP) is the only place in the world where one can find the biggest remaining population of the tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), a type of water buffalo that is endemic to Mindoro Island. This was the major reason for its declaration as an ASEAN Heritage Park. Also, the declining tamaraw population necessitated the area's establishment as a game refuge and bird sanctuary covering 8,956 hectares. On 9 November 1970, its area coverage was increased to 75,445 hectares and declared a National Park by virtue of Republic Act 6148.
The Heritage Park lies at the heart of Mindoro, about 130 kilometers south of Manila. Accordingly, Mindoro, an island of Luzon, Philippines may have been part of the land bridge connecting Palawan, another island province, with Luzon by which some of the Philippine's ancestors migrated from mainland Asia and Borneo. Today, the island is divided into the provinces of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro and is home to the Mangyan who have long been known to be its caretakers.
Approximately 75 percent of the Park lies in the province of Occidental Mindoro, which comprises the municipalities of Sablayan, Calintaan, Rizal and San Jose. The remaining 25 percent is within Oriental Mindoro (Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong, and Mansalay). The Park is characterized by a rugged terrain of slopes, river gorges and plateaus, encompassing at least eight major river systems and 10 low mountains close to each other. Mt. Baco, the highest mountain with an altitude of 2,488 meters above sea level, dominates the central portion of the Park. Southwest of Baco is Mt. Iglit or "Fungso Mangibok", the second highest, with an altitude of 2,364 meters, and where the most number of tamaraws roam.