Bongabong, the hidden treasure of Or. Mindoro

Considered as one of the biggest islands of the Philippines, Mindoro is a couple of hours away from the Port of Batangas. The province gained popularity for its long stretch of white beaches in Puerto Galera and the mystical Mount Halcon. 

But there are still a lot of beautiful places to explore in the province, especially in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro.

Bongabong is located in the southern part of Oriental Mindoro, exactly 104 kilometers away from the capital of the province, Calapan. Known for its vast farmlands surrounded by mountain ranges, this booming town of Or. Mindoro is home to 80,000 residents. Most residents depend on farming and fishing.

Bongabong is also known for its organic produce. In fact, the only certified biggest organic rice farm in the country is in Bongabong.

Recognizing the significant potential of organic farming in boosting its economic performance, the municipality of Bongabong headed by its mayor Dr. Elegio Malaluan, O.D. works hand in hand with the Gabutero Organic Farm. The farm's owner, Nelson Gabutero, actively promotes organic farming for 30 years now.

Malaluan believes that organic farming is the best way for higher crops and rice production. This belief pushes him to support the Gabuteros in their organic farming advocacies. Moreover, the good mayor believes organic farming will not only benefit the land but will eventually lessen the cost of farmers when tilling their lands. Mayor Malaluan, who is now serving his second term as the municipal mayor has made this his personal advocacy to make all the farmlands of Bongabong 100% organic. 

As most Filipino farmers are used to chemical fertilizers, both the Gabuteros and Mayor Malaluan look forward that organic farming is still possible in the municipality. Bongabong has almost 50,000 hectares of land, which, when turned to organic farming, will yield healthier and more produce. It will also result in a significant positive environmental change. 

The Gabutero Organic Farm is about 15 hectares, which is 100 percent organic. The Gabuteros are more than willing to share their skills, know-how, and technology to all those who want to learn and embrace organic farming.

Through the partnership with Mayor Malaluan, the Gabuteros and the good mayor envisions supplying not just Bongabong's needs but the entire country's fresh produce needs. And they aim to provide healthy produce through the organic farming technique. 

“What we are doing is a herculean task, and we cannot do this alone, but why are we pushing for organic farming? The answer is simple, this is the only way to heal our land. We need to realize that what our lands need to yield more and healthier products is to have its own natural composition,” Gabutero stressed.

Mayor Malaluan, on the other hand, had this to say, “I have witnessed how the Gabutero Organic Farm succeeded in harvesting more and better quality of rice through the use of organic fertilizers and pesticides. This became my inspiration and challenge to my administration to help our farmers learn the right way of embracing this farming system." He added that though it will take some time to realize their vision, with the help of the Sangguniang Bayan, the people of Bongabong, and the Gabuteros, healthy produce for all the Pilipinos is very much possible. 

To know more about Bongabong, visit