Sablayan was derived from the word sablay, a Visayan term meaning wave convergence. In the early times, the very location of the town was where the waves from North and South China Sea meet, hence, the name Sablay that later became Sablayan.

Quick Facts

Province : Occidental Mindoro
Population : 90,000 (2010 projected)
Growth Rate : 1.14%
No. of Barangay : 22
Income Class : First Class
Litaracy Rate : 93%
Major Occupation : Farming/Fishing
Prodomination Religion : Roman Catholic
Languages and Dialects : Filipino, English, Cebuana, Ilocano, Mangyan

Mangyans were the ancient aborigines of Mindoro.  They were believed to be of Malayan origin.  They were joined in by natives from neighboring islands--mostly Panayeños led by the TANUNGAN[1] during the second Spanish settlement established by Legaspi[2].  Years later, more arrived who, unlike the first migrants, were already converted Christians; and sometime in 1861 migrants increased in population.

The means of livelihood was agriculture, fishing and hunting.  Women though were engaged in weaving sigurang, a fiber derived from buri/nipa leaves.

Sablayan then was often subject to raids by Muslim pirates and slave traders so a wooden tower was built--watched round the clock to guard against approaching raiders.  This alarm system was augmented in 1896, when four bells of varied sizes--believed to have been manufactured in Spain--arrived from Manila.  These bells rang musical chimes.

Upon the arrival of a Spanish priest, a church had to be built.  Men, women and children were conscripted to work on it.  After ten years of backbreaking arduous toil, the church was made functional sometime in 1896.  This church is now in ruins, its bells gone but the biggest cannon standstill atop a small hill near the lighthouse or Parola.  The church was abandoned when the town proper was moved to Buenavista.

In 1901, the first American arrived in Sablayan.  Due to the outbreak of Fil-American war, Americans burned the town in 1903.  It took years before Sablayan was rebuilt.

Sablayan was already a pueblo (town) under the Spaniards when the Americans came.  However, when the American Government took over--owing perhaps to its proximity and accessibility to the National Government--it was converted into a full pledge municipality on January 04, 1906 by virtue of Act No. 1820 of the Philippine Commission.

Name of Official Inclusive Year
1. Santiago Dangeros 1913 -1918
2. Policarpio Urieta 1919 -1921
3. Benigno Lontoc 1922 -1924
4. Maximo Papa 1925 -1927
5. Hermogenes Daño 1928 -1930
6. Lucas Fernandez 1931 -1933
7. Primitovo Zamora 1934 -1937
8. Maximo Papa 1938 -1940
9. Pedro Gonzales 1941 -1947
10. Paulino Legaspi Sr.. 1948 -1951
11. Loreto Urieta 1952 -1959
12. Leoncio Ordenes Sr. 1960 -1963
13. Loreto Urieta 1964 -1971
14. Pedro Gonzales 1972 -1986
15. Godofredo B. Mintu 1986 -1998
16. Susana M. Diaz, M.D. 1998
17. Andres D. Dangeros 1998 -2001
18. Godofredo B. Mintu
19. Eduardo B. Gadiano
2001 - 2010 
2010- present


Sablayan is the central town of mainland Occidental Mindoro province.  It is about 91 kilometers from Mamburao, the provincial capital; and 73 kilometers from San Jose, the most developed town of the province.  It is bounded on the east by the province of Oriental Mindoro; on the west by China Sea; on the north by the town of Sta. Cruz; and on the south by the town of Calintaan.

Forest Products:  Hardwood, Yantok, Buri, Banboo, Nito.
Business Climate:  Extra cheap lands, readily available labor force, abundnat raw materials, supportive local officials, peace-loving community.
Financial Institutions:  UCPB, Lending Institutions
Mass Media:  CATV Station, Radyo Natin.
Communications:  TELECOM, Post Office, Local Radio Network JRS, Public Telephones, FAX (Public), Internet Cafe's, Smart/Globe Satellites.
Airport:  12 kilometers from the town proper.
Seaport:  Municipal Port, Fish Ports.

[1] TANUNGAN - venerable elderly members of a tribe who acquired the mantle age and wisdom over all other members of the tribe.

[2] The Second Spanish Settlement established by Legaspi in Panay Island in 1565 led to the occupation of Iling Island just of the Southwestern coast of Mindoro and later of Lubang Island in 1569.     As the Spanish influence and powers became more deeply rooted in Panay Island, the natives began to experience the growing oppression of the colonizers--rebellious Panayeños began to look towards the sea. When the Spaniards began to recruit natives into fighting for the conquest of other areas, some Panayeños thought it better to transfer to other places--hence, waves of Panayeños landed in Sablayan and settled there
Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo
(Bubalus mindorensis)
is a small hoofed mammal belonging to the family Bovidae. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines and is the only endemic Philippine bovine. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the greater island of Luzon..
The first inhabitants of Mindoro. They belong to the Malay race. Like most natives in the Philippines, these people are short with snub noses and brown complexion.

Among the seven clans - Alangan, Buhid, Iraya, Hanunuo, Tadyaoan, Ratagnon and Batangan occupying the land, Batangas and the Alangans inhabit Sablayan, a town in the mid-western portion of the island.
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