The Charming Mangyan Village in Puerto Galera

Destination: Mangyan Village
Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Galera

....He occupied the front seat when they departed from the Ponderosa Golf and Country Club off to their next destination, the Mangyan Village. 

High on the hill where the grass was half clover, a clear view of the panoramic Puerto Galera and its surrounding islands was very real, he thought, "No one could ever paint this magnificent view" .   

As they drove down the hill, Rome took one last glimpse of the nature and made sure it will remain in his memory.

"Where's next?", he asked  their driver/tour guide, initiating a small talk. He was told that their next stop would be the Mangyan Village. A settlement of Mindoro’s indigenous ethnic group by the bank of Big Tabinay River and a gold-digging sites along the Small Tabinay River. 

The women of the village were gathering at the river doing their daily tasks when they arrived. Bathing their kids, do their laundry, or others perhaps gold panning. While the men were fixing their identical traditional wooden house. There are almost 300 identical houses in the village and a school.

Funded by the Ayala Foundation, he was told. A Non Government Organization, the village was initiated to provide sustainable working and learning opportunities for the indigenous Mangyans on the island of Mindoro, their driver added.

Rome used to work in a Non Government Organization, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Malampaya project based in Palawan in conservation and protection of wildlife with focus on the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in his hometown, this project too is being funded by the Ayala Foundation. But that's another story.

At the main entrance of the village, handicrafts like woven textiles, beaded items, nito and rattan baskets handmade by Mangyan people in the mountainous regions of Mindoro are being sold. Any profits go towards cultural program, healthcare, and scholarships for Mangyan students.Check out their gallery here and how to order online.

Asian Culinary Tour at Maya Kitchen

On March 3, Saturday, 1-6pm at The Maya Kitchen, Heritage Hotel Manila Executive Chef Alex Chong brings you on an Asian Culinary Journey as he demonstrates well-loved regional cuisine like Hainanese Chicken Rice and Laksa plus Grilled Prawns with Healthy Coriander Curry Sauce and Carabao Mango Mint Salad along with Nyonya Chicken Soup and Pork Dumpling and popular Malaysian dessert Onde Onde. Heritage Hotel Manila is part of the Milleneum Hotels and Resorts Group and is one of the few places in Metro Manila that offers Halal certified cuisine.

Chef Alex Chong 

The Maya Kitchen also has the following One-Day Lifestyle Courses: Restaurant Best Sellers Lenten Dishes, March 10, Saturday, 9am-1pm; Homemade Sausages, March 17, Saturday, 9am-1pm; Nego Kakanin, March 17, Saturday, 2-6pm; Sugar Free Desserts, March 24, Saturday, 1:30-5:30pm; and International Breads Workshop March 31, Saturday, 9am-3pm.

Certificate courses with hands-on are now offered both on weekdays (Tuesday-Friday) and weekends (Saturday) with the following schedules: Advanced Pastry Class, February 29, March 1 and 2, 9am-3pm; Basic Culinary, weekdays, March 6-9 and March 20-23, 9am-3pm; and weekends, March 3, 10, 17, 24, 8:30am-1:30pm; Fundamentals of Bakery Production, weekdays, March 13-16 and March 27-30, 9am-2pm and weekends, March 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2-6pm; Basic Cake Decorating March 30-31, 9am-4pm.
Enroll now and get early bird discounts for the upcoming Junior Culinary and Teen Workshops scheduled on April 10-13 and May 8-11 and April 17-20 and May15-18.

For more information on other courses offerings, log on to or e-mail   or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108.