|Location||South East Asia
|Major islands||Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Palawan|
|Highest point||Halcon (2,582 m)|
|Province||Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro|
|Largest city||Calapan (105,910)
|Population||1,062,000 (as of 2000)|
|Indigenous people||Mangyan, Tagalog|
Mindoro is the seventh-largest island in the Philippines. It is located in southwestern Luzon, just northeast of Palawan. In past times, it has been called Ma-i or Mait by ancient Chinese traders and, by Spaniards, as Mina de Oro (meaning "gold mine") from where the island got its current name. The island was divided into its two present-day provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, in 1950. Before then, since 1921, the entire island was one province.
According to the late historian William Henry Scott in his book Prehispanic Source Materials For The Study of Philippine History (rev. ed., 1984), an entry in the official history of the Sung Dynasty for the year 972 mentions Ma-i as a trading partner of China. Other Chinese records referring to Ma-i or Mindoro appear in the years that follow.
Prehispanic Source Materials enumerates the products that Mindoro traders exchanged with the Chinese as "beeswax, cotton, true pearls, tortoise shell, medicinal betelnuts and yu-ta [jute?] cloth" for Chinese porcelain, trade gold, iron pots, lead, colored glass beads and iron needles.
The economy of Mindoro is largely based on agriculture. Products consist of a wide variety of fruits, such as citrus, bananas, lanzones, rambutan, and coconuts, such cereals as rice and maize, sugar cane, peanuts, fish (catfish, milkfish,tilapia), livestock, and poultry. Logging and the mining of marble and copper also thrive.
Tourism is a lucrative business as well, with locations such as Apo Reef National Park, Lubang Island, Puerto Galera, Sabang Beach, and Mount Halcon. Puerto Galera's beaches are the islands most known tourist attraction and are widely visited.
The principal language in Mindoro is Tagalog, although in some parts it has been greatly influenced by the native Visayan and Mangyan languages. Mainstream Filipino and Taglish are, indeed, present in and around such areas as Puerto Galera and Calapan City. Visayan and Mangyan languages, too, are spoken on the island, as are Ilokano and some foreign languages — e.g., English, Fukien, and, to a much lesser extent, Spanish.
The common religions on the island fall under Christianity. The religion of the indigenous Mangyan population is animism. Though they are into animism as a religion, the Catholic Church in some of Mindoro's parts is also active.