15 – 22 March 2010

Sunset illuminates this charming dive resort in Mindoro

Sunset illuminates this charming dive resort in Mindoro

Guenter Taus was my dive instructor for my PADI advance course many years ago. He also is part owner of Occidental Mindoro’s newest dive resort called Apo Reef Club. Michi Roos is the founder and operations manager of this resort in the Philippine tropics.

Michi in the yellow kayak and Guenter and I paddle around Apo Reef Club I - The Liveaboard!

Michi in the yellow kayak and Guenter and I paddle around Apo Reef Club I – The Liveaboard!

Slowly but surely, they are building an eco resort to cater to American, European and local Philippine divers.  Apo Reef as well as the surrounding muck dive sites in Concepcion Mindoro is the star attraction for divers.

Tropical paradise at sunset

Tropical paradise at sunset

Apo Reef Club staff and guests pose with the giant Panda

Apo Reef Club staff and guests pose with the giant Panda

We made a land trip to the surrounding area and photographed farmers and the indigenous Mangyan tribe living at the foothills of Barangay Poypoy, in Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro. It was a very dry summer and we could see how the farmers struggle with irrigating their fields. Here are some images of people from the fields.

A farmer's best friend. The hard working water buffalo harvesting rice stalks

A farmer’s best friend – the hard working water buffalo pulling in harvests of rice stalks

Watering hole of the water buffalos. In the hot summer heat, these beasts of burden need to be hydrated about three times a day

Watering hole of the water buffalos. In the hot summer heat, these beasts of burden need to be hydrated about three times a day

An old Manyan farmer walking two kilometers to the nearest town from their village

An old Mangyan farmer walking two kilometers to the nearest town from their village in Sitio Tamisan

Fire wood is brought home from the fields by the end of the working day

Fire wood is brought home from the fields by the end of the working day

A thin old Manyan man carries heavy sacks of rice to be received by a sleepy young man

A thin indigenous upland Mangyan man carries heavy sacks of rice to be received by a constantly sleeping lowland strapping young man

Irrigating the vast Mindoro rice fields come from pumped out ground water. How long will it last, I wonder?

Irrigating the vast Mindoro rice fields come from pumped out ground water. How long will it last, I wonder?

This farmer looks at his dry field and wonder when the next rains will come

This farmer looks at his dry field and wonder when the next rains will come

At the end of our walk to Sitio Tamisan is this watering hole. It was a sobering thought to know there's still water amidst the drought this summer

At the end of our walk to Sitio Tamisan is this watering hole. It was a sobering thought to know there’s still water amidst the drought this summer

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