The name Mindoro comes from the Spanish word “Mina de Oro” or gold mine. Miners laboriously made a living from streams, but no viable commercial gold deposits have been found. The Spanish arrived only to find Chinese traders of silk, porcelain, jewelry, and took their goods by force. The island resisted such invasion and later, against the Americans.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the island was inhabited by tribes called Mangyans. These early settlers have been pushed inland recently by severe influx of tourism.
The capital, Puerto Galera is a terrific natural harbor, where ships may lie safely even during typhoons. Due to its magnificent array of white sand beaches, this district in the east became a destination for urban settlers and budget travelers seeking sun, water and diving activities. The invasion of tourism transformed this small part of the island into an immense incursion of concrete resorts, shops, dive shops, restaurants and loud bars. Many foreign settlers married local girls and set out their own resorts and diving institutions. Numerous beaches turned out a sight of restaurants, discos and rental shops for water activities.