The Lubang Island Group [OC-126]
by Wolfgang Schippke, DC3MF
The Lubang Island
Group consists of about 4 islands, located northwest of the norther end
of Mindoro Island, and offshore west-south-west of Manila. The largest
island is Lubang, 30 km by 10 km in area, and up to 417 m
high on Mount Goating. Close east of Lubang lies Ambil Island,
oval shaped with a mean diameter of 6 km and 645 m high on Mount Benagongon.
The second largest island is Golo Island, situated close
southeast of the southern end of Lubang, a real flat high tabelland island.
In the northwest of the northern most end of Lubang lies Cabra
Island, which is reported to be not permanent inhabited. The most offshore
islands are the Mandaui Group, a steep-sided islet surrounded
by several small rocks and low islets. The islands are of volcanic origin,
and on several places hot springs as sulfur lakes can be observed. There
is till today a permanent seismic activity to observe and scientifics means
that the Mount Bengongon will errupt within the next years.
The islands are well populated, and several villages are along the northeast coast of Lubang, as on the south of Cabra (abandoned since several years) and also a village on Golo Island.
There is a local airfield on the northern end of Luband, between the settlements Lubang and Tagbac. This airfield will be used by a shuttle service from Manila airodrom, twice a week.
In the heavy woods of Lubang island, 1980 two Japanese soldier were discovered, thinking to be in WW II. Mr. Hiroo Onoda, one of the both, want to go into war-prison, and he was so surprised that the war was over, that he could not believe it. The other, was Captain Fumio Nakahura, who lifed till today in a small house in the settlement Vigo.
The islands were discovered in the 16th century by Spain sailors, and claimbed for Spain in 1599. The Spain found the islands as inhabited, except Ambil, where a volcanous activity was reported. In 1694 the Spain passenger ship 'San Jose' run on the south coast of Lubang on a reef, and sunk. About 150 settlers and 15 sailors were killed.