Feel at Home in the Beautiful Province of Marinduque
Marinduque is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. Its capital is Boac. Marinduque lies between Tayabas Bay to the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is located south and west of Quezon, east of Mindoro, and north of Romblon. The province is sometimes called the Heart of the Philippines, because of its geographical location.
The island of Marinduque is believed to have been inhabited by Malays and Mangyans , governed by the Bonbon settlement in Batangas which was founded by the Bornean datus Dumagsil and Balkasusa.
Legends and stories narrate that the original name of the island was Malindik, describing the gently sloping terrain of the island’s highest peak, Mt. Malindik. When the Spaniards came, they found it difficult to pronounce the word so they called the island Marinduc. By common usage, Marinduk became Marinduque.
In 1571, Marinduque was appointed as an encomienda under Dr. Pedro de Mesa. At about the same time Christianity was introduced by Fr. Diego Herrera. In 1590, the island was subsumed under the government of Mindoro. Nine years later, it became a province under the first Philippine Republic. However, in 1902 all of Mindoro was annexed to Marinduque and Marinduque to the province of Quezon. It was in 1920 when the province gained its full provincial stature under Republic Act No.: 2280 authored by then Assemblyman Ricardo Paras.
Legend has it that the island of Marinduque was formed as a consequence of a tragic love affair between two people: Mariin and Gatduke. The Marine's father, a local chieftain, did not approve of this affair and ordered the beheading of Gatduke. Before this could be done, the couple sailed out to sea and drowned themselves, forming the island now called Marinduque.
Barangay Pulang Lupa, Torrijos, Marinduque
The marker stands at the site of the bloodiest battle ever fought in the island between the Marinduque revolutionary forces against the Americans. The Battle of Pulang Lupa was the first known major battle won by the Filipinos over the Americans. The area is surrounded by dense vegetation making it an ideal place for camping.
- Battle of Paye Marker
Brgy. Balimbing, Boac, Marinduque
A marker that serves as a reminder of the battle on 31 July 1900 between the Filipinos and the Americans. Despite inferior weapons, the bravery of Marinduquenos defeated the American soldiers.
Barangay Ipil, Sta Cruz, Marinduque
The Bathala caves are said to be mystical and a repository of psychic power emanating from various points of the universe. It is believed that there are seven caves within complex. Only four of these caves have so far been explored. The first is called the Simbahan owing to the natural rock formation within its church-like interior: Stalagmites forming a rough likeness to an altar, a silhouette of the Madonna and Child, the bell-like stalactites. The second cave, darker and deeper than the Simbahan is occasionally guarded by a python, from the ceiling of which hang hundreds of giant bats. Another cave has an underground river. Inside the fourth cave is human bones, which the people believe to be the remains of World War II soldiers.
Off the coast of the town of Gasan
Serving as a favorite haunt with delightful picnic grounds and dive spots in Marinduque are these islets named Gaspar, Melchor, and Baltazar, collectively known as Tres Reyes Islands. The islet Gaspar has a short stretch of coral beach with clear blue-green waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The second and third islets, Melchor and Baltazar, have precipitous coasts, underwater caves frequented by deep-sea divers. Marine species such as groupers, snappers, mackerels and sweet lips abound in the area, while coconut crabs called igod are commonly found along the beach.
In 1981, a sunken ship was found 130-feet underwater between the waters of Gaspar and the mainland. Believed to be one of the Chinese pirate Limahong’s vessels, the find yielded millions of pesos worth of artifacts and treasures, mostly porcelain jars, and plates. The Underwater Archeology Section of the National Museum salvaged numerous artifacts from the wreckage, which are now on exhibit.
Brgy. Molbog, Buenavista, Marinduque
At the base of the inactive Mt. Malindig volcano is the therapeutic and natural healing water of Molbog Springs. Two swimming pools with warm though slightly sulfuric waters are considered to be healing with medicinal properties.
- Paadjao Falls
Sitio Paadjao, Barangay Bokbok, Mogpog, Marinduque
This a series of gently cascading falls that settles into a 15-foot fall. Hunt for nature- formed bathtubs downstream and enjoy Jacuzzi-like effect. It is an ideal place for picnicking or camping.
- Polo, Maniwaya, and Mongpong Islets
Off the coast of Sta Cruz, Marinduque
Off the coast of Sta. Cruz is the islets of Polo, Mongpong and Maniwaya. Polo is only 35 minutes by boat from the pier. A white sand beach and 10-foot sandy cliffs line its coast. Only 15 to 20 minutes away from the Polo is Maniwaya, whose powdery white sand beach could rival that of Boracay island. Northeast of the Maniwaya is another beach similar to White Beach of Torrijos.
Mongpong, the farthest from the mainland, is approximately 20 to 25 minutes by boat from Maniwaya. Northeast of this islet lies a kilometer stretch of white coral beach almost similar to the one in Elephant Island.
There are no tourist facilities in these islets. Visitors are advised to bring drinking water, sleeping bags and tents for longer stay in the area.
Northwestern tip of Marinduque, off Balanacan Pier
Natangco is an eight-hectare islet with a short stretch of powdery white sand that gradually slopes into the sea. Visitors are advised to bring water and food including tents for nature trips. Marine enthusiasts and scuba divers will find Natangco islet a haven with waters teeming with corals and marine life such as Moorish idols, butterfly fishes, and an occasional sighting of manta rays, marlins, etc.
Sitio Talisay, Brgy. Bonliw, Torrijos, Marinduque
Flanked by cliffs on both sides, Costa Celina is among the favorite dive spots in Marinduque. Approximately 40 meters from the shore is an undersea wall rich in marine flora and fauna.
Barangay Amoingon, Boac
Coastal area with abundant marine flora and fauna, which can easily be seen 10 to 15 meters away from the beachfront. Colorful butterfly fishes, bobbing clownfishes, lionfishes, melo-sized seashells and schools of angelfish are among the varieties found here.
- Mainit Hot Springs
Barangay Mainit, Boac, Marinduque
Free-flowing springs that churn out therapeutic warm waters. A favorite spot among the Marinduqueños, it is the main attraction of Barangay Mainit.
- Duyay Cave
Duyay, Boac, Marinduque
The caves are regarded to be even more enthralling than Bathala Caves. The interior is very huge and dark, filled with stalactite formations. Only few visitors have explored the entire length of caves and tunnels, which are estimated to end in Tapuyan, Gasan.
Off the coast of Barangay Lipata, Buenavista, Marinduque
One of the mesmerizing small islets dotting the seas of Marinduque is Elephant Island. It is also surrounded by sheer cliffs with a half - kilometer of the long beach of white sand and crushed corals. The beach is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
- Norada Falls
Sitio Paadyao, Barangay Bukbok, Mogpog, Marinduque
A series of gently cascading falls culminating in a 10-foot deep pool of crystal-clear water. It is an ideal place for picnicking or camping.
Bordering the towns of Buenavista and Torrijos
Dominating the skyline south of Marinduque is Mt. Malindig, an inactive volcano. Dense forest covers its upper half. Found in abundance is giant trees, moss forest and wild orchids. The rest is nearly deforested due to the slash and burn method of farming. This however, does not diminish the attraction of Mt. Malindig, which until now remains an excellent place for mountain climbing, camping and bird watching.
- Kabugsakan Falls
Barangay Tugas, Boac, Marinduque
Ideal for picnics and nature based activities, it is a popular spot among the locals being proximate to the poblacion of Boac, the capital town.
- Ginaras Falls
Sitio Banhigan, Brgy. Duyay, Boac, Marinduque
100 meter-falls with six adjacent waterfalls in the mountainous area of Barangay Duyay.
Off the coast of Sta Cruz, Marinduque
Lying on the eastern side of the island is half-a-kilometer-long white beach littered with crushed corals. There is a good dive spot on the northeast of the islet. Salomague island is privately owned, thus, permission should be secured prior to the visit of the island, as a jump-off point for scuba diving.
Barangay Balagasan, Duyay, Boac, Marinduque
Two separate caves located about 100 meters from each other. The bigger one can be explored by using rappel ropes.
Barangay Balanacan, Mogpog, Marinduque
A panoramic view of Balanacan cove, the islets of Natangco, San Andres, Ata, Agpisan and Hidalgo. The general area is ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling.
- Tarug Caves
Barangay Tarug, Sta Cruz, Marinduque
Three chambered cave in a limestone formation, it rises steeply to a little more than 900 feet from the ground. Pinnacle is barely 3 square meters.
The pride of the Municipality of Torrijos, it is a stretch of fine, white sand beach stretching almost to a kilometer long beach. Picnic huts and cottages are available.
Boac, Mogpog and Gasan
During the annual observance of Holy Week, a biblical character in the person of the Roman centurion Longinus comes alive as the towns of Boac, Mospog and Gasan stage the Moriones. It is a religious and cultural event that links the story of Longinus with Christ’s Passion and Death. It features masked men garbed in the colorful costume of Roman soldiers. This unique observance is indigenous to the province. The local government, in coordination with local theater groups seek to preserve the custom of the Morion, which is said to be a mix of Christian and pre-hispanic culture. Starting on Holy Monday. “ Morions” roam the streets of Boac, Mogpog and Gasan. They play pranks on the townspeople, serenade ladies, frighten children and sometimes engage in mock sword fights.
The practice has its roots during the Christian conversion of the Muslim locals by the friars during the Spanish period. As a form of penitence, the Muslim converts, during Holy Week, attired themselves in the garb of characters of Christ’s passion and death. Parents of children, at that time, in order to frighten children into submission, pointed to the grotesque figures as Moro’yon. The term evolved into the present day title of Morion . The custom of the “ promenade” or “walk” down the streets of Marinduque every Lenten season prevails to this time and has expanded into the famous Moriones tableau as it is known today.
The climax of the Lenten celebration will be the Pugutan, a Filipino version of the Passion of Christ. The Pugutan depicts the life of Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Christ’s side with a spear as He was nailed to cross and was a witness to Jesus’s resurrection. Longinus was arrested for spreading the news of Christ’s resurrection and was later beheaded.
- Tawak Drinking
This local concoction is prepared during Good Friday. Tawak is a drink made from mint leaves, spices, herbs and local vodka. It is a practice common to the menfolk but some women take a sip too. This potion is prepared by a village healer who empowers the drink by means of a whispered prayer called bulong. The bulong, however should be done before the stroke of 12:00 noon on Good Friday, marking the end of the power of the healer. The potion will keep for a year.
It is believed that the tawak protects the drinker from venomous bites. It takes seven years, however for an individual to become a full-fledged healer who will be able to transfer his powers to an heir or successor.
This practice represents another facet of the Marinduqueño’s spirituality.
Town Proper of Boac, Mogpog and Gasan
This is a Marinduque’s indigenous custom of welcoming and honoring friends and visitors. The ceremony starts with the procession of the mamumutong, which is a group of men and women, chanting greetings before the visitors they regard as deities. The mamumutong sing and dance in a quickening rhythm in front of the guests showering them with flowers and coins as signs of affection. Flowers fashioned into crowns, garlands and bouquets are given to the honorees. Shouts of Mabuhay and viva end the ceremonial welcome for visitors.
Marinduque ( Provincewide)
A musical instrument unique to the province. The kalutang consists of two pieces of wood, graduated in sizes to produce different notes and ranges, which takes a group of 10 to 12 people to create a special musical rendition.
- Legend of Mara-Undok Dance Drama
Local theater groups stage the dance culled from the Legend of Mar-Undok which narrates the origins of the islands. The dance mirrors the pagan belief in natural deities (earth, wind and fire) who created the formation of the island province. The dance-drama incorporates ballet and pantomime with native musical instruments, music and chants.
The presentation can be seen for free as it is rendered by young artist students from local schools and colleges who perform as a kind of a sacrifice to observe of the Lenten season.
- Boac Cathedral
Barangay Mataas na Bayan, Boac, Marinduque
The cathedral is a 10-minute walk from the town proper. It was built in 1756 in honor of the Blessed Virgin of Biglang Awa. (Immediate Succor). It was here where Filipinos and Spaniards took refuge from pirate attacks. The architecture is Fil-Hispanic Gothic style with much of the original structure faithfully preserved. The belfry, altar façade and the interiors of the cathedral were beautifully restored as a prime heritage site of the province. The later addition of stained glass windows, adorn the walls and enhance the age-old beauty of the church.
- Sta. Cruz Church
Poblacion, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
This church was erected in 1714 and was renovated in the later years The tower still retains its original grandeur and solidity.
- Blessed Biglang-Awa Miraculous Shrine
Poblacion, Boac, Marinduque
It houses the patroness of the province.
Poblacion, Boac, Marinduque
It houses the antique collections of town of Boac.
- Marinduque Trade House
Barangay Santos, Boac, Marinduque
Showcases the native products of local producers of Marinduque.
Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker
Poctoy White Beach
Sta. Cruz Cathedral
Malbog Sulfur Spring
- Diving Spots
The waters of Marinduque harbor a wealth of underwater riches. Numerous dive spots are abundantly scattered around the island’s waters, waiting to be rediscovered. Among the more popular sites are found off the coast of the islands of Maniwaya, Natangco, Salomangue, and the Tres Reyes Islands.
There is a range of choices of beaches in Marinduque. The white beaches of Torrijos, Sta. Cruz, Gasan and Mogpog islets are famous for diving and snorkeling.
- Mountain Trekking
Mountain trekking and camping are pursuits to enjoy in Mt. Mt. Malindig around Buenavista and Torrijos. Bird watchers can catch sightings of local wildlife and raptors in flight.
Heritage and cultural appreciation tours are year-round activities and reach its peak during Holy Week. The quaint towns abound with beautifully preserved Antillan houses and well ordered communities reminiscent of Spanish town planning. Scenic attractions, local cuisine, arts and crafts together with special traditions of hospitality are what makes Marinduque an ideal destination.
List of Accommodations
- Club Marinduque and Resort - Brgy Pingan, Gasan
- Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa - Barangay Tungib - Lipata
- The Boac Hotel - Brgy. San Miguel, Boac, Marinduque
- Bus companies such as: TRITRAN Bus, Southstar Liner, De la Rosa Liner, Lucena Lines and JAM Liner ply the route from Manila to the Port of Lucena ;
- Bus Terminals are located at Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia) cor Taft Avenue, Ali Mall Compound and EDSA in Quezon City;
- Fast craft ferry service passengers bound Sta Cruz, Buyabod, Balanacan and Mogpog ports for two-hour ride;
- Roll-on/roll-off boats takes 3 hours of sea travel from Lucena City;
- Jeepneys, FX and tricycles are available at the ports to take passenger to various points of destination;
- By air, Zest Air flies have regular flights four times a week to Gasan Airport;
- Travel time is approximately 45 minutes by air from Manila.