Lazada Philippines

Monday, June 8, 2015

Marinduque: Surprises that Await on the Land of the Morions

Just when I thought that experiencing the world-renowned Moriones Festival would be enough to suffice my long-time dream of visiting Marinduque, I guess God has rewarded me for patiently waiting for this chance by showing more of this humble yet very beautiful province.

Since traveling by air was suspended for until who knows when, taking a 2-3 hour land trip via SLEX to Lucena Port and then another 2-3 hour ferry trip via RoRo (Roll-on, Roll-off ferry) from Lucena Port to Balanacan Port, Mogpog, Marinduque, reaching the humble shores of Marinduque won’t be a problem – well at least in our case.

We went there last Holy Week, and though I must indicate that we were just lucky to have a host who planned this trip really, really good, as well as our accommodations too, going to Marinduque on such a peak season would need a great planning - and by planning I mean really, really a head of time.

We left Manila night of Holy Wednesday, reached the shores of Mogpog, Marinduque – Port of Balanacan morning of Holy Wednesday, and basically mesmerized by the beauty of the province til Easter Sunday.

Some may say that it was the best season to be in the island province, but when we went around to see the whole province, with its lovely people, captivating sights and beaches, and adventurous activities, Marinduque is worth visiting anytime of the year.

Round Marinduque

When in Marinduque, the most common means of transportation is motorcycle or tricycle. There are some jeepneys but these mass transports usually travel from one town to another from morning til around late afternoon only. So as not to limit your time in going around the province, it is still best to bring your own car. In our case, since our host was so good (without pambobola), she arranged a service for us to take us around Marinduque ahead of time.

Team GoPro Ready for Round Marinduque

I thought staying here for four days is already enough to capture all the beauty of the province, Moriones Festival included – but I was totally wrong. So Wrong!

When we did the Round Marinduque thing, we did it on Maundy Thursday. We chose that day so that we will be able to see different preparations that Marinquenos are doing for the Good Friday, which is the highlight of the week. For Php3500.00, our group got a jeepney to take us around Marinduque. This is said to be the best way to see the whole of Marinduque, though vans and other air-conditioned vehicles are also available but on a higher fee. The Round Marinduque is the most perfect way for a good trip around the province with stopovers whenever you want – and you can tag along as many friends as you want.

With 6 municipalities to explore, some would think that it’s so easy to go around and uncover all the beauty that Marinduque has in store for its guests, but with Round Marinduque, we were mistaken. From breathtaking landscape where mountains meet the seas, to beautiful beaches may it be white sand, gray sand or pebbled, Marinduque being at the center of the Philippines has more to offer including captivating sunrise and sunset that are simply heart melting.

Boac Cathedral

From Mogpog we drove down to the Moriones Festival capital of the province – Boac. If you are looking for that specific place where they really reenact the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday, most people that I’ve talked to refers to Boac’s presentation as by far the most dramatic, theatrical and well-acted. Actually, when we got there, I didn’t know that there were young boys too who play as Morions. They may look creepy at times but I find it somehow cute – cute that the tradition of being a Morion is being passed like that.

Morion Kids of Boac

As much as want to spend more time in Boac, our next destination is waiting for us – Gasan.

One thing that I love in this side of the province is its astonishing and well-designed church, the St. Joseph Parish Church of Gasan. Getting inspiration from the Philippines’ National Leaf – Anahaw or Fan Palm, Gasan Church offers a stunning interior that is truly lovely and soulful at the same time. And since the church is located on top of a mountain, the view overlooking the whole Gasan and its nearby Tayabas Bay - was simply breathtaking

St. Joseph Parish Church of Gasan

From the peaceful Gasan to the sough-after town of Buenavista, our Round Marinduque was highlighted by the stunning view of the exquisite and world-class Bellaroca Island Spa and Resort, which is located in the Elephant Island.

Bellaroca Island Spa and Resort of Buenavista

Though the whole resort was close that time, and we’re not sure when it will be open again, we had a wonderful time taking a glimpse of it from the mainland Marinduque. Tourists usually stop along the main highway to take a shot of the prestigious resort hotel, but unlike them, we take extra step to add more drama and beauty to our photos. Obvious naman,di ba? Keber sa init ng batuhan! Hahaha!

From the scenic town of Buenavista, our next destination shares more of the simplistic beauty of Marinduque. The Municipality of Torrijos, compared to the other towns or municipalities, it is more peaceful here. Aside from its white beaches, one can find sanctuary to their very own "Luneta Park".

Luneta Park of Torrijos

We visited this miniature version of Manila's distinct tourist destination, and it was such a breath of fresh air - literally and figuratively - to see a well-kept park where kids and adults like and run around or simply juts enjoy the relaxing view of the sea. It was so simple that we find so homey, so we had our lunch there. We brought some "baon" to really enjoy this Round Marinduque."

Just when I thought Buenavista and Torrijos were the best, reaching the colorful town of Santa Cruz made our Round Marinduque more fun and enjoyable. Aside from the vibrant Boac, if you wanna see brick-stone church, pay a visit at Santa Cruz - but this one is a bit different. Instead of using a whole brick, the facade of Immaculate Conception Cathedral used broken bricks and cement that made the whole exterior more interesting.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Santa Cruz

The people of Santa Cruz are equally warm and happy. A smile on each person's face is visible despite of the sacredness of the week - something that made me feel at home.

Sunset at Mogpog

We ended our Round Marinduque tour by dipping into one of Marinduque's most visited beaches, the Ulong Beach and let our heart melted by the beauty of its sunset.

More Rammmpa Tips

To those who are visiting the province for the first time, I've got some tips you might want to include on your itinerary.

1. Eat like the locals!


Since the whole island is surrounded by vast body of water, fresh seafood are available from time to time. When we arrived at Mogpog, we saw a man carrying these crab-like beings, which they locally called Buyaso.

Pansit ni Pidio and Puto

But if you are after some comfort food, Pidio's Pansit and the Mogpog's local market's Puto or Rice Cake is the one for you! I super, duper love their puto. Prices are so friendly, you won't mind having so much too! Hehe.

2. Pocket-friendly beach bumming everywhere.

Since every road is a coastline, you can simply go anywhere and get that tan line FOR FREE. The province is surrounded by beautiful beaches and stunning views, which is not just perfect for beach bumming but also for catching breathtaking sunrise and sunset views - something that made me love the province more.

Buenavista Pebbled Beach

Mogpog White Beach

3. Pasalubong that You'll Love

If you are collecting travel t-shirts like I do, well, you're in for a treat. When we visited Boac Complex, I was very fortunate to see and to have one of these shirts, which is designed by Marinduque's famous visual artist, Ton Monteagudo. Prices are pretty affordable given that the designs are originally made to promote the province. I bought one for my mom too! (ang sweet ko noh?)

For foodies, Marinduque is famous for its "Uraro" or Arrowroot Cookies. Rejano's Bakery is the most famous and as said the original maker arrowroot cookies in the province. You can basically get one from any local market, or if you have time, you can visit their bakeshop in Santa Cruz.

4. Be with adventurous friends!

I'd say that there are still a lot for us to discover and experience in this humble province, and we honestly can't wait to go back to see more of Marinduque. If you are coming here with your friends too, make sure that you're friends are great campers - meaning cool enough to light your own bonfire, fetch water from a nearby well, and know how to enjoy good ambiance and cold beer.

I couldn't wish for a more enjoyable trip than this! I seriously think that everything went well, and that this won't be the last of our adventure!

Thanks guys for making this Marinduque extra special and truly memorable! Cheers!

Happy Rammmpa, everyone!


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