Marinduque is a small island at the southern part of Luzon. It is composed of six small towns – Boac (the capital), Gasan, Buenavista, Torrijos, Sta. Cruz, and Mogpog. The province is rarely heard of in the news, unless there was a calamity or accident of some sort, but hey, Marinduque has so much to offer and is worth that few days off.
- Experience Putong – Putong (act of putting a crown on someone revered) is a thanksgiving rite in Marinduque. It is “promised” by the family when a member recovered from sickness, passed a licensure exam, made it thru graduation, welcoming back a long lost friend and his family, celebrating birthday, practically any life’s event that the celebrant family is thankful for. Putungan is a community party where friends and relatives are invited to celebrate the blessing and they all oin the mamumutong in singing the putong song. Mamumutong groups are composed of seven to ten local manangs with one guitarist, some are professional groups, some are village aunts who just memorized the putong song. The ceremony , act or play starts with the mamumutong knocking at the door of the celebrant house and requesting that the “saint” come out as they are visiting him/her. The putong celebrant then comes out, sits in a throne and the mamumutongs continue on with their chant, while putting a crown, giving a sort of scepter, and showering him / her with confetti. Putong ends with the mamumutongs dancing with the crowned celebrant. Over the years, Marinduquenos practiced the rite as a way of welcoming guests.
Try swimming in a hot sulphuric Malbog Hot Spring. Studies say the water helps to cure some skin diseases. Malbog Hot Spring is located at the town of Buenavista. Just a reminder, make sure to bring extra clothes as the water really smells like sulphur and sticks on the clothes.
- Get a close encounter with butterflies! Since it is summer, now is the best time to see them in full bloom. Marinduque is now considered the “butterfly capital of the Philippines” with its varied breeds and developed farming techniques. Go see a Butterfly Farm
- Tour a coastal island in one day! Marinduque is a small island and the roads are mostly coastal. Just a hire a jeep for one day and explore what the province natural tropical beauty has to offer. You can try touring while on the jeep topload too!
- Trekking to a cave – Bathala Cave , located in Sta. Cruz , Marinduque, is a network of seven caves. It will take 1 1/2 hour to reach the caves but it is worth the sweat, Bathala Cave is an amazing find.
- Boac Cathedral – Don’t miss out this historic landmark in the town capital from your itinerary. It is a 17th century edifice that maintains its original structures todate. The architecture is an interesting piece.
- Meet more Marinduquenos! – Be entertained, feel the people’s warmth as a guest, Marinduquenos are sweet, warm and friendly people. By the way, I am one.
Visit Tres Reyes Island. It will be a crime to miss Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar Islands (named after theThree Kings) in your itinerary. These majestic islands are located accross Pinggan, Gasan, Marinduque. You can hire a banca from Pinggan and the boatman will serve as your tourguide to the islands. Explore a protected marine sanctuary , untouched white beaches, underwater caves and many more. This is the place where nature embraces you back!
- Witness the Holy week Procession – The Holy Week procession in any of the towns in Marinduque are almost like festivals in itself, except there are no drumbeats and all the festive sounds. But each portion of the procession has interesting costumes and reasons and as the procession passes by, its like watching one festival float after another. There’s the pupuwa, the pataraka, of course the saint floats, the novicias. Check it out!
- Witness the Moriones Festival and the Pugutan – What more can I say to describe it. The web has taken the liberty to say them all, except, the real excitement and emotions when you are right there. The Moriones festival is actually one of the most colorful Philippine festivals. When I was a little girl, I was told that Morions (men masked and dressed like Roman soldiers) roam around the town because they were portraying the Roman soldiers who were looking for Longhinus because he was “wanted”. On Black Saturday evening when the town would stage the cenaculo, the morions would find Longhinus and they would behead him for disobeying the king’s orders and spreading the news about Jesus. The cenaculo is called Pugutan and it is another interesting piece not to be missed, more like a social, cultural way of conveying what is Holy Week all about.
Visitors who intend to go to Marinduque by land will have to do so via Lucena transferring to a ferry along the way. For details, click here.
Here’s a detailed Moriones Festival 2013 Schedule of Events and Activities.
Here’s a package you might be interested in.
Enjoy your Marinduque adventure!