Marinduque - Lenten Mecca
of Southern Tagalog
Although it is the smallest
province in the Southern Tagalog region, Marinduque is home
to one of the biggest festivals held during Lenten Season, the
Moriones Festival. Streets are filled with locals wearing masks
garbed in Roman soldier clothing complete with armor, shield,
lance, and sword, replicating the Roman soldier Longhinus who
stabbed the side of Jesus Christ and His blood cured the centurion’s
With the number of beautiful
old churches in the province, Visita Iglesia has become another
spiritual activity in the province during Lent. Unknowingly,
this small island packs a lot of sights for wandering travelers.
From pristine and secluded beaches, to underwater paradise gateways,
Marinduque gives tourists more than one reason to stay longer.
1.Population – 217,392
(as of 2007 Census)
2. Land Area – 959.3 sq. km
3. Capital – Boac
4. Language/Dialect – Tagalog and Visayan, Bicolano, English,
- Santa Cruz
Masked men and women, called morions flock the streets during
Lenten season replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers.
It is an indigenous custom of welcoming and honoring friends
and visitors accompanied by chanting greetings.
Built in honor of the Birhen ng Biglang Awa (Blessed Virgin
of Immediate Succor), the cathedral has maintained its Filipino-Hispanic
Gothic architectural design throughout the years.
Like the Mount Banahaw found between Laguna and Rizal, the cave
is also tagged as a place of mystic powers.
Places of Interest...
Putong is a Tagalog word which means ‘to put on’
or ‘to wear’. The ceremony done to honor and welcome
friends and visitors from other province starts with the procession
of the “mamumutong,” a group of men and women, chanting
greetings before the visitors whom they regard as deities. Every
barangay has its own version of this tradition that has evolved
from healing rituals to thanksgiving and welcome events.
Tawak is a concoction made from mint leaves. It is only made,
served and drank during Good Friday.
Location: Brgy. Bangbang, Gasan, Marinduque
It is a piece of musical instrument made from bayog and kwatingan
trees endemic to the province. These two pieces of wood produces
a distinct pitch and tonal quality when banged together.
Battle of Pulang
Location: Torrijos, Marinduque
A battle between the Filipino revolutionary fighters and the
American forces commenced here. The Philippine freedom fighters
emerged victorious in this battle.
Battle of Paye Marker
Location: Boac, Marinduque
On July 31, 1900, a fierce battle between the Filipino freedom
fighters and the Americans. Despite inferior weapons, the Filipinos
defeated the Americans.
Corporation Mine Site
Location: Torrijos and Boac, Marinduque
This non-operating mine site was once the subject of a major
environmental disaster. On March 24, 1996, news came out that
mine tailings from the site leaked out to the Makulapnit-Boac
river system. Until now, the residents of Marinduque feel the
effects of the toxic materials.
Location: Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
It is the only existing cave named after an ancient Filipino
god. It is composed of 26 interconnected caves, two or three
of which are regularly visited. During Lent, believers pay homage
to the site and absorb its alleged psychic powers.
Tres Reyes Island
Location: Sitio Castillo, Brgy. Pinggan, Gasan, Marinduque
Tres Reyes is composed of three islands: Gaspar, Melchor, and
Baltazar. The biggest, Gaspar, has a crushed coral beach and
an ideal site for swimming and snorkeling. Melchor Island good
scuba diving area. Baltazar Island, the farthest among the three
has an operational lighthouse with a guard house. It also has
an underwater cave where occasional sharks and stingrays thrive
in once in a while.
Sta. Cruz Island
Location: Polo, Maniwaya, Mongpong Islands, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
These island beaches are blessed with fine white sand and underwater
Location: Buenavista, Marinduque
Rising up to 1,157 meters. Its foothills are visited by rare
species of birds, deer, wild boar and monkeys. Mountain climbers
are treated to a panoramic view of the province.
Molbog Sulfur Spring
Location: Buenavista, Marinduque
Found at the base of the inactive Mt. Malindig volcano, Molbog
Sulfur Springs has two pools that attract visitors to experience
its medicinal value.
Location: Brgy. Bagtingon, Buenavista, Marinduque
Aside from enjoying the cool water from this two-tiered waterfall,
the area is the home of more than 300 species of butterflies.
Ina ng Biglang Awa
Cathedral (Boac Cathedral)
Location: Boac, Marinduque
Built in 1756, Filipinos and Spaniards use the church as a hiding
place during attacks of marauding pirates. In 1792, the church
was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of Immediate Succor. Until
now, devotees and local believe that the image is miraculous
and is venerated all throughout the province.
Location: Sapinit Hill, Brgy. Bagtingon, Buenavista, Marinduque
The grotto, inspired by the original grotto found in Lourdes,
France, offers a great view of Mt. Malindig and the Tablas Strait.
Pilgrims constantly visit the site because of its location that
is free from the noise of everyday life.
Place: Boac, Mogpog, and Gasan, Marinduque
Date: Lenten Season
The festival is said to have originated in Mogpog, in the 1880s
when a re-enactment of the crucifixion was staged by a local
priest. Since then, it has been a tradition for locals to wear
face masks and garbs of Roman centurions and soldiers, complete
with spears, lances, and shield. The story revolves on Longhinus,
a blind Roman soldier who pierced the side of Jesus Christ during
his crucifixion. The soldier regained his sight when the blood
of the Lord went on his eyes. In the end, Longhinus died a martyr
when he was beaded.
Place: Mogpog, Marinduque
Date: May 15
The feast is celebrated in honor of San Isidro Labrador. The
fiesta is highlighted with street-dancing, brass bands, beauty
contests, carabaos, kangga, cart and cultural performances.
Place: Boac, Marinduque
Date: December 8
The event is centered on the life cycle of butterflies, the
butterfly farming industry being one of the town's more unique
industries. Children and local dancers dressed in butterfly
costumes flock the street and dance to the beat of their ethnic