DIY TRAVEL GUIDE: Marinduque: Heart of the Philippines!

Marinduque...a small heart-shaped island located at the very center of the Philippines, is my beloved hometown.  I'm proud of it even though there are no shopping malls, fast foods or a nightlife. You can definitely enjoy fresh air and of course fresh food, specially seafood! If you want a slow-paced and simple life, this is the place for you.
Marinduquenos are very polite and kind people.  A first time visitor can enjoy the luxury of being a king or queen for a moment through the “Putong” or “Tubong”.  It’s a custom in which the visitor is seated and crowned with flowers while older women sing and dance for him.  It's almost like a feast in your honor.
Legend has it that the island of Marinduque was formed as a consequence of a tragic love affair between two people: Marina and Gatduke. Marina'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.
Another version I was told is that it's formed as proof of Marina and Garduke's true and deep love with each other.  Marina has 4 suitors and one of them is Garduke, whom she loves.  But his father does not approve of him.  To make the long story short, her father arranged a sailing competition; whoever wins can marry her daughter.  Garduke wins and marries Marina and the island named after them.
As for the three suitors, their boats sunk creating the three islands. But that’s just a legend; these three islands were named after the three kings of nativity, Gaspar, Melchor, and Baltazar and well known as the Tres Reyes. Though, closely, they really resemble three ships racing upside down.  This love affair might be the reason why Marinduqueños are known to be hospitable in nature and very welcoming.
It’s best to visit Marinduque during holy week, but you have to bring a lot of patience, because a lot of people go there for the festival.  It’s sad to say, but Marinduque has a limited ferry and RoRo services even during that busy season.

How to Get to Marinduque?
Getting to Marinduque is easy but you have to endure the long trip because for now, there’s no other way but sailing.  It takes more or less 8 hours to get to Marinduque. Please visit click here on how to get to to Marinduque.

What to See & Do in Marinduque?
Moriones Festival
Marinduque is well known for the Moriones Festival, celebrated every Semana Santa (Holy Week).  This festival is the way of remembering how Jesus Christ died and resurrected. Read more>>

Boac Cathedral (Boac) 
Located in Brgy. Mataas na Bayan, it is a historical church where the Katipunan Flag is said to have been baptized.  It served as a refuge for people who fled in panic during the siege of Muslims & Spanish.

Bathala Caves (Sta.Cruz)
A complex network of 7 caves but only four of these caves have so far been explored. Simbahan is the biggest, Kay Coke cave is occasionally guarded by a python, third cave has an underground river and in the fourth cave are human bones believed to be the remains of WWII soldiers. I have never explored this, but I will soon.

Sta. Cruz Church (Sta. Cruz)
This church is the oldest church in the province.  Located in the biggest town, proudly stands this centuries old church. The church was renovated except for the bell tower.  Read more>>

BellaRocca Island Resort & Spa (formerly Elephant Island)
One of the small islets dotting the seas of Marinduque is almost surrounded by sheer cliffs with a half-kilometer beach of white sand and crushed corals.  It’s believed that only in Marinduque you’d see this Santorini inspired resort.  It’s said that only BellaRocca can offer a fantastic experience unlike any other places in the Philippines and across the South-East Asia.   I’m not just sure if this five star resort will survive in this simple province.

Malbog Hot Spring, (Buenavista)
Therapeutic waters found at the base of Mt. Malinding. Two swimming pools of warm though slightly sulfuric waters offer relaxing baths to visitors. It’s believed to therapeutic to any skin diseases because of the sulfuric water.

Mt. Malindig (Buenavista)
Bordering the towns of Buenavista and Torrijos. An inactive volcano rising 3,167 feet above sea level. Someday, I will be explore this volcano.

Paadjao Falls (Mogpog)
Series of gently cascading falls (100 feet) that settles into a 15-foot fall. Hunt for nature-formed bathtubs downstream and enjoy jacuzzi-like effects.

Polo, Maniwaya and Mongpong Islets, (Sta. Cruz)
Major islets found on the northeastern coast of Marinduque. Ideal for swimming and snorkeling is the stretch of white-sand beach located of the south side of Maniwaya. Farthest from the mainland of the province is Mongpong, its fringing reefs a haunt for scuba divers.

Talamban Caves, (Boac)
Two separate limestone-caves located about 100 meters from each other. Bigger one can be explored using ropes or rappels and lights. Said to have an underground stream.

Tres Reyes Island, (Gasan)
Three islets named Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar, collectively known as the Tres Reyes Islands, are among the favorite picnic grounds and dive spots in Marinduque. Gaspar has a short stretch of coral beach with clear blue-green waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Melchor and Baltazar have precipitous shore cliffs and under water caves frequented by divers.

Where to Stay in Marinduque?
If you haven’t made any reservation yet, you can always ask the locales where to stay. You can also try these places:

Tahanan sa Isok, (Boac)
For me this is the best place if you want to explore the city.  It’s not actually the city but it’s the capital of Marinduque. It’s near the oldest church and the market.

Katala Beach Resort, (Gasan)
This is the best place if you want to see the Tres Reyes.  You can see the 3 islands from afar.  They also offer the best burger, well at least for me, it’s the best.

BellaRocca Resort and Inn, (Buenavista)
A five star resort can be found in Buenavista, Marinduque and one of the most expensive places in the Philippines.  I can only see it from afar and it’s really classy.  However, my sister, who had the chance to spend a night there, said it’s not really that grand.  Well, maybe from visitors but from the people who live in there, it’s just the same. You can still see the same people, same places and same environment.

Marinduque is a very slow-paced and relaxed province.  If you really are looking for a place to relax, this is where you should be.  Just keep in mind, Marinduquenos are kind and polite in nature, but like most people they don’t take on rude attitude.

How to Get out of Marinduque?
Please click here on how to get out of Marinduque.

If you ever need a tourist guide or need any help on making an itinerary, message me


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