Marinduque: The Heart-Shaped Island Gem of the Philippines.

Located in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines, Marinduque is a small but beautiful island province that is often overlooked by tourists. But those who do take the time to visit Marinduque are rewarded with breathtaking natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality that will make them feel right at home.


A brief history of Marinduque.

Marinduque is an island province located in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines. The province has a rich and diverse history that dates back to pre-colonial times.

During the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule, Marinduque played a significant role in the resistance movement. In 1898, the locals under the leadership of General Maximo Abad, rose up against the Spanish authorities and established the short-lived Marinduque Republic.

Marinduque has continued to develop over the years and is now known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The province is a popular destination for eco-tourism, with attractions such as the Marinduque Wildlife Sanctuary, the Tres Reyes Islands, and the Poctoy White Beach. The province is also home to several festivals, including the Moriones Festival, which is celebrated during Holy Week and is a major tourist attraction.


Marinduque Island, PH, Sentinel-2” by Sentinel-2 cloudless 2016 by EOX IT Services GmbH is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 


According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, the total population of Marinduque province is 259,252. The population density is 247 people per square kilometer. The capital town of Boac is the most populous town, with a population of 58,817, followed by the towns of Mogpog and Sta. Cruz, with populations of 49,541 and 47,450, respectively. The least populous town is Gasan, with a population of 23,857.

Marinduque People
Marinduque-Semaine Sainte (245)” by jbeaulieu is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Moriones Festival

Marinduque is known for its unique and colorful Moriones Festival, which is celebrated during Holy Week. The festival features elaborate masks and costumes that depict the Roman soldiers who persecuted Jesus Christ. The festival is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Marinduque.

The Moriones Festival is a unique and colorful festival that is celebrated during Holy Week in Marinduque, Philippines. The festival features masked and costumed participants known as “Morions” who reenact the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who converted to Christianity after piercing the side of Jesus with his spear.

The Morions wear brightly colored costumes and wooden masks, which depict the faces of Roman soldiers. The masks are usually painted with bright colors and have exaggerated features to create a dramatic effect. The Morions parade through the streets, dancing and chanting to the beat of drums and other traditional instruments.

The highlight of the Moriones Festival is the reenactment of the beheading of Longinus, which is held on Good Friday. The Morions march through the streets carrying the statue of Longinus and the cross. They then perform a play that depicts the beheading of Longinus and his eventual conversion to Christianity.

The Moriones Festival is a popular tourist attraction in Marinduque, with thousands of visitors from around the world coming to witness the colorful and unique festival. The festival not only showcases the cultural heritage of Marinduque but also serves as a reminder of the religious significance of Holy Week for Filipinos.

Moriones Festival
Marinduque’s Moriones Festival” by Ranieljosecastaneda is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Historical Sites

Boac Cathedral

Boac Cathedral, Marinduque” by Joelaldor is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Marinduque has a rich history that is reflected in its historical sites and landmarks. These include the Boac Cathedral, which is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture, and the Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker, which commemorates the bravery of Filipino soldiers who fought against the Americans during the Philippine-American War.

The Boac Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, is a beautiful Baroque-style church located in Boac, the capital town of Marinduque province in the Philippines. The cathedral is one of the most important landmarks in Marinduque and is a popular tourist attraction because of its historical and cultural significance.

The Boac Cathedral was built in the early 17th century by the Augustinian Recollects, a religious order of friars. The church was originally made of wood and bamboo, but it was later rebuilt in stone and brick during the 18th century. The cathedral’s current Baroque-style architecture was completed in the early 19th century, with the addition of its iconic red belfry and other decorative elements.

The Boac Cathedral played an important role in the religious and social life of Marinduque’s Catholic population. It served as the center of religious activities and as a hub for social events and gatherings. The cathedral was also a witness to some of Marinduque’s most significant historical events, including the Philippine Revolution against Spanish colonial rule, the Philippine-American War, and World War II.

Today, the Boac Cathedral stands as a testament to Marinduque’s rich cultural and historical heritage. It continues to serve as an important religious institution and a symbol of the town’s identity and pride. The cathedral’s ornate façade and intricate details make it a favorite subject of photographers and artists, while its religious significance attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world.


Beaches and islands

Marinduque is home to several beautiful beaches and islands, including Poctoy White Beach, Tres Reyes Islands, and Maniwaya Island. These places offer crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning sunsets that are perfect for relaxation and unwinding.

Poctoy White Beach

Poctoy White Beach is a popular beach destination located in Torrijos, a municipality in the southern part of Marinduque island in the Philippines. The beach is known for its fine white sand and crystal-clear waters, which make it a favorite among both locals and tourists.

The beach stretches for approximately two kilometers and is surrounded by coconut trees, providing a relaxing tropical ambiance. There are several resorts and cottages along the beach that offer accommodation and dining options for visitors. The beach also features several huts and picnic areas that are perfect for day trips and family outings.

Aside from swimming and sunbathing, visitors can also enjoy a variety of water activities at Poctoy White Beach, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. The beach’s clear waters and rich marine life make it a great spot for underwater exploration.

One of the unique features of Poctoy White Beach is the presence of “buri” huts, which are traditional nipa huts made of buri leaves. These huts are a common sight along the beach and are often used as shade for beachgoers or as a place to relax and take in the scenery.

Poctoy White Beach is easily accessible by land and sea transportation. From the town center of Torrijos, visitors can take a tricycle or jeepney to reach the beach. There are also boats and ferry services that connect Marinduque to nearby islands, making Poctoy White Beach a great starting point for island-hopping adventures.

Overall, Poctoy White Beach is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Marinduque. Its pristine white sand, crystal-clear waters, and natural beauty make it a perfect tropical getaway for relaxation, recreation, and adventure.

Poctoy White Beach
Image Source:

Maniwaya Island

Maniwaya Beach is a stunning beach located in the province of Marinduque in the Philippines. It is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and lush green vegetation. Maniwaya Island is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, who come to enjoy the beach, swim, sunbathe, snorkel, and engage in various water activities.

The beach is accessible by boat from the town of Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, and it takes around 2 to 3 hours to get there. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a serene and peaceful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Apart from the beach, there are several other attractions on Maniwaya Island, including the Palad Sandbar, Ungab Rock Formation, and the Maniwaya Island Lighthouse. The island is also a great spot for hiking and trekking, as there are several trails that lead to stunning viewpoints.

In summary, Maniwaya Beach is a beautiful and peaceful destination, perfect for anyone looking to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Maniwaya - Tropical Island
Maniwaya – Tropical Island” by Storm Crypt is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Local Cuisine

Marinduque is known for its rich culinary heritage, which features a variety of local dishes that are influenced by the province’s unique history, geography, and cultural traditions. Here are some of the popular local cuisine of Marinduque:

“Sinaraan” – a type of freshwater fish that is endemic to Marinduque. It is known for its small size and tender, flaky meat, and is often used in stews and soups.

File:Sinarapan (Tabyos).jpg” by Free2barredo is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

“Tamales” – a traditional rice cake that is made of ground rice, coconut milk, and various fillings such as meat, shrimp, or vegetables, and then steamed in banana leaves.

Filipino Tamales
File:0001jfCuisine Foods Fruits Philippines Baliuag Bulacanfvf 16.jpg” by Judgefloro is licensed under CC CC0 1.0

“Kakanin” – a type of rice cake that is popular in Marinduque, with various flavors such as “putong puti,” “putong bigas,” and “suman.”

Close-up Photo of Suman

“Sinigang sa Bayabas” – a sour soup made with guava fruit and a variety of meats such as pork or fish.

These are just some of the many delicious local dishes that Marinduque has to offer. If you ever get a chance to visit this beautiful province, make sure to try out the local cuisine and discover the unique flavors and textures of Marinduque’s culinary heritage.

Top activities you can do.

Marinduque is a beautiful and diverse province that offers visitors a wide range of activities to enjoy. Here are some of the top activities you can do in Marinduque:

Visit the Moriones Festival – Held annually during Holy Week, the Moriones Festival is a unique and colorful event that features locals dressed in elaborate costumes and masks depicting Roman soldiers.

Explore historical sites – Marinduque is rich in history and culture, and there are many historical sites to explore, such as the Boac Cathedral, the Battle of Pulang Lupa Shrine, and Balanacan Port.

Enjoy the beaches – Marinduque is home to several beautiful beaches, including Poctoy White Beach, Tres Reyes Islands, and Maniwaya Island. These beaches offer swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and other water activities.

Go island hopping – Marinduque is surrounded by many smaller islands, such as Maniwaya Island, Mongpong Island, and Gaspar Island. Visitors can hire a boat and go island hopping to explore these nearby islands.

Trek the Marinduque Mountains – Marinduque has several mountain ranges that are perfect for hiking and trekking, such as Mount Malindig and Mount Bagumbungan. These mountains offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Sample local cuisine – Marinduque is known for its unique local cuisine, such as “sinarapan,” “turon,” “tamales,” and “adobo sa gata.” Visitors can try out these local dishes at restaurants and eateries throughout the province.

Experience the hot springs – Marinduque is home to several hot springs, such as the Malbog Sulfuric Hot Spring and the Mainit Hot Spring. These hot springs offer a relaxing and therapeutic experience for visitors.

These are just some of the many activities that visitors can enjoy in Marinduque. Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Marinduque has something to offer everyone.

bird's eye view photography of boat on body of water

How to get here.

Marinduque is an island province located in the southern part of Luzon, Philippines. Here are the different ways to get to Marinduque from Manila:

By Land and Sea:

Take a bus from Cubao or Kamias bus terminals to Dalahican Port in Lucena City, Quezon Province.

From Dalahican Port, take a ferry bound for Balanacan Port in Marinduque. There are several ferry companies that offer trips to Marinduque, such as JAC Liner, Montenegro Lines, and Starhorse Shipping Lines.

The travel time for this route is around 6 to 7 hours.

By Air and Sea:

Take a domestic flight from Manila to Marinduque Airport in Gasan, Marinduque. Cebu Pacific and Air Juan offer regular flights to Marinduque.

From the airport, take a tricycle or jeepney to Balanacan Port. The travel time is around 30 minutes.

From Balanacan Port, take a ferry to the desired destination on the island. There are several ferry companies that offer trips to various destinations in Marinduque, such as JAC Liner, Montenegro Lines, and Starhorse Shipping Lines.

The travel time for this route varies depending on the flight schedule, but it usually takes around 2 to 3 hours from Manila to Marinduque.

Overall, both routes are accessible and safe for travelers, but it is recommended to check the weather and sea conditions before making the trip as ferry schedules may be affected by these factors.

Marinduque is a province that is truly a hidden gem of the Philippines. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural beauty and unique local cuisine, Marinduque has something to offer every type of traveler. The Moriones Festival, Poctoy White Beach, and Boac Cathedral are just a few of the many attractions that make Marinduque a must-visit destination in the country. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Marinduque is the perfect place to explore and discover. So come and experience the beauty and wonder of Marinduque for yourself and make unforgettable memories in this wonderful destination in the heart of the Philippines.

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