Aside from the Moriones Festival, Marinduque is now becoming a favorite destination for tourists. Numbers are growing each year and the list of things to do is also increasing in the Heart of the Philippines, Marinduque! A few years back, I visited Marinduque and from there, I was already captivated by it’s natural beauty and wonders plus the warm hospitality of the people. So when I received an invitation to fly to Marinduque via Cebu Pacific, with no hesitation, I immediately said YES!
How to get to Marinduque?
1. Fly by air via Cebu Pacific
Manila To Marinduque (Terminal 4)
Monday – DG 6007- Departure 15:25 – Arrival 16:25
Wednesday – DG 6007 – Departure 6:00 – Arrival 7:00
Saturday – DG 6007 – Departure 5:45 – Arrival 6:45
Marinduque to Manila (Terminal 4)
Monday – DG 6006- Departure 16:45 – Arrival 17:45
Wednesday – DG 6006- Departure 8:45 – Arrival 9:45
Saturday DG 6006 – Departure 8:45 – 9:45
If you want to know more information, you may visit www.cebupacificair.com
2. Land/ Boat Travel
- JAC LINER Buendia to Dalahican Port in Lucena
- RORO BOAT to Balanacan Port , Mogpog
We arrived early in the morning on an ATR Cebu Pacific Fleet at Marinduque Airport. The flight was only 35 minutes and, of course, a lot faster compared to land/sea travel which normally takes around 5 hours. So in here, I will be sharing with you all of the tourist destinations and things you can do in Marinduque. With the help of DREAM FAVOR TRAVEL AND TOURS and the Department of Tourism – MIMAROPA, they came up with an itinerary that will make your Marinduque Holiday something to remember. Marinduque Grand Welcome
Where to stay in Marinduque?
Located in Boac, one hotel I would reccommend is the BALAR HOTEL and SPA. This is one of the newest modern Filipino inspired hotels on the island providing the best quality service and accommodation you could experience. The rooms are very spacious and modern. The bed was so comfortable and linen was so soft. Breakfast was also good and they provided a nice variety. You are definitely guaranteed a great stay!
Things to See and Do in Marinduque
BUTTERFLY FARM – Gasan
Entrance- Php 60.00 Children – Php 30.00
For the information of everyone, Marinduque is also dubbed the as the Butterfly Capital of the Philippines. Here at the Butterfly Farm, you get to experience a live encounter with the different species and colorful butterflies in the special enclosure.
GASAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Up on the hill, you will find Gasan Catholic Church which is the biggest on the island. We then asked why most of the churches were on top of the hill and they said that they were used to serve as a watch towers in the old days to protect the island from invaders. Once inside the church, you will see the Pandan leaf inspired ceilings that for me are so pretty. The hard-wood door was also a statement of this church especially the intricate carving.
LADIES OF PUPUA
In an act oftraditional penance during the Lenten Season in Gasan, the devotees (women) wear black and have a pupua vines on top of their heads. If you want to see them, then you need to visit during the Lenten season along with the Moriones Lenten tradition. We were so lucky to have the opportunity to interview some of them during our trip. With their responses, you can already sense their strong faith and devotion.
Another traditional penance in Gasan Marindique, these boys are dressed in violet or black robes, their faces are also covered. Each one of these boys is either holding a long bamboo split in half and others are holding a board with a metal bent used to produce a very unique sound similar to a raging river. And again, you can also see them during the Lenten season when you visit Gasan.
MANG ILIOL SUNFLOWER FARM – Gasan
Entrance – Php 20.00
One of the newest attractions you must not miss in Gasan is the Mang Iliol Sunflower Farm. I have never really seen a farm like this before that is why when we saw it next to the road, we immediately stopped and decided to check on it. It was beautiful! Aside from the sunflowers, they also have other flowering plants and soon will have fruit picking as part of the activities at the farm. They just started and I am sure in the coming months, you will see more people visiting this place.
MALBOG SULFUR SPRING – Buenavista
Adult – Php 45.00 | Children – Php 30.00 | Senior Citizens/Students – Php 30.00
When I heard about the Malbog Sulfur spring, the first thing that came to my mind was the smell of the Sulfur. But it wasn’t that bad at all, anyone could get used to the smell easily. Sulfur is known for its healing properties that is why this place is also a very famous tourist spot on the Island. I thought, at first, it was hot but it wasn’t. At the side of the pool, you will find a small lagoon or pool where you actually see bubbles coming out from the ground. This was indeed interesting and a fun place to swim with a lot of benefits that is why it is a very famous destination for locals and tourists.
POCTOY WHITE BEACH – Torrijos
Torrijos White Beach Contact Numbers: 09194670473 | 09392088244 | 09178264326
Known to be the only white sand beach on the mainland. This white sand beach stretches more than a kilometer long and offers a great swimming area for locals and tourists. There are also cottages and resorts available, perfect for any gatherings or celebrations you may have. During our visit, that is where we decided to have lunch while looking staring at the beach. It was so inviting, and if you have more time, it’s worth going for a dip here.
Adult – Php 50.00 | Children under 12 yrs Old – Php 30.00 | Senior Citizens/Students – Php 40.00 | Pavillion – Php 300.00/ 8 hrs
STA. CRUZ CHURCH – Sta Cruz
Marinduque Island is known to have some of the oldest churches in the Philippines. If you have the opportunity to go around the island, you will see from the architecture and details of the church that they have withstood time for many generations and I am so happy that they were able to preserve these National Heritage buildings in Marinduque.
LUZON DATUM OF 1911 – Mogpog
Luzon Datum of 1911 is a stone marker situated on the top of a mountain. This is a very important marker used as the first point for all the map makers in the country To get to the top, you will need to climb up these numerous steps which I lost count so take it easy . Depends on how fast or slow you walk. Make sure that you have water with you as it could be exhausting. But once you reach the Heart of the Philippines, you will be welcomed with a stunning view. This was also a great place to watch the sunset and if the weather is clear, you will never be disappointed!
BAGUMBUNGAN CAVE – Sta Cruz
Entrance: Php 300.00 | Guide tip is advised.
Located in Barangay San Isidro and Punong, there is a cave that is waiting for you to explore. I love spelunking and I got so excited knowing that this cave is part of our itinerary. Before spelunking Bagumbungan Cave, you will have to listen to a short lecture conducted by your tour guides. The local government made a huge effort to preserve everything that’s inside. The towering and magnificent stalactites and stalagmites are real beauties! There are also flow stones that look truly amazing. Some bats and other creatures also live here. Spelunking is a test of strength and endurance because it will take approximately 4 hours to finish the entire journey through the cave. You will have to go over slippery stones and do a lot of swinging with a rope. Wearing proper gear is a MUST and after the long trail, replenish your strength with fresh coconut juice and halo-halo.
HAKUPAN ISLAND – Sta Cruz
Another beautiful island that you must also include in your itinerary is located in Sta Cruz and that is the Hakupan Island. From Barangay Botilao, you will go for at least a 20 minute boat ride to the island. It’s really not that far. Hakupan Island is a white sand/pebble beach also has it’s own sandbar perfect for swimming or sunbathing. On the other side, you will also find a fish sanctuary that is perfect for those who want to go for a snorkeling. Cottages and stores are already available on the island.
MANIWAYA ISLAND – Sta Cruz
Known for it’s white sand, This small island is not overcrowded, unlike other beaches, giving utmost peace and harmony. Maniwaya Island is a famous destination in the province of Marinduque. The journey by boat takes around 30 minutes to an hour by boat from Buyabod Port in Sta Cruz. It’s a great place to swim or just relax on the beach. If you are lucky, you have local fishermen selling you their freshly caught fish that you can have for your next meal. Maniwaya Island is slowly catching the attention of vacationers especially the ones coming from Manila. This island is indeed a real beauty yet generally it is considered very affordable. During our visit, we stayed at a nice resort called Villa Atilana, a boat shaped resort that you can be seen from the beach. May I also add that their food was also delicious!
PALAD SANDBAR – Mompong Island
While at Maniwaya Island, you might as well go to another nearby tourist destinations and one of them is the Palad Sandbar. The boat ride would take you around 20 minutes to get there. Just a piece of advice, it is better to coordinate with the resort or your boatman regarding the time of low tide so you can really see the white sand. Otherwise, you can still visit the sandbar and have a great swim. During our visit, it was knee deep but it’s totally fine because it’s a great place to swim and take some awesome Instagrammable shots.
UNGAB ROCK FORMATION and BEACH- Mompong Island
After doing a side trip at Palad Sandbar, we then went to our next destination and that is to visit this iconic rock formation that’s been carved by nature for centuries. This is another great place to swim and take photos. The water is clean, white sand and there are transient houses and stores available on the beach which give you more options if you wish to stay longer. This rock formation was huge and apparently there is a place where you can cliff jump on the side.
OUR LADY OF BIGLANG AWA SHRINE – Boac Cathedral
Rebuilt in the 1950’s this earthquake proof baroque style Cathedral is another addition to the number of old churches in Marinduque. This church may not seem as old specially when you go inside because of the renovations. But it was a museum where you can find different artifacts and old materials that belong to the Cathedral. What makes this Cathedral very special is it houses the Miraculous Image of Biglang Awa. If you’ve been to Marinduque before by boat, she is that image that welcomes you to the island. We were told by the Priests how Our Lady of Biglang Awa saved the island from pirates and other intruders by covering it with a thick fog which confused those trying to invade the island.
BOAC ANCESTRAL HOUSES – Walk-around
Everywhere you go around the island, you will find ancestral houses. So if you are in Boac, just walk around town and if you are lucky, some of the residents would invite you to have a look inside their houses to have a feel of what it was like living in one. Aside from them being old, I like how some of them are being restored to their former glory and the details on the different houses are just something else. Similar to a jeepney, you will never find find a heritage house same as the others.
MARINDUQUE NATIONAL MUSEUM – Boac Casa Real
Located in the Heart of Boac, you will find the Official Residence of the Gobernadorcillo and Gobernador when the Philippines was still under the Spanish Rule. Now, Casa Real is home to different Government offices including the Tourism Dept of Boac. Also in the same plaza, you will find the National Museum at Museo Aklatan ng Boac. The museum is still undergoing renovations, but I am sure that once it’s complete, it will be a great site to visit and learn more about Marinduque Island.
Where to Eat in Marinduque?
CAFE MAMITA at Boac Hotel – Boac
After our fun adventure on the beaches of Maniwaya and Mongpong, we went back to the mainland Marinduque and headed to a sumptuous lunch at Cafe Mamita. Located in Boac Hotel, this restaurant serves one of the best meals on the island. Aside from some Filipino favorites, they also serve some local delicacies that you will fall in love with. Aside from the food, I like the homey ambiance of the restaurant and if you are looking for a pasalubong to bring home this is the perfect place to go as they have the famous Arrowroot cookies and much more.
CASA EMILIO RESTAURANT – Boac
Another great place that will tantalize your taste buds for good food is Casa Emilio. This is an another Ancestral Home converted into a restaurant which serves local and Filipino favorite dishes. On the first level, they have a coffee shop and cakes being served and on the second level is where the restaurant is located. The moment you enter, it feels as though you are going back into the old Marinduque. The furnishings and the interior really was beautiful and very romantic specially where tables are set next to the windows overlooking Boac town. The food was amazing and it was one of the best places to dine specially dinner time!
Marinduque Sample Itinerary
- Gasan Catholic Church
- Marl Insect and Butterfly Garden
- Mang Iliol Sunflower Farm
- Malbog Sulfur Springs
- Lunch at Poctoy White Beach
- Rejano’s Bakery – Sta Cruz
- Check In at Balar Hotel
- Bagumbungan Cave
- Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island
- Palad Sand Bar
- Ungab Rock Formation
- Maniwaya to Buyabod Port
- Cafe Mamita (Lunch and Pasalubong)
- Boac Cathedral
- Heritage Houses (Walk)
- Casa Real and National Museum in Boac
- Luzon Datum of 1911 (Amazing Sunset)
- Dinner at Casa Emilio
- Back to Balar Hotel
- Depart from Boac Airport to Marinduque via Cebu Pacific Air
This trip would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of the different people and organizations. I personally would like to thank Cebu Pacific Air for making this trip possible. Thank you to Mr. Nelson and Mrs. Susan Nace of Dream Favor Travel , Mr. Gerry Jamilla – Marinduque Tourism Officer and Mr. Domenic Contreras of the Department of Tourism – Philippines Tours for coming up with an amazing itinerary and an awesome experience in the Heart of The Philippines, MARINDUQUE!
Watch the VLOG of Nicole Aguinaldo during her/our visit to Marinduque Island, the Heart of the Philippines!