By James Barcelona
This is one of the finest beaches in the Marinduque Island. It is surrounded by crystal clear blue waters and fine sand. Local fish caught are often sold along the beachfront.
Tres Reyes Islands is also known as the “Three Kings” – a chain of three islands off Gasan coast where the main island is named “Gaspar Island”.
It is famous for its pure white sand and clear blue waters perfect for diving. Gaspar Island can be reached only by boat.
The Bathala Caves are one of the popular tourist sites of Marinduque Island. This massive cave system can be found in the mountains of Santa Cruz on private property.
To get to the caves, you must ask the property owner for permission and they usually charge a small fee. It is best to visit the caves with a tour guide as there are rugged landscapes and terrain that needed to be hurdled.
The Caves offer a fantastic view, especially during sunset and sunrise when one of the caves in the system named “Cathedral Cave” lights up entirely, showing off its amazing lines. Another must-see is the “Python Cave” known to house a multitude of snakes.
Red Mountain is the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa during the Philippine-American War. It takes a long hike to reach the top, and once you’re there, a full 360 degree view of the surrounding Marinduque Area and valleys await you.
The mountain got its name “Red Mountain” as attributed to the amount of bloodshed in the fierce battle involving Filipino and American forces during the War.
Bellarocca is the newest first class resort and spa in the island and its structure was honed from the famous Santorini, Greece.
You can reach the resort by renting a private van which takes approximately 40-minute travel from Lipata town to Buenavista. From Buenavista, a 5-minute boat ride will take you to the resort proper.
Marinduque is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region in Luzon. It is a heart-shaped island between Tayabas Bay in the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. The province is located southwest of Quezon, east of Mindoro, and north of Romblon. Some of the smaller islands to the northeast which belong to Marinduque are Polo Island, Maniwaya Island, and Mompong Island. Marinduque is subdivided into 6 municipalities and 218 barangays with the municipality of Boac as the provincial capital.
The highest peak in Marinduque is Mt. Malindig, a potentially active volcano with an elevation of 1,157 meters. The island has two major seasons – dry season from November through February and the rainy season from June through October, with a transitional period in between.
Marinduqueños are of Tagalog origin and speak Tagalog. But the Tagalog spoken in the province is an old variation of the language that is very close to the way Tagalog was spoken before the Spanish colonization. According to language experts, the Tagalog dialects of Marinduque are the most divergent, especially the Eastern Marinduque dialect, perhaps due to the relative isolation from the Tagalogs of Luzon and also perhaps due to the influence of the Visayan and Bicol migrants.
Marinduqueños are said to be very hospitable in nature and are very welcoming. One such custom reflecting this is the putong or tubong, which is a custom of welcoming and honoring friends and visitors. The honorees are seated and crowned with flowers while local women dance and sing for them. Other well-wishers throw coins and flower petals for long life.
Marinduque is an agricultural province, primarily growing rice and coconuts. Fishing is also an important part of the economy. The province is also a place for handicrafts that are now being exported to different parts of the world. Mining was once an important industry until a mining accident, the Marcopper Mining Disaster, occurred which brought the industry to decline in the island and causing countless amounts of damage to the people and the island.
Tourism also plays a major role in the economy of the province especially during Lenten season. Marinduque prides itself in being the “Lenten Capital of the Philippines.” During the seven days of the Holy Week, the people of the island take part in the age-old ritual of the “Moriones.” Colorful warrior costumes are worn topped with finely carved masks depicting the fierce Roman soldiers of Christ’s time.