Marinduque is a small island 170 km away from Manila. It is a marvelous island with some pretty beaches, old churches, caves, butterfly farms and very friendly inhabitants.
The total land area is 95.000 hectares and is inhabited by about 200.000 people. Most of its inhabitants are into coconut farming or fishing.
Legendary stories narrate that the original name of the island was “Malindik” describing the gentle sloping terrain of the island’s highest mountain, Mt. Malindig. When the Spaniards came, they found it hard to pronounce the word so they called the island Marinduc. By common usage, Marinduc became Marinduque.
Try to plan your visit during Holy Week so that you are able to watch the unique Moriones Festival, an animated Easter tradition featuring masked men dressed like Roman soldiers. Marinduque has other interesting Lenten traditions too.
The story of the Moriones Festival goes back to 1807 when Padre Dionisio Santiago, parish priest of Mogpog, organized a group of players to re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The staging of the play evolved around Longinius, the Roman Centurion, who was assigned to the execution of Christ on the Calvary. Upon the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, Longinus thrust a lance into the side of Christ and in so doing caused the precious blood to flow around whereupon a drop fell into Longinus’ blind eye and miraculously cured it.
Still later, Longinus, serving as one of the guards of Christ’s tomb, witnessed the Resurrection and rushed into town to spread the news.
Immediately, the Chief Priest and the Scribes hurried to have him silenced by bribing other soldiers to kill Longinus.
The story continues that Longinus gave up voluntarily and as he was being led away by his captors, he revealed how he was miraculously cured and how he, himself, had witnessed the Resurrection. As he was thus praising the Lord, one of the soldiers struck him with a sword and cut his head off.
During Holy Week the Moriones roam around in the streets of Boac, Mogpog and Gasan. They will also re-enact the beheading (pugutan) of Longinus
Where: 170 km from Manila. With a JAC-Liner bus you can go directly to Boac via the port of Dalahican. Ticket price: 480 pesos (includes your place on the ferry).
A nice hotel with friendly staff in Boac is Tahanan sa Isok. Tel: 042/3321231 (Reserve bus/boat/hotel well in advance if you want to go there during Holy Week).
My rating: 10/10
A charming little island near Manila. People are very friendly and helpful. Nice beaches, old churches, caves and small islands to explore.
Moriones Festival during Holy Week is fun and unique!
Info from: http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com/
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