Things to Do in Marinduque, Philippines

by Cicely A. Richard

Marinduque, nicknamed "The Heart of the Philippines," is the heart-shaped province located in the geographic center of the country. It boasts a plethora of natural wonders including bays, white sandy beaches and green mountains filled with local wildlife and hidden caverns. The beauty of the Marinduque Province enticed those who want to explore secrets of the area. The province also offers historic and cultural attractions dedicated to their past heroes and sacred events.

Caves of Bathala

The Caves of Bathala consist of a system of eight larger caves in Barangay Ipel, approximately six miles from Santa Cruz, Marinduque. The 46-acre area also features numerous unexplored small caves that have attracted all kinds of people and animals. The Church Cave, which fits more than 100 people, drew indigenous Filipinos who wanted to worship Amang Bathala, the Supreme God of the Tagalogs. The remote location also attracted extremists, terrorists and small religious groups, according to the Marinduque tourism website. Python Cave is guarded by numerous non-aggressive pythons. Cemetery Cave, once a burial site, contains archeological relics like earthenware vessels and human remains.

Moriones Festival

Marinduque's Moriones Festival takes place during Holy Week and commemorates the last week of Jesus' life on Earth. Participants dress in costumes and masks representing Roman soldiers and other Biblical people. One person dresses as Jesus and walks down the street holding a cross and experiencing the torment Jesus did in his final days. The festivities also feature a reenactment of Longinus' beheading. According to legend, Longinus was the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus' skin with his sword, allowing blood and water to come out. He fulfilled the prophesy that none of Jesus' bones would be broken.

Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker

The Battle of Pulang Lupa Marker is on Pulang Mountains in Torrijos, Marinduque, and represents the bloody battle between Philippine Revolutionary Forces and the Americans that took place there. The battle took place for two days in September 1900, with American Captain Devereux Shields battling Colonel Maximo Abad and his guerrilla forces. Local residents helped the guerrillas fight the Americans, ambushing American soldiers and providing intelligence to Abad's men. The stone monument is divided into five sets of 12 frames. One frame depicts men stockpiling supplies on carts driven by beasts of burden. Another frame shows American soldiers walking into the ambush.

Outdoor Activities

Marinduque offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors who want to explore its natural beauty. Diving locations include Maniwaya, Natangco, Salomague and Tres Reyes. For land lovers, the island has miles of white sandy beaches and natural hot springs. Molbog Sulfur Spring sits on at the foothills of Mt. Malindig, an inactive volcano. The area boasts breathtaking waterfalls, two therapeutic swimming pools and picnic areas. Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa arranges customized outdoor adventures like hiking through the mountains, kayaking, windsurfing and jet skiing. The resort sits on the southwest coast of the province, with white beaches showcasing rock formations and hills.

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