Round Marinduque: 15 Places to Check Out

Thursday, May 30, 2019

places to visit in marinduque

The island province of Marinduque is underrated. It deserves so much love for the variety of natural, cultural, and historical treasures it harbors. Located between the Tayabas Bay and the Sibuyan Sea, the place enjoys a host of beautiful beaches and stunning ocean vistas. It’s also where the Luzon Datum – the reference for all geodetic surveys in the country – can be found. Marinduque: The Heart of the Philippines – sounds about right. 

With more connectivity, exploring Marinduque has never been easier. If you’re traveling to the province anytime soon, I’ve compiled a list of places to check out in each of its six towns. 

GETTING THERE
From Manila, Cebu Pacific flies every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday to the Gasan Airport in Marinduque. One-way regular fare is around Ph3,000 to Php4,500. Travel time is just under an hour. You can also get on a bus in Cubao bound for the Dalahican/Talao-talao Port in Lucena (Php280). Jac Liner plies this route. Travel time is 3 to 5 hours, depending on traffic. JAC Liner also  has a direct bus/RORO trip from Cubao. 

GETTING AROUND
Jeepneys and tricycles are the most common forms of transportation in the province. Jeepneys are not available 24 hours, just to about 4PM. There are also vans, but follows the similar schedule as jeepneys. If you’re still on the road later than 4PM, your choice is to charter a tricycle. Or, you know, try hitching a ride with merchandise trucks.

For a hassle-free tour around the province, you may want to check out Dream Favor Travel and Tours – the only DOT-accredited tour operator in the island.

WHERE TO STAY
Boac is the best place to stay as it’s where most of the province’s commercial establishments are located. Here’s a list of where to stay in Marinduque



THINGS TO DO
GASAN
Gasan is where Marinduque’s airport is located so this town is the best jump-off for your adventure. Gasan got its name from gasang-gasang which means “corals” — the towns shores are littered with pieces of broken corals. It’s the second oldest municipality, second to Boac, and faces the Sibuyan Sea. 

Nature’s Way Sunflower Garden
Just a few minutes from the airport is this recently-opened sunflower farm. Rows and rows of the tall yellow flowers fill the area, and there are platforms where one could take photos. The place charges a 20-peso entrance fee, and is open from 7AM until dark, everyday. 
mang ileol sunflower farm

Marl Insect and Butterfly Garden
Did you know that Marinduque is the country’s top supplier of butterflies? The breeding industry here is thriving. About 40 species are being kept in farms here! Have an encounter with these butterflies at Marl's. Entrance fee for adults are Php60, while P30 for children. Contact Ms. Cheryl Layron at +63 928 410 1249 for more information.
marl butterfly garden


Tres Reyes Islands
Off the coast of Brgy. Pinggan are the trio of islands collectively known as Tres Reyes. Gaspar, the nearest island to the shore, is a popular swimming area. Here’s a DIY Guide for more information.
islands in marinduque

St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church
Built in 1609, this church is one of Marinduque’s oldest. It sits on a hill and affords a sweeping view of the Sibuyan Sea. The most distinctive feature of the church is the polished coconut shells embedded on the beams. Outside, there is also a garden where three old church bells are displayed.
old churches in Marinduque

BOAC
Boac is the capital of Marinduque. Its name is said to be derived from the Visayan word “bu-ak” that means divided, attributing to the fact that a river cuts the town in two. Another version is that it’s from “bulwak” which denotes the waves made by the river’s rapids. It’s the best place to make your headquarters as most of the commercial establishments are located here.

Boac Cathedral
Also known as the Immaculate Conception Parish Church, the Boac Cathedral was built in 1792 and rests on a hilltop overlooking the Boac River. Its adobe-fortified walls are believed to have protected the town from pirate attacks in the 18th century. In December 2018, it was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum. 
marinduque churches

Heritage Houses
A dozen of heritage house can be found in the town’s poblacion. There’s Casa Real which is being used by the local government as a multipurpose center.
heritage houses boac

Related Adventure: Bataan's Las Casas

National Museum - Marinduque
In the center of town is a branch of the National Museum. It’s still currently under preparation, but stay tuned for its eventual opening. It will be housing cultural pieces and historical relics from the province.
marinduque museum

MOGPOG
Mogpog is said to be where the Moriones Festival originated. A Spanish friar by the name of Dionisio Santiago is credited for introducing the morion to the town. Japanese forces occupied Mogpog in 1942, and Fil-Am troops liberated it in 1945. 

Luzon Datum
The Luzon Datum of 1911 in Station Balanacan is the reference for all geodetic surveys in the country. It is the center of the Philippines. Aside from its historic significance, the place also affords a panoramic view of Tayabay Bay. 
the center of the philippines
Photo courtesy of Angelo the Explorer



SANTA CRUZ
The town of Santa Cruz is a popular island-hopping destination. Clockwise from Gasan, it is the fourth town. Like its neighbor Mogpog, it was also occupied by the Japanese in 1942 and liberated in 1945.

Maniwaya Island
The town’s most popular tourist destination is Maniwaya Island. With cream-colored shores and azure waters, it's the best place to have your dose of sun, sea, and sand. There is a number of resorts in the area but Villa Atilana is highly recommended. 
beaches in marinduque

Palad Sandbar
Palad Sandbar is a capricious landform located not far from Maniwaya. A trip to here is often paired with a visit to the latter.

Related Adventure: Soldiering on at Seco Island

Ungab Rock Formation
Located on Santa Cruz’s farthest island of Mongpong, Ungab Rock Formation is a dramatic sea arch located on one end of the island’s shores. The arches can be scaled and those with enough nerve can cliff dive from here. It's also usually part of an island-hopping tour from Maniwaya.
rock formation marinduque

Bagumbungan Cave
A Class 2 Cave, Bagumbungan is a 300-meter cave system home to a host of speleothems. It’s one of the most well-organized community-based tourist spots I’ve ever visited. Check out this DIY Guide for more details
top tourist spots in marinduque

TORRIJOS
Torrijos has been the site of a notable battle during the Filipino-American War. Forces of Colonel Maximo Abad, bolstered by bolo-wielding locals, defeated those of Devereux Shields. 

Pulang Lupa Shrine
This place is where the site of the above mentioned battle took place. It is so named because of the hill’s red soil, but some claim it’s due to the bloody events that occurred here. The shrine also overlooks the entire town.  

Poctoy Beach
A length of cream-colored shore make up Poctoy Beach. Aside from swimming, there are also kayaks available for rent. Beachside huts are also installed for those looking to have a picnic. 
torrijos marinduque



BUENAVISTA
The next town to Gasan when you go counterclockwise, Buenavista was christened by one Don Cornelio Sadiua. Buenavista literally translates to “a good view”, and good views this town has. 

Mt. Malindig
This mountain is Marinduque’s highest point, standing at about 1,157 meters above sea level. The mountain actually straddles Buenavista and Torrijos, but the trail has its jump-off at Brgy. Sihi in the former. If you’re planning to go on a hike, here’s a DIY Guide to Mt. Malindig.
marinduque highest mountain


Malbog Sulfur Springs
A popular sidetrip after a climb to Malindig is a dip at Malbog Sulfur Springs. The pools are fed by the mountain and are said to have healing powers, especially for skin ailments. 
hot springs in the philippines

Bellaroca
Bellaroca is an island off the coast of Buenavista. It’s an exclusive resort that is currently under renovation, but you can view the island and have some photo ops along the highway. 

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There you go! These are some of the places you can check out when traveling to Marinduque! Here's also a travel guide by one of my Marinduque Adventure Buddies. You may also want to check out this vlog by one of the MABs, too.

What’s your favorite tourist spot?

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