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Marinduque

Posted by on Jun 5th, 2009
Filed Under: Featured, Luzon, Marinduque

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Marinduque

Marinduque is an island province at the geographical center of the Philippines touted as an accessible and affordable alternative to Boracay. Find yourself embracing nature’s innate beauty and basking in the island’s rich and colorful history and cultural heritage without the hassle of distance and cost.

Marinduque. What do we usually know of it? Usually, this island province is associated with the Moriones Festival, the trademark revelry and tourist magnet of the island. For some, Marinduque is also a reminder of a grim past when mining was an important industry in the island – an industry which took a toll on its environment and locals. But there is more to Marinduque than just Moriones and mining. It is a treasure trove of suprising and awesome finds.

The island province of Marinduque is part of the MIMAROPA Region (Region IV-B) of the Philippines situated some 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the capital Manila. It lies in the northern portion of the Sibuyan Sea, bounded by Quezon Province in the north and east, by Mindoro Island and Batangas Province in west and Romblon Province to the south. This island of volcanic origin has a population of almost 230,000 (as of 2007) and is sub-divided into six municipalities: Boac (the capital), Mogpog, Gasan, Buenavista, Torrijos, and Santa Cruz.


Philippines Marinduque Moriones Festival

Moriones Festival
Photo by ederic

The locals owe the origins and the name of the island to the legend of Marina and Garduke – two lovers whose romance ended tragically. It is said that Garduke, a prince from the nearby kingdom of Balayan (now Batangas) fell in love with Marina, the daughter a local chieftain the kingdom of Tayabas. Their parents were opposed to their love and so they sought to elope by going out to sea where they perished and eventually their remains formed the island which bears their names.

Historically, though, the name Marinduque came from the Latinization of local place names by the Spanish who found it hard to pronounce Tagalog. When the Spanish at the command of Martin de Goiti and Juan Salcedo arrived at Marinduque in 1569 after a successful conquest of Mindoro and Romblon, they caught sight of island’s tallest point, Mt. Malindig. After conquering the island province, they named it after Mt. Malindig whose name they Latinized for better pronunciation. Since the 17th century, Marinduque has been part of Mindoro province (the two still has cultural links today as evidenced by an existing trade route between Gasan and Pinamalayan town in Mindoro Oriental). But it also forged relations with the nearby Quezon province and the islands in Romblon. During the American period, it finally enjoyed independence as a separate province. It became witness to the wartime struggles during the Filipino-American War (1899-1902) particularly in the Battle of Pulang Lupa between Col. Maximo Abad and Capt. Deverieux Shields, and during the Second World War wherein the province was known for its stiff resistance to Japanese imperialism.

Today, Marinduque is known for farming, fishing and tourism, the last being seen as the next catalyst for development in the province. One industry that bloomed in the island in the past is mining. However, the industry came to a halt during the Marcopper Mining Disaster of 1995 when mining company Marcopper allowed at least 80 million metric tons of copper mine tailings to leak into the Boac River and into the sea destroying the island’s vast network of marine life and endangering the lives of almost 4,500 locals who thrive in the rivers and seas for their livelihood. But more than a decade since the disaster, the island is struggling to rise up from its past through endeavors in tourism. In the 90s up to the present, the island gained popularity among tourists for its annual Moriones Festival (see article on Moriones Festival). However, in recent years, the six towns of Marinduque have also adopted new forms of celebrations and revelries to cater to the influx of local and foreign visitors. Two of these festivals are the Kangga Festival in Mogpog and Bila-Bila Festival in Boac.

Hospitality and friendliness are a common trait among Marinduquenos. Local and foreign tourists alike are treated to a warm and generous welcome called putong (which literally means crowning or crown) wherein crowns are placed at new-comers together with the traditional singing and dancing, giving of palms and coin tosses to attract good luck for visitors. Each village has come up with its own version of the putong in recent years. In some areas, the putong is even thought to have healing effects on the sick.

The Best of Marinduque


Marinduque is a treasure trove of exquisite natural beauty. This island of 370 square miles is dotted with various white sand beaches, well-preserved diving sites, enchanting caves, rejuvenating hot springs and tranquil islets that provide for the perfect getaway. The best beaches in island can be found in Boac, in the barangays of Balaring, Caganhao, Cawit, Ihatub and Laylay. The fine white sand beach in Barangay Poctoy in Torrijos town is breath-taking, as well as the beaches at Maniwaya Island in Sta.Cruz town. Most of these beaches are situated in local resorts and spas which offer rooms for tourists at affordable rates. Some resorts also have equipment for watersports such as snorkeling, windsurfing and diving.


Philippines Marinduque Poctoy White Beach

Poctoy White Beach
Photo by Nicklai

Being an island of volcanic origin, hot springs are a common feature in the island. The hot springs of Malbog in Buenavista town offers tourists a rejuvenating experience similar to that of Beppu in Japan and Los Banos in Laguna. Hot spring resorts in the area offer swimming pools warmed by hot water from underground, cottages, rooms and camping grounds for campers. The waters from these springs are said to be of medicinal qualities, perfect for health conscious individuals. If you are not into springs, you can also try the island’s crystal clear waterfalls. Bulusukan Falls in Barangay Bagtingon, Buenavista is nestled in a natural forest inhabited by endemic butterflies. Paadjao Cascades in Barangay Bocboc, Mogpog, meanwhile offers a trek to the source of its refreshing water.

Caves are also a natural feature of the island. Spelunking enthusiasts may find Bathala Caves in Sta. Cruz and Tarug Caves in Mogpog a thrilling experience as the local legend add to the enchantment of these subterranean masterpieces. For diving enthusiasts, the best dive sites in the island can be found in Buenavista town in the vicinity of the Tres Reyes Islands, three uninhabited islets named after the three Magi. Another majestic dive site is the waters in the vicinity of Polo, Maniwaya and Mongpong Islands in Sta. Cruz. For history buffs, you might find a tour of the various Spanish era churches, the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa and the Luzon Datum of 1911 (a 1906 USGS marker signifying the center of the Philippines) intriguing.


Philippines Marinduque Minuaya Island

Minuaya, Tropical Island: An Island off the northeastern coast of Marinduque. This island is in the Mongpong passage — the body of water between Marinduque and the town of Gen. Luna, province of Quezon. Mongpong pass is just east of Tayabas Bay, and just north of the Sibuyan Channel — north of the Visayan group of islands.
Photo by storm-crypt

Why Not Go


If you are a tourist looking for good company and awesome nightlife in a tourist destination, then Marinduque is not the place for you. There are no clubs, bars and discos in the island to enjoy. There is limited access to water sports as not all resorts offer such amenities. If you can find a resort that has one then good for you; But if not then you might want to consider before going. The roads are not good in Marinduque although it stretches through out the whole island. If you plan to bring a vehicle or commute, you might find the land and sea travel uneasy.

Why Go


This is the closest thing to Boracay or Palawan that you can find affordable and closest to Manila. With the wide array of activities in store for you, you can’t get wrong with your decision. Accommodations are flexible as you have a spectrum of places to choose from beginning with the affordable to the high-end. The locals are friendly and easy to get along with – a big advantage for those who want to embrace to local history and culture.

Best Time to Visit


For most tourists who want to see the Moriones Festival, the best time to go to Marinduque is during the Lenten Season which usually starts in the Philippines at the last week of March or the first week of April. The height of the festival usually occurs around this time wherein all the six municipalities showcase their own version of the festival. After Lent, the months of April and May are also witness to other festivals such as the Kangga, the Gasang-Gasang and the May Flower Festival. History and culture appear more vibrant and colorful at this point in time. Also, airline and ferry fares usually go cheaper at this time of the year to cater to the influx of tourists.

Where to Stay


Philippines Hotels and Resorts

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There is a spectrum of places to choose from in Marinduque, from the high-end to the affordable. For tourists who just want to splurge on their money, try the newly-opened 6-star Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa located at Elephant Island (formerly Isla Perro) in Buenavista town. Guests are treated in this resort in a very Mediterranean way that resembles the vibe of the Greek island of Santorini. Amenities include seaside pools and Jacuzzis, a 9-hole golf course, a function/dining hall and bar. From the Marinduque airport, guests are transported to the island via a private yacht or helicopter. Rooms and terraces cost from $350-1,100 (food not included). For reservations you can call (+632) 817-4211/ (+632) 328-8831 or email info@bellaroccaresorts.com. For tourists who are keen on keeping their budget, there are affordable choices. Eastpoint Hotel by the Sea: (042) 332-22-29 and the Boac Hotel: (042) 332-1121 or 332-2065 (both in Boac) offer air-conditioned rooms with toilet and bath, WI-FI service, function halls and coffee shops. Rooms should be around P600-1500 a night. There are also other affordable resorts, inns and hotels in all six municipalities.

Where & What to Eat


There are many restaurants, cafes and bakeshops in Boac, Sta. Cruz and Torrijos that serve Filipino food. Most hotels also do catering to guests for an additional fee. You can try their own version of dinuguan (pork meat cooked in chicken/pig blood) which includes a hint of coconut milk. Try the tasty uraro (arrow root) cookies as snacks and souvenirs. But for visitors with a very discriminating palate, two restaurants in Gasan offer a variety of dishes. Barbarossa Pub (042) 342-1383 serves international cuisine while Ristorante D’I Jose (042)342-1426 serves Italian and Chinese aside from the usual Filipino cuisine.

Nightlife


There are various drinking establishments in Marinduque especially in Boac that mostly cater to the locals. There are also karaoke pubs scattered around town. But there no clubs and bars that feature dancing and revelry. So if you are looking for nightlife here, you might find yourself disappointed.

My to do List



Philippines Moriones Festival

Moriones Festival
Photo by ompoint59

1. See the Moriones Festival and don the costumes of the Roman soldiers.
2. Go diving at Poctoy Beach in Torrijos.
3. For mountaineers, scale the heights of the tallest mountain here, Mt. Malindig.
4. Go island hopping at Balanacan Bay in Mompog.
5. Snorkel around the waters of the Tres Reyes Islands.
6. Dip into the hot springs of Malbog in Buenavista.
7. Join the ritual putong and discover its healing effects.
8. Enjoy the exclusive first class treatment of Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa.
9. Buy uraro cookies as souvenirs.
10. Take a historical tour of the Marinduque churches.

Stay Away From


Marinduque is one of the safest places in the country with an almost zero crime rate. However, this no reason to don your prized possessions in public so refrain from doing so. At the port of Balanacan in Mompog, avoid entrusting your luggage to non-official luggage handlers as you might end up losing your luggage. When traveling, never trust drivers who offer you a ride around Marinduque for a steep price. Always ask and negotiate for fares before agreeing to board a vehicle. Never leave your valuables inside your hotel room when you plan to go out and stroll.

Getting There


BY AIR – Zest Air (formerly Asian Spirit) offers affordable flights from Manila to Marinduque four times a week with discounted fees ranging from almost P500-P1300 and regular rates for P1400-P4200. Travel time is around 45 minutes.

BY LAND AND SEA – From Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao take buses that leave for Talao-Talao Port in Lucena City, Quezon. The fare should be around P140-P160. If you are bound for the eastern side of the island, take a ferry for Buyabod Port in Sta. Cruz. If you are bound for the western side of the island, take a ferry for Balanacan Port in Mompog. Fares should be around P350-500. If you plan to take a vehicle, you can load it up a roll on-roll off (RORO) ferry. Montenegro Shipping has a 4-storey RORO that leaves Lucena for Cawit port in Boac daily.

BY BUS (DIRECT ROUTE) – Jac Liner Incorporated, the biggest bus operator in Southern Tagalog offers direct bus routes from their terminals in Kamias, Quezon City and Buendia, Pasay to Buenavista, Marinduque. For reservations call (02) 404-2073.

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Epi Fabonan is a history teacher with a wide array of background on local history and geography. He loves to travel and document his adventures through photo-essays, slideshows and short films.

Tourism Philippines thrives on the knowledge of the community. Got a tip, photo or even a guide on a place you been to in Philippines? We will love to hear from you!

120 Responses to “Marinduque”

  1. Ryan says:

    How was the disastrous mine spill affecting the sites in Marinduque? Calancan Bay is basically a cesspool of 200 million tons of toxic mine tailings, is it even safe to swim in the waters in Marinduque? I heard that even drinking water was also affected and a heap of people were sent to Manila for detoxification because what happened in 1996 (by the way it’s not 1995 – Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit) was one of the worst Philippine mining disaster to date and Marinduque is quite a very small island.

    I had some distant relatives in Marinduque and one of them is my distant uncle Nilo Rosas (one of the former top guns of Department of Education way back) but never really visited it as most of my relatives from there already moved to Manila. I can see Marinduque from Quezon though.

    • Epi says:

      1996 was the year the mine tailings spilled through Boac river. But Marcopper has been throwing mine tailings in its tributaries since 1995. I believe the provincial government and the provincial DENR office there has given the province a clean bill of health after Marcopper started cleaning up its mess.

  2. Mel says:

    Great job on the Marinduque writeup, printed this out, will be very useful for my trip! Thank you very much Epi Fabonan!!

  3. David B Katague says:

    Excellent summary for tourists and balikbayans. I placed it in my Bookmark for future reference. I heard Bellarocca Resort is getting popular not only to the rich and famous from Manila but also from tourists from Japan and Korea. I also heard that Cebu Pacific Air is planning to have air service to Marinduque on days that Zest Air is not in operation. If this is true, then competition between the two airlines is good for the public. Have a good day!

  4. lennard says:

    There’s no nightlife like what they have in bora, there is one thing that is unique about this province…. Its the people and its nature… People there are so good hospitable…. transportation from lucena is not good but traveling by air I think is good enough. A company is planning to have a Super Ferry – a double cab – with capacity of 500 people to with vehicles from manila to cawit port in marinduque… with the speed of 45 knots per hour… the likes of hawaii super ferry if you are familiar…. watch out for it…

  5. David B Katague says:

    Looking forward to the Super Ferry. Anyone knows what is the latest news on the roro boat from Batangas( instead from Lucena) to Marinduque? Air service from Manila takes only 30 minutes flying time and if you are lucky you could get one from the Zest Air website for only 498 pesos one way. I have already booked my December trip through the Zest website for that price. What a deal and bargain it is! The trick is you have to reserve ahead, in my case six months prior to my trip.

    • Batangas_guy says:

      Subuquin Roro port in San Juan, Batangas going to Balanacan is already operational. It is serviced by Star Horse Shipping Line.

  6. rick says:

    WHY NOT GO TO MARINDUQUE????
    Frequent electrical power outage!!!!!! araw araw na brown out ranging from 2 hours to 24 hours walang koryente!!!! wala bang ginagawa ang gobyerno ng marinduque sa problemang ito???

  7. rick says:

    Been going on for more than 2 months now, really unacceptable. Not all resorts have generators, nalulugi na ang mga resorts and restaurants, kasi nabubulok lang ang mga stock nilang pagkain sa refrigerator. Kung may generator man, yung maliliit lang, di kayang mag generate ng power for air conditioning for 24 hour brownouts. Marinduque is back in the 70’s, kung nature ang gusto mo, walang koryente, walng tv, walang internet, then Marinduque is the right place for a vacation, yan yata ang pinopromote ng Marinduque na ecotourism (back to nature ika nga) hahahhaha.

    • Ryan says:

      That really sucks then! I guess it would indeed be attractive for people out to want to really rough it out. Boracay had the same problems as well, but I think it’s okay now. Dint have problems the last time I went there Dec 2008. But yeah, thanks for the heads up Rick! Your comments are very helpful! Btw, can you tell me is Bella Roca worth the top dollar? I heard it is really expensive.

  8. Jovi says:

    Was actually looking into Bella Roca also. I heard they have a promo for the place now but if there are problems like what was said by Rick then maybe we should hear from them before spending time and money.

    • Ryan says:

      I agree, maybe we should hear more from another observer, because if that could be a huge turn-off and it would just piss off people paying a lot of money for their trips there.

  9. karla says:

    haha punta kau d2 super gnda d2,pramis..try nyu poh.

    • Jovi says:

      Karla,
      I presume you work for the resort? If so are you telling me that the problems in marinduque does not affect Bella Rocca?

  10. David B Katague says:

    I have a big generator in my resort Chateau Du Mer in Amoingon, Boac . So, I have no problem with brown outs. I do agree that power problems in Marinduque should be the highest priority of the provincial government.

    David B. Katague
    chateaudumer.blogspot.com

    • Ryan says:

      Hi David,

      How is the noise from the generator? I remember when Boracay was plagued daily by brownouts that you can just hear the island hum with them. Today not so much though- I believe there are plans to turn solar. Less noise and pollution.

  11. David B Katague says:

    Ryan, the generator, I purchased was supposed to be noiseless. However, there is still some noise, so I placed it away from the main house and built its own house . I am happy with the purchase since diesel is cheaper than gasoline last year. I have communicated with Bellarocca(in Face Book), they have their own industrial generator also. So, they are not affected by the brown outs. Bellarocca has a promo package this month for 2-nights and 3-days included meals and transportation from Marinduque airport to the island for only 15,300 pesos per person. Their cheapest room is about $300 per night and the most expensive is a 3-bedroom villa with own swimming pool and jacussi for $752 per night. If you or some of your friends plan to visit Marinduque, my resort Chateau Du Mer is more affordable.

    • Ryan says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for these updates. I hope Marinduque would be able to be energy independent soon. I am thinking why don’t you guys try to shift to solar energy, and encourage recycling and run the entire resort on an environmentally sustainable process? You then can market your resort as a Green Hotel. :) Personally, I usually choose a resort or a hotel that supports the environment and I think being green is also a great marketing tool! We may want to check out your resort instead if ever we drop by Marinduque. From the looks of it, it looks more reasonable than Bella Roca. I saw pictures of Bella Roca – I wasn’t too impressed. For the same amount, I should be able to get myself a great room in El Nido’s Miniloc Island – with more activities, with more pampering and with far superior scenery (beaches, cliffs and of course heaps of secluded beaches). Bella Roca’s most expensive at $752 is just about 50-100 dollar away from a stay at Amanpulo (a favorite getaway for Hollywood celebs). I think I would go to Amanpulo if I have to spend that much of money- I am curious who did the pricing on Bella Roca- it is just too outrageous. :)

      Reckon I should be able to drop by in Marinduque possibly next year. I have travels lined up until January 2010! I hope to cover as much of the Philippines – but oh dear, we have so much spectacular places to see… ;) Cheers! I will let you know if I would be able to make it to Marinduque!

      Ryan

      • Hi Ryan: I am also for green tourism. Just let me know when you will be IN MDQ, I will be glad to be your tourist guide and if I am not available, I could request relatives to be your personal guide for free. Cheers! David

      • Gina Laurel Salta says:

        Planning to build exactly the place you are looking for — a totally green resort, near BellRocca Resort. Watch out for it soon! It will have it’s own wind and solar power generators and the resort itself will be built respecting the environment and the people in it. Tourists will come to watch and learn from the lives of the local people in the area, and in turn will benefit the local people.

        I’m glad to see that there are others out there who share the vision! It is also my plan to make the whole island of Marinduque self-sufficient in energy by building a solar and wind farm with the capacity to do so. I have enough land property to accommodate such a project. Still looking for funding, etc. If anyone is interested, email me.

        • I very interested on resorts that are environmentally friendly. Could you give additional information. My e-mail in on my site listed above. Thanks
          Is this the development by Barrel Gold? Sounds very interesting?

        • Hello Gina,

          Just being busy setting up a business for providing the renewable power on Marinduque. I have been in the area (the whole island actually) looking around for opportunities to do so and succeed quite well.

          As an energy expert I know that it is quite difficult to set up a power supply system for the self-sufficiency of the island. From the feasibility studies I have done so far, wind and solar alone will be not enough. There is also a (rather big) component needed generated from biomass.
          By now the pilot power station (multiple are planned) is to be near Torijos or/and Santa Cruz. I happen to know that near BellaRocca in Lipita there is enough space for creating (and already existing) Jatropha plantations (tuba-tuba), one of the biomass sources I intend to use for the generation of power.

          With some experience in eco-resorts in the Caribbean (Roatan, near Honduras) I think your plan can be a success. Please contact me at gergroeneveld at gmail.com.

  12. nyl says:

    I agree that electricity is really a big problem in Marinduque. What are the officials of the province are doing. Also the roads were not improved. If you are talking about nature, well Marinduque is the place. It sad to know that the government officials has no plan of improving the province, well in fact it could be transform into a very nice tourist spot, and would open to different jobs to people. Like for example the HOT SPRING in Malbog, Buenavista, Marinduque, it need total improvement. If the Department of Tourism cannot afford to improve and make a very good amenities and facilities, why not find a foreign investor to handle it. In this case numerous jobs will takes place and it will be also additional income for the municipality. I hope you will consider my proposal, because hot spring is really good to our health.
    GISING OFFICIALS!!!!!!!!!!! IMPROVE THE HOTS SPRING…………….

  13. edi says:

    Been wanting to visit Marinduque and see the Moriones Festival but had trouble finding transpo schedule during the Lenten season. Do bus/plane operates on Holy Thursday & Good Friday? What day(s) exactly is the Moriones Festival?

  14. Hi, Edi: Holy Week varies yearly from late March to early April. There are buses from Manila to Lucena then connecting by boat to Marinduque. There are also buses from Manila directly to Marinduque( Jack Liner). Zest Air flies 4 days a week to MDQ from MNL. During Holy Week, the whole province is filled with tourists. You should arrange your hotel accommodation way ahead of time, preferably three months. Hotel rates varies from 500 pesos to 4000 pesos per night per person. There are several websites about Marinduque.
    For a start, go to Googles.

  15. edi says:

    thanks david for the info. perhaps i’m not clear about my question. I know Holy Week in Marinduque will always be chaotic. What I wanted to know however is what exact day(s) during Holy Week is the Moriones Festival. I was under the assumption that it’s always on Holy Thursday & Good Friday. Will there be any bus/plane operates on those 2 most holy days? I am worried that I might not be able to commute back to Manila before Holy Saturday.

    thanks,
    edi

  16. Bubbles Dantes says:

    Hi David,

    How far is Poctoy from your place? I have been dying to visit Marinduque and for it to become a part of my backpacking adventures. Are the sands in Boac also white?

    Would visit your website soon… Appreciate the help

  17. lhen says:

    amm…yeah..what you really say is defenitely true..
    but i love to stay that place,,,

  18. Bubble Dantes: Poctoy is about 45 minutes to 1 hour from Chateau Du Mer. The beaches in Boac are not as white as in Poctoy.

    Edi: The Holy Week Festivities start on Wednesday and culminates on Easter Sunday. The roro boats are very crowded starting Tuesday and Saturday or up to Sunday afternoon. But a Holy Week experience in MDQ is a trip I almost sure you will not forget.
    I am not sure about Zest Air schedule on Holy Thursday or Good Friday. Give Zest air a call to be sure.

  19. Ryan says:

    We heard from someone who went to Bella Roca recently, to quote – “too expensive for what it is.. It’s opulent but still falls way short.”

    I think spend that same amount of money on El Nido rather than Bella Roca.

  20. Ryan: Although, I have not seen the place personally, I tend to agree with you, that the basic rates are really out of line. However, their current 3-days -2-nights promo package which include meals effective only up to October 31 is very reasonable. As a matter of fact a good friend here from LA and her family of 6 is now on the process of making arrangement to visit the resort by the end of this month. I will hear about their visit soon and I will report their resort experience in this site. In the meantime, if you know of anyone planning to visit Marinduque, please refer them to Chateau Du Mer. My rates are reasonable and competitive. Incidentally, I just announce a FREE 2-nights- 3 day Stay Contest at my resort by just writing an essay, Why you want to Visit Marinduque. For details visit my site above.

    • Ryan says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your comments and updates! I look forward to reading the reviews of your friend on Bella Roca. Hopefully we could visit Marinduque soon and maybe stay at your resort. Cheers!

      Ryan

  21. Rem Lucio says:

    I’ve been to Bella Roca lately. It’s actually a good place to stay if you’re looking for a resort to really relax and find some quality time. The island is quiet and peaceful.

    The price is worth it (we were able to stay there during the discounted rate, soft opening pa kasi.) because the staffs are very accommodating and they really attend to our needs. The rooms are great as well as the pools. There were only a few guests when we were there–20 people. So we had our fair share of the entire resort.

    The hotel’s ambiance is Greek, like you’re in Santorini. The food is expensive but it’s worth it because the chef is good.

    Overall, it’s worth a visit. I suggest you stay in their hotel if you’re only few but if you’re going in groups, the villas are better.

    We stayed at the hotel since we’re only 3 but our friends (who were 6) stayed in the villas which has it’s own pool and jacuzzi. It’s like having your own house with a great view of the sea. It was a very relaxing vacation, I must say.

  22. Desiree says:

    Its feels good to swim in Poctoy Whote Beach Resort compared to our beaches in Cavite. Kaya lang napabayaan na sya ng local government, walang tubig sa CR at shower room. Sana idevelop pa nila ng mas maganda ang resort. I’d been there twice, Christmas 2008 and last September 18-21, 2009. Hope to see other beaches in Buenavista.

  23. rick says:

    power outages getting worse than ever, from the usual 24 hours on- 24 hours off,, power outage was 36 hours the past 2 days……………..grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  24. My friend and his wife just got back from Bellarocca recently.and had a nice time. They had the promo package and felt it is worth the money. When they were there a week ago, they wrote me there were only about 5 people in the the resort. So they were pampered. They said if you just want to relax, have massages and may be play golf, this is the place for you. But if you want to shop or gamble in the casinos or attend night life, go to other five or six stars resorts. Again, may I reiterate that their promo package is comparable in price to other five star resorts in any part of the world. But if your budget is at the low end, there are several excellent beach resorts in Marinduque that are affordable. One of the beach resort is Chateau Du Mer in Amoingon, Boac. For as low as $25 per person per night, you have the amenities of a 3 star resort.

  25. marivic.ca says:

    How can I help my home land..been living in overseas for long time..and I felt sorry for you guys..who still suffering for POWER SHORTAGE..it’s been a problem ever since…just wonder if there’s any solution!!!..WHO is responsible!!! I don’t want to blame anyone but it look like sickness without cure…I would like HELP..I’m only ordinary citizen..and willing to invest …

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Marivic,

      I think when it comes to energy solutions, this is best addressed by capacitating the local governments, NGOs and all stakeholders in the area. One thing that we highly recommend of course is the use of green energy – solar, wind or tidal depending on the resources in the area. These are expensive solutions in the short term but it is the most sustainable. Contact the local government of Marinduque as well as local community leaders and see what you can do. You may also research on the use of energy solutions. What Marinduque primarily needs is activating leadership – leadership with foresight and the actual capacity to realize these solutions.

      Cheers!

      Ryan

    • There is a solution, of course. The cure is in the use of biomass, plenty available as residues from coconut and rice. Easy to expand with special biomass plantations in now unused areas in Torijos, Buena Vista and Gasan. Mogpog and Santa Cruz do have enough already available to get started without exra biomass input. Charcoal producing can be done 3x times more efficiently with as a bonus electricty generation at the same time.

      Now for bringing in the solution. Yes investments are needed and not rounded up as yet. So every one is invited (also small time investors as I have set up a share holders company so every one can buy some shares)

  26. It looks like Marinduque Power Crisis will end by November 1. No more brown outs or black outs in Marinduque.

  27. Hi Ryan, If you click on my name, there are two videos on the Congressional hearing regarding the Marinduque Power crisis. The reference and cause behind this power outages is also posted on my link above. Thank you for your interest about Marinduque.

    • Ryan says:

      Hi there,

      I tried clicking on the link on your name but the site is not pulling up. If ever there is something positive that will come up with these hearings, that would be great for Marinduque – as you know how the bureaucracy works here at a snail pace! Hope it gets solved soon- most Visayas provinces experience power outages a lot of time and I hope the local governments can do something about it too.

      Cheers

      Ryan

  28. cagpo says:

    Great write up, really well done. regarding Star Horse Shipping Lines, its a great ferry, comfortable, big TVs and bar, comfortable seats (they plow route from Lucena also to Balancan). A nice alternative to the deteroiting Montenegro Lines service (which used to be good). And also from Batangas! their ships apparently have come on a lease service from South Korea, and have been given a “Missionary operator” status to Marinduque, the Port Authority and all. Should be good for Marinduque tourism, good inititiative. As for brownouts, i would think Bella rocca would have that covered at least, with the money they have invested into Elefant island, speed boats, helicopters and all, it would make sense to have already though of the need of generator power, i am sure doing its re-construction they would have already encountered power issues, i am sure they have thought of that (i hope), if not, they will have to be thinking of it soon. Here in torrijos its an on and off issue, if power became more continuous and uninterupted, tourism and the economy can only get better. At our resort in Brgy. Cagpo, torrijos, we make do with our big generator, its an investment you have to do. The local power outages are redicoulous, it should be top priority for the provincial government to give the island sufficient power. If we want to get anywhere that is.

    lets see if the power will remain, after the elections.

  29. wave says:

    Hoping that the entire province will have it’s more tourists,(that’s great!:).
    The only instance here is that the power supply, the brown out always there,but then that should be the priority of the local government.
    It’s just a small island, so why not make it more progressive.The politician should be responsible for these. So let so let see after the election there.
    Come and experience the beauty of the paradise….

  30. Chito says:

    I’ll be there from April 1-4. I’ll be sharing stuff when I get back. ;-)

    • Ryan says:

      Wow! Good on ya Chito! You will be there for the Moriones Festival! Post your photos on our Facebook Fan Page! :)

  31. RAYMOND says:

    just got home from marinduque. . . . .My cousins and I stayed at bella roca for 4 days and 3 nights. . . . the beauty of the place is beyond compare!!! On the downside, the price is a bit too expensive (what do I expect . . . they treated us like we are from a royal family!!!! hehehehehe).

    definitely going back to BELLA ROCA . . . (minus the Sea travel. . . HAHAHAHA!!!)

  32. Chito says:

    Just got home from Marinduque too. I was pleasantly surprised to not see nor hear Manny Villar campaign advertisements, hehehe ;-) Seriously…

    I stayed with the low-budget A&A Beach Resort in Laylay, Boac (near the NFA Bodega). The food is okay of you are not expecting much. But the occasional break in the water service, aircon or cable TV (or all three together) can be really annoying.

    Since Bella Roca is almost always certainly fully booked during the Holy Week, as an alternative, you can try Club Marinduque in Gasan.

    I’d recommend that you tour the Tres Reyes Islands and view their majestic cliffsides (and take photos of them if you can somehow waterproof your camera). Of the three islands, only Gaspar Island has a beach that can be visited with relative ease.

    As for the Moriones festival in Boac (pronounced “Bwak”), it’s indeed quite festive, but I was expecting some underlying solemnity in all the gaudy and colorful costumes. I was disappointed to find very little of that solemnity. I find it too commercialized…and because it’s election season, also politicized.

    I found some satisfaction in the Good Friday processions in the town of Gasan, where the successive competing processions of the Catholics and Aglipayans were both solemn and rich in culture.

    P.S.: DON’T visit the Kabugsukan Falls. For a place that is very inaccessible, the falls can be quite “underwhelming”.

  33. Chito says:

    Okay, Ryan, I will. It’ll take some time though. I’ll post a message here when the pics are available.

  34. Chito says:

    Ryan, I can’t seem to add fan photos in the facebook site. There’s no link that allows me to add.

    • Ryan says:

      Hi Chito, that is strange.. Go on the main page and then click ‘Attach’ (right below the message box) and then click the icon for photo (right next to the link Icon= you can point and hover your mouse to it). You can follow the steps afterwards. Your photo/s should appear in the fan photos collection right below the official photo sets of the fan page. ;)

      Hope that helps!

      Ryan

  35. jake says:

    MAdaming mga waterfalls sa duke.. un nga lng malayo sa kabihasnan…hehehhe… lalo na ung Hinulugang TAktak Falls Located at SAbong, Boac.. Almost 5hrs. thru walking pag pupunta dun…pero sulit nakakawala ng pagod.. try to go . .

  36. luis alfonso luna says:

    Marinduque is the place to be. keep leaning it, go.go.go. MARINDUQUE the heart of the philippine island.

  37. Guy says:

    Hi, just want some advice on how to get to Marinduque from Mindoro, have not seen any write ups but something was mentioned by the Lonely Planet guide that ferries go from Pinamalayan to Gasan. We want to explore the island and also want to know the state of the roads, availability of hired vehicles and what type, (happy to go on the back of a motorbike) ……… we expect to get there towards the end of May………

    • Hi Guy! The national roads around the island is not that bad. But the interior roads are not paved, so during May the middle of summer, it will be dusty and maybe bumpy. There are jeepneys or air condition vans for rent in Boac. (Inquire at Kusina sa Plaza). My neighbor in Amoingon, Mang Dupoy has an aircon van for rent. The last time I talk to him, he was charging 3000 pesos per day including his driving services. His house is near the Amoingon Barrangay Hall.
      Yes, I have seen a small motorized boat ( not a ferry) from Mindoro to Marinduque. If the seas are choppy, be sure to take your Dramamine pills (for sea sickness). But the end of May, the seas hopefully will be calmer, but be prepared for the summer HEAT! When we left Marinduque, two weeks ago, it was hot, hot and dry ( drought). Have fun exploring the island.

      • Guy says:

        Hi David, thanks for your reply, very informative! Can you please give me an idea how far is Gasan from Amoingon, just in case we ended up landing in Gasan from Mindoro.

        I’ve been reading all the comments on this site, I presume that you are a local……. can you please give me some ‘must see’ places on the island and how best to get there? A bit of trekking is ok if the place is worth it!

        Cheers!

  38. Hi Guy: Gasan is about 8 Km to Amoingon. There are jeeps and tricycles all day long. I think the fare is 12 pesos. I am not sure though. If you take a tricycle, ask and negotiate for the fare ahead. “Must” places to see in my opinion if you like the outdoors is Bathala Caves and the Python and Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos. If you are a history enthusiast, the Boac Cathedral and museum and antique homes in Boac is a must.

    Other things to DO in Marinduque, pls visit, http://marinduqueawaitsyou.blogspot.com

    There is a tourism office at the Capitol, who could arrange tours island to island, Tres Reyes, Maniwaya and Polo etc…at a minimum fee with local guides. I hope you enjoy my island paradise.

  39. Guy says:

    Thanks David, appreciate your help very much, will keep you posted here on our exploration of your island paradise……..

    Have a great day, cheers!!

  40. Chito says:

    By the way, while Marinduque still does not have a colorful nightlife, it does have at least one proper bar and restaurant. Its name is “Curba Grill & Resto Bar”, and it is located in the town of Buenavista. Here are some pictures of it:

    http://deaconblue.multiply.com/photos/album/85/Marinduque_Day_3_The_Homestretch#photo=13

    http://deaconblue.multiply.com/photos/album/85/Marinduque_Day_3_The_Homestretch#photo=12

    http://deaconblue.multiply.com/photos/album/85/Marinduque_Day_3_The_Homestretch#photo=11

    They play nice music, serve good food, and, while the ambiance is classy, their food is quite reasonably priced.

  41. Guy says:

    Hi Chito,

    Thanks for the photos, will definitely check out this place! Also enjoyed your photos of the Moriones festival on face book!

    I feel lucky to have stumbled on this site and had been following all the other blogs by Ryan as well!

    More power to you guys and keep up the good work. We are heading to the Philippines to explore the islands and will keep reading your blogs….

    Cheers!

  42. TO Guy: Speaking of Marinduqueno Food, for lunch try Kusina Sa Plaza in Boac and for dinner, Barbarosa in Gasan. Try the chicken adobo sa gata or Kare-kare!

    TO: Chito, I love to see your photos of the Moriones in Facebook. I also agree with your comments that the Festival is getting too commercialized instead of religious. Please invite me as a friend in FB, so I will have access to your photos. By the way, I did not know that there is a decent Bar and Grill in Buenavista. Tks for the information also.

    Note: Chito, I could invite you as a friend in FB, but I do not know your last name.

  43. Guy says:

    Hi David,

    Just picking your brains for a minute, we are in fact ‘early retirees – husband and wife’ and want to explore ‘most’ of the Philippines starting with the Visayan islands, so our time in Marinduque can be short or long depending on things to see and do…… so can you tell me where we can stay on a week to week basis, not necesssarily cheap but reasonable and not pay ‘tourist’ prices? any suggestiion will be useful and appreciated, thanks.

  44. Hi Guy: If you know the dates of your visit to Marinduque, I could check the availability of my two bedroom Beach House with 180 degree balcony overlooking the western coast of Marinduque in Amoingon, Boac, ( Chateau Du Mer). For two, I charge P2500 per day. But if you stay for a week, I could give you 10 percent discount. For details, visit my website

    http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com or http://www.chateaudumer.com

    If the beach house is too big for your needs, I recommend you stay in a hotel room, East Point in Caganhao. The rooms are small( compared to the beach house), but I believe, it will cost you only 1500 per night. All rooms are air-conditioned with TV. The rooms have no ocean views, but clean and the owner of the hotel is my friend and she is a very friendly lady.

  45. Guy says:

    Hi David, we will be in Marinduque at the end of May, not sure exactly what day yet but will contact you nearer that date……. the prices you mentioned are a bit out of our budget, we are not necessarily looking for airconditioned room, ‘homestay’ is more our scene as we want to soak in the culture of the island and get to know the locals more….. our ultimate aim in our ‘exploration’ of the islands is to find a little fishing village with white sandy beach, coconut trees around, a little nipa hut tucked away but within short walking distance from the water and be part of the community……. anyway, will look at your beach house and maybe meet you if you are around…….

  46. Guy: I believe the Department of Tourism ( Capitol) has a list of families that can host “home stay” guests. I heard the rooms are only about 300 to 500 pesos per day including breakfast. I will not be at Chateau Du Mer the end of May, But, I will tell our care taker to show you around the resort. Home stay is the best way to soak the local culture of the island at a very reasonable cost. Incidentally the posting date of my article on “Things to do in Marinduque” is November 23, 2009 ( Marinduque Awaits You). I am sure you will love Marinduque, if you want quite, clean air, blue skies and seas, simple living and hospitable natives.

  47. Guy says:

    Hi David,

    That’s cool, thanks for that valuable info, exactly what we are looking for, will check out your article as well……. Marinduque is looking very positively beautiful from where I am sitting….. ;-)

  48. Charlin Petrotta says:

    I will be coming in Marinduque on May 19th til June 8. I am from Caganhao and owned a small house near the Beach. If my parents doesn’t live in my house right now, I would offer it to guy for very cheap, so he can experience the culture. If they want to meet me, I would be glad to show them around Caganhao, Balaring, and Amoingon. I will be staying at Eastpoint Hotel. I stayed there 3 years ago and I enjoyed it. I only stayed at my house when I don’t have my husband and kids with me, because my house is not fully equip with American expectations, just a typical simple bungalow house. Someday, I might renovate it. I only wish I can move my big house from Texas to Marinduque, that would be awesome.

    David, do you know Ate Macrine Jambalos? She owned a house there in Amoingon too, your last name sound very familiar. Also, do you know anybody who has a nice boat for rental? We owned 22 ft See Hunt in the states (currently stored), the banca there are very small. I guess, I am missing our boat eversince my husband got transferred here in S. Korea for a 2-year gov. contract. Let me know, my e-mail: charlin49@hotmail.com . Phone in Marinduque is 049-332-1445. Thanks.

  49. Hi Charlin, Of course, I know your Ate Macrine Jambalos. She is my wife. She is extending her greetings to you. If you are still in nursing, we are inviting you to join us in our next medical mission to Marinduque, next year this coming Feb 5 to 14, 2011. We also owned Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center in Amoingon. So when are you planning to be Marinduque? Keep in touch. I do not know of any body that has boats for rental, but I could ask around when you are in MDQ.

  50. Guy says:

    Hi Charlin,

    We expect to be in Marinduque towards the end of May and will contact you. David told us to go to Capitol for the list of families who offer homestay accommodation, but we are also interested in checking out your house as we are not scheduled to go anywhere, we will be exploring Marinduque and other Visayan islands and will take our time, will appreciate very much your offer of showing us around the island and we are really only after very simple living arrangements and your small house by the beach sounds ideal!

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