Beautiful butterfly at Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture garden
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Butterflies Are Icons In Marinduque And Here’s Why

Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture in Boac, Marinduque

Marinduque is an underrated destination in the MIMAROPA region, with a long list of things to try and places to see. It’s definitely a shame not to experience what it has to offer!

In our recent trip for the Moryonan Lenten Rites Media Familiarization Tour, I learned so much about Marinduque, including their love for an insect that holds a significant role for the whole province – butterflies. Yes, you read it right; butterflies have been an important cultural symbol for them for years. In fact, Marinduque is dubbed as the Butterfly Capital of the Philippines!


Marinduque’s icon: Butterflies
Marinduque’s icon: Butterflies

Butterflies are always celebrated in Marinduque. During the feast of Immaculate Concepcion held every 8th of December, Bila-Bila Festival also happens. The name hailed from the species of butterflies called “bila bila”. The festival is when the Marinduqueños dress up in their best and most vibrant butterfly costumes for parades and street dancing that depict the life cycle of the butterfly.


Although we visited during the Holy Week and didn’t witness the Bila-Bila Festival, we went to see the butterflies at one of the most-loved butterfly farms in Boac. Tucked in Barangay Amoingon, Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture is a garden that plays a vital part in the “butterfly culture” of the province.

It is the first and largest butterfly garden in Marinduque and was established in 1990 by Mr. Leodegario Layron, a dedicated and passionate butterfly breeder. Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture breeds, cultures, and exports butterfly pupae and dried butterflies. This culture thrives and a lot of clients, even from abroad, reach out to them to buy!

Beautiful butterfly at Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture garden
Beautiful butterfly at Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture garden

Here I also learned a lot about butterflies. Did you know that after being fully-grown adults, most of them live only for 7 days? Although their adulting story is so sad to know, that tells us all how they should be valued even more.

You can interact with the butterflies here!
You can interact with the butterflies here!

Aside from their beautiful life cycle taught at our school called Metamorphosis, at this garden, you can take a closer look at the species that they have. You can also get a pupae for yourself to travel with you back home. Butterfly-themed souvenirs are also available here as gifts.

The staff also told us a belief that when a butterfly sticks to you naturally until you go out of the garden, you can set it free! They gave us lotion so that butterflies will be attracted to our smell but I didn’t get a chance to free any.


Butterflies are also a major part of Marinduque’s unique way of welcoming guests in the province. It’s called ‘Tubong’ or ‘Putong’, and I haven’t seen this ritual anywhere else in the Philippines so far. This type of ritual is often sung to the accompaniment of a guitar to express hospitality, gratitude, prayer for a long and blessed life, and to honor guests. We personally experienced this twice – one in Boac and the other in Torrijos.

Our hosts in Boac singing and dancing to welcome us through the ‘Tubong’
Our hosts in Boac singing and dancing to welcome us through the ‘Tubong’

This province-wide known ritual begins with all the guests seated at the hosts’ home. The Marinduqueño hosts, usually dressed in their best barong or kimona and saya, begin to sing and dance. Typically they hold flowers or palm leaves. In the midst of their number, they’ll each put on an adorned crown to every guest seated with some flowers and a lei.

With content creators after dancing with the performers of Tubong
With content creators after dancing with the performers of Tubong

The performers will then shower the guests with coins, flowers, and in our experience, butterflies. The place was filled with colorful butterflies and we felt welcomed by them, too. The performers then invited us to dance with them, too. It was a warm, unforgettable experience.

I am so amazed by Marinduqueños’ hospitality. This was definitely one for the books!
If you love butterflies, you’ll definitely enjoy traveling to Marinduque. But apart from the fact that it is one of the biggest homes to these beautiful creatures, there are a lot of fun, exciting, and interesting things to discover in the province.

Marl Insect and Butterfly Culture
Brgy. Amoingan, Boac, Marinduque
Open from 9:00am-4:00pm

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Written by Desa Tayting

Desa Tayting is a 20-something freelance writer and social media manager based in Manila. She tells stories through words and photos as fueled by coffee and travels.

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