Marinduque Travel Guide: The Heart of the Philippines
Table of Contents
Marinduque is famously known as the “Heart of the Philippines”, simply because the island is heart-shaped. Geographically speaking, it is the reference point of all maps in the country since it is situated in the center of the Philippine archipelago. Marinduque is composed of six municipalities namely Boac – provincial capital, Gasan, Mogpog, Buenavista, Torrijos and Santa Cruz. Other than that, it is surrounded by the crystalline waters of the Sibuyan Sea and Tayabas Bay. Marinduque is well-known of the Moriones Festival being celebrated throughout the Holy Week, still the province offers a lot of attractions all over the year.
How to get there
- By land and sea – Three Options
Option No. 1 (Manila – Marinduque)
Ride a bus from Cubao bound to Marinduque. Jac liner offers daily trips for only P880
Option No. 2 (Manila – Dalahican Port Lucena – Balanacan Port Marinduque)
- Ride a bus from Cubao or Buendia (near LRT station) en route to Lucena Grand Terminal, Lucena.
- Take a jeep or tricycle to Dalahican Port.
- Ride a RORO(roll-on-roll-off) or fastcraft bound to Balanacan Port
- From Balanacan Port, numerous jeepneys are there bound to different municipalities
- Bus: P227 (business class), P159 (economy)
- Jeep: P10
- Tricycle: P160
- RORO: P130-P260 (Starhorse)
- Fastcraft : P280-P312
- Terminal fee (Dalahican): P24-P30
Option No. 3 (Manila – Oriental Mindoro – Marinduque)
- Ride a bus from Cubao or Buendia to Batangas Port
- Buy a ticket bound to Calapan Pier (Fastcraft or RORO)
- From Calapan, ride a Van bound to Pinamalayan (PVANS)
- Take a tricycle to Pinamalayan Port
- Ride a large boat to Gasan Port, Marinduque (11:00am)
- Bus: 130-P170
- Fastcraft: P200-P280
- RORO: P192-P220
- Van: P100-P120
- Tricycle: P10
- Large boat: P250
- Terminal fee (Batangas): P24-P30
Where to Eat
GoodChow Food Express
Escape the usual fastfoods in Manila with the only fastfood in Marinduque. There are a lot of GoodChow branches in Marinduque
Cost: P100 – P150 per person
Kusina sa Plaza (Boac)
Have a meal at Kusina sa Plaza whilst it take you to the Spanish time with its preserved Spanish house serving the best of the bests delicacies in Marinduque. Including, ulang-ulang.
Cost: P250 – P400 per person
Try the Bibingkang Lalaki (male bibingka) in Boac market. It became as a joke because the Bibingka is topped with salted egg.
In Sta. Cruz, you can try Bibingkang Pinahiran. Spread on top with thick sweet syrup.
Other places to eat:
- Buon Appetito Restaurant
- C Grill
- Balthazar’s Tavern
- Joti Eatery
- Luxur Resort and Restaurant
Where to Stay
Boac Hotel (Boac)
It is a great place to stay because of its convenience having situated near the town market, ATMs, and GoodChow Food Express. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
Cost: P500 – P2500 per night
Residencia de Palo Maria (Sta. Cruz)
A quiet and simple place to stay that serves fresh and good foods. Also has a swimming pool.
Cost: P500 – P2300 per night
Other places to stay:
- Lucky Seven Pension House (Boac) – P300/person
- Abby’s Place (Boac) – P900/night
- Tahanan Sa Isok (Boac) – P1000-P2000
- Bellaroca Island Resort and Spa (Buenavista)
- Villa Briones (Poctoy Beach, Torrijos)
- Club Marinduque (Gasan)
- Book Hotels Online and get discounted rates via Agoda.com
Famously known as Marinduque’s specialty – arrowroot cookies is a great pasalubong for your friends and families. Various stores and souvenir shops in Marinduque offer arrowroot cookies.
Cost: P100-P150 per 250gram
Discover and buy home furniture in Mogpog carved with complex designs including sala set, bed, and cabinet.
Cost may vary per furniture
Woven table runners and placemats
Buy woven placemats and table runners in Torrijos. It became a source of livelihood for the women’s of Marinduque.
- Six set of placemats – P300
- Six set of tablerunners – P400
Marinduque Pasalubong Center
Visit the Pasalubong Center showcasing the local products of Marinduque including handicrafts, souvenir products, and home accessories, and bagoong.
Things to do in Marinduque
Island Hopping – Tres Reyes Islands
Experience snorkeling, sunbathing and swimming in the group of islands of Gaspar, Melchor, and Balthazar named after the three kings. You can reach the islands by banka from Gasan.
- Banka – P1000 (good for 7-12 persons)
- Banka (Gaspar Island only) – P500
Also includes snorkel gears and sets for 12 persons
Cave Exploration – Ka-Amon Cave
Be thrilled as you discover stalagmites and stalactites. Every guide covers a group of six persons with headlamps and helmets included.
Guide fee: P150
Visit the Ecopark – Isla del Carmen
Discover the ecotourism site in Marinduque as you kayak along the mangrove forest, zip lining, and enjoy peace in the eco-park.
Kayak – P120
Seaside Experience – Poctoy Beach
Walk and feel the white sand of Poctoy Beach. Best spot for sunrise and sunset viewing as you capture moments worth to treasure. Just be careful with sea urchins.
During Holy Week, you can join and watch the numerous activities in Moriones Festival. Like parades of the Morions and reenactments of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Also, Watch the famous outlook of the beheading of St. Longinus who was a roman centurion accepted Christianity.
How to get around
There are many ways getting around in Marinduque, you can choose from jeeps, tricycles, and FXs. But it is highly recommended and very convenient if you choose tricycle. Why? Because you have the freedom to manage where you want to go at a cheaper price.
If you are in Boac, you can just walk around without getting lost or you can simply ask for a tourist map in the municipal hall.
Truly, Marinduque is a great place to visit although getting there is a bit of a hassle. “It’s all worth it” as they say. Most tourists visit Marinduque during Holy Week.
Some of the photos are courtesy of Dream Favor Travel and Tours.