Here’s Your Marinduque Itinerary For This Holy Week
Everyone knows that Holy Week is almost upon us. What does this mean? Aside from the usual religious festivities, this becomes a good opportunity for travelers to explore more of the Philippines. Combine both worlds by celebrating this year’s Moriones Festival held on the beautiful heart-shaped island, Marinduque. Discover what this unique Marinduque itinerary has to offer you this Holy Week!
How to Get to Marinduque from Manila
The fastest way to go there is to take the JAC Liner bus straight for Marinduque. The one-way fare will cost PHP 880 and will take approximately eight to ten hours. At Buendia terminal, boarding time begins at 4:00 p.m. and the bus departs at 6:00 p.m. If you plan to catch the bus at Cubao terminal, boarding starts at 3:00 p.m. and leaves at 4:00 p.m.
Via Lucena/ Dalahican Port and Balanacan Port
From Friday to Sunday, JAC Liner operates 24 hours. At Cubao terminal specifically, bus trips are from 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Midnight trips are available at 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. The fare will cost you PHP 220-227.50 and take three to four hours of travel time.
At Dalahican Port, you’ll be required to pay the Terminal Fee of PHP 24–30. Take the ferry to Balanacan Port via Starhorse Shipping Line or Montenegro Shipping Line.
For Starhorse, departure times are 2:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 11:30 p.m. Fares are priced from PHP 221–260. Montenegro departs at 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m. Fares vary from PHP 221-260.
Schedules are bound to change so please research beforehand. If you feel comfortable bringing your own vehicle to the island, board any of these ferries.
PHILIHAPPY PRO TIP: Plan your trip accordingly. If you arrive in the early hours of dawn, inform your hotel ahead so they can make prior arrangements.
Day 1: City and heritage tour
Like how most relationships start, you must first be acquainted with the local town. For the first day of your Marinduque itinerary, get to know her and you’ll surely fall in love with her. Grab a quick breakfast nearby and let’s get started!
Take a dip at Paadjao Falls
Located in a small city called Mogpog, tourists make it a point to visit Paadjao Falls. Take a drive up north then a 40-minute trek from the main highway. Adventure goers will love to experience this one, but others might consider this as a challenging feat. Take a chance to visit this 15-foot cascade surrounded by a thick forest. Cool off by taking a refreshing dip under the scorching sun.
Savor the best pancit miki for lunch
You can find the best miki noodles in Marinduque. They say that it has its own distinct flavor and is incomparable compared to the ones sold in supermarkets. Order a bowl from Ka Charing also known as Rosario Parreño (seen in photo, alongside Ka Ambo’s). The noodles are firm and fresh while toppings are abundant in every corner. We know that food tripping is a big part of your Marinduque itinerary too!
Travel back in time
Catch a glimpse of what houses used to look like before at Boac Heritage Houses. You’ll get a real kick out of exploring the homes of Kapitan Piroco and Narvas family. Check out local establishments that still bore old school architecture such as Casa Real, Capitol Building, and the National Museum.
Dig into the archives
Soak in the island’s culture by visiting the Boac’s Museum, also referred to as the Boac Branch of National Museum. Important relics such as farming tools are housed here. There are a few items from the Moriones Festival that make Marinduque unique from the rest. Aren’t you glad you brought this Marinduque itinerary with you?
Taste the town’s specialties
Marinduque has an exquisite selection of delicacies such as arrowroot cookies, bibingkang lalaki, and miki noodles. Arrowroot cookies are made from uraro, a special kind of root crop that is commonly found in the region. Don’t forget to buy some pasalubong from Rejano’s Bakery, said to create some of the best ones in town.
Bibingkang lalaki can be differentiated from other kinds of bibingka because it uses tuba or wine extracted from coconut. Miki noodles can be cooked according to your preference based on your choice of meat and vegetables.
Make a quick stop at Boac Cathedral
Considered to be one of the oldest structures in Marinduque, its rustic charm will sweep you off your feet. With that being said, it holds a lot of history in its roots. Back then, locals took refuge here from constant invasions by the Moro pirates. It was said that a miraculous storm and an image of the Blessed Virgin appeared before the pirates. These happenings prevented their attacks from becoming successful.
Have a lovely dinner at Kusina Sa Plaza or Casa de Don Emilio
Treat yourself to a nice dinner on your first night on the island. Kusina Sa Plaza has some of the best local dishes in town. If you want that classy and old school-kind-of-vibe, dine at Casa de Don Emilio. Sit back, order their best sellers, and relax! Meals are on the reasonable side and won’t bore a hole in your pocket.
Day 2: An adventure with nature
Shake off last night’s hangover with today’s long list of activities. Get an early breakfast, grab your backpack, and away you go for day two of your Marinduque itinerary!
Kiss the sun at Maniwaya Island
This Marinduque itinerary wouldn’t be complete without visiting Maniwaya Island. From Buyabod Port in Sta. Cruz, take a boat’s less than an hour’s ride to the island. You’ll have to negotiate with the driver, which can cost around PHP 3,500. To minimize expenses, go as a group to split the fare.
Catch the Palad Sandbar
Within Maniwaya Island, the best time to catch Palad Sandbar is during low tide. The stretch of white sand amidst clear skies is a spectacular event to witness. Walking in the middle of the sea suddenly makes you very small.
Jump off the cliffs of Ungab Rock Formation
How can Mother Nature’s creation be as gorgeous as this one? You must take a picture with its awesome rock formations for the books. For adventure seekers, you can jump off at certain sites. Be careful, though! You might land in a school of jellyfish (yikes!).
Sample Sta. Cruz’ specialty for lunch
Don’t forget to sample the town’s famous Ka Ambo’s crispy pata. It doesn’t have any fancy signage outside its humble home. Ask the locals on where to get your hands on some mouthwatering grub and complete this along with Ka Charing’s Marinduque itinerary food trip!
Go spelunking at caves
Marinduque houses several caves that are worth exploring. With your guides, check out Talamban Cave, San Isidro Cave or Bagumbongan Cave, and Tarug Cave. Make sure you’ve got special gear, a pair of reliable rubber shoes, and an extra pair of dry clothes. Some of these caves require you to get wet! The biggest cave on the island is Bathala Church Cave or Kuweba ng Simbahan. For thrill-seekers, check out Bathala Python Cave and see what’s waiting for you!
Submerge in Marinduque Hot Springs Resort
Detoxify today’s adventures by slipping into a hot spring pool. It will calm all your nerves. It is so relaxing that you might be tempted to fall asleep there and now. Make it a stop on the second day of your Marinduque itinerary.
Grab dinner at Good Chow Food Express
If you’re missing out on your weekly dose of fast food, your best bet would be in this place. We absolutely love our fried chicken, pizza, and the rest. With its budget price, you might be coming here more often than you think! Takeout, please!
Day 3: Beach by day, Camping by night
Grab early breakfast nearby to enjoy the rest of your Marinduque itinerary’s adventures!
Go island hopping at Tres Reyes Islands
Did you know that you can find some of the most beautiful shipwrecks around Tres Reyes Islands? “The Three Kings” consist of Baltazar, Gaspar, and Melchor. At the port, take a boat to these three. A three-island tour will cost around PHP 1,000. Baltazar houses an underwater cave and a lighthouse. Diving enthusiasts will enjoy exploring Melchor. Gaspar is the closest island where you can go swimming in its crushed coral white sand beaches. If you plan on visiting Gaspar, it will cost you PHP 500.
Have lunch and swim at Poctoy White Beach
Water adventures call for the monster in your belly to rumble. There are small karinderyas around to satisfy your appetite. Sugary white sands surrounded by tranquil waters and palm trees are an unbeatable match. The entrance fee costs PHP 35 for adults and PHP 25 for kids and seniors. To get there, take a jeep headed for Buenavista from Gasan then a jeep going for Torrijos. This is a must for your Marinduque itinerary!
Camp at Battle of Pulang Lupa shrine
A long hike awaits, but a spectacular view of the island welcomes you at the top. A large carved wall made of stone depicts the story of how the Filipinos fought and won against the Americans. You can take refuge in its breathtaking view of the surrounding Mount Malindig and islands by the sea.
Day 4: Religious festivities
It’s time to take a breather from yesterday’s adventure. Strike up a conversation with the friendly locals and know more about their laid-back ways on day three of your Marinduque itinerary.
Interact with soldiers during Moriones Festival
This annual event takes place during the entire span of Holy Week. The entire town comes to life when the locals are dressed in colorful costumes. For any outsider, they can totally be mistaken for the cast of 300. These Morions parade in search of Saint Longinus, who played a special role in the last few moments of Jesus. Don’t forget to take a memorable selfie with one and complete your Marinduque itinerary!
Go pasalubong shopping
For Filipinos, no trip is ever complete with the task of bringing something local back home. Support local livelihood by purchasing special items from Gabisan Pottery Shop, Torrijos Handloom Factory, and Pasalubong Center.
Who said provincial life had to be boring? With a majestic island like Marinduque, you’ll never run out of activities to do. From discovering its heritage to exploring its beaches, this handy Marinduque itinerary makes sure that there is something for everyone. You might have to return to this island again to absolutely make the most out of this experience!
Have you been on a recent trip to Marinduque? If so, we’re calling all travelers to document their adventure with #Philihappy or by simply tagging us on Instagram.