The 7,107 islands of the Pearl of the Orient Seas boast of cultures, language, sounds, and sights that are as lively as its people
For many, Marinduque is the province of the Moriones Festival (a Holy Week fiesta involving reenactments of Jesus' Passion), but for me, it is home to countless childhood memories of the beach, our house on the "mountain," and my great grandmother. Recently, I visited Marinduque again (after almost ten years!) to see it in a fresh set of eyes.
A modern hotel in a provincial setting, Hotel Zenturia has ten comfortable rooms that ticks off all essentials. They have a recently opened rooftop bar and restaurant that spoils you with a fantastic view of Boac!
Magsaysay Road, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
A historical church in Marinduque's capital, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral (coloquially known as Boac Church) played a big part in the war against the Moros and the Philippines' fight for independence. The beautiful structure
56 San Miquel Street, Boac, Marinduque
Right behind Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, the Diocese of Boac serves as a museum for the church's history. Find old priest attires, furniture, and memorabilia through halls reminscent of the Spanish colonial era. Behind the building, a lush garden leads you to wonderful views of the old river opposite of the town.
56 San Miquel Street, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Locals rise with the sun and head directly to Boac Public Market for the freshest seafood and produce. While there are plenty of roadside eateries to grab your morning meal, the best breakfast fares hide along these lines of vendors. Try Bibingka (rice cake) and Puto (steamed cake) to start your day in a truly Filipino way!
Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Canton Panciteria's famous plates of noodles are synonymous to home-cooking to many Marinduque locals—who often refer to the joint as "Che Wing's" (pronounced as "choo-wings"). Ignore the restaurant's rustic setting, which may be challenging to those uncomfortable with the tropical heat, and dig into a scrumptious serving of greasy, saucy, and flavorful Pancit (noodles)!
Mercader Street, Barangay Malusak, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
A 20-minute boat ride is all it takes to get the tropical paradise that is Maniwaya Island. When we went there, we were the only tourists on our part of the island, so I had the whole shoreline to myself (and a couple of local dogs)! Be ready to rough it out here though, since most of the basic amenities still come from the mainland. Electricity is only available from 3PM to 5AM so remember to come fully charged!
Residencia De Palo Maria was our choice accommodation in Maniwaya Island. I'd recommend it for the pool alone, but you'll be happy to know that they come equipped with clean bedrooms and an attentive staff! Take one of their sunbeds and lay by the beach for a tan or under a tree for an afternoon nap.
Maniwaya Island, Marinduque, Philippines
Waking up early is worth it to witness the majesty of Palad Sand Bar. In true shoal nature, the strip of sand only appears at around 6AM to 10AM, diminishing by the hour. Walk to the end to see waves crashing into each other in a confusing yet seamless manner. Put on your snorkels to say hi to the colorful wildlife thriving around the islet.
Maniwaya Island, Marinduque, Philippines
As your boat docks on Mongpong Island, you'll be greeted by Ungab Rock Formation, two beautiful large structures converging in an arc-like fashion. Swim through the gap to find a Little Mermaid-esque rock you can perch on for awesome photos. Be wary of going too far, though, because the waves can get violent.
Mongpong Island, Marinduque, Philippines
Hear it here first: Ka Ambo's Crispy Pata (deep-fried pork leg) is the best in the country! In a tiny pink eatery in Santa Cruz, you'll find the crispy, juicy, and insanely flavorful perfectly cooked treat.
Burgos Street, Barangay Banahaw, Santa Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines
After indulging in Crispy Para, you may feel the need to repent for the sinful feast. Drop by Holy Cross Parish Church (Santa Cruz Church), a gorgeous piece of architecture at the town center.
Torrijos Road, Santa Cruz, Marinduque