Marinduque, is an island located between Tayabas Bay and Sibuyan Sea. It is part of the Mimaropa Region, (aka Suthwestern Tagalog Region and previously designated as Region IV-B) and is also part of the Luzon island group. If there is anything that makes Mimaropa known, that would be that it is the home of the Moriones Festival, which takes place every Holy Week, and that together with Batanes, it has the lowest crime in the country.
If you are looking for a quick, long-weekend-getaway from Manila, this may very well be one great option.
What to do in Marinduque?
Marinduque is a fun island to ride around. It is big enough for you to enjoy a full day of riding and small enough for you to circle it in one day and stop and see some of the sights it has to offer.
If you decide to ride around the island, non-stop, this may take you anywhere between 2 to 3.5 hours. However, do make time to stop along the way as there are places worth visiting.
- Beaches and Island hopping – If you are looking to get a tan or chill on the fine sand, head over to the port in Buyabod, park your bike and get on a bangka. Tell the basngkero (boatman) to take you to Maniuaya Island, Palad Sandbar and/or Mompong Island, where you can jump off the Ungab Rock Formation. This could all be done in a day, if you start really early, or you could find one that you like and stay a little longer. Just remember that Palad Sandbar is only accessible during low tide, so plan your visit well if you want to instagram here.
Alternatively, you can head over to Gasan and visit Tres Reyes Islands, named after the 3 kings that according to the bible, brought gold incense and myrrh to baby Jesus.
You have a number of very nice beaches around the island, and it is not hard to sdtay away from the crowds, which makes the beach extra special.
- Boac Cathedral – The pride and joy of the locals. It is the oldest building in Marinduque and a must if you have any interest in the history of the island and the Spanish influence in the Philippines.
- If you like nature and the outdoors, you have plenty of options. You can hike up Mount Malindi and Tarug Peak or you can visit some of the caves the island has to offer, such as, Bathala Caves, Bagumbongan cave or Tarug Cave. If you want to take a dip in fresh water, head over to Kawa-Kawa falls, Paadjao falls in Mogpog or Duyay falls.
Where to stay in Marinduque
Marinduque is kind of an off-the-beaten-path destination in the Philippines, and as such, hospitality business options are limited.
If you are on the west coast of the island, near Boac, you may want to check out Eastpoint Hotel. Nothing fancy, but it is clean, and it serves as a perfect base from which one can explore the island and (very important) have a relatively late dinner within a short walk from the hotel (this hotel only offers some instant coffee for breakfast, but no lunch or dinner).
If you are on the east coast of the island, you may want to head over to Beach Club Cagpo. Quiet, by a beautiful beach, and has a nice enough restaurant, in case you just want to chill and not go anywhere.
This is also a good base from which you can explore some of the island’s sights.
Where to eat in Marinduque
Marinduque is nothing like most major tourist destinations in the Philippines, and while it is absolutely stunning and it hosts one of the most peculiar festivals, it may not have as many food options other than your regular carinderias (which are always worth a try).
If you are craving for something different (in Marinduque’s context) and want to stray away from adobo and sinigang), 10 y.o. Cafe, offers a very nice menu and atmosphere. It is the closest you will find (or at least what we found) to your typical hipster cafe you could find in any other big city. Staff is friendly and they open till late compared to other establishments in the island.
On the other side of the island, tucked away by the beach, you have Beach Club Cagpo, which also has some nice non local food items in a great beach-side setting.
If you are craving for some of the local flavours, you have Kusina sa Plaza, near the Boac Cathedral, but you maight aswell venture into any of the local carinderias you can find along the road and in the different towns around the island.
Geting to and from Marinduque
If you are planning to ride your motorcycle to Marinduque, you have a number of options. You can get to Marinduque from the port of Lucena, in the Quezon Province, in the island of Luzon, or, you can get to Marinduque from Romblon.
There are 2 ports with a roro service in Marinduque: Port of Balanacan, in Mogpog and the Port of Cawit in Boac. Find more info on the roro services here.
Check out our map of the different roro ports in the Philippines.