The island province of Marinduque is called the Heart of the Philippines — and it’s fitting in more ways than one: it is at the geographical center of the archipelago, and (on a more unofficial note) its shape is said to resemble a heart.
Marinduque is teeming with sights and experiences. It seems to have a little bit of everything, in terms of its natural formations, from beaches to caves. Polo, Maniwaya and Mongpong Islets in Sta. Cruz are ideal for water sports and relaxation. Mongpong, in particular, has breathtaking reefs at its fringes, which is perfect for scuba diving.
There is also Mt. Malindig, a dormant volcano between the towns of Buenavista and Torrijos. And there’s the Paadjao Falls, for those who would like to swim in its nature-formed bathtubs. Cave spelunking enthusiasts will appreciate the Bathala Caves in Sta. Cruz and Talamban Caves in Boac. The former is a network of seven caves with different sights in each one (one has an underground river, another has a python, and yet another has human remains from soldiers); the latter is a pair of limestone caves with an underground river.
After the long day of trekking, spelunking and all-out exploring, you can relax at the Malbog Spring in Buenavista — the sulfuric hot springs will definitely help ease the stress away.
Marinduque is known for its unique and colorful Moriones Festival, where locals dress as Roman centurions — donning breastplates, sandals and of course, the iconic paper mache masks — and reenact a biblical scene. Roman Catholic or not, the festival is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Popular accommodations include the Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, Beach Club Cagpo and Katala Beach Resort. The Bellarocca Resort on Elephant Island is a popular venue for weddings as well.
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