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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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November 17, 2008

traveling to marinduque

Marinduque is a small heart shaped island found south of Luzon. Before I went there last weekend I only know it as an exotic island popular for its Moriones Festival during the Holy Week.

Coco Trees in Pingan
along the coastal road in Brgy Pinggan in Gasan

I was lucky to tag along with two travel photographers (Oggie Ramos and Ferdz Decena) and got to experience the island firsthand.

Marinduque is not as fancy as destinations like Palawan, or Boracay maybe, but it has its own rustic charms. Most would consider it an off-the-beaten path destination. There are centuries old churches (we got to visit some), scenic falls (this too), and beautiful uncrowded beaches. A winding highway with a great view of the coast connects the towns around the island, just driving on it is an experience.

Getting to Marinduque
There are several bus lines that ply the Manila to Lucena route (JAM, JAC, Lucena Lines) and they have their terminals in Cubao and in Buendia-Taft. From Lucena there are fastcraft and RORO (Roll On, Roll off) vessels (see Montenegro Lines) that goes to Balanacan port in Mogpog or to the Cawit port in Gasan. The RORO vessels mean that you can bring your own car or van if you have a large group.

We took the JAC bus that goes straight to Boac via RORO (fare: Php 717.00 including the terminal fee at the port). The bus leaves the JAC terminal in Kamias at around 6PM and goes to their terminal in Buendia-Taft, arrives there usually at 8PM. You have to be real early if you plan to catch the bus in Buendia-Taft since there are only a handful of seats available once the bus gets there (a JAC employee told us there are only about 10 slots available). During the off-peak season there are only 2 schedules for the bus straight to Boac, one in the morning and one in the evening.

I got to the Buendia terminal at around 5PM and found out I still have 3 hours of waiting time. Good thing I had Oggie and Ferdz for company, never a dull moment.

It was already around 9PM when the bus finally got on its way to SLEX (South Luzon Expressway). We got to the Lucena port several minutes past 1AM, waited a couple of minutes before the bus went into the RORO vessel (scheduled departure time for Cawit port is 2AM).

JAC Liner to Boac
JAC bus rolling in

There were just a few vehicles that morning but during the Holy Week this vessel is packed.

Tricycle into the ferry
Tricycle with market goods

Once inside the ferry we went up and looked for a place to idle the time away and maybe get some sleep. Its still a good 3 hours before the ferry reaches Marinduque. We saw an aircon lounge (additional fare of Php 42.00) and went in. We later found out that the air conditioning is not working. Although tired, the group's mood was still jolly, exchanging jokes and making comments about the lousy local game show being played on TV. We tried to sleep on the cramped couches but it was too hot. Oggie and Ferdz settled for the the plastic mono-bloc benches outside the lounge. I followed suit on Oggie's suggestion that its much cooler on the benches.

I'm not sure how long I was able to sleep (half-sleep maybe the correct word) before the PA system announced our arrival in Cawit port. From Cawit the bus proceeded north to Boac before heading down south to the municipalites Gasan and Buenavista. We were supposed to alight in Boac but missed the stop (somebody overslept! hehe) and ended up in Gasan, which is good since Ferdz actually planned to head to Brgy Pingan in Gasan anyway. What's better is that the bus conductor did not asked us for additional fare. Folks in Pingan are real helpful, pointed us to the nearest resorts when they saw us walking down the coastal road.

Getting around in Marinduque
You can catch the public jeepneys that go around the island but if you are concerned about your schedule its best to hire a tricycle (if the destination is not very far) or a jeepney if you want to go around faster and visit more places. We decided to rent a jeepney for the whole day (Php 2000.00)

More stories soon...
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lagal[og] said...

uy, abangan ko ang mga obras mo bai :D

escape said...

salamat sa guide na to papunta doon kasi kailangan ko to para next year para sa moriones. iaanabang ko na ang mga posts ninyong tatlo.

ang sarap naman ng pwesto nyo sa jeep. kanya kanyang lugar. yan ang maganda pag inyo ang buong jeep.

Lantaw said...

@oggie - mine are run of the mill shots bai ;)

@dom - will post more details about the trip bro. we were all very sleepy sa ride na yan. ask bai Oggie what happened :D. sya na lang mag kwento hehe

pusangkalye said...

thanks sa pagdalaw at pagkomento sa blog ko.....

never pako nakapunta Marinduque, heard that they have very clean rivers there. Is that true?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info here... gusto ko pumunta ng Marinduque next year. How's the beach and accommodations there? Hope you can describe them in your succeeding posts.

Lantaw said...

@salingPUSA - they have very clean everything :). The rivers are crystal clear and we've seen folks do their laundry there. People from as far as Gaspar Island go to the mainland to do their laundry.

@ar-wee-der-yet. The beach is fine and there are lots of accommodation choices to suit every type of budget. Will feature a resort in my succeeding posts. thanks for the visit.

Anonymous said...

Haha! Me kuha ka pala sa jeep. Sarap ng higa ni Master Og dun ah. Will wait for other obras as well :-D

Lantaw said...

@ferdz - The [OG] is just recharging so that he can shoot his mastahpieces hehehe

The Islander said...

oy same with my other boss, alumni of mapua. he is good and well accomplished in his craft. ang gagaling pala ng taga mapua eh. hehehe. pero totoo nga, he's an idol. a chem engr.

and re marinduque, will watch out for the great features in the next post.

ka bute said...

tumulo laway ko sa ganda ng tanawin. hehehe. :) astig tol. i suppose ur a pro :)

Lantaw said...

@ka bute - thanks bro! i'm not a pro, but my companions are. you can check out their blogs at www.lagalog.com and www.ironwulf.com (2008 Best Travel Blog during the recent Philippine Blog Awards).

Joy said...

These are stunning photos. I especially like the first one! Would love to visit Marinduque.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments.

A Pinay In England
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David B Katague said...

Allan, sorry, I was not there when you Ferdz drop by the resort. We just flying from CA today. Hopefully, I will see you again, soon, David

Chyng said...

shots are fascinating! andame na talagang magaling sa photography ngayon!

My college friend is form Marinduque so Im familiar with the place. Her parents always want us to visit them.

off-topic: dahil sa sanay cia sa unpolluted town, pagdating niya ng Manila, angkaron siya ng 100,000 na pimples from time to time! haha

Lantaw said...

@joy - thanks! Its best to visit Marinduque during the Holy Week for the Moriones Festival.

@david - will go back to Marinduque soon. Its such a beautiful place!

@chyng - thanks! di ka pa naka visit dun? you should, i'm sure you would enjoy it there. unpolluted - sinabi mo, walang traffic, walang usok :)

atto aryo said...

i've been torrijos before. it's in marinduque, right. yung dinaungan namin yung me malaking statue ni Mama Mary.

Lantaw said...

@r-yo - yup Torrijos is in Marinduque. The large statue of Mother Mary is in Balanacan port in Mogpog (northern part of the island)

Romeo Mataac, Jr. said...

Ang galing talaga ng shots nyo.

Kinilabutan ako. Cguro dahil Lover Nature din ako.

For more info. about Marinduque on how to go there, you may visit at www.marinduque.gov.ph

See the beauty of Marinduque and experience the Moriones Festival every Holy Week.

You're always welcome in Marinduque.


Romeo A. Mataac, Jr.

Lantaw said...

@romeo - thank you! will definitely come back there. I still have to visit the northern areas like Mogpog and Natangco Island

mgaputonimimi said...

nami lantawon ung first pic! super broad ng pagka capture..

Lantaw said...

ma damu gid nga salamat mimi!

Cagayan de Oro map said...

For my trip to Marinduque, I think the only place I'll crave but can't go for now is Bellaroca. It's so expensive! http://www.cdokay.com/

Sashi said...

that's our province~ nice! we have house in front of bellaroca island a lipata

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