The scorching heat of summer in the Philippines is becoming more and more unbearable. The only consolation that we have as Filipinos is actually that we have more than enough beaches, rivers and lakes where we can swim and bond with our families. Of course, these bodies of water also boast of amazing sceneries that just take your stress and problems away.
And this was exactly why I wanted to go to this trip. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed at work and I really needed a little break. Of course, I wouldn’t pass the opportunity to go to the beach and just soak in vitamin sea. When Roland mentioned that he signed up to join the Marinduque loop trip from Wander Twins, I immediately said I wanted to go. Good thing there was still a slot available! I knew that I was really meant to be in this trip.
The RoRo ride
Roland and I left at around 9 PM to meet with Paulo from Wander Twins and other joiners in Pasig and then met up with the rest of the joiners in Jollibee EDSA Shell in Buendia. We had two vans for this trip. At around 10 PM, we started our travel going to Lucena Port. We got out of the van for the RoRo ride and since our van was the last vehicle to enter the RoRo, there were already a lot of people in the passengers’ area of Starhorse Shipping Line’s MV Virgen de Penafrancia X. Luckily, we found a few mono block chairs after a lot of asking from the passengers so we could sit down and rest since we haven’t had a good sleep. We realized that since the schedule of RoRo going to Marinduque was in the wee hours of the mornings, passengers would use the mono block chairs to put their feet up for a more comfortable position or to put their luggages.
The travel was about 3 hours and so Roland and I tried to close our eyes but since we were sitting on a mono block chair by the aisle and people would walk by a lot of times, we just couldn’t sleep. Roland just bought snacks and tried to bear the long RoRo ride without a view (since the sun was not up yet).
An hour before we dock, I saw from the window that the sun was starting to peep so I asked Roland if we can go out of the passengers’ area and look at the view. When we were near the Balanacan Port in Marinduque, we were happy to see the islands and got really excited. The passengers were already preparing to disembark.
The second van was not able embark the same RoRo and so the joiners in the second van had to eat breakfast first. On the other hand, we who were in the first van began our travel going to our first destination, Luzon Datum in Hinanggayon, Mogpog in Marinduque.
The Luzon Datum
Luzon Datum is located in the exact center of the Philippines, on top of a hill. This is what we call as “point zero” when making a map.
The hike was actually quite short (shorter than Buscalan hike, promise!) and since we were there very early, we had the place all to our selves. On top of the hill, we had a beautiful view of the RoRo’s coming and going from the port, the highway and the lush greeneries. Of course, we took pictures to capture this wonderful scenery.
Boac Cathedral and Marinduque Capitol
After our visit to Luzon Datum, we had our breakfast in Kusina sa Plaza in Boac. Roland ate a big breakfast, rice and 2 viands while I had spaghetti. We also had to take out our food for lunch since we will be going to Gaspar Island.
After breakfast, we visited Boac Cathedral (Immaculate Conception Cathedral parish) that was built in 1792. I went inside to pray and saw the ceiling adorned with what seemed to be golden stars. The altar was also beautiful.
We then went to our next destination, Marinduque Capitol. We just had a quick stop to take a group photo.
Before riding the boat, we changed into our swimming attires. We then went for a 15 to 20-minute ride going to Gaspar Island where we were welcomed by the island’s sandbar. The sandbar is actually a stretch of white sand and broken corals.
We ate our lunch quickly and some of us already took a swim and did photo ops. Because of the harsh sun, Roland and I decided to just stay in the kubo and that we would just swim in Poctoy beach where we would be staying.
We stayed at Gaspar Island for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours before we rode the boat again and back to our vans.
Poctoy White Beach
We arrived at Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos a little after 3 PM and saw a lady selling grilled hotdogs, isaw, betamax and others. We couldn’t resist the enticing smell of these food being grilled and we ordered so we can also eat merienda. While our coordinators worked on the registration and accommodations for the night, we filled our tummies with these delicious street food. Because we were many who ordered, ate and her son were able to pack up early because we wiped out all her offerings.
After our sumptuous merienda, we went to an accommodation which offered airconditioned rooms. Roland and I decided to take a room because we really wanted to get a good sleep. Some of us also shared rooms while the others decided to pitch a tent by the seashore. The accommodation was actually just a 5-minute walk from there.
After settling in in our room, Roland and I decided to already go to the beach where the rest of the group were already swimming. We took some photos first, ordered our food for dinner and then went for a swim.
The water got deep even though we were still near the shoreline. It was also salty but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the water. After all, the beach will always be a favorite travel destination for us.
At around 7 PM, we ate our dinner composed of grilled liempo, sisig, sinigang, buttered fish and pansit. The socials started around 8:30 PM. We had a fun game where we were able to get to know everyone and their interesting stories. We slept at around 12 AM since we will be waking up at 9 AM to go to our next destination. Roland and I slept soundly even though the aircondition and the lights turned off a couple of times due to the weak current of the electricity.
The next day, we had a group photo by the shore before leaving Poctoy White Beach.
Moriones Marker and Sta. Cruz Church
We arrived at the Moriones Marker in Sta. Cruz town plaza at around 10 AM. We took photos again and then walked to the century-old church of Sta. Cruz which is just a street away from the plaza. We took some pictures of the church’s facade and I of course went in to pray since it was also a Sunday.
Roland and I had not eaten breakfast and so when we saw a kwek-kwek vendor, we immediately ordered for both of us and ate quickly.
Overall, it was nice to see Marinduque and what it has to offer.
The beaches may not be perfect (pure, white, powdery sands) but the simplicity of life is its major appeal. I also believe the province has a lot of potential in tourism especially that we saw a few big resorts being built in the Poctoy White Beach area. I really do hope though that the people of Marinduque can maintain the cleanliness of the beaches because it will be sad to see these resources exploited by the influx of tourists.