Have a visit to St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish
Due to the Spaniards colonization in the country in the early 15th century, they greatly influenced the Filipinos customs and tradition. It’s really uncommon to see colonial churches all over the Philippines.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish is a small church in Torrijos and one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. According to my father, the church was already there by the time he was born on the year of 1960, he can say that it’s very old and undergone many renovations. The church was at first built of woods and then with the help of the townspeople (mostly seamen), it was then became a stoned church. I do believe that this church has undergone a lot of changes since based on the reading I found regarding the town’s history; the town was built in the year of 1880. I found the church very still everytime we passed by it... not scary but there's something about that church, I just can't explain.
One of the Catholic Traditions practiced by the Catholics in the Philippines is that when we visit a church new to us, we believe that anything we pray for, it will be granted. Well, I don’t know if it happens to all the people who do this but for me, many times, I can say my prayers come true. Sometimes, there are intentions that can’t be given but I believe still all of it are being heard, as they say, God answers in 3 ways- Yes, No and wait. Whatever our petitions are, He knows what’s best for us.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Shrine of the Battle of “Pulang Lupa” (Red Soil)
September 11, 1900, in the terrains of the “Pulang Mountain” a battle was held between the Filipinos and Americans. Through the leadership of Captain Maximo Abad, the Filipinos triumphantly won the battle after 2 days.
In commemoration of the bloody battle between the 2 forces (Filipinos and Americans) more than a century ago, an obelisk of marble tiles stands at the peak of the “Pulang” Mountain. A mural can be found in the mountainside which is made up of 60 concrete blocks joined together to show the bloody battle. This place was then officially declared to be a historical landmark on September 2, 1991.
After the 2 hours of climbing the mountain, at last we arrived at the peak and we found the gate to enter the shrine. The gate has 2 pillars that are being guarded by 2 big statues of a Morion’s face. The gate is rusty and old...like we were about to enter a place of horror. We went downstairs and from there you can see the mountainside, the sparkling body of water of the Philippine Sea, the borderline of Torrijos/ Poctoy with its nearby islands too.
The view’s really great from the top and gives a very relaxing feeling-like I was revitalized! Aside from having seen one of the historical places of the country, this place will give you a peace of mind. The lush nature, the stillness, the cool breeze, the ocean surrounding the mountain that sparkles like stars, the flock of birds flying in the blue skies… how rejuvenating it is. It’s very nice to be in the hands of the nature every once in a while.
We enjoyed taking pictures everywhere and in every angle since we’re the only people up there. I really cherished that moment and very grateful to have this opportunity to have been in this place.
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
Hiking to the mountains of "Pulang Lupa"(red soil)
The mountains of “Pulang Lupa” were known for its historical bloody battle of the Filipino-American soldiers. According to the history, Colonel Maximo Abad led some Filipino guerillas to fight against the American Soldier Captain Devereux Shields with his men. Due to Abad’s keen tactics in leading the Filipino guerillas and their mastery of the terrains, they were able to ambush the Americans and victory was achieved by the Filipinos.
I was so curious when my dad mentioned about this “pulang lupa”; in my mind I really thought this land was literally red in color and yes, it was red but not entirely red. The fallen leaves we passed along also looked orange red in color… which reminded me of my South Korea trip last autumn. My cousin and I also observed that the trees in Marinduque have greener leaves than to what we usually see. This was also my first time to see a few dews exposed on the grasses.
We started hiking at 6am and were able to arrive at the mountain peak after 2 hrs! It would be better to start the hike before the sunrise, but since summer just got started, sun rises earlier than the usual at around 445-515am. We woke up at 5am but since we waited for our aunt so we can drop by her to one of our relatives… we ended up hiking at 6am. At that time, the sun was already shining brightly with its clear skies.
Going up is a bit difficult but when you get to the top, the view’s awesome!!!! You can really see the other side of the Marinduque Island. The view from above is fantastic! From the top, we were able to see the borders of Poctoy, our town- Torrijos as well as the nearby islands.
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
Marinduque is popular of its annual Moriones Festival being celebrated during the Lenten Season. Moriones Festival is locally called “Moryonan” where people wear masks and costumes roam the streets and re-enacts the story of Saint Longinus (a blind Roman soldier whose eyesight was restored when Jesus’s blood dropped on his wounded eye then became a believer. It’s a 7 days festival of colorful Roman costumes and painted masks (I strongly believe they have only 1 facial expression-angry!).
Moriones came from the word Morion which pertains to the medieval Roman armor covering the face. People march with these colorful costumes and masks during the Holy Week. It’s their expression to repent during this season. Each Municipality has its own tradition of celebrating the Moriones Festival but bigger celebrations occur in the towns of Boac, Santa Cruz and Gasan. Also, a contest is being held in 1 of the towns in search of the Best Morion Costume and everybody's welcome to join. Usually, men are more visible to participate in the Moriones Festival.
Since fashion changes every now and then, the Morions’ costumes also tend to blend with the fashion industry. One of the Morions caught my attention while waiting for the procession to start. He wore this costume that had a touch of what looked like one of the “Transformers” (the movie) robots. Then we found out that the man in this costume was my dad’s former classmate and one of the former governors of Marinduque. We got to be introduced and had a chit chat with this guy. He also mentioned that on Good Friday he’ll be joining the Best Morion costume contest which will be held in the nearby town, Sta. Cruz (we just didn’t know if he won the said contest).
Another unusual thing about this tradition is that, I always got surprised whenever I heard some shouting along the street only to find out that a bunch of Morions were re-enacting the Sorrowful Mystery... looking for Jesus Christ.
I also uploaded an old photo of the Moriones Festival which I got from my late grandfather's photo collections. I believe this photo was taken 50 years ago. You can clearly see the progression of the Morions' costumes from now but the masks remain the same; still with angry facial expressions.
- Arts and Culture
Kayak or sing with the Videoke or just have beer
Aside from swimming and rolling over the flesh sand (I really believe it's flesh) of Poctoy Beach, another fun thing to do here is to kayak!!!
The rent for Kevlar boat with the life vests and paddles costs 150php for 1 hour. There are many colorful Kevlar boats to choose from. It's located at a corner part of the resort. Also a karaoke’s for rent and a mini bar is found on the left side (facing the beach). What’s more breathtaking is kayaking while having a backdrop image of Mt. Marinlig (tallest mountain in Marinduque)!
- Sailing and Boating
Poctoy (white) beach
Poctoy Beach Resort is found in the town of Torrijos and also popular to its nearby town- Sta. Cruz.
They usually call Poctoy beach as the white beach so I expected that the sand’s literally white but got a bit disappointed (just a little.. really)... because the sand’s color was really flesh. But since the people call it as the white beach so I must respect that… so I just have to go with the flow.
Entrance fees are as follows: 30Php- adult, 20- students
Use of cottage costs 200Php for unlimited time. There are various canteens and stores lined behind the cottages. The foods are also affordable too but it would be more practical to bring your own snacks or packed foods. Halo-Halo (“Mix-Mix”) is also a must try! There’s a Halo-halo store that you can find here and I believe that it only costs around 35-45php.
A small souvenir store is also found here and great souvenir stuffs to choose from like shirts, keychains, ref magnets, can openers, delicacies, etc. And for some instance that you ran out off clothes to wear after swimming, summer attires are also for sale here. You can also ask for a bargain and I found some souvenir items cheaper than in other stores though they have limited stocks available. I bought a souvenir magnet of a Morion which was supposed to be 25Php each but I was able to buy it for 20Php.
You just have to watch out though the seaweeds and sea urchins which are ocmmonly found near the shore. Also, if you aren't a swimmer, don't go too much farther from the shore since the water deepens gradually and big waves might carry you away. But if anything happens, but I hope there isn't, there's always a lifeguard that watches over.
A different Luneta Park
I thought that Luneta Park is found only in Metro Manila but I got surprised to find out that another park in the province of Marinduque shares the same name but the 2 parks are really incomparable from each other. Unlike the historical landmark of the City of Manila, the Luneta Park in the small town of Torrijos is situated along the bay.
Staying in the park’s really relaxing due to its bright blue skies, waves hitting the rocks, flocks of birds flying around, blue bay water, great landscapes… this place will really give you a peace of mind. Not only that, there are mermaid statues in the shore that’s very unique too! When you get into the middle of the park, you’ll see stairs going down the shore that you’ll be able to take a closer picture of the statues. There are pavilions in the park where you can get your family to have a picnic together. “Sari-Sari” (mini) stores are situated in the right side of the park (facing the shore) that you’ll never get hungry or thirsty. Rest rooms are found in the bigger pavilion, near the stairs going down the shore. At the right side facing the shore, you’ll find a beautiful landscape of the park with an artificial parrot and big tortoise waiting to be noticed. Infront of the landscape is a fountain with a statue of a mermaid too holding a jar.
Overlooking the bay, on the left side- you’ll see the popular white beach which is also called “Poctoy Beach’ while on the right side- the backdrop image of Mt. Marinlig hailed as the tallest mountain in Marinduque.
Soak up nature
One can trek up Mt. Malindig, 1157 meters above sea level.
The Malbog Hot Springs (sulfuric) is also a destination.
For the more conventional traveller, there is Poctoy Beach in Torrijos (northwest part of the island).
- Family Travel
Tres Reyes Island (3 Islands)
If you want to go to Tres Reyes Island named as Gaspar, Melchor and Baltazar, just ask your hotel or a fisherman to bring you to Tres Reyes island. We drived by boat about 30-40 mins. to reach the Gaspar island. First, we are thinking that the island have sand beach but it's not it was a a coral beach. We liked our trip to Gaspar island because is a coral beach with clear blue-green water, quite,not so much tourist that time only me and my husband are the tourist and its good for snorkeling. By the way, one of the picture, you will see that my husband is looking for a beautiful and unique coral that he can bring to Germany.
- Plenty of choices
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