Saturday, April 3, 2010

Maundy Thursday Visita Iglesia at Marinduque

This trip with Jojo started when we left Manila on Wednesday night en-route to Lucena where we are to board a ship that will take us to the "heart of the Philippines", a term they used for the province due to its proximity in the country. For this trip, Jojo decided to bring his car instead of joining a tour group or taking public transportation so we can have control of our time (and avoid the tourist flocks). The car (including us of course) boarded M/V Lolo Uweng of Landayan (operated by Boac Ferries) from the Dalahican Port in Lucena, Quezon around 9:15PM and we had to wait to around 11:30PM for us to sail to Cawit port in Marinduque. We paid around PHP2100 to take the across the sea to Marinduque, and supposedly the first 2 passengers were "free" from paying the fare.  There is also a separate terminal fee of PHP25 per passenger.

We went up to the deck where the regular passengers are. There was TV to keep the passengers entertained and a small store but we decided to go back to the car instead and take a rest since it was already late at night (and also the place was crowded).

4 hours later, we arrived at the port of Cawit. As with the usual "custom and tradition", everyone is rushing to get out even before the ship gets to dock. Sigh!

Jojo drove (albeit sleepy), to what we believe is the national road. We only got bits of information from the place we will be staying on how to go the Poblacion of Boac and we were informed there were not much roads and highways in the island anyway so we won't get lost. Following the signs going to Boac, the capital municipality of Marinduque province and armed with maps with not much details found on the internet, we reached the place where we will be staying around 30 minutes later. We stayed at Happy Bunny's Kitchenette and Lodging House, nicely located near where all the things are going and the usual "civilization" can be found (i.e. grocery, banks, restaurant and eateries). This is a laid-back provincial island after all and we may have a need for these in case.

The rate we paid was PHP1500 per night for 2 persons, no ensuite bathroom (common sharing only) but since it was super peak season at that time in the area, it's already okay. Other alternatives were booked at the time and we only need a place to rest for the night as we are to be out and exploring the whole day anyway.

Slept as soon as we arrived for less than 3 hours then we found ourselves wandering the streets looking for something to eat. We had breakfast that morning at Café Ma'Mita, at The Boac Hotel.

The place is rather cute and nostalgic. There were memorabilia of the past all over the place. Records, old magazine pages and advertisement were on display to the amusement of the diners.

I had the usual Bangusilog. Fried bangus fish with sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (fried egg).

On foot after breakfast, we paid a visit to Boac Cathedral. A religious tradition of Roman Catholic church-goers in the Philippines is to do Visita Iglesia where one visits 7 churches in during Holy Week (usually done during Maundy Thursday). We plan to do this, if things goes our way, in the provincial island. Boac Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception), was built in 1782.

monument on top of the church

old church bell at the ground of the church yard

inside the church

inside the church

historical marker of the church

Walking around and seeing hoards of people walking towards something, we followed and ended at the covered court where the assembly of the moriones are. Morions or moronies are soldiers during 16rh or 17th centuries and the province is well-known in the country to hold Moriones Festival during Holy Week depicting the Roman soldiers in the bible and this is also one of the things we can here for.

me with one of the moriones

other morions

me with a huge head mask of a moriones

Nothing much to do after so we proceed with going around the city to try and do the Visita Iglesia. Driving farther we reached the Monastery of St. Claire of Assisi, still in Boac town.

inside the church

monument of St. Claire

We continue to drive around the island and approaching Sta. Cruz, we encountered queer street signs like these which are not very helpful at all.

Reaching Sta. Cruz, we went to the Holy Cross Parish Church. The old church was built in 1714.

the belfry

inside the church

Outside the church there were images of saints in decorate carriage ready for a parade.

At this time, we were getting hungry and decided to start looking out for lunch. We decided to have it at Poctoy White Beach but on the way, we spotted a nice place to take picture so we stopped.

kids playing

We reached Poctoy White Beach by lunch hour. Entrance fee was PHP10.

Went straight to the point and looked out for a place to eat where we can sit down. We were lead to a store that sells seafood and chose a big bangus for grilling. Together with rice, sauce and a big bottle of softdrink, we were full minutes later (paid around PHP200 only for everything).

Poctoy White Beach is a nice place. A kilometer long white sand beach with a background of Mount Malindig makes the place very picturesque. Quite a few people were here as it was a very hot summer day.

We then went ahead with our Visita Iglesia and reached St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Torrijos.

inside the church

Moving along, we then saw another area where it could have been nice to take pictures so we stopped over again.

Continuing the journey, our next stop was in the Church of the Holy Child in the town of Buenavista.

inside the church

Later on, we St. Joseph Parish in Gasan.

inside the church

façade of the church

Nearby still in the town of Gasan, there were "moriones higantes".

Moriones higantes are big images of the moriones (hence the term higantes, which literally means in local language as giant). They are also set out on a parade during the festival in this town.

We paused and rested for a while after this in the lodge (as we already had literally circled around the island the whole day) and then proceed again with our last church, the San Isidro de Labrador Parish located in Mogpog.

outside façade of the church

inside the church

That night, we had dinner just 5-minutes walk from the lodge in a place simply called as Café. The following are the items I had as I am having abstinence from meat the whole week:


tuna sandwich

vegetarian pizza

This Holy Thursday has been a very full and tiring day for us, covering a lot of things despite lack of sleep and long travel. We rested early that night as we prepared for a big day coming next where all the festivities are.

No comments: