Marinduque is the smallest of the Southern Tagalog provinces. The heart-shaped island of Marinduque rests on the Sibuyan Sea and is located south of Manila between the Bondoc Peninsula at the southeastern portion of Luzon and Mindoro Island. It has six municipalities with Boac as the capital and the seat of business and commerce. Mogpog and Gasan are cultural centers. Marinduque is known for its Moriones Festival. It is a unique and animated Lenten tradition featuring masked men called "morions", dressed in colorful costumes to the likeness of Roman soldiers and parading down the street under the heat of the summer sun. This week-long observance starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. Marinduque has two pronounced seasons, dry from December to May, and wet from June to October. Its average monthly rainfall is highest in October and lowest in April.

The first inhabitants of the island of Marinduque were the Malays and Mangyans. They were believed to be under the able and firm leadership of the Bonbon settlement in Batangas which was founded by the Bornean datus Dumagsil and Balkasusa. Legend has it that the original name was Malandik. When the Spaniards came, they found it hard to pronounce Malandik so the called the island Marinduc. By common usage, Marinduc became Marinduque.

Despite a tendency among Philippine island inhabitants towards insular individualism, the people of Marinduque did not develop their own dialect. Tagalog, the mother tongue of its neighboring provinces to the north is spoken by 99% of its inhabitants. Only 45% can speak English and 3% can speak Spanish.

Marinduque is agricultural, having no well-organized manufacturing or processing of island products. Palay is the major product of Marinduque’s subsistence agriculture. The limited arable land and the prevalence of hills and mountains in the province limit extensive production of this staple crop. Coconut is a top revenue earner. This is a province bestowed with vast fishing grounds. It also has substantial mineral deposits, such as gold, silver and copper.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Government of Philippines.


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