Marinduque is an island province in the Philippines located in Southwestern Tagalog Region or Mimaropa, formerly designated as Region IV-B. Its capital is the municipality of Boac. Marinduque lies between Tayabas Bay to the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is west of the Bondoc Peninsula of Quezon province; east of Mindoro Island; and north of the island province of Romblon. Some parts of the Verde Island Passage, the center of the center of world's marine biodiversity and a protected marine area, are also within Marinduque's provincial waters.
The province of Marinduque was ranked number 1 by the Philippine National Police and Philippine Security Forces as the 2013 Most Peaceful Province of the country due to its low crime rate statistics alternately ranking with the province of Batanes yearly. Furthermore, for almost 200 years, the province is home to one of the oldest religious festivals of the country, the Moriones celebrated annually every Holy Week.
The most accepted theory of the etymology of the province's name is a Hispanized corruption of either malindig or malindug, which means "stand tall" or "elegant", in reference to a potentially active volcano in the southern section of the island, the Mount Malindig.
During the Spanish and early American occupations, Marinduque was part of Balayan Province (now Batangas) in the 16th century, Mindoro in the 17th century, and had a brief period as an independent province in 1901, when the Americans arrived.
During the Philippine-American War, Marinduque was the first island to have American concentration camps. Marinduque is the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa, where 250 Filipino soldiers under Colonel Maximo Abad, defeated a smaller force of 54 American Infantrymen. It is one of the few battles during the pacification of the Philippines where the tenacity and bravery of the Filipinos prevailed over the well-armed Americans. Col. Abad after capturing the Americans later surrendered on April 15, 1901 upon orders from Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and due to the capture of Gov. Martin Lardizabal and two other officials of the revolutionary who were held hostage by the Americans in Fort Santiago.:535
Four months later, the province became part of the province of Tayabas (now Quezon).
In 1945, combined American and Filipino troops liberated the province from the Japanese forces. Two government agencies were stationed in the province during the American period, the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the Philippine Constabulary. The general headquarters of the PCA was active from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1945 to 1946 while the PC was active from 1945 to 1946.
Archaeology in the Philippines began in Marinduque. Prior to 1900, only one important archaeological investigation had been carried out in the country: the Antoine-Alfred Marche’s exploration of Marinduque from April to July 1881. According to anthropologist Henry Otley Beyer, while many other accidental discoveries and finds have been recorded from time to time and a few burial caves and sites had been casually explored by European and local scientists, no systematic work had been done anywhere else prior to these explorations. After Marche, the next important archaeological work was undertaken by Dr. Carl Gunthe in the Visayas Island Group in 1922.
An abundant yield of Chinese urns, vases, gold ornaments, skulls and other ornaments of pre-colonial origin was what Marche finds represented. He brought back to France the Marinduque artifacts he uncovered in 40 crates. Part of it now is said to be housed at the Musée de l'Homme in France. The finds also included a wooden image of the Marinduque anito called "Pastores" by the natives.
One of these artifacts also found its way into the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (Catalogue No. A127996-0, Department of Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution). These fragile jarlets traveled from China to the pre-colonial Philippines. Buried in a cave in Marinduque for centuries, excavated in the late 19th century, brought to Paris and eventually one ended up at the Smithsonian Institution museum.
Part of Marinduque's history lies at the Marinduque Museum in Poblacion at Boac and in museums abroad. It will take some time to analyze these artifacts to piece together its pre-colonial past.
Marinduque is considered as the geographical center of the Philippine archipelago by the Luzon Datum of 1911, the mother of all Philippine geodetic surveys. The province is a "heart-shaped" island with a total land area of 952.58 square kilometres (367.79 sq mi), situated between Tayabas Bay in the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is separated from the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon by the Mompong Pass. West of Marinduque is Tablas Strait, which separates it from Mindoro Island. Some of the smaller islands to the northeast are Polo Island, Maniwaya Island, and Mompong Island. Southwest portion includes the Tres Reyes Islands and Elephant Island.
The highest peak in Marinduque is Mount Malindig (formerly called Mt. Marlanga), a potentially active stratovolcano with an elevation of 1,157 metres (3,796 ft) above sea level, located at the southern tip of the island. Various cave systems occupy the province, which include the grand Bathala Cave; the newly discovered San Isidro Cave with its complex subterranean river; and Talao Caves with its 12 series of caves overlooking the western part of the island.
Marinduque has a Type III climate, having rainfall more or less evenly distributed throughout the year with no clear boundary between dry and wet seasons. The annual mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures were calculated at 27.0 °C (80.6 °F), 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) and 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) respectively. Humidity average is 78% year-round with an average annual rainfall totaling 2,034.6 mm (80.1 inches).
BoacThe capital of the province. Although the second most populous after Santa Cruz, Boac remains the center of industry, culture, economy and education. Most of government and private offices are in the municipality of Boac. It also borders all the five municipalities. Mogpog to the North, Santa Cruz to the Northeast, Torrijos to the East, Buenavista to the South and Gasan to the Southwest. Boac is named after the Tagalog word, biak, which means divided, due to the Boac River dividing the town in the geographic north and south.GasanThe Cultural Nerve Center of the province. Dubbed as one of the cleanest and greenest municipalities in the Philippines, Gasan's land area covers a forest reserve in the eastern part. It is also the gateway to the island of Mindoro. Handicrafts and the famous Kalutang boasts from the town of Gasan. It was named after gasang-gasang, a local term for corals found in the municipality.BuenavistaThe smallest of the six municipalities. It was once part of the municipality of Gasan known as Sabang. It was named such because of the "good view" of the Tablas Strait and offshore islands.TorrijosNamed after three purported origins; 1) from Gen. Torrijos, 2) from torrillos, referring to the cows which pastured in its vast plains, and 3) from torre y hijos, referring to the watchtower men guarding the parish. Torrijos is deemed to be the summer Capital of the Province and known for locally-grown strawberries.Santa CruzThe largest of all the six municipalities both in land area and population. It is considered as a secondary municipality after Boac (since it is the capital). Together with Boac, it is also a first-class municipality with established industries and commercial routines.MogpogThe Primary Gateway of the Province through the Balanacan Port. It is the original home of the Moriones Lenten Rites and Kangga Festiva. Mogpog was named after the Tagalog word, mag-aapog or kiln makers abundant in the municipality.
The population of Marinduque in the 2015 census was 234,521 people, with a density of 250 inhabitants per square kilometre or 650 inhabitants per square mile, hence, it is the most densely populated province in the Mimaropa Region.
Marinduque is resided by various religious groups, with Catholics belonging to the Latin Rite predominantly making up the greatest number with 70%. The Iglesia Filipina Independiente has 25% of the population and the rest belongs to the different denominations such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Iglesia ni Cristo, and various Mainline Protestant denominations which include Assemblies of God, Baptists, JIL, Methodists, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), and the non-denominational Evangelical churches also known as Born-Again Christians. Muslims, Anitists, animists, and atheists are also present in the province.
The version of Tagalog spoken in Marinduque, known as the Marinduque Tagalog, has been described as "the root from which modern national forms of speech have sprung," where remnants of archaic Tagalog could be found, spoken in a lilting manner by its inhabitants. If this linguistic theory is accurate, Marinduque's Tagalog has contributed significantly to the development of the official Philippine national language.
To this day, Marinduqueños speak an old variation of the Tagalog language that is very close to the way Tagalog was spoken before the Spanish colonization. According to language experts, the Tagalog dialects of Marinduque are the most divergent, especially the Eastern Marinduque dialect, perhaps due to the relative isolation from the Tagalogs of Luzon and also perhaps due to the influence of the Visayan and Bikol migrants.
Marinduque is an agricultural province, primarily growing rice and coconuts. Handicrafts from Marinduque are also exported to dıfferent parts of the world, and fishing is another important part of the economy. Mining was once an important player in the economy until a mining accident (the Marcopper Mining Disaster) occurred, bringing the industry to a standstill on the island and causing enormous damage to the inhabitants. The provincial government has just recently sued Marcopper's parent company, Placer Dome, for $100 million in damages. Placer Dome was purchased in 2006 by Barrick Gold, who has now been joined in the lawsuit.
A significant role in Marinduque's economy is also played by tourism, especially during the Lenten season. While this is not one of the larger parts of the island's economy, it has shown great growth. Recently, some residents are now engaged in butterfly farming. Butterflies are raised for export to countries in both Europe and the Americas. Locally, live butterflies are released in celebration on different occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and some corporate events.
The Moriones Festival is an annual festival, locally known as "Moryonan", celebrated in Marinduque from March to April. In Santa Cruz, Gasan, Boac, and Mogpog, a parade of people dressed as "Moryons" can be seen on the main road connecting the towns of the island. Boac and Santa Cruz, the biggest towns in the province, shows a reenactment in the evening of the actual event when Longinus, a blind soldier, punctures Jesus with his spear and blood droplets from the wound restores Longinus'sight.
Marinduque is home to the kalutang, a musical instrument made of two pieces of wood that produce different note ranges depending on its size. A band of 10 to 12 can create music with this instrument. In 2011, the kalutang instrument was cited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the intangible cultural heritage of the Philippines under the traditional craftsmanship category that the government may nominate in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
Currently, Marinduque is served by direct Cebu Pacific flights to-and-from Manila and Marinduque Airport which is located in Masiga, roughly between Gasan and Boac. The province is also served by a seaport in Balanacan transporting cargo and passengers to and from Lucena in Quezon province. There is also a daily boat trip from General Luna in Quezon province to Santa Cruz and vice versa which stops at Maniwaya Island to drop off cargo and passengers.