Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Known as the smallest province in the Southern Tagalog region, Marinduque has the shape of a human heart floating on a clear blue sea.
The island province is characterized by undulating hills, picturesque valleys, sheer seaside cliffs, interspersed with patches of flatland on different parts of the island. The soil is fertile but marked in certain spots by large stony areas, making wide continuous farming difficult. Deposits of iron, copper, and lead are found and mined in the province.
During the yearly Lenten season, a myriad of tourists, from the ardent devotee to a mere observer, flock to Marinduque to witness the very popular Moriones Festival. A biblical character in the person of the Roman centurion, Longinus, comes alive as the towns of Boac, Mogpog, and Gasan celebrate Moriones. It is a religious festival, which links the story of Longinus with Christ’s Passion and Death. It is celebrated during the observance of Holy Week, or the week before Easter, which also happens to be in the middle of the Philippine summer.
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 is bounded on the north-northeast by Quezon, south by the island of Romblon, west-southwest by Oriental Mindoro, and west by Batangas. The island province has an aggregate land area of 95,920 hectares, including four major islets and eight minor ones.
Marinduque consists of the municipalities of Boac, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Sta. Cruz, and Torrijos.
The population of the province totals about 217,000, as of the May 1, 2000 National Statistic Survey.
The Marinduqueños speak a unique blend of Tagalog and Visayan dialects, with traces of Bicolano. The working population can read and speak Filipino and English.
Marinduque has two pronounced seasons: dry form December to May, and wet from June to October. The average monthly rainfall is highest in October, and lowest in April.
Romblon is a cluster of twenty islands lying in the Sibuyan Sea that is practically at the center of the Philippine archipelago. It is south of Marinduque, west of Masbate, east of Mindoro, and north of Panay Island. Romblon is also called "Marble Country" and experts says that Romblon marble are equal to Italian marble in quality.
Romblon consists of three main islands, Romblon, Tablas and Sibuyan and 17 smaller ones. The whole province is generally mountainous. Narrow strips of coastal lowland, low hills and plains characterize some of the islands. The little town of Romblon is its undisputes centre, officially called "Romblon on Romblon in Romblon". Fittingly, the motto of the local is "We're rumblin on" and they seems to "rumble on" very happily. The place is one of the prettiest in the Philippines with panoramic views reminiscent of the Meditterrenian islands. Romblon island is the country's main source of marble. Tablas is the largest and longest among the cluster of islands. The interior of the island is mountainous and in places very bare. The mango-shaped island of Sibuyan, second largest of the Romblon Group, consists principally of the Mount Guiting-Guiting massif. Reaching a height of 6725 ft, it is scarely in the alphine class, nevertheless it is considered a very difficult mountain to climb, and was not conquered until 1982.
People, Culture and Arts
The people of Romblon are mostly Visayans whose language is similar to Hiligaynon. However, there are marked differences between the dialects used in each island. Northern and eastern islanders incorporate more Bicolano words while the people in islands farther south speak in a dialect more closely akin to Aklanon Visayan Romblon and the neighboring islands of Mindoro, Panay and Masbate have had a long history of contact. Part of the Visayan population in southern Mindoro and in southwestern Masbate can trace their origin to the islands. The people are mostly fishermen and farmers. Rice, coconut, and abaca are major products of the small farms on the islands. Fishermen harvest the bounty of the surrounding seas. Romblon is famous for its traditional weaving and basketry. Handicrafts are a major home industry in which the women are engaged. The province is noted, especially, for its fine and delicate crochet laces and bedspreads.
Small souvenir eggs and animals, chess sets, nameplates, mortars and pestles and religious icons are a thriving industry. Slabs and blocks of marble are also sent to other regions of the Philippines to be used for construction, monuments and gravestones. Local artisans are also noted for their good woodwork. The town of Romblon still retains vestiges of this once important craft in the adornments of old houses and public buildings. The Cathedral of Saint Joseph features fine woodwork done by local features fine woodwork done by local artisans. The massive doors and the Byzantine-style altars adorn the 18th century fortress church that forms a center point for a series of Spanish fortifications. San Andres and Santiago forts lie on two strategic hills above the town.
Monday, November 24, 2008
MASBATE IS FAMOUS FOR...
Cattle raising is the trademark of the province as well as the major source of livelihood. Rodeo Masbateño, celebrated provincewide every month of April, highlights the Masbate Livestock Week. Featured are various sports activities such as the grand rodeo parade, agro-livestock fair, individual and group competitions in bull riding, steer wristling, carabao race, and other traditional Filipino games.
Located in Kalanay at Aroroy, the Limestone Hills are believed to have been inhabited by the Kalanay people. These early inhabitants of the province practiced jar burials. On-site excavations, in fact, yielded human bones.
The well-known falls located at Tical Island is one of the most beautiful the province has to offer. Its water cascades from 60 feet down to its base, where multi-colored fishes cavort. Catandayagan is accessible within an hour by motorboat from the provincial capital, also called Masbate.
Natural beauty at its most unspoiled is the dominating feature of Aroroy Beach. This well recommended destination is fast becoming a popular attraction among excursionists
This series of caves located in Mandaon at Masbate is the perfect site for the daring and adventurous. Bat-ongan Caves is approximately 10 kilometers from the subterranean river to Mandaon town.
The cave is located in Claveria, within the jurisdiction of Barangay Boca Engaño, with an entrance that is undersea. During high tide, it will take even an unskilled diver only a few seconds to enter the cave; it is neck-deep during low tide. Inside Underwater Cave are will-sealed human caskets carved out of solid wood. Believed to be 500 years old, these caskets still contain human remains. Each casket measures 24 inches in length and 12 inches in width
Matangtubig Spring (Monreal)
A unique spring with three sources. The spring comes out of a rock. Tree and lush vegetation give shade in the area around the spring.
Famous for the rocks which serve as a natural diving board for swimmers. Located 13 kilometers southwest of San Fernando in Ticao Island. Smooth, shiny pebbles of various sizes abound.
Kalanay Falls (Nabangig, Palanas)
Located in Brgy. Nabingig, it is famous for its theatrical structure. A family haven for horseback riding and exotic entertainment by the Barangay folks.
Bat-ongan Caves (Mandaon, Masbate)
Perfect for daring and adventurous visitors. It is approximately 10 kilometers from the subterranean river to Mandaon town.
Sombreno Island (San Pascual)
Hot-shaped island with stretches of white sand beaches.
Cagpating Island (Monreal, Masbate)
Noted for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful pebbles on one side and a deep rocky side that provides a panoramic view of Masbate Island.
Diagan Island, Magcaraget Hamorawan & Daquit-Daquit Island (Dimasalang, Masbate)
The getaway to the exotic Naro Bay. Ideal for Island hopping, scuba diving, wind surfing, and noted for its beautiful beaches.
Located in Burias Island, this enchanting place is ideal for sunbathing and swimming.
Fast becoming an attraction among the excursionists. Its unspoiled natural beauty is the dominating feature.
Mataba-Tinigban to Napayaun Island (Aroroy, Masbate)
A five-kilometer stretch of glittering white sands. At Napayauan Island, the surrounding water is full of marine life. It is ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Cambatang and Cangcayat Beaches (Aroroy, Masbate)
Famous for white sands and crystal-clear waters.
Ki-albay Rive and Beach (Claveria, Masbate)
This beach extends east-southeast from the town proper with an approximate length of one and a half kilometers of sandy and well-polished pebbles ending on Ki-albay River, a place believed to have been inhabited first by people from Albay.
San Isidro (Claveria, Masbate)
Beach located in Brgy. San Isidro extending south to east from the barangay proper with an approximate and aggregate length of four kilometers. Its fine and silvery white sand can easily accommodate over a thousand people. The bottom of the sea is clear and sandy extending some one hundred meters from the shoreline with a gradual depth of 5 to 7 feet during high tide. Extending further from the shoreline are beautiful and colorful coral reefs which are inhabited by a wide variety of fishes. The beach is lined with coconut trees.
Puting Island (Claveria, Masbate)
Famous for its wide and white sands polanged with crystal clear water.
Alta Vista Falls (San Fernando, Ticao Island)
One of the most unique falls in the country. It is a zigzag cascade from 45 feet to its base where multi-colored fishes cavort.
Famous for swimming and sunbathing. Perfect for its serenity, the undisturbed crystal-clear water, and the friendly people of the barangay.
The islands of formed out of volcanic rocks over one hundred million years before man made his appearance in the tropical regions of the earth. Humans then made tools of stone, bone, and wood. Some of these very early stone stools and bones have been found in Masbate.
Village settling grew from the development of farming, pottery flourished, stone tools were improved, and the early Masbate farmers made axes of polished stones. Many stones axes of this kind have been found in Masbate. They are the remains of the first farmers who used the axes to cut down trees. The early farmers also made beautiful ornaments of shells. They buried their dead in burial caves and jars. Two large caves in Masbate, the Bat-ongan Cave in Mandaon and the Kalanay Cave in Aroroy, are known worldwide as burial caves.
About four hundred years BC, iron and glass as well as woven cloth appeared in Masbate. The stone tools gradually disappeared; agriculture improved. Beautiful decorated potteries were produced. Unearthed fragments of porcelain tell the brisk trade that existed with China.
The island of Masbate lies exactly at the center of the Philippine archipelago between latitudes 11o43’ north and 123o09’ east and 124o5’ east. It is bounded on the north by Vurias and Ticao Pass, east by San Bernardino Strait, south by the Visayan Sea, and west by the Sibuyan Sea. Relative to mainland Bicol, the province faces the southwestern coasts of Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon.
The general surface configuration of the province ranges from slightly undulating to rolling and from hilly to mountainous. In each island, the rugged topography is concentrated in the northeastern portion and gradually recedes to blunt hills and rolling areas in the south, southeast, and southwest.
Masbate is the capital town. The province is composed of 21 municipalities which are politically subdivided into three districts: First District – San Pascual, Claveria, Montreal, San Jacnto, San Fernando, and Batua; Second District – Masbate, Mobo, Milagros, Aroroy, Baleno, Balud, and Mandaon; Third District – Uson, Dimasalang, Palanas, Cataingan, Pio V. Corpuz, Esperanza, Placer, and Cawayan.
Burias and Ticao Island and the western and central parts of mainland Masbate are covered by a climate characterized by no very pronounced maximum rain period, with a short dry season. The southeastern parts have rainfall more or less evenly distributed throughout the year. Masbate has the lowest average annual rainfall distribution in Bicol.
The May 2000 Census of Population shows that Masbate had reached 707,668 inhabitants.
The people speak predominantly Visayan with a unique mixture of Tagalog and some shades of Ilonggo. In Burias island, they speak Bicol similarly as the people of Camarines Sur, due to the island’s close proximity to the Bicol mainland. The people generally speak fluent English and Pilipino.
Posted by ladyarch at 6:26 AM 1 comments
Labels: Beach, Falls, Hidden Beauty, Limestone, Masbate, Masbateño, Philippines, Rodeo, Ticao Island