One of my most toughest yet memorable summer vacation was the Summer of 2002 , one of the longest Holy Week vacation I ever had where I explored Marinduque province in Luzon with my friends at work.
There are four reasons why the trip was memorable:
- I trekked the Bathala Cave wearing a girly sandals. It’s not a good idea to walk barefooted as the rocks are sharp and the sandals was a bit slippery for the climb up and down and walk around the cave.
- We were stranded on a virgin island for hours and we had to walk in the middle of Tayabas Bay to reach our “rescuer”. It was already dusk and we were not prepared, we ran out of fire, we had no food or water, and cellphones don’t have any signal in the area.
- We explored the entire Marinduque province in five days and experienced the wonderful Marinduqenan hospitality the wonderful virgin white beaches, marvelous steep caves, Moriones festival, awesome waterfalls and a 2 peso bananaque. Still wearing my girly sandals.
- It was a needed break from being a first time mom. My daughter was almost only three months old when I left for this vacation and I was experiencing the worst post partum syndrome ever. I was so depressed and I feel I was the ugliest person in the world. Thanks to my awesome friends from work (who are all Godfathers of my daughter), they invited me to a five day vacation all expense paid with allowance courtesy of our generous sponsors. I couldn’t say no, I needed the break badly or I’ll turn nuts. I know it was too early to leave her but my family knew I needed it that bad. Even though my heart was breaking from leaving my very young daughter who was still breast feeding, it was the best decision I did at that time, to take a break.
We went to Marinduque on a Holy Week and it’s the perfect destination to visit because it’s a one stop destination for anyone who would like to go spiritual/ religious , nature tripping and hiking or just the usual fun at the beach.
For the religious/spiritual journey they have the Moriones Festival every Holy week
This is a week-long celebration that starts on a Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted. Longinus was one of the Roman soldiers during Jesus Christ cruxificion, if I remember it right he was the one who poked Jesus side to check if he is still alive.
Morion means “mask” or “visor,” a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones, on the other hand, refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. This week-long celebration starts on Holy Monday and culminates on Easter Sunday when the story of Longinus is reenacted in pantomime. This is a folk-religious festival that re-enacts the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye.
Nature tripping and trekking at the Bathala Cave
The Caves of Bathala are eight interconnected caves namely the Church Cave, Secret Cave, Python Cave, Cemetrey Cave, Lihim Cave, Underground Cave, River Cave and Kay Mendez Cave. It is located in a 19 hectares of land and is run by the locals. If you like to do climbing enjoy the views of different rock formations, stalagmites and stalctites this is the perfect place. The small karts contains more caves that are unnamed and unexplored. The biggest cave is called Kuweba ng Simbahan (Cave of the Church), as it was used for worship. It was believed to be the home of Amang Bathala, the Supreme God of the Tagalogs, the indigenous inhabitants of the Philippines. The cave is big enough for 100 people.
Virgin White Beaches
When we visited the place there were no resort available just huts around the beach area made by the residents themselves. The sand was white but not as pure as Boracay. The water is very clear and not commercialized yet. It was fun to see the fishermen at nighttime too.
There were talks about developing the area into a top tourist destination. It’s been 7 years since I’ve been there I don’t know if the development pushed through since there were lots of natural calamities that hit the province after our trip. I heard until now they haven’t recovered. The Marcopper mining was also popular in the area before, but because of some chemical poisoning it was closed.
I went home invigorated and the post partum was gone, I am energized and ready to take any challenge of motherhood up to now. I am a firm believer of time-outs and time-alone. It’s not bad to take a time for yourself when you feel you are about to break down. It will not only be good for you but to your child and your family too.
(Note: Pics are all scanned badly scanned tho scanner not working right, digi-cams are not so popular 7 years ago.)