Welcome to Marinduque-My Island Paradise

If this is your first time in my site, welcome! If you have been a follower, my heartfelt thanks to you, also. Help me achieve my dream, that someday, Marinduque will become a world tourist destination not only on Easter Week, but also whole year round. You can do this by telling your friends and relatives about this site. The photo above is Mt Malindig in Torrijos.
Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in this blog . Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Monday, November 17, 2008

Flowers and Fruit Trees in my Garden

1. Mango Fruit starts to ripen on the tree

2. Lanzones Fruits

3. Papaya Tree loaded with ripe and green Fruits

4. Green Mangoes almost touching the Ground

5. Young Guava Fruits

6. Avocados Galore

7. Orchids in a Rainbow of Colors

8. A Purple One( not as dark as my Princess Mikasa variety)

9. An ordinary terrestial orchid

10. Heleconias

11. White and Purple Bougainvillas

12. Bird of Paradise on my Side Yard

In my website www.chateaudumer.com, I described in detail the orchids, bougainvillas, bird of paradise, hibiscus and tropical shrubs that highlighted the 5 acres of landscape property of the Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort and Conference Center in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. Besides the ornamentals, evergreens and blooming shrubs, I also planted mango, papaya, guava, rambutan, avocado , santol, duhat, cashew, jackfruit and lanzones fruit trees. I also planted several varieties of citrus trees, pomelo, kalamansi , native oranges and lemon trees.

When typhoon Reming hit Marinduque Island in 2006, ten coconut trees, two mango trees as well as a dozen papayas were uprooted. I replaced them by the dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties. Today, the dwarf coconuts and fruit trees are doing well under the full time care of our gardener, Edwin Laririt and wife Cecille. The above pictures are some of the photographs I have in my collection. Enjoy the photographs. My mouth is salivating now just looking at the mango, papaya and lanzones fruits. Drop by Chateau Du Mer to enjoy my flower garden and fruit orchard when you visit Marinduque- my island paradise and heaven on earth.

I love Sunsets! How About You?

1. Sunset from Balcony of the Beach House, Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque

2. Sunset, Eagle Beach, Aruba

3. Sunset, San Juan, Puerto Rico

4. Sunset, Hanalei Bay, Kauai

5. Sunset, Kaanapali, Maui

6. Sunset, Kona Village, Big Island, Hawaii

7. Sunset, Marbella, Spain

8. Sunset, Cancun, Mexico

9. Sunset, on Manila Bay, Philippines

10. Sunset, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Over the years, I have seen and photographed several dozens of sunsets in several countries that my wife and I have visited. We have been to Marbella, Spain, Rome, Italy, London,England, Vancouver, B.C., Cancun, Mexico, Aruba, Hawaii( Maui, Kawaii, Big Island), Puerto Rico and most of the US big cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St Louis, Miami, New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and other small cities . But the two most beautiful sunsets that stirs my emotion are the one at Amoingon Bay ( taken at the balcony of our Chateau Du Mer Beach house-top photo) and the one over Manila Bay(# 9 photo). You will probably say, I am partial since I am a Filipino-American, but judge it yourself. Above are ten of my favorite sunset pictures for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! Comments, anyone?

Things I will Always Remember at Chateau Du Mer, Boac

1. The chirping songs and cacophony of sounds of the birds(Mayas)as they fly from tree to tree looking for worms

2. Native fishes and tilapias thriving well on my creek that meanders to the ocean

3. Sunset and coral reefs at low tide seen from the balcony of the beach house

4. A Reflection of an almost full moon as seen from the balcony of the beach house

5. Thousands of fireflies illuminating the firefly tree on a moonless night, just like a Chistmas tree with flickering miniature lights

6. Monitor Lizard ( bayawak) looking for chicken or duck eggs. He looks scary, but actually harmless,unlike the Komodo dragons of Indonesia

7. A native hawk (lawin) diving from the sky for young chicks. This lawin is on a cage to do no harm to your chickens for the moment

8. Coconut rats feasting on young coconuts ( one coconut almost hit me on the head). Watch out for your head, specially on a windy day

9. Blue starfish and corals seen only a few meters from my back yard

10. Bougainvillas and orchids blooming in my front yard ( see picture of orchids on previous posting)

11. A sunset that takes your breathe away ( notice the two swimmers also enjoying the sunset)

12. A papaya tree with ripe fruits ( not yet seen by the fruit bats)

13. Mangoes loaded with fruits almost touching the ground because of its weight

14. Bananas and avocado trees loaded with fruits( no picture of avocados-see in previous posting)

15. The scream of an alley cat on “Heat” at midnight ( photo taken from the web), and last, but not least

16. The crowing of the rooster at 4:00AM everyday morning before dawn, a reliable alarm clock if you want to wake up that early

Please visit my website, www.chateaudumer.com or my blog site, http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com for more pictures!

If you are from Marinduque, do you have things that you will always remember about Marinduque. Please submit this to http://marinduqueonmymind.blogspot.com
Thanking you in advance for sharing and contributing to this literary project

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Night Activities at Chateau Du Mer

One of our Outdoor Christmas Trees

Watching Fireflies

The Bridge at Night-the focal point of the landscaping Design of the Beach House

My Angel Statuary-one of the dozens sculptures at Chateau Du Mer

Fishing, Camping or just Beach walking at Night

The Holiday Season is here! The shopping malls have started their Christmas decorations as well as the holiday lights even though it is still two weeks before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow the "snow birds" are leaving the US to the dry, cool and perfect weather in the island of Marinduque-our island paradise. Among the activities, my wife and I enjoyed are night camping and building camp fires by the seashore, watching fireflies, enjoy the Christmas lights and decor and watching night fishermen from the balcony of the beach house (no picture) as well as just relaxing in our beach house. The nights are so quiet, all you will hear are the sound of the waves and your heart beat. These are moments, we will always remember.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ancient Artifacts and Early History of Marinduque up to 1945

Marinduque Residents and Soldiers during the Philippine-American War, 1900

Battle of Manila- The Philippine-American War :1899-1902

The following is an excerpt of the early history of Marinduque up to 1945 from Wikipedia: For additional details visit the government website: www.marinduque.gov.ph
or www.ulongbeach.com

Legend has it that the island of Marinduque was formed as a consequence of a tragic love affair between two people: Marina and Garduke. Marina's father, a local chieftain, did not approve of this affair and ordered the beheading of Garduke. Before this could be done, the couple sailed out to sea and drowned themselves, forming the island now called Marinduque. Other versions of the legend also claim that the island was named "Malindik", named after Marinduque's highest mountain, Mt. Malindig. When Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Philippines, they found the name hard to pronounce, which led to the renaming of the island as "Marinduc" and later the current "Marinduque" when spelled in its French from (e.g. Antique for Hantik, Cavite for Kawit).

During the Spanish and early American occupations, Marinduque was part of the province of Balayan (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.[2] Marinduque is the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa, where Filipino soldiers under Colonel Maximo Abad, defeated a larger better trained force of Americans.

In 1902, the US-Philippine Commission annexed the islands of Mindoro (now two separate provinces) and Lubang (now part of Occidental Mindoro) to the province.

Four months later, the province became part of the province of Tayabas (now Quezon).

On February 21, 1920, Act 2280 was passed by the Philippine Congress, reestablishing Marinduque as a separate province.

In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Marinduque.

In 1945, landed from the American and Philippine Commonwealth troops attacked from the Japanese Troops liberated to the Battle of Marinduque in the Second World War.

If you like antiquities and archeology you will enjoy this video on ancient artifacts found in Marinduque from marinduquegov.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moriones Festival-World Tourist Attraction

There are several excellent articles in the web discussing the Moriones Festival. This one is a brief summary of the festival written by Zenaida Serrano of Buenavista.

At the end of this article, I will list two photo blogs worth reading. Incidentally, these two blogs are in the top ten blog sites in the Philippines on my reading list.

Moriones Festival, Marinduque, Philippines

One of the most colorful festivals celebrated in the island of Marinduque is the Moriones Festival. 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.

Longinus Legend has it that Longinus pierced the side of the crucified Christ. The blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle converted Longinus to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when Longinus is caught and beheaded.

The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics. The towns of Boac, Gasan, Santa Cruz, Buenavista and Mogpog in the island of Marinduque become one gigantic stage.

The observances form part of the Lenten celebrations of Marinduque. The various towns also hold the unique tradition of the Pabasa or the recitation of Christ's passion in verse. The Via Crucis is also reenacted and flagellants, known as Antipos, inflict suffering upon themselves as a form of atonement. After three o'clock on Good Friday afternoon, the Santo Sepulcro is observed, whereby old women exchange verses based on the Bible as they stand in wake of the dead Christ. Did you know that Morion means mask, which is part of the medieval Roman centurion’s helmet. Moriones are the masked penitents who take part in the reenactment of the legend of Longinus, and Passion of the Christ.
Comment: This pageantry and religious revelry on Easter Week is a must for tourist to see and participate. The whole week of celebration is climaxed with "Street Dancing" (like the New Orleans, Mardi Gras) in Gasan and a colorful Easter Parade in Boac.

I hope you find this video and short summary of the Moriones Festival and Holy Week Celebration informative.

Favorite Blog Sites on Moriones Festival

1. dennisvillegas.blogspot.com/april/2008
2. http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com/moriones festival/may/2006

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Putong or Tubong-Only in Marinduque

There are several articles in the internet about Putong or Tubong. I found this article from the Philippine Inquirer last year. It was written by Gerald Gene R. Querubin dated 8/30/07.

There are some variations of the lyrics, and melodies from town to town. However, it is still a song and dance welcome ceremony to guests and visitors, wishing them good health, good luck and long life. This is one tradition indigenous to the island and add justification to the statement that Marinduquenos are the most hospital people in the Philippines if not in the whole world.

"People in the tiny, heart-shaped island of Marinduque welcome friends and visitors in a unique tradition befitting kings and queens in their own right.

Literally meaning coronation or to crown, the putong (also called tubong) is a song of thanksgiving and, at the same time, a wish and a prayer for a long, blessed life. It has remained one of the popular traditions in this deeply religious province.

The practice has been extended to visitors and guests as a gesture of hospitality. It is, in fact, a prayer for their success, health and prosperity, and has evolved into a song of love, respect, praise and thanksgiving.

“The putong reflects the life of the people, frequently the common Marinduqueños,” said Prof. Rex Asuncion, director for culture and arts of the Marinduque State College.

Folk Music

The putong can be classified as a folk music for it is an expression of folk concerns and often makes use of native folk poetry set to simple melodies, he said.

According to beliefs, the patron saint rejoices at this kind of celebrations and intercedes for the honoree in his wish for long life, happiness and safety from accidents and bad luck. The putong is likewise performed during birthdays and anniversaries, and even when someone passes the board examinations or wins in contests.

Marta Jardeleza, an 80-year-old “mamumutong” or performer from Mogpog town, said she learned the song from a friend when she was 15 years old. She had taught her children how to sing the putong.

Teresa Bunag, 79, said her aunt taught her the song.

In the six towns of the province, the performance is basically similar, except for the melodies and lyrics. All singers wear costumes—the women in kimona and saya, and the men in barong Tagalog—and bring baskets of fresh flowers, palm leaves, and assorted coins.

They dance and sway to the accompaniment of musical instruments, usually guitars and banjos.

The Performance

The ceremony starts with the “mamumutong” or the “manunubong,” who gather in front of the home of the host. The host may either be prepared for the event or taken by surprise.

As they enter the house, they explain their purpose and request for the host’s hospitality. “Narito po kami, Mahal na maybahay. Tinugtog na namin ang instrumentong taglay (We are here, dear host. We are already playing our instruments),” goes the song.

The first stage is known as the “pananayawan.” The verses are sung slowly until everybody is in the receiving room. At this juncture, the honoree is seated on a chair (supposedly the throne) at the center of the room or stage and flanked by two family members, each holding a lighted candle.

“Pag-akyat namin sa mahal mong baitang, may dalawang anghel ang aming nadatnan. Tig-isang kandila ang kanilang tangan, sa tamang umaakyat ay tinatanglaw (As we enter your home, there are two angels waiting for us. They have candles to guide us).”

The song’s tempo picks up and the celebration reaches its climax when the crown is placed on the honoree’s head.

“Nang kami ay dumating sa loob ng Herusalem, ang palma ay sa kamay, korona’y sa ulo. Kahimanawari’y magkapantay ito, sambahi’t igalang nitong buong mundo (When we arrived at Jerusalem, palms in our hands, crowns on heads. Hoping that the world will praise and respect them).”

Flowers and Coins

The honoree is showered with flowers and coins, symbolizing affection and wishes of good luck and prosperity. This is the cue for the host and other guests to throw candies, coins and paper bills to the honoree, as children and adults alike scamper for the bounty. Shouts and laughter fill the air.

It is said that the crown and the coins must be kept for good luck.

“Kahimaniwari’y habaan ng buhay, sa mahal na santong aming pinutungan. Kahimanawari’y siya ay ilagay, mahabang panahong walang karamdaman. Ipag viva natin tuloy ipagdiwang ang mahal na santong pinutungan (We are hoping that the saint that we crowned will have a long life. We are hoping that he would be free from any ailments. Let us celebrate for the saint that we crowned).”

The putong ends with everybody shouting “Mabuhay!” and partaking of food, drinks and stories in a “salo-salo.”
This short video is for your enjoyment. Long Live, Good Health and May God be You, Always!
This a about one minute video of another Putong ceremony in Bario Bangbang in Gasan. Note that the six towns of Marinduque have different lyrics and melody for their Putong ceremony, but still has the same theme, that is welcome, good health and may God bless you in this occasion. It could be your birthday, wedding anniversary or just your first time to visit Marinduque
I hope that the next generations of Filipinos and/or Filipino-Americans will continue this tradition because it is an important part of our Marinduque cultural heritage.
Personal Note: Macrine and I were the organizers of the Christmas Carolers and Mamumutong ( participants of the Putong) Group of the Marinduque Association of the Capital Area(MACA) from 1995 to 2001.
We used the lyrics and melody commonly known in the town of Boac-capital of Marinduque.
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