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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa

Here is the latest news on Bellarocca Resort and Spa-formerly Elephant Island. It is a shame that the resort is not open to the local public for a daily visit or use of their restaurant. I have the current promo rates if you are interested.

Below is the information I received from Mr Paolo Gamalinda, Resort Manager, Marinduque in response to my e-mail inquiry.

Warm greetings from Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa!

Thank you for your interest in Bellarocca Island Resort which
opened last February 14 2009.

We opened our ten private villas, thirty hotel rooms (including
junior suites and 1-bedroom suites), hotel facilities, food and
beverage outlets and select water sports activities and tours.
The other accommodation types such as the four terrazas are
scheduled to open by April 9, 2009 and the nineteen Casas
(1, 2, 3-bedrooms)by July 2009. The spa rooms will be available
by April l5, 2009 and the golf course by July 2009.

We are currently extending up to 40% discount on our room rates
until October 31, 2009 as our special introductory rates.
The discounts are not applicable during peak seasons such as Easter.

Please find the attached information and rate sheets of the resort
for your immediate reference.(I will send you a copy of the promo
rates if you like).

The cheapest hotel room is $252 per night and the most expensive
is $752 at the current discount rate of 40%, plus 12%VAT and
10% service charge excluding meals and other services.

Current airline flying to Marinduque is Zest Air. The flights are
four times a week (Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun) to Marinduque Airport.
Advance purchases of promo airfares online are being offered
as low as PHP3,000.00 net round trip per adult. From the airport,
our guests are picked up by private speed boats and yachts,
depending on the expected number of arrivals.Travel time on the
boat is around 35 to 45 minutes. Transfers can also be made by
land on our private vans, depending on the weather and sea conditions.

The restaurant offers dishes ranging from 500 to 2000 pesos
per dish.Special meals such as vegetarian or kosher dishes
may be requested ahead and can be served in your suite.

Rumor from the locals indicated that the resort is a member of
International Interval(II) and may be available for vacation
exchanges. However, after I talked to II, this rumor is indeed
just a rumor.The resort is not a member of Interval International.
The resort website, www.bellaroccaresorts.com is under construction.

Any comments?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building a Retirement House in Marinduque

Recently, I received several e-mail and telephone inquiries on the cost of building a retirement or vacation house in Marinduque. Before, I could give you a decent estimate, there are several items that I have to know:

1. What kind of a house do you want, that is either it will be constructed with native materials (nipa/bamboo/coco lumber) or with cement, hollow blocks and metal roofing
2. How big will the house be in terms of area, that is square footage or square meters
3. What kind of fixtures you want installed, such as plumbing, doors, windows, garage, balconies, fans, air conditioning, attics etc...

My estimate will consist only of materials and labor plus architect fees. It will not include furniture's, kitchen appliances, landscaping and caretaker expense and fencing of the property(highly recommended). It will not also include the price of the lot.

However, I can give you a decent estimate based on our retirement house built in 1996. If you want to build a similar house, 2700 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, two balconies and a one car garage with cement, metal roofing, air conditioning and marble floors, my estimate will be around 4 million pesos. So based on today's exchange rate of 1 to 48, it will cost you around $84,000. This is cheap if you compared it to the standard 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in US. Here in Fair Oaks, CA the standard house sells for an average of $250,000 to 500,000 depending on location.

Speaking of location, lots with beach front are very expensive if you can find one in Boac. There are a several beach front lots in Buenavista and Torrijos. They are cheaper compared to beach lots in Boac or Gasan. Lots in the interior ( no beach front) are much much cheaper and are in abundance.

If you already owned a beach front lot in Marinduque, here are a few tips you need to know before building.

Because of the salty ocean breeze especially on Habagat season (rainy- southwest winds), it is recommended that you build your house with stainless materials if possible. Double paint the outside and derusts annually. High maintenance expense is what you get for an ocean view and fresh ocean air during the amihan season (gentle Northeast winds) during summer.

So if you have a lot and have decided to build your dream vacation or retirement home, here are the steps to follow:

1. Hire a professional architect ( Research the type of architecture for your dream house). Visit local homes for ideas.
2. The estimate of the architect is normally low, so that your property tax will also be low.
3. Multiply by 2 the architect estimate. That will be your decent estimated cost until the house is finished.
4. Allot about 15 to 25% for furniture's, appliances, landscaping and caretaker expenses and fencing( highly recommenced).
5. If you can not personally supervise the construction, ask a relative or someone you can trust with finances to supervise during construction.

If you are really serious in constructing your dream house, let me know. I have 15 years of experience building three houses and one Conference Hall at the Chateau Du Mer Compound in Marinduque. I will be glad to give you ideas and free advice and tips( no consultation fees). Have Fun and Enjoy the planning, constructing, landscaping and eventually moving to your dream retirement house

Friday, May 15, 2009

Marinduque Vacations

Looking for a romantic get away? Tired of city Living? Looking for an affordable vacation? Marinduque Islands, Philippines awaits you. Chateau Du Mer Beach Resort a private resort is now open to the public. For details visit the website, www.chateaudumer.com or http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Mothers Day is tomorrow. Advertisement for flowers and other mothers day gifts is flooding the TV, radio and in the internet. But who could afford those flowers if you are jobless and only in a retirement pension. I have an idea though to send you a flower from my garden in Boac.( See photo above). This photograph was taken by Gabby Del Rosario, son of Renan and Gilda Del Rosario of Muntinglupa, PI. The Del Rosario family were our guests at Chateau Du Mer in Boac last December, 2008.

Remember motherhood is the hardest and most challenging job in the world. A good mother is not only patient, devoted and loving but also a friend. I hope you have a fun mothers' day. If you are reading this blog, you are one of the many mothers that have touched our lives the last 52 years of our married life. Comments will be appreciated. Dave and Macrine Katague
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