Another official trip with the Secretary brings this government employee right smack in the middle of the country, to the heart of the Philippines, to the land of the Moriones, which also happens to be the geodetic center of the country - Marinduque.
Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim visited the province of Marinduque during the holy week, to witness the world famous Moriones Festival, see its tourism sites, and consult with the local government officials regarding tourism development in the province.
“Marinduque has very good potential with its caves, hot springs, heritage houses and with its Moriones festival, which can be extended year round. It is accessible by land and sea through the roll on roll off system and by airplane,” Lim said.
Through his meetings with Gov. Carmencita O. Reyes, Rep. Lord Allan Q. Velasco, and the mayors of Marinduque, he was able to see the potential of the province to develop their tourism industry outside the Lenten season.
He requested Velasco and the DOT Region IV to do an inventory of tourism destinations and activities in Marinduque, and available development areas, like the Maniwaya white sand beach, among others, so that these can be matched with prospective investors who are looking for areas to develop.
Domestic and foreign tourists flocked to the province to witness the Battle of the Moriones, a competition of Morions in choreographed movements participated in by contingents from the municipalities.
The Moriones festival is a century-old and week-long Lenten tradition in the province, which highlights penitents in masks and costumes depicting the Roman warriors in search for Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Via Crucis, a re-enactment of the passion and suffering of Christ to Calvary. Male penitents are seen to inflict suffering on themselves by whipping their backs, carrying wooden crosses, or even having themselves crucified.
On the other hand, one of the newer attractions during Easter Sunday is Gasang-Gasang of Gasan town, which celebrates the risen Christ with street dancing and parade in colorful costumes.
Photos # 1, 2, and 5 are by Rommel Natanauan, while the others are by the blogger.