Marinduque (/ˌmærənˈdk/; Tagalog pronunciation: [maɾinˈduke]), officially the Province of Marinduque, is an island province in the Philippines located in Southwestern Tagalog Region or Mimaropa, formerly designated as Region IV-B. Its capital is the municipality of Boac. Marinduque lies between Tayabas Bay to the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is west of the Bondoc Peninsula of Quezon province; east of Mindoro Island; and north of the island province of Romblon. Some parts of the Verde Island Passage, the center of the center of world's marine biodiversity and a protected marine area, are also within Marinduque's provincial waters.

Province of Marinduque
(From top, left to right:)
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°24′N 121°58′E
FoundedMay 1, 1901
Annexation to TayabasNovember 10, 1902
ReestablishedFebruary 21, 1920
and largest municipality
  GovernorPresbitero J. Velasco Jr. (PDP–Laban)
  Vice GovernorAdeline Marciano-Angeles (PDP–Laban)
  LegislatureMarinduque Provincial Board
  Total952.58 km2 (367.79 sq mi)
  Rank76th out of 81
Highest elevation
(Mount Malindig)
1,157 m (3,796 ft)
 (2020 census)[2]
  Rank69th out of 81
  Density250/km2 (650/sq mi)
   Rank37th out of 81
Demonym(s)Marindukanon, Marinduqueño/a
  Independent cities0
  Component cities0
  DistrictsLegislative district of Marinduque
Time zoneUTC+8 (PHT)
ZIP code
IDD:area code+63(0)42
ISO 3166 codePH-MAD
Spoken languages

The province of Marinduque was ranked number 1 by the Philippine National Police and Philippine Security Forces as the 2013 Most Peaceful Province of the country due to its low crime rate statistics alternately ranking with the province of Batanes yearly. Furthermore, for almost 200 years, the province is home to one of the oldest religious festivals of the country, the Moriones celebrated annually every Holy Week.


The most accepted theory of the etymology of the province's name is a Hispanized corruption of either malindig or malindug, which means "stand tall" or "elegant", in reference to a potentially active volcano in the southern section of the island, the Mount Malindig.[3] Domingo Navarette ('Tratados...', 1676) wrote "The island which the natives call Minolo is named Mindoro by the Spaniards, and that of Malindic we call Marinduque." (trans. by Blair and Robertson).[4]

During the Spanish and early American occupations, Marinduque was part of Balayan Province (now Batangas) in the 16th century, Mindoro from the 17th to 19th century, and had a brief period as an independent province from the time the Americans arrived in 1901 to 1902.

In 1571, Governor-General Miguel López de Legaspi assigned the then-encomienda of Marinduque to a certain Fr. Pedro de Herrera, the first Augustinian priest who introduced Christianity to the natives of the island.

During the Philippine–American War, Marinduque was the first island to have American concentration camps.[5] Marinduque is the site of the Battle of Pulang Lupa, where 250 Filipino soldiers under Colonel Maximo Abad, defeated a smaller force of 54 American Infantrymen. It is one of the few battles during the pacification of the Philippines where the tenacity and bravery of the Filipinos prevailed over the well-armed Americans. Col. Abad after capturing the Americans later surrendered on April 15, 1901, upon orders from Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and due to the capture of Gov. Martin Lardizabal and two other officials of the revolutionary who were held hostage by the Americans in Fort Santiago.[6]:535

On June 23, 1902, by virtue of Act No. 423, 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, on November 10, Marinduque was annexed to the province of Tayabas (now Quezon) by virtue of an Act No. 499.

On February 21, 1920, Act No. 2280 was passed by the Philippine Congress, reestablishing Marinduque as a separate province.[7]

In 1942, during the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Marinduque.

In 1945, combined American and Filipino troops liberated the province from the Japanese forces. Two government agencies were stationed in the province during the American period, the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the Philippine Constabulary. The general headquarters of the PCA was active from 1935 to 1942 and again from 1945 to 1946 while the PC was active from 1945 to 1946.

Archaeological finds

Archaeology in the Philippines began in Marinduque. Prior to 1900, only one important archaeological investigation had been carried out in the country: the Antoine-Alfred Marche’s exploration of Marinduque from April to July 1881. According to anthropologist Henry Otley Beyer, while many other accidental discoveries and finds have been recorded from time to time and a few burial caves and sites had been casually explored by European and local scientists, no systematic work had been done anywhere else prior to these explorations. After Marche, the next important archaeological work was undertaken by Dr. Carl Gunthe in the Visayas Island Group in 1922.

An abundant yield of Chinese urns, vases, gold ornaments, skulls, and other ornaments of pre-colonial origin was what Marche finds represented. He brought back to France the Marinduque artifacts he uncovered in 40 crates. Part of it now is said to be housed at the Musée de l'Homme in France. The finds also included a wooden image of the Marinduque anito called "Pastores" by the natives.

One of these artifacts also found its way into the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. (Catalogue No. A127996-0, Department of Anthropology, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution). These fragile jarlets traveled from China to the pre-colonial Philippines. Buried in a cave in Marinduque for centuries, excavated in the late 19th century, brought to Paris and eventually one ended up at the Smithsonian Institution museum.

Part of Marinduque's history lies at the Marinduque Museum in Poblacion at Boac and in museums abroad. It will take some time to analyze these artifacts to piece together its pre-colonial past.


Northern section
Southern section

Marinduque is considered as the geographical center of the Philippine archipelago by the Luzon Datum of 1911, the mother of all Philippine geodetic surveys. The province is a "heart-shaped" island with a total land area of 952.58 square kilometres (367.79 sq mi)[8], situated between Tayabas Bay in the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is separated from the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon by the Mompong Pass. West of Marinduque is Tablas Strait, which separates it from Mindoro Island.

Some of the smaller islands to the northeast are Polo Island, Maniwaya Island, and Mompong Island. Southwest portion includes the Tres Reyes Islands and Elephant Island.

The highest peak in Marinduque is Mount Malindig (formerly called Mt. Marlanga), a potentially active stratovolcano with an elevation of 1,157 metres (3,796 ft) above sea level, located at the southern tip of the island.

Cave Systems

Various cave systems occupy the province, including:

  • Bathala Cave located near Barangay Ipil in Sta. Cruz town;
  • Tarug Caves located at Barangay Tarug, in the town of Mogpog, a three-chambered caves of limestone formation. It rises steeply to 270 feet above the ground and is located 331 ft above sea level. Pinnacle is barely 3 square meters.
  • Bagumbungan Cave, a cave system in San Isidro and Punong with complex subterranean river[9][10]
  • Talao Caves, a 12 series of caves overlooking the western part of the island.


Marinduque has a Type III climate, having rainfall more or less evenly distributed throughout the year with no clear boundary between dry and wet seasons. The annual mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures were calculated at 27.0 °C (80.6 °F), 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) and 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) respectively. Humidity average is 78% year-round with an average annual rainfall totaling 2,034.6 mm (80.1 inches).[11]

Administrative divisions

Marinduque comprises 6 municipalities, further subdivided into 218 barangays. A double legislative districts encompasses all towns.[8]

Political map of Marinduque
Municipality[lower-roman 1] Population ±% p.a. Area[8] Density(2020) Barangay
(2020)[2] (2015)[12] km2 sqmi /km2 /sqmi
Boac 23.9%57,283 54,730 +0.87% 212.70 82.12 270 700 61
Buenavista 10.9%26,043 23,988 +1.58% 81.25 31.37 320 830 15
Gasan 15.1%36,197 34,828 +0.74% 100.88 38.95 360 930 25
Mogpog 14.4%34,516 34,043 +0.26% 108.06 41.72 320 830 37
Santa Cruz 22.9%54,692 56,408 −0.59% 270.77 104.54 200 520 55
Torrijos 12.7%30,476 30,524 −0.03% 178.92 69.08 170 440 25
Total 234,521 227,828 +0.38% 952.58 367.79 250 650 218
  Provincial capital  Municipality
  1. The globe  icon marks the town center.
The capital of the province. The most populous town in the province Boac remains the center of industry, culture, economy, and education. Most government and private offices are in the municipality of Boac. It also borders all five municipalities. Mogpog to the North, Santa Cruz to the Northeast, Torrijos to the East, Buenavista to the South, and Gasan to the Southwest. Boac is named after the Tagalog word, biak, which means divided, due to the Boac River dividing the town in the geographic north and south.
The Cultural Nerve Center of the province. Dubbed as one of the cleanest and greenest municipalities in the Philippines, Gasan's land area covers a forest reserve in the eastern part. It is also the gateway to the island of Mindoro. Handicrafts and the famous Kalutang boasts from the town of Gasan. It was named after gasang-gasang, a local term for corals found in the municipality.
The smallest of the six municipalities. It was once part of the municipality of Gasan known as Sabang. It was named such because of the "good view" of the Tablas Strait and offshore islands.
Named after three purported origins; 1) from Gen. Torrijos, 2) from torrillos, referring to the cows which pastured in its vast plains, and 3) from torre y hijos, referring to the watchtower men guarding the parish. Torrijos is deemed to be the summer capital of the Province and known for locally-grown strawberries.
Santa Cruz
The largest of all the six municipalities in terms of land area and the second most populous town after Boac . It is considered as a secondary municipality after Boac (since it is the capital). Together with Boac, it is also a first-class municipality with established industries and commercial routines.
The Primary Gateway of the Province through the Balanacan Port. It is the original home of the Moriones Lenten Rites and Kangga Festiva. Mogpog was named after the Tagalog word, mag-aapog or kiln makers abundant in the municipality.


Population census of Marinduque
YearPop.±% p.a.
1903 51,674    
1918 56,868+0.64%
1939 81,768+1.74%
1948 85,828+0.54%
1960 114,586+2.44%
1970 144,109+2.32%
1975 162,804+2.48%
1980 173,715+1.31%
1990 185,524+0.66%
1995 199,910+1.41%
2000 217,392+1.81%
2007 229,636+0.76%
2010 227,828−0.29%
2015 234,521+0.55%
2020 239,207+0.39%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[12][13][14][15]

The population of Marinduque in the 2020 census was 239,207 people,[2] with a density of 250 inhabitants per square kilometre or 650 inhabitants per square mile, hence, it is the most densely populated province in the Mimaropa Region.


Marinduque is resided by various religious groups, with Catholics belonging to the Latin Rite predominantly making up the greatest number with 70%. The Iglesia Filipina Independiente has 25% of the population and the rest belongs to the different denominations such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Iglesia ni Cristo, and various Mainline Protestant denominations which include Assemblies of God, Baptists, JIL, Methodists, Presbyterian, Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), and the non-denominational Evangelical churches also known as Born-Again Christians. Muslims, Anitists, animists, and atheists are also present in the province.


The version of Tagalog spoken in Marinduque, known as the Marinduque Tagalog, has been described as "the root from which modern national forms of speech have sprung," where remnants of archaic Tagalog could be found, spoken in a lilting manner by its inhabitants. If this linguistic theory is accurate, Marinduque's Tagalog has contributed significantly to the development of the official Philippine national language.[16]

To this day, Marinduqueños speak an old variation of the Tagalog language that is very close to the way Tagalog was spoken before the Spanish colonization. According to language experts , the Tagalog dialects of Marinduque are the most divergent, especially the Eastern Marinduque dialect, perhaps due to the relative isolation from the Tagalogs of Luzon and also perhaps due to the influence of the Visayan and Bikol migrants.[17] Many educated Marinduqueños speak version of Tagalog during Spanish colonial era and with English terms, closer to modern Filipino or standard Tagalog, because of mass media and modern versions of Tagalog Bible, and retaining Visayan and Bikol influence.

Linguist Rosa Soberano's 1980 The Dialects of Marinduque Tagalog goes into great depth concerning the dialects spoken there. The following is a verb chart which outlines the conjugation of the Eastern Marinduque dialect of Tagalog:

Infinitive Contemplative
(future actions)
(past and present actions)
(past actions)
Actor Focus 1 -um-

(gumawa) (future actions)









Actor Focus 2 mag-










Object Focus 1 -in










Object Focus 2 i-






i- -in-




Object Focus 3 -an

(tawagan) (future actions)



ina- ... -an


-in- ... -an




Linguist Christopher Sundita observed that some of the affixes in Marinduque Tagalog, particularly "a-" and "ina-," are affixes used in Asi (Bantoanon), a Visaya language spoken in Romblon, just south of Marinduque. Marinduque Tagalog, like the Tagalog spoken over two centuries ago, had an additional verb category, the imperative, which was used for commands and requests (e.g., Matulog ka na - Go to sleep). Even then, the imperative and the infinitive were used side by side in expressing commands; but in standard Tagalog, apparently the infinitive became used exclusively. And in the Eastern Marinduque dialect, the imperative affixes are very much alive.[18]


Marinduque is an agricultural province, primarily growing rice and coconuts. Handicrafts from Marinduque are also exported to dıfferent parts of the world, and fishing is another important part of the economy. Mining was once an important player in the economy until a mining accident (the Marcopper Mining Disaster) occurred, bringing the industry to a standstill on the island and causing enormous damage to the inhabitants. The provincial government has just recently sued Marcopper's parent company, Placer Dome, for $100 million in damages. Placer Dome was purchased in 2006 by Barrick Gold, who has now been joined in the lawsuit.

A significant role in Marinduque's economy is also played by tourism, especially during the Lenten season. While this is not one of the larger parts of the island's economy, it has shown great growth. Recently, some residents are now engaged in butterfly farming. Butterflies are raised for export to countries in both Europe and the Americas. Locally, live butterflies are released in celebration on different occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, and some corporate events.



The Moriones Festival is an annual festival, locally known as "Moryonan", celebrated in Marinduque from March to April. In Santa Cruz, Gasan, Boac, and Mogpog, a parade of people dressed as "Moryons" can be seen on the main road connecting the towns of the island. Boac and Santa Cruz, the biggest towns in the province, shows a reenactment in the evening of the actual event when Longinus, a blind soldier, punctures Jesus with his spear and blood droplets from the wound restores Longinus's sight.


Marinduque is home to the kalutang, a musical instrument made of two pieces of wood that produce different note ranges depending on its size. A band of 10 to 12 can create music with this instrument.[26] In 2011, the kalutang instrument was cited by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the intangible cultural heritage of the Philippines under the traditional craftsmanship category that the government may nominate in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.[27]


Former seal of the province

Marinduque has had its own Governor since becoming a sub-province of Tayabas (now Quezon) in 1902 and after gaining its independence from Tayabas in 1920.

Governor of Marinduque
Seal of Marinduque Provincial Governor
Presbitero Velasco Jr.
since June 30, 2019
StyleThe Honorable
SeatMarinduque Provincial Capitol
AppointerElected via popular vote
Term length3 years, not eligible for re-election immediately after three consecutive terms
Inaugural holderVicente Triviño
FormationFebruary 21, 1920


Marinduque is served by direct Cebu Pacific flights to-and-from Manila and Marinduque Airport which is located in Masiga, roughly between Gasan and Boac. The province is also served by a seaport in Balanacan transporting cargo and passengers to and from Lucena in Quezon province. There is also a daily boat trip from General Luna in Quezon province to Santa Cruz and vice versa which stops at Maniwaya Island to drop off cargo and passengers.


There are four radio stations in the province, three of which are operated by the Radyo Natin Network and the other, FM Nutriskwela Community Radio Station Radyo Kamalindig 94.1 DZNS, by the National Nutrition Council. Radyo Natin Network operates the call sign DZVH at 105.7 MHz on FM radio from Boac, as well as the call sign DWMD 104.5 MHz on FM radio from Santa Cruz and 100.1 FM from Torrijos. As for print media, there is no existing newspapers circulating in the province, aside from broadsheet and tabloid newspapers from Manila. Marinduque News Network, meanwhile, provides provincial and national news and information via the web and social media. In 2018, Marinduque News Network ventured with Lucky Seven Cable Services Corporation, a cable provider in Marinduque to showcase their programs through local cable television. The online news website which was founded by Romeo Mataac, Jr. in 2016 is located in Boac, Marinduque.[28]

There are also existing cable providers and local cable stations operating in several municipalities in the province, namely Lucky Seven Cable Services Corporation (Boac), Marinduque Cable Television, Inc. (Boac), and G.R. CATV Services (Santa Cruz & Torrijos). Aside from these cable stations, there are also distributors of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV such as Cignal Digital TV, Dream Satellite TV, G Sat, and Sky Direct who provide television services for its subscribers.



  • Buyabod School of Arts and Trades (BSAT) — Buyabod, Santa Cruz
  • Educational Systems Technological Institute (ESTI) — Murallon, Boac
  • Lighthouse Maritime Schools, Inc. (LMSI) — Boac
  • Malindig Institute (MI) — Lapu-Lapu, Santa Cruz
  • Marinduque Midwest College (MMC) — Dili, Gasan
  • Marinduque State University (MSU) — College of Agriculture in Poctoy, Torrijos
  • Marinduque State University (MSU) — College of Fisheries in Banuyo, Gasan
  • Marinduque State University (MSU) — Main College Campus in Tanza, Boac
  • Marinduque State University (MSU) — Marinduque Community University in Matalaba, Santa Cruz
  • Marinduque State University (MSU) — Santa Cruz Annex, Santa Cruz
  • Marinduque Victorian University (MVU) — Buenavista
  • Saint Mary's College of Boac (SMCB) — Isok, Boac
  • Santa Cruz Institute (SCI) — Banahaw, Santa Cruz
  • Torrijos Poblacion School of Arts and Trades (TPSAT) — Poctoy, Torrijos


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  18. "Home".
  19. "Poverty incidence (PI):". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  20.; publication date: 29 November 2005; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  21.; publication date: 8 February 2011; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  22.; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  23.; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  24.; publication date: 27 August 2016; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
  25.; publication date: 4 June 2020; publisher: Philippine Statistics Authority.
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  27. "ICHCAP | e-Knowledge Center".
  28. "About Us". Marinduque News Network. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
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