Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Moriones Festival 2011

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Moriones Festival is always in my wish list and this year I finally nailed it. My mom used to scare me, telling me that the morions will get me if I don’t behave. She would usually get an image of the morions and show it to me. I was damn scared of them before and who would have thought that I finally conquered my fear.


Moriones Festival is an annual event celebrated during the Holy Week at the island of Marinduque. The festival is participated by numerous men and women dressed in their roman soldier costumes, wearing their angry-looking masks. These people are known as “morions”. The term “morion’ however, means mask or visor, which is a part of a full-set armor during the medieval times.

In Marinduque Island, this festival is celebrated as form of a penance. The participants of this festival wear heavy masks carved out of santol wood together with their leather of metal costumes. Under the hot sun, they roam around the town, reenacting the search for Christ and Longinus.


Aside from the morions who roam around the town, scaring children if I may add, the festival has a lot of highlights. Every night, at the Morion Arena of Boac, they stage the Senakulo, a reenactment of Christ’s story. After the Senakulo is the Via Crucis (Ways of the Cross) and for the finale is the pugutan, the beheading of Longinus.

The Moriones experience was really unforgettable. Aside from the very hot weather, the trip gave me a venue to reflect and relax at the same time.


Getting to Marinduque:
- There are two ways to get to Marinduque: Via plane or Land-Sea Travel.
- Zest Air offers flights to Marinduque. During the height of the Lenten Season, there are LIMITED flights offered.
- You may also travel via Land-Sea. Jac Liners offer ride going to Marinduque via roro (roll on/roll off - a type of ferry ship that carries wheeled vehicles). This will bring you straight to Marinduque. Bus fare, P600-P700.
- Another option is to avail door-to-door van service. This will fetch you from you residence and bring you to Marinduque with other passengers via RORO. You can book Manila-Marinduque by calling this no. 6464714 or Marinduque-Manila via calling this no. 0928 3171044. Although these nos. belong to the same van service provider, coordination tends to be jammed between two headquarters. One way is P800.
- Jac Liner doesn't accept reservations so be early at the terminal.
- If you would avail the van service, book early and make CONSTANT follow-ups.
- Be sure to book round-trip.
- Manila-Marinduque (Marinduque-Manila), roughly an hour plane travel.
- Manila-Marinduque (Marinduque-Manila), 2 hours going to Lucena Port and 3-4 hour from Lucena Port to Marinduque Port.
- Marinduque is a small island. You can get from one place to another via PUJs. But pls. be aware of the PUJs last trips. 

Coverage Tips:
- Shoot-all-you-can! There are no media accreditation/pass needed  for Moriones Festival. However, there are restricted areas but you can easily gain access.
- Majority of the events happen at the Morion Arena or the Boac town's plaza (which is only near the arena).
- Be sure that you are equipped with the schedule of activities.
- The weather is extremely hot. Bring sunblock lotion to avoid severe sunburn.
- Technically, the whole island celebrates Moriones Festival, but most of the activities will be at Boac (such as the Senakulo, Via Crucis, Battle of the Morions).
- Each town has different set of activities. Boac, Gasan, Sta. Cruz, and Mogpog have most of the highlights. 
- Life is simple at Marinduque. The town where I stayed (Boac) doesn't have establishments like McDonald, Jollibee, and the like. The town also doesn't have convenient stores like 7-eleven or Mini Stop. I buy most of my stuff at Mercury Drugstore and I eat anywhere. Food is affordable and very lutong-bahay (home-cook).

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