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For local tourists, Putong, Marinduque’s unique custom of welcoming and honoring guests, should be familiar enough. This tradition starts with a group of men and women singing greetings to the “honoree.” This group called the “mamumutong” sing and dance in front of the honoree, showering him with flowers and coins to wish him long life and as a sign of affection. For those who are otherwise not familiar with this ceremony, this should nonetheless be quite an experience.

Then, seeing as no culture is without its music and arts, the Marinduqueños are very much identified with the Moriones festival. This celebration is held during the Holy Week and involves a re-enactment of Christ’s passion and death. Moriones is derived from the word “Morion,” a type of open helmet used during the 16th and early 17th centuries, a part of the medieval roman armor. Thus, in addition, this festival is characterized by colorful roman costumes, painted masks and helmets and brightly colored tunics.

However, beyond the infamous Putong or the Moriones festival, Marinduque is actually a rich source of information for a point in time that pre-dates our colonial history. Anthropologists and archaeologists alike are bound to be ecstatic over the possibilities of unearthing yet undocumented parts of our nation’s history.

The unexplored caves alone, which attest to the fact that the island was a settlement of the Mangyans and other ethnic groups long before the Spaniards arrived, produced numerous artifacts belonging to these early inhabitants. The unearthed results point to a skilled civilization that thrived and prospered during such a primal age.

Another line of reasoning that places this province as more than just a landmark to be gazed upon lies in the fact that Marinduque Tagalog is the root from which modern Tagalog has sprung. This is the language that made the basis of Filipino our national language.

Learn more of this refreshing new destination – its people and their ways of life by visiting the official website of the provincial government of Marinduque at www.marinduque.gov.ph.

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