Sunday, July 29, 2007

Marinduque: Boac, Marinduque and its architectural heritage

This is day two of my Marinduque trip. We were planning to visit the Tres Reyes Islands which we saw from Mount Malindig. But we were just too tired and spent most of the morning resting. After lunch at the beach house, we went to the Boac town proper to check out the church.

It was a pleasant surprise as we got down the jeep to discover that Boac still has a sizeable collection of architectural heritage. I really didn't expect to see the town virtually intact, so many heritage houses and buildings! Although you could see that progress is fast setting in.

If controlled properly, Boac can become a great heritage town. The heritage district can be a showcase for the municipality and province and a potential tourist attraction if the heritage structures are protected, new buildings and development in the heritage district are controlled and regulated, and heritage structures properly restored.

Heritage ordinances have successfully been enacted by LGUs such as the City of San Fernando, Pampanga; Dagupan City, Pangasinan; the Province of Pangasinan; and Vigan, Ilocos Sur. These legislative measures prevent the demolition or improper renovation of heritage structures which are cultural treasures and the pride of the community. If the local government knew how to play its cards right, it would preserve the historic core so that it would become a major tourism attraction for Marinduque. I hope they realize that sooner or later.

We went up the hill to the Boac Cathedral. The exterior is still intact. But not for long because as I write, they are plastering the buttresses with cement! The interior was covered with bricks and it's obvious it isn't the original. But at least the retablos are still intact. Boac would be such a waste if people there are not educated as to how important it is to restore heritage properly.

We also got to see some morion masks in the shops. They aren't cheap though, about PHP4,500 per mask. From Boac, we took a jeep to Balanacan Port in Mogpog for the 4 p.m. ferry back to Lucena. We decided to stay at the rear end of the ferry so that we could enjoy the view. We arrived at the port three hours later and boarded a JAM Liner back to Manila.

Part 1: Hiking up Mt. Malindig in Marinduque

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