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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Luzon Datum+Boac Town: Marinduque Holy Week Getaway Day 1

It has been three years since the last time I visited my home town, Marinduque (Alobo, Santa Cruz to be specific). This trip was planned during our coffee session together with my mountaineering and outdoor buddies(Ma'am Riz, Ma'am Odhie, Arisse, Jann and Rex)....

December 25, 2012 at CCP Complex Harbor Square (mga tumatakas sa mga namamasko...haha...)
"That night really went chaotic and wild! Wahaha! Won't discuss the detail but really had fun." 

It was really just for a coffee session plus bunch of chitchat. Then again, traveler instinct arised and ended up planning out of places to go.We did suggestions of place and date of the travel. We look for the long weekends or holidays of course para di affected work schedules. I suggested that Marinduque must be included in backpacking gala. Ma'am Odhie suggested Mindoro to be also included and among other destinations. In 3 months of planning and browsing of our possible IT's, the group decided that the travel shall be on Holy week and Marinduque is the right place to be because of Moriones Festival and Lenten Season there is somewhat festive compare to other parts of the country. Mindoro is not included anymore since the upcoming S.M.I.L.E. (SMB In Live Experience, out group's outreach activity) will be held there.

Sadly, weeks before the day of departure, some weren't able to go.  It is only Me, Jann and my younger  brother Paul who pushed through.

March 27, 2013 Date of Departure....Eto yung mga oras na ayaw ko na talaga mgtrabaho, naghahabol ng trip ng PNR at dahil di pa rin ako ngpapack...hihihi! Very Good!

Based on our IT, we will meet in Buendia at 7PM. But since we knew that flocks of traveler will fill the terminals, we opted to come early as 5:00 PM. We left the terminal about 6:00 PM. Certainly, we have a long trip. In normal days, the trip will take only 3 hours going to Lucena City but this time it took almost 6 hours. It is the season of exodus when City-dwellers take the opportunity to visit their hometown. Thus, expect massive transportation and heavy traffic.

We arrived at Dalahican Port at 11:30 MN. Ofcourse, huge herd of people showed off. We started to fall line to buy tickets. At first, we persistently lined to Montenegro ship who scheduled to depart at 12 MN. However, we knew it is quite impossible to buy ticket anymore prior to that ship because of the long line. Then, we did a contingency plan. We fell in line also to Star Horse Shipping line that was scheduled to depart at 2:00 AM. Worst came, Montenegro ship stop selling tickets, this has caused rumble on the line. Those who failed to buy tickets to Montenegro Ship transferred to Star Horse Line. Great that we made a back up line.  Yung iba sumisingit na talaga para makabili lang ng tickets (Ito yung nakakainis sa biyahe naming to eh, ALPHA KAPAL MUKS nung iba!! grrr!!). Thanks God, we managed to buy tickets and entered the terminal building and waited there until the time of departure.

At exact 2:00 AM, we hopped on the ship, of course, rumble on the bronx ang scene nung moment na yun! Even though we failed to have a convenient seat, I got 3 mono-blocks chair for us to sit in while other passengers have to seat and lie on the floor.

Day 1- March 28,2013

This  hue painted sky gave us sign that the day ahead of our trip  would definitely be fair and safe.
 Indeed, it happened! 
Here it comes, Mr. Sun! Our first glimpse of the Volcanic Island.

Port of Balanacan and its Scenic Cove

6:00 AM, the ship docked on the Port of Balanacan. For the longest time, my feet landed again to my hometown.

Islets of Balanacan Cove.

One of my greatest dream, to own a private island. Woah!! So, help me God!

Balanacan Cove, a very picturesque port area, composed of numbers of islets that welcome us while approaching the pier.

Star Horse Shipping line. Hearing the name of this shipping lines reminded me of a famous gay celebrity in the country. Hahaha!! Anyways, I am disappointed with the system that the customs failed to implement. Overloading has caused me a bit concern. Pero dinaan ko na lang sa tulog!!! 

One of the  remarkable landmark in the province  is the gigantic figure of Our Lady of Biglang Awa. It is an iconic structure you would first notice once the ship  docked  in the  pier. Approximately it has a height of a 4-storey building (12  meters). It stand on the roof of gazebo built on an islet  and connected  by a concrete  bridge. Whenever I visit my hometown, I never missed to walk through it. 

Our  Lady of Biglang -Awa view from the ship.
We decided to eat first our breakfast to gain strength while asking our route to our first destination. Thanks to Ate in Carinderia, she related us possible ways  going to LUZON DATUM of 1911.

For further know-how  about Luzon Datum of 1911 please click link http://www.marinduque.gov.ph/luzondatum.html

Around 7:00 AM, we started to our pace routing to Luzon datum. Ate at carinderia suggested that there were short cuts going to  jump off which is located in Baranbay Hinanggayon. But we  chose the long pace assuming that is just an hour walk. From Balanacan  port, we paced barangay road, a usual rural road system, combination of paved/concrete road and dirt road.  Good that we started so early that  we are able to experienced the rural morning scene. The surrounding was echoed by chirping birds. We were able to smell, the cool smokey like morning wind, again my eyes was filled with green sightings. I took  this opportunity to inhale fresh air. Woah relaxed!

Along the  way, we got a lot to talk and have a chance to introduce a little background about our province to my companion, Jann. And we also taught him few of local languages. Of course, this walk wouldn't be complete  without photo shoots.  

We have passed at least four barangays to reached Brgy. Hinangayon, a coastal barangay. That was really a very long walk!

At 9:00 AM, we reached Brgy. Hinanggayon. We registered there at barangay hall, just the same during climbs. There was no registration fee yet that has been implemented but we gave a little amount of monetary donation. There was an officer scheduled daily to accommodate visitors who's going to they call DATUM.

 The jump off was very much visible because of the billboard on its mouth. Guide is a no required option. Again, we relied on our mountaineering instinct. 

Road system, were combined of paved and rocky. For bird watcher, enthusiast and ornithologist, this  is  the place to consider. We got a glimpse of variety of bird species and also identify  some through  their sounds. We saw kilyawan, a bright yellow bird with black strip on its wings and neck, Mamban, a wild specie of dove, a hawk, heard a kukok, got its name to its sound and numbers of crows. 

When you  got to see a huge white rocks,  it means that you are near  in the concrete steps ascending to DATUM. From there, about 300 steps more or less, we are in geodetic engineer dream destination. Indeed, the scenery was breath taking!

Seeing these views, everything has paid off! 

Stone marker of the Datum!!!

We then descend after an hour and just to share, we met our close/long lost relative, because he know my  grandparents and said he is related to them.

We then decided to go in Boac and toured my mountain buddy Jann. We enjoyed our first top load ride of our Marinduque trip goin there. 

We strolled around the town area and visited the Boac Cathedral (sorry I don't have photos of it) and then treated ourselves with a hefty lunch meal!!! Kahit matagal yung serving, sabi ko nga sa owner "Ate buti na lang  masarap talaga!". I recommend Kusina sa Plaza for a meal and experience, a back to classic themed restaurant in town of Boac. We are fascinated by the set up and of course their mouth-watering menus! Just happened that day, numbers of customers visited the restaurant!!! The restaurant is just one of the old houses turned into commercial establishment. Once you visited Boac, you would notice the abundance of old houses which were well preserved and in good condition. 

At about 4PM, we proceeded to jeepney terminal going to our town Sta. Cruz. Our  trip is accompanied by a heavy rain thanks though that it lessen the heat of the  environment. 6PM, we reached our Barrio, Alobo. We rested and have socials with our cousins there, thanks for  the warmness they made us feel! We then call it a night and  prepared ourselves for tomorrow's adventure, meeting the Morions!


  1. I always wanted to visited the Balanacan station. I am curious as to what the GPS would register especially at the Luzon Datum. But since no one in the group was as interested as I was, we may have just passed by the jumpoff on our way back to Dalahican port.

  2. Nice one Sir!




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