Author's Note: This article uses virtual reality technology to provide an immersive experience. Click the image to view the 360-degree VR. Adobe Flash 10 or higher is required. Average VR size is 2.3Mb.
With masks and capes they came,
With axes and spears they walked,
Garbed in armors, one in thought,
for Longinus they seek, his death foretold.
The colorful Moriones Festival of Marinduque, based on the legend of Longinus, the Roman centurion who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance while He was on the Cross; with blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle he proclaimed "Truly this man was the Son of God."
Longinus converted to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when he is caught and beheaded. Longinus is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and several other Christian communions.
The spear used is known as the Holy Lance, more recently, especially in occult circles as the "Spear of Destiny," which figures in the legends of the Holy Grail.
Marinduque's Other Attractions
The Moriones festival is Marinduque's best tourists' attraction, but the heart shaped island certainly has more to offer.
The first class Bellarocca Resort with its Santorini-inspired architecture caters to tourists that have impeccable taste. Situated entirely on an island just off the southern tip of Marinduque, the resort boasts of "a fantastic experience unlike any other place in the Philippines and across South-East Asia."
Old churches such as the Boac Cathedral with its large intricate wood-carved doors and the still being constructed Saint Joseph's church in Gasan tells of the island's rich history and heritage.
The baywalk in Gasan offers a panoramic view of the Tres Reyes islands - Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltazar. On a clear day, you can also glimpse the eastern coast of Mindoro and be mesmerized by the majestic sunset.
Waterfalls like the Kabugsakan Falls which lies in the interior of a forested area can be reached by a 30-minute trek; its cool runoffs provided reprieve from the scorching summer heat.
With such an array of tourism potentials, I still felt that Marinduque is vastly under promoted. Its proximity to Manila can easily be an alternative escape for the locals; plus, the existence of the airport can bring in regional tourists as well. Surely with renew efforts and a paradigm shift in online marketing; it can result to catapult Marinduque into one of the country's major tourists' destination.
PS: No echinoderms were harmed during the shooting of the VRs. Starfishes returned to sea after the shoot; although they experienced a brief moment in the air (shuriken style) before landing into the waters. ;-)
All VRs taken on April 1-3, 2010. Source: wikipedia.org. The author can be reached at: email@example.com