Boac the Beautiful: Turning Back Time in Marinduque
This charming town at the eastern side of the heart-shaped island is the capital of the province, and probably known for Moriones Festival--the annual revelry during Holy Week where locals don artistically created Roman soldier masks and parade through its narrow streets all afternoon, and end up with a play of Jesus Christ's passion and death.
|The calm Tayabas Bay and one of the ferries that serve Lucena-Balanacan Marinduque route. The trip takes at least three hours.|
However on ordinary days, it is just an ordinary provincial town--laidback and pretty simple.
|Take a peek inside a church fortress on top of a hill in Boac|
|One of Boac's institutions, the "Canton Panciteria". Unfortunately it was closed at that time.|
Boac's Unplugged and Make-Up Free Charm
|After the rain and at the twilight in Boac. The Cathedral's belfry looms over the horizon.|
Nope, there aren't much tourists down here, even if it's quite close to the big city. Life here seems to be moving in slow-motion for urbanites like us. Aside from being far from the crowd, Boac is a heritage town worthy of being emulated, and perhaps an example of a community not taking heed to the calls of capitalist changes.
|A map of heritage houses and structures in the town of Boac. Most of the heritage houses are located in the downtown area.|
Unlike the more popular heritage town of Vigan, Boac's heritage houses don't cater to tourism, it caters to the community itself! Rows of bahay na bato along its main streets and around the plaza, probably constructed during the colonial times, don't have that "turista appeal," but part of the Boacenyo's everyday life.
More of Boac and Marinduque's photos here:
|Inside one of the heritage houses in Boac. This one was converted into a posh yet very affordable restaurant, serving Marinduqueno food.|
|Houses in the afternoon|
|The town's commercial buildings are these shop houses.|
And though most of the towns in the country have lost these heritage houses from development, the people of Boac seem not to bow down to runaway capitalist growth, but rather maintain these houses as part of their heritage, and their call for a more sustainable way towards socio-economic development.
|Downtown Boac at noon|
Ultimong Puregold Supermarket na nag-iisa sa buong isla, wasn't able to be too intrusive.
|Details of the shop house and the media agua|
The Fortress of Biglang Awa
|Boac Cathedral as seen from the river|
To top it all, the Cathedral of Boac overlooks the town, as if it is under its own guidance and protection. Built during the Spanish colonial era, the imposing church is surrounded by thick stone walls--a remnant of other purpose--a fortress.
|The imposing Boac Cathedral up on hill|
Aside from its imposing architecture on top of the hill, the Cathedral is also central to every Marinduqueno Catholic, as the site where the Ina ng Biglang Awa (said to be Our Lady of Immaculate Conception) appeared and miraculously protected the town from the invaders of the sea.
|The belfry and the thick walls surrounding the church|
|The retablo of Boac Cathedral|
Taking it Slow, so slow
|Look how laidback we are|
What do you expect in Boac during an ordinary day? Aside from the small town rush hour wherein tricycles clog the narrow downtown streets, the town is very very laid back. If you are an urbanite used to the mega-crowd of the MRT, back here, you can walk leisurely to your destination in the morning or in the afternoon.
|After class at Marinduque National High School, a Gabaldon school|
|Craving for night life and life of a party? Boac isn't the place for you.|
|After the rain, it's really nice to take a sip of hot lugaw at the plaza. It's only around 9:30PM and the town's already "asleep." This is the night life here.|
And while its a trend to have a big mall in a provincial town, the locals here would travel to Lucena City instead, to watch movies and go shop. Back here, the Public Market is the ultimate commercial destination.
|The Neo-Classical Provincial Capitol of Marinduque, built during the American Colonial Era|