Marinduque | Moriones Festival 2017 and the Story of Longinus

The Moriones Festival of my home province, Marinduque, is one of the most famous religious Philippine festivals for its interesting premise: it centers on culture and religion in the country, with an emphasis on reliving the time Roman soldiers roamed the streets during Jesus’ crucifixion.

Moriones Festival

Because the Philippines has been known for its predominantly Catholic beliefs, it’s no wonder so many of its festivals are inspired by Biblical stories.

The festival began when farmers and fisher folk began dressing up and performing this unique kind of street theater. Locals dress up as Roman soldiers – where the name Moriones is derived from the robes and armor of these soldiers – and they roam the streets in search of the man who speared Jesus’ side: believed to be Saint Longinus.

The Story of Longinus 

As the legend goes, Longinus was blind on one eye. Now, he was the one who speared Jesus on his side to check if he was already dead. When a drop of blood reached his eyes, his sight was restored – a miracle he attributed to the power of Jesus. He quickly believed in Jesus and subsequently converted to Christianity, much to the anger of the Roman authorities. It is believed that Longinus was among those who guarded Jesus’ tomb for three days and witnessed his resurrection. 

The story of Longinus is highlighted at the end of the festival with a theater presentation entitled, “Pugutan”, referring to his ultimate execution after the other Roman centurions caught him.

Moriones Festival

Today, the Moriones Festival is held annually in my beloved beautiful island province of Marinduque. Taking place during Holy Week, it has become a much-awaited event year by year, offering tourists and visitors a chance to learn more about Filipino culture and religion while exploring the breathtaking tourist sites of the island.


As a festival directly linked to the Holy Week celebrations, every year, the Moriones festival officially starts on the Monday of that particular week.  This year in 2017, the Moriones Festival of Marinduque will take place in the week of April 10-16, 2017.  

Official CALENDAR OF EVENTS (Provincewide)
Moriones Festival 2017 Schedule
source: Marinduque Provincial Government's FB Page

Moriones Festival 2017

Moriones Festival 2017

Moriones Festival 2017


Moriones Festival 2017 in Sta Cruz, Marinduque
source: Sta. Cruz Municipal Tourism Office FB Page

Moriones Festival

  • Marinduque Province is composed of six (6) towns namely Mogpog, Sta. Cruz, Torrijos, Buenavista, Gasan, and Boac (the capital town). Take note that each town celebrates Moriones Festival; meaning festival can be watched in every town of the province.
  • Bring enough cash- automated teller machines (ATM), located mostly in the town proper, are usually out of cash due to bulk cash transactions and long holiday.
  • Don't forget to bring your camera. Moriones Festival is one of the most colorful religious festivals in the Philippines!

  • Aside form souvenir centurion masks, arrowroot cookies and pansit miki (from Sta Cruz); and hand loom-woven buntal products like place mats, table runners, bags, wallets, and curtains (from Bonliw, Torrijos) are the best pasalubongs from the province.
  • Manakla is a local variety of crayfish abundant in Barangay Malinao, Bonliw, and Suha in Torrijos. Usually steamed, fried or cooked in soda/coconut milk, your visit to the "Heart of the Philippines" wouldn't be complete without tasting Manakla 

  • Ka Amon Cave, Poctoy White Beach, Maniwaya Island, Bellaroca Resort, Bathala Cave, The Battle of Pulang Lupa site, Mt. Malindig, Tres Reyes Islands are among the most popular spots in the province 

Moriones Festival


By Land and Sea
From Metro Manila, ride in a bus bound to Grand Central Terminal of Lucena City (Quezon) where passenger jeepneys and tricycles bound to Talao-Talao Port are available. To avoid the hassle of transferring from one transport to another, better to find buses with direct route to Talao-talao (Dalahican) Port. Travel time from Metro Manila to Talao-talao Port is approximately 3-4 hours depending on traffic in Laguna and Quezon.

From Talao-talao (Dalahican) Port, there are RoRo vessels with regular trip to the island province. Travel time (from Lucena to Marinduque) ranges from 3-4 hours. There are no fastcrafts servicing Lucena-Marinduque as of this writing.

By Air
There is a charter plane servicing Manila-Marinduque route. Check AirJuan’s website for further details.

Where to Stay in Marinduque?


CREDITS |Photographs by: Richard R. Reynoso ; Sta. Cruz Schedule of Activities: Sta. Cruz Municipal Tourism Office (FB Page)

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  1. I remember, when I was a kid and visited Marinduque with my family, I always hide in my Mom's back. I was scared of the soldier's mask. It's creepy.

  2. It is very captivating to visit Marinduque especially during Holy Week for the Moriones Festival where the people are masked like soldiers and the dramatization of Jesus' life.

  3. We used to see similar lenten plays depicting the life of Longinus here in Laguna. Now, it is gone and so is the "pabasa".


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