Moriones Festival 2020 Schedule of Events and Travel Guide

In Marinduque, locals and tourists celebrate Holy Week with a little more life and color, through the Moriones festival. During this Easter week, the streets are filled with "Morions" or men and women dressed in Moriones costumes, complete with props of masks and shields. Throughout the festival, the Morions not only parade their bizarre outfits and eye-catching centurion masks, but they also engage with the crowd through a dance routine, sword fights, and even pranks and surprises.

Moriones Festival 2020

But apart from the fun, the Morions also observe this week to atone for their sins. They do this by reenacting the suffering of Christ as a way to show their gratitude and devotion to the Lord. Some men do this by carrying the wooden heavy cross, whipping their own backs, and allowing themselves to be crucified. 

History of Moriones Festival 

The festival traces back to 1807 when a Mogpog priest named Padre Dionisio Santiago organized a play that was inspired by Longinus’ proclamation of Christianity. Longinus was a Roman soldier who had struck Jesus at his side during his crucifixion. Upon doing so, Jesus' blood splattered on Longinus' blind eye, causing it to heal almost immediately. This miracle paved the way for the conversion of his faith; but his proclamation of belief also led to his death. To this day, the moriones continue to recall the event along with other towns of Marinduque who celebrate the festival through their tradition. 

2020 Schedule of Activities and Highlights 

The Moriones festival starts on the Palm Sunday of the Holy Week and ends on Easter Sunday. This 2020, it is expected to run from April 05 to 12 with Mass and other Religious activities filling the schedule. The Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross on the Streets happens on Good Friday. This is followed by the Senakulo which depicts the beheading of Saint Longinus on Black Saturday. And lastly, the Salubong on Easter Sunday. 

For 2020, here are the confirmed Holy Week dates in the Philippines – schedule of events for the Moriones Festival are actually tied on these dates: 
  • April 05, 2020 : Palm Sunday
  • April 06, 2020 : Holy Monday
  • April 07, 2019 : Holy Tuesday
  • April 08, 2020 : Holy Wednesday 
  • April 09, 2020 : Maundy Thursday (Regular Holiday in the Philippines)
  • April 10, 2020 : Good Friday (Regular Holiday in the Philippines)
  • April 11, 2020 : Black Saturday 
  • April 12, 2020 : Easter Sunday 

Official list of Moriones Festival 2020 Events and Activities (for each town) will be posted once released by the festival organizers. 

  • 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. 
  • Given its schedule coinciding with the Holy Week, it is expected that there will be an influx of tourists traveling so it is advisable to book tickets and hotel accommodation earlier to avoid any unforeseen circumstances. 
  • Avoid traveling during Holy Monday and Easter Sunday because huge crowds are scheduled on this day as well. 
  • 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. 
  • Keep your phone charged; you want to remember the wonderful stay! 
  • Don't forget to bring your camera. Moriones Festival is one of the most colorful religious festivals in the Philippines! 

Where to Stay 

There are a number of Hotels in the province but if you want to be near the center of the celebration during the Festival it is advisable to stay in Boac or Sta. Cruz and other neighboring towns. There are also a lot of island resorts and hotels in the province if you’re looking for the ultimate Holy Week vacation 

What to Wear 

The festival is held during the Holy Week and the Philippines being a tropical country, it is expected that the weather during those times will be scorching hot. It is advisable to wear loose or comfortable light colored clothes and bring water with you to avoid dehydration. 

Other things to do in and Interesting Spots in Marinduque 
  • Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos - Its approximately one (1) kilometer stretch of white-sand beach offers visitors a unique beach experience. One of the "heart of the Philippines’" gems, this public beach is colloquial to perfect summer get-away! 
  • Ka-Amon Cave of Bonliw in Torrijos - If the beach or islands are not your thing, you can head over to Ka-Amon Cave and explore the natural wonders of the stalagmites and stalactite rock formations. 
  • Tres Reyes Islands in Gasan - Go island hopping and sunbathing in these beautiful islands off the shores of the town of Gasan. The islands are named after the Three Kings: Baltazar, Melchor, and Gaspar. You can snorkel, swim, or just relax off the beach of these islands. 
  • Beach Hopping (Poctoy, Cagpo, Kay Duke, Salamague - in Torrijos; Maniwaya and Mompong Islands – in Santa Cruz; Ulong Beach in Mogpog) - Being an island, Marinduque is literally surrounded by beaches. Walk around the sand under the sun in some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Moreover, most of their beaches are not yet oversaturated with tourists, so you can enjoy your vacation quietly. 


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. 

Must Try 

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.

Bibingkang Pinahiran is oven-cooked sticky rice spread on top with thick sweet sauce made from caramelized brown sugar. You can buy/taste the original recipe in Barangay Bonliw (Torrijos). This kakanin is also available in the public markets of Torrijos and Santa Cruz. 



Via Plane
  • You can book any of the three scheduled flights- Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday- per week through Cebu Pacific Air. From Manila, you just have to go to Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 4 (Domestic). From there, you will arrive in the town of Gasan at around 40 minutes. 

Via Bus and Ferry 

From Metro Manila, take a bus going to Talao-talao Port (Dalahican) in Lucena City. RORO vessels that you will find there are Starhorse Shipping Lines and Montenegro Shipping Lines. As of this writing, there are 2 ports of entry in the province (all are coming from Talao-talao Port) – the Balanacan Port in Mogpog (more or less 45 minutes from Boac, capital town) and the Buyabod Port in Santa Cruz (more or less one and half hours from Boac). 
  • Option 1: From Metro Manila, ride a bus bound to Grand Central Terminal of Lucena City (Quezon) where passenger jeepneys and tricycles bound to Talao-Talao Port (in Dalahican) are available. 
  • Option 2: 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. 
  • Option 3: You can also ride a direct bus trip bound to Marinduque. JAC Liner has regular direct RORO Bus trip to Marinduque (via Balanacan Port in Mogpog) departing at 4:00PM (3:00PM boarding time) in Cubao, Quezon City terminal. 
*** Travel time from Talao-Talao Port to Balanacan Port ranges from 3-4 hours (RORO vessel). There are no fastcrafts servicing Talao-Talao Port to Balanacan Port as of this writing. 
*** Travel time from Talao-Talao Port to Buyabod Port is more or less 4 hours via RORO vessel and one and half hours via fastcraft. 


A large outrigger boat leaves daily at 8:00AM in Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro going to Gasan, Marinduque. Fare is Php250 and travel time is 3-4 hours depending on the weather. 


Take an airplane ride going to Manila or Clark. Then follow instructions above. 

*** Schedule of Events and Activities posted above are unofficial and was based from the previous year's events and activities. This will be updated once the official Schedule of Activities and Events was released by the organizers. 
*** Rates and information in this article are correct as of the published date.
*** Photograph contributed by Richard R. Reynoso 

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