Luzon Datum Ride: The Final Stretch

Luzon Datum Ride

Our journey through Marinduque had been a thrilling cycling adventure, and the last leg was both the shortest and the most demanding. Our destination: the Luzon Datum of 1911, the geodetic center of the Philippines, perched atop Mt. Mataas in Mogpog, rising approximately 200 meters above sea level. It was the perfect way to conclude our cycling odyssey on this captivating island.

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Gasan: A Bicycle Ride to Haynon Hills

Gasan to Haynon Hills bicycle ride

As I wake up at the Balar Hotel and Spa in Boac, I feel excited about the second day of our Marinduque Cycling Challenge. The hotel’s comfy bed and linens have always left me fully rested, making it a perfect home base for our Marinduque adventure. My anticipation is momentarily dampened when I discover my bike’s rear tire is flat. Thankfully, the Darling’s electronic air pump comes to the rescue, but I know I’ll have to replace the interiors soon. Undeterred, we set off early, heading south to Gasan and Buenavista.

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Discovering Marinduque’s Heritage: A Bicycle Adventure in Boac

Marinduque Bicycle Adventure in Boac

Marinduque, with its heart-shaped allure, has always held a special place in my early travel adventures. I’ve been lucky to visit this enchanting island three times before, savoring its scenic coastal roads, captivating falls, lush hills, and vibrant cultural tapestry. But on this recent trip, thanks to the wonderful support of DOT MIMAROPA, I had the opportunity to experience Marinduque in an entirely new way – exploring its wonders on two wheels. Biking through this picturesque paradise allowed me to connect more intimately with its beauty, embracing the slower pace that enriched my appreciation of the island’s charm.

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Last of the Few Morion Mask Makers

Marinduque's Morion Mask

The island of Marinduque has long been known for its Moriones Festival. It is one of the oldest lenten rites in the Philippines where participants wear Moryon (helmet) masks and roam the streets of Marinduque as an act of penitence. During my recent visit to Marinduque, we visited the workshop of one of the known Morion mask makers on the island, Salvador “Buddy” Liwanagan. It was fascinating to witness firsthand how these iconic masks with grimacing Roman faces are made.

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Luzon Datum of 1911 : At the Geodetic Center of the Philippines

Birds eye view of Luzon Datum of 1911 site

If you’ve ever wondered how the shapes of the islands, the elevation of peaks, and the depths of seas are measured and translated into easily readable maps that common people can understand, it’s all about the science of geodesy and datums. Even before Google Maps ever existed, surveyors and scientists used datums or geodetic reference points to collectively gather information on the lay of the land and sea in longitude and latitudes. That is why I had much appreciation to finally visit the Luzon Datum of 1911 site in Marinduque. A pivotal reference point used to triangulate networks of different …

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