Araw ng Marinduque

Araw ng Marinduque, also known as Marinduque Day and Marinduque Founding Anniversary, is held by the province of Marinduque, Philippines every February 21. It is an occasion that remembers the establishment of the province in 1920, and the date may be a special nonworking holiday (such as Proclamation No. 879 in 2020).

The province is also known for Moriones Festival every Lenten season.

History of Marinduque

Marinduque was called Malindig or Malindug in the olden times, and it was so named after Mt. Malindig and the word itself means “stand tall.” During colonial period, its name was Hispanized and it became known as Marinduque.

The province is called the Heart of the Philippines for the heart-shaped outline of the island and location in the archipelago. It is part of the Southwestern Tagalog Region, Region IV-B, or Mimaropa after its component provinces (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan).

The island was inhabited long before the arrival of the Spaniards. It is thought that Malay natives were among its first settlers, and they engaged in trading with merchants of neighboring islands and foreign nations such as China. Burial sites and artifacts of ceramics, jewelry, and jars reveal the rich culture of its pre-Hispanic past.

At the outset of the Spanish conquest, it was allocated as an encomienda to Augustinian friar Fr. Pedro de Herrera. Fr. Herrera was the first missionary who preached and converted the natives to Christianity. It was administratively part of Batangas and then of Mindoro between 17th and 19th century.

When the colonial era ended, Marinduque seceded from Mindoro and overthrew the Spanish rule on April 28, 1898. Its revolutionary movement was headed by Martin Lardizabal and he became its military governor.

During the American period, opposition was mounted against the invasion of American forces. One of the most well-known encounters in the Philippine-American War was Battle of Pulang Lupa on September 13, 1900. Filipino guerillas led by Colonel Maximo Abad launched several raids against the Americans.

On September 13, 1900, Captain Devereux Shields and the 54 29th US Volunteer Infantrymen headed to the mountains of Torrijos to try to quell Abad’s forces. They were overpowered by Abad and his men, who pursued them for six kilometers, and Shields and the American soldiers surrendered to the guerillas. However, as American military destroyed crops and moved the people from interior lands to towns, Abad was forced to surrender in April 1901.

On May 1, 1901, Marinduque was made into a province with its capital in the town of Boac pursuant to Act No. 125 of the Philippine Commission.

Yet it was annexed to Mindoro through Act No. 423 on June 23, 1902; the new province of Mindoro also included the island of Lubang, formerly part of Cavite. Then on November 10 in the same year, Marinduque was annexed to Tayabas (presently Quezon province).

Marinduque became a subprovince through Act No. 1649 on May 17, 1907.

Ricardo Paras, the elected representative of Marinduque, sponsored Act No. 2880 that was approved on January 21, 1980. The law authorized the Governor General to separate the then subprovince of Marinduque from Tayabas and “reestablish as an independent province, as soon as the public interest may require it…”

Governor-General Francis Harrison issued Executive Order No. 12 on February 21, 1920; this is the date on which the founding anniversary of the province is based. The order bestowed upon Marinduque its independence as a province and enacted Act No. 2880 as a law effective February 22, 1920.

Araw ng Marinduque Holiday

Several legislative efforts were made to declare every February 21st as a holiday in Marinduque to mark its founding day.

In 2008, the provincial government instituted Araw ng Marinduque as a province-wide celebration and as a means to promote its tourism industry and development. Provincial Ordinance No. 81 was passed a year later that declared February 21 as Araw ng Marinduque.

In the Lower House of Congress, Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco filed House Bill No. 6552 that pushed to make every February 21 as a special nonworking holiday to be known as Araw ng Marinduque. In 2023, bills advocating for the same initiative were filed by Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid (S.B. No. 1836) and Senator Sherwin Ting Gatchalian (S.B. No. 1153).

Araw ng Marinduque Activities

In 2024, a cycling event called Color Fun Ride 2024 was organized as one of the activities commemorating the foundation day.

How to reach Marinduque

Marinduque can be reached via air and sea. Domestic flights are scheduled in Marinduque Airport regularly. One can also travel through trips on ship routes to many ports of the island such as Balanacan Port in Mogpog, Buyabod Port in Santa Cruz, and Cawit Port in Boac.


Araw ng Marinduque Summary

NameAraw ng Marinduque
CelebrationFounding Anniversary
DateFebruary 21
OrganizerProvincial Government of Marinduque
Other NamesMarinduque Day, Marinduque Founding Anniversary