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Marinduque

The Heart of the Philippines

Map of Marinduque

The island Marinduque lies about 100 seamiles south of the Capital Manilla and is ca. 959 Km2 large (in comparison, the province of Utrecht is 1385 km2 large). Is a result of its sheltered location between the islands of Quezon to the North, Bondoc to the east and Mindoro to the west this island remains relatively protected from the storms (typhoons). It seems that in gratitude for the protection, over the years, the island has become the heart shaped. The island not only lies in the heart of the Philippines but also has the shape of a heart.

With 6 municipalities and the capital city Boac Marinduque has approximately 229,000 inhabitants. It is a quiet, peaceful and green island where the people try to make a living from agriculture and fishing. Apart from cultivating coconuts (ca. 18.000 coconut farms), rice, as much if not less grain, bananas and vegetables. The half-finished product of the coconut is for export. Besides that families supplement their agriculture by keeping goats, chickens, pigs and carabao's (water buffalo). Next to agriculture fishing is the second main source of income. From origin Marinduque has had excellent fishing water, but as a result of over-fishing and dynamite fishing (which is forbidden) this source of income has come under pressure over the last few years. Marinduque is a relatively poor province. According to the numbers of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), from the year 2003, 47.4% (11,781 people) were living under the poverty line. In the year 2000 it was still 52.7%.

The infrastructure of the island is quite simple. There is an "asphalt" road around the island of which a few parts have not yet been finished. The other roads on the island are sand paths, only in the few cities on the island, which are w.o. Boac, Santa Cruz, Gasan and Buena Vista, can "asphalt" roads be found. The island can be reached by boat or in a limited manner by plane. The majority of the population, namely in the villages in the "province" (barangays), live in small simple bamboo huts. In the cities people also live in simple concrete houses.