BOAC, MARINDUQUE: Welcome Yet Unwelcomed

BOAC, MARINDUQUE:  Welcome Yet Unwelcomed
By: Nickson Garcia

From February 23 to 25, 2019, the Untold Philippines barkada travelled to a province that oftentimes referred to  as "the heart of the Philippines" - Marinduque. 

The three day journey centered around exploration of some well known tourism destinations of the province. Maniwaya island, Palad sandbar, Mongpong rock formation and Poctoy beach were amongst the most common destination for tourist that we visited. But the adventure would never be "untold" without exploring some of the best kept secrets of Marinduque. 

Our last falls discovery on the trip was supposedly Hinulugan Falls located at the municipality of Torrijos. But due to time constraint and the unexpected distance which was 4 hours of trekking, we had to make a detour and decided to pursue Busay Falls. The jump-off point was located at Barangay Tambunan, Boac. We undergo a hassle-free 45-minute trek until we reached the falls.

Busay Falls is a two-tiered waterfall ranging with an estimate of 5 feet on the upper level and 10 feet on the lower level. The basin could reach 6 feet deep. It is ideal for family or friends gathering since it is relatively closer compared to Hinulugan Falls.

Do not be confused because there are two "Busay Falls" in Marinduque. One at Sta. Cruz which is completely different from Busay Falls of Boac.

We were on our way back to the jump-off when we discovered that there was a shorter way to Hinulugan Falls. According to our guide, Miguel the trail from Torrijos is much shorter but the trail is steeper. Maybe we will just go back to Marinduque some other time. 

Continuing our trail back to jump-off, we were stopped by a so-called "barangay politician" asking us questions which I personally find claptrap. One of the questions raised was our intention in their place, how did we pass by the barangay when it was a holiday, and other absurd questions leading nowhere. 

I have been traveling for years, either alone or with a group. Learning from experience and as a  respect to the local authority, I usually coordinate with the barangays and/or the local authorities just to let them know I someone is visiting their place to explore. 

That experience turned out to be a scary moment when we were being questioned in a strong and resounding voice. My plea with the "barangay politician" was we got Kuya Miguel thru the barangay office whom another "barangay politician" recommended. But despite such plea, the "barangay politician" did not listen. After minutes of discussion, we were eventually let go. 

Personally, I did not like the experience but I respect the "barangay politician" that he was only protecting "his territory". But on our side, we meant no harm. It was very obvious that we were assisted by a local guide and registered at the barangay. Instead of feeling grateful that their barangay was being explored for tourism, we felt unwelcome because of that incident.

As we leave the barangay at lunchtime, we were again stopped by another locale. She was Nanay Consolacion and family. Nanay knew that we were visitors of the place and explored Busay falls. We were shocked that her family prepared tinola for our lunch. 

We were really behind our itinerary but we cannot ignore her hospitality. We stayed, ate  the lunch that they prepared and had some chitchat with the family. Nanay Consolacion lives in a very small "bahay kubo" with farming as their only source of income. She lives with her husband who already previously suffered a near-death experience but is still alive and healthy. Their children all have family and lives in other areas of Marinduque.

The simplicity of their lives yet maintaining a happy, contented and generous living was worth sharing. All the troubles we experienced a few minutes ago turned out to be a welcoming memory as we leave the small house of Nanay Consolacion. 

Our untold adventure at Marinduque was a mixture of good and bad experience. However, these experiences should always be taken positively. You become a better a wiser traveler by with this experience.

You may read other Marinduque 2019 articles here:
1. Gasan, Marinduque
2. Mogpog, Marinduque
3. Torrijos, Marinduque

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