Moriones Festival in Marinduque: A Unique and Colorful Celebration

moriones festival in marinduque

If you’re looking for an exciting and unique cultural experience, look no further than the Moriones Festival in Marinduque! This annual festival is a celebration of faith and culture that has been taking place in the province for centuries. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of the Moriones Festival, the customs and traditions associated with the event, and what you can expect if you decide to attend.

What is the Moriones Festival in Marinduque?

The Moriones Festival is a week-long celebration during Holy Week in Marinduque, a small island province in the Philippines. The festival is known for its colorful and intricate masks worn by participants known as “moriones.” These masks are meant to represent the Roman soldiers who persecuted Jesus Christ.

moriones festival in marinduque
People participating in the Moriones Festival

Participants dress up in Roman soldier costumes with shields and spears during the festival. They roam the streets of Marinduque in search of Longinus, the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus’ side with a spear. The story goes that Longinus was later converted to Christianity and became a saint, so the moriones seek to find him as a symbol of redemption.

The History of the Moriones Festival

The Moriones Festival has been a part of Marinduque culture for centuries. The exact origin of the festival is unknown, but it is believed to have started during the Spanish colonial era. The festival was originally a way for the Spanish colonizers to spread Christianity among the locals, but over time it evolved into a celebration of faith and culture.


During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, the Moriones Festival was temporarily suspended. However, it was revived after the war and has been celebrated ever since. Today, the festival is one of the most critical events in Marinduque’s cultural calendar and attracts visitors from all over the Philippines and beyond.

Customs and Traditions of the Moriones Festival

The Moriones Festival is steeped in customs and traditions passed down through the generations. One of the most important traditions associated with the festival is the making of motion masks. These masks are usually made of wood or paper-mâché and are decorated with bright colors and intricate designs.

The moriones also participate in various parades and processions throughout the week-long festival. These parades often feature floats depicting scenes from the Bible, as well as traditional Filipino music and dance.

One of the most popular events during the Moriones Festival is the “pugutan” or “beheading” reenactment. This reenactment is based on the story of Saint Longinus, who was beheaded for his conversion to Christianity. During the reenactment, a mock beheading is performed, with the moriones taking turns playing the role of Saint Longinus.


Attending the Moriones Festival

If you’re interested in attending the Moriones Festival, keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, the festival occurs during Holy Week, usually in March or April. It’s essential to respect the festival’s religious nature and to dress appropriately.

Marinduque is accessible by ferry or plane from Manila, and the area has several hotels and resorts. However, booking your accommodations early is essential, as the festival attracts many visitors.

While attending the Moriones Festival, take in as many events and activities as possible. Something always happens during the festival, from the parades and processions to the beheading reenactment. And of course, don’t forget to try some of the delicious local cuisines while you’re there, such as “binagol” (a sweet delicacy made from grated taro root) and “puto” (steamed rice cakes).

It’s also important to remember that the Moriones Festival can be pretty crowded, so be prepared for large crowds and limited space. It’s a good idea to plan your itinerary and to arrive early to events to secure a good viewing spot.


Overall, attending the Moriones Festival in Marinduque is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is to be noticed. With its rich history, colorful traditions, and unique customs, the festival is a celebration of faith and culture that is truly unforgettable.

moriones festival in marinduque
A group of participants posing in front of the church.

The Moriones Festival in Marinduque is a truly unique and vibrant celebration of faith and culture. From the intricate masks worn by the moriones to the beheading reenactment and traditional Filipino music and dance, the festival is an immersive and unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re a devout Catholic or simply interested in learning more about Philippine culture, the Moriones Festival is an event that is not to be missed. So if you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, include Marinduque and the Moriones Festival on your itinerary.

If you plan to attend the Moriones Festival in Marinduque, why not extend your stay and explore other tourist spots on the island? Let’s look at some of the must-see destinations that Marinduque has to offer.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *