Marinduque : Tubong, a welcoming ritual for tourists

Just in time for the Moriones festival, there are also activities that welcome tourists and one of them is the tubong or putong. Tubong itself is the ritual wherein various groups perform a song and dance for the visitors of Boac. The activity on the other hand, as a whole is called putong. Here’s what I’ve personally experienced during the activity. (oh, and I forget to mention that everything is for free!)

The tubong experience

It's been days since I've been on this island and it's obvious with the color of my face. Guests were lined up in front of the audience where locals are watching. 

After a while selected performers from Tubong group of Boac gave off their song and dance performances. The performers are in their colorful light colored traditional attires and they have accompanied guitar as their background music.

After their performance, the performers crowned us with a natively designed tiara made of indigenous material, colorful feathers and a wood-made ‘Morion’ in the middle. Aside from that, they gave us pieces of assorted flowers and showered us with the smaller ones. They said that they were showering us with blessings. They even gave us the tiara as a souvenir.

Capping off the whole experience is the letting go of butterflies. We were given a piece of butterfly each and signaled when to send them off. The locals believe that sending off butterflies would make your wishes come true as it flies to heaven. It’s one of the sweetest ways to make a wish, isn’t it?

I have experienced welcoming events before but not this way, just the traditional ‘Hawaiian’ dance followed by the flower necklace. This one is really different as it was my first time to experience such a welcoming ritual as a tourist so I’ll never forget this one! Even after the ceremony, the generous city of Boac treated us with native delicacies including bibingka, suman, pancit and buko juice! No wonder they are called the most citizen-friendly place in the Philippines! Their welcomes are truly overwhelming.

Side Trip Activity

Just a few steps away from the Tubong ceremony area is the ‘Maskara Mo, Kulayan Mo’ activity where we’ve got to try painting our own Morion! (It’s only 35 pesos but it already includes the mask, two types of brushes and five colors of paint!) You’ve got a lot of inspirations everywhere while you paint since there are lots of Morions roaming around the area!

Ella’s Recommendations

During Moriones festival (Holy week) you can find a lot of activities going on in Boac, you just need to look for the market where they usually post the schedule of activities or you may visit the nearest police help desk where they give promotional materials! They even offer free walking tours around Boac!