Friday, November 11, 2011

Jeepney Press 2011 November-December Issue Page 13

by Dr. Miriam Sun-Arenas


Marinduque is geographically located right in the heart of the Philippines where we can find the island paradise of a beautiful rock which is the Italian meaning of… Bellarocca which happens to be the name of a world class resort in Buenavista, Marinduque… Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa.

By itself, Marinduque is famous for the Moriones Festival celebrated every Lenten Season which depicts the passion and death of Christ. It is mostly portrayed in a colorful play wherein the central character is Longinus, a blind Roman centurion who regained his sight miraculously and converted to Christianity thereon.

Besides the Moriones Festival, Marinduque is also known as the budding Butterfly capital of the Philippines, wherein a butterfly farm is seen at Gasan. Likewise, several caves, famous of which, the Bathala Cave is found in Sta. Cruz. Moreover, in Boac, 17th century Spanish Cathedrals are found. In Torrijos, are found the famous white sand beaches. Buenavista is famous for the Hot Springs wherein its sulfuric waters come from Mt. Malindig, Marinduque’s highest peak which is also a dormant volcano.

The name Marinduque came from a close variation of Mt. Malindig, meaning tall and elegant stature. With the laid-back atmosphere of this province, is the excitement of discovering its unspoilt beaches, underwater coral reefs and adventure treks which stand proud among the country’s best tourist spots.

To get to Marinduque, you can drive your own car and the RORO boat can bring you to the island. You can also take a three-hour bus ride from Cubao via Jac Liner to Dalahican Port in Lucena City then a three-hour boat ride to Balanacan or Cawit Port. Or you can take the plane, Zest Air now has 4 regular flights a week. The more privileged can go direct via private helicopters, chartered flights or even on-board exclusive yachts to arrive at the island resort of Bellarocca, all 20 hectares of mountainous terrain.

Guests of Bellarocca are welcomed at the airport at Gasan with cold towels and chilled bottles of water to soothe the heat of the sun, before the pick-up van departs for a 40-minute land transfer to the town of Lipata, Buenavista. From there, guests are transferred via speedboat for an exhilarating 5-minute ride to the scenic island resort of Bellarocca.

While on the speedboat, Bellarocca is seen as a rising island above the cerulean blue waters of the Sibuyan Sea, its architectural inspiration coming from the Greek island of Santorini. With its immaculately white Mediterranean stucco structures and arches seen against the green landscape of the island and the clear blue sky offers guests a breathta-king view of nature.
Upon arrival at the hotel lobby, guests are welcomed by a group called mamumutong who performed an improvised traditional Putong ceremony, Marinduque’s unique way of honoring guests.

Bellarocca boasts of 70 exclusive hotel rooms, terrazas and villas each with balconies and verandas looking out to the sea and the majestic Mt. Malindig. Guests enjoy outdoor aqua sports activities like jet ski, water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Moreover, a 9-hole golf course at the foot of Mt. Malindig, is available for the enthusiast. For relaxation, a grand spa at the Hillside Spa Treatment offers state-of-the-art in body massage. A seaside Infinity Pool and a hotel lap pool offers guests swimming activities. Indoor activities like billiards, board games, internet games are available at the Entertainment Room. Home-theater viewing of DVDs inside the hotel rooms can be done and reading books are available in the Library.

The whole perspective of rest and relaxation amidst the serenity and luxury of a world class resort is what beckons guests to seek Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa. Whether it be a romantic honeymoon, an island getaway, wedding destination, a family vacation or a corporate affair, Bellarocca will offer a customized unforgettable experience as it is manned by highly competent staff headed by a Swiss general manager, Mr. Rudolf Studer. The genuine politeness and hospitality of the rest of the staff will make the trip extra special.

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