The moniker ‘Heart of the Philippines’ rightfully belongs to Marinduque – Velasco

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila – Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco today said that Marinduque is at the heart of the Philippine Archipelago even as he pushed for the construction of a monument to mark that spot in the Philippine map.

Called the “Luzon Datum,” Velasco called on his colleagues to formally recognize the findings of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Provincial Government of Marinduque and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), declaring the national significance of Datum Station Balanacan or the Luzon Datum as a historical landmark to mark the “Heart of the Philippines.”

Marinduque lawmaker explained that the landmark is the primary geodetic reference or origin of all geological surveys in the Philippines which means all maps and surveys made in the country use the Luzon Datum as a reference point.

Also called the “Luzon Datum of 1911,” the monument should signify that it is the geographical center of the Philippine archipelago.

Marinduque, dubbed as the “Heart of the Philippines”, is a heart-shaped island in the Southern Tagalog Region. Coincidentally, the island is also the geographical center of the archipelago and a stone marker marks its significance in Philippine geography.

Velasco said a marker has been fixed in what is known as the Luzon Datum of 1911 or Station Balanacan. This piece of stone marker is located on top of a hill that locals call Mataas na Bundok or Mt. Mataas in Barangay Hinanggayon, town of Mogpog.

In other countries, their geographic centers have become tourist attractions due to their creative initiative to build large stone monuments in these centers. Examples of these countries are Japan, India, Taiwan, Australia and the United States of America.

Velasco said the current global trend is to set up monuments in their respective geographic centers.

“It is high time we convert the Luzon Datum of 1911 into a modern-day tourist spot,” Velasco said.

In his House Bill No 1075, Velasco said that the development of a large stone monument in the Luzon Datum is feasible and beneficial, as it will help this country’s tourism and will also identify that the Luzon Datum is a significant geographical point in the Philippine archipelago.

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