Maniwaya Island, Marinduque
For a change, I spent Valentine’s Day on the beach with two of my roommates during my first year in college. On the eve of the Dinagyang Festival last month, we were out drinking celebrating it our way; that’s where they mentioned their plan of visiting Marinduque. As I can’t just let this life pass by with my seemingly growing love for the
bitch beach, I didn’t bother putting up a fight.
We took the 11PM JAC Liner trip on a Friday from Buendia heading straight to Dalahican port. If it isn’t available, you can just take one heading to Lucena and from there you can get a ride to the port. Travel time was three hours.
Currently there seems to be only two shipping lines from Lucena to Marinduque: Starhorse and Montenegro. I had no idea of the schedule at all, but thankfully the latter has a 4AM trip. Next one to it is in the morning already! Much time would’ve been wasted.
I must say I missed traveling by sea. I used to do it a lot in college with SuperFerry and Negros Navigation, when traveling by air wasn’t favored for me. Anyway, a jacket would greatly help as it can be freezing by daybreak. And yes, those benches will be your beds.
Travel time to Balanacan port in Marinduque was another three hours. Public transportation is readily available upon arrival. We took a jeepney for an hour ride to Sta. Cruz, which, surprisingly for me, is a first class municipality. We had breakfast at Rico’s Inn where the tricycle driver who spotted us the moment we got off the jeepney didn’t stop bugging us. I had tapsilog and lomi. Perfecto.
We gave in to the nuisance of the driver and allowed him to take us to the grocery and wet market. When everything was already in place, we headed to Buyabod port, which is roughly 15 minutes away. He asked us P200 for all those rides.
Fuckin’ son of a bitch. If there’s one thing that I always do when traveling, I always ask the fee of a ride before taking it. I was simply caught off guard this time.
The weather was totally gloomy and rainy yet the water was calm. In 30 minutes we were already on the island, looking forward to what lies ahead.
Apparently the port in Maniwaya was damaged by a typhoon a few years ago. From there, motorcycles can take you to the resort you’ll be staying in.
Upon arrival, we were immediately welcomed by Mr. Warlito Constantino, the resort owner. Unlike my companions, I was glad there was another group in the resort. They had the room next to ours and also had three tents set up.
And here’s the first taste of the beach. The sand is actually pretty fine, but the amount of stones sort of conceal its quality.
I find the place similar to Anawangin in Zambales, with coconuts around instead of trees. You can see the tents I was talking about earlier. Pitching one costs P300. There are seven huts, which can be rented for P500. There also happens to be a karaoke machine for P1,000.
The kitchen can be used for P35. There’s stove, cookware, cooking and eating utensils, and water, so if some in your group will be cooking all you have to bring are the ingredients and condiments and probably some drinking water if you want it that way.
The cottages, I think, are all of the same size, and can even probably accommodate up to five people given the size of the foam on the floor. Of course that would also mean that everyone should at least be a little slim.
The “sand” up close.
The rain ditched us like an almost-lover in the afternoon but there was still no sun. The scenery was positively blue.
A glimpse of the sun and all the hues of blue led me to doing one of my allegedly signature poses. As envious as he was, my friend in a bottle also posed. Ugh.
The following day the sun outshone its shyness, and we had a game of stone skipping. What can I say? I sucked at it. Should be a good start, though, as I don’t remember any instance of me ever doing it.
We explored the left side of the shore and found a good spot for taking photos. Timer, set, go! We must’ve looked stupid from afar.
This part of the beach also happens to have less seagrasses.
Leaving the island was my primary concern as the only trip going back to Sta. Cruz is at 7AM. However, as you can see from the pictures, we didn’t leave that early. Apparently you have two more options of going back to Manila. The island is a stopover of boats from Marinduque heading to General Luna in Quezon and vice versa. The former stops by at 10AM while the latter is at noontime. We were told there were no passengers heading to General Luna so we got on the second one.
From Sta. Cruz we took an hour-long jeepney ride to Boac, the province’s capital. It was so reminiscent of Vigan with its old structures. We didn’t bother rushing ourselves as there are ferry trips in the evening. We just had lunch, relaxed, and killed time in Kusina sa Plaza. I think the food was a bit pricy.
Their café was a different story, though. The food was heavenly; the Mixed Berries and Kusina’s Special were, for lack of a better word, uhm!
Around 4PM we found ourselves in a port-bound jeepney. Much to my delight, it departed even if there were only three of us. After an hour we were back at the port and as we were way too early we ate lomi at a nearby carinderia. The vessel that we boarded this time had an air-conditioned area, and we managed to secure a row for ourselves. Aside from the movie Wild Card, there was this annoying guy who was ranting on how Filipinos are so disrespectful, slouching and not sharing seats. Really, he was such a pain in the head and was probably just pissed there were four of them in their row. He’s also Filipino, by the way, which makes him disrespectful as well. Yes, just like me.
Like in Balanacan, transportation heading directly to Metro Manila is readily available in Dalahican. Yes.
If your love for the beach (and summer) is like mine and intend to visit the island or resort, here are a few things which might be helpful:
- The SMART and GLOBE signal strengths are good enough to ease the itchy hands of those who are always on Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram. Hashtag, anyone? #antisocial
- We haven’t been there ’cause it would’ve cost only the three of us a fortune, but there’s a sandbar you can go to (a reason for me to go back, actually).
- The sea floor (yes, the term) in front of the resort has a considerable amount of seagrass so if you find your feet uncomfortable you can simply move to the left side (when facing the horizon).
- If you want a little taste of luxury or most of your companions prefer it, there’s Marikit-Na Beach Resort for that. I didn’t catch a glimpse of it, but based on what I’ve read, it seems perfect for a big group.
- Sir Warlito of Wawie’s Beach is way beyond accommodating. The kitchen was spacious enough for three, but when he saw us eating lunch like we were rubbing elbows, he insisted that we use a hut for free! Of course we didn’t take a bite. If you have any concern, just tell him. Rice, booze, fresh fish… Name it.
Finally, let’s talk about money, money, and money. The list below is exclusive of food, and you and I both know why.
- 219.50 – Bus ride from Manila to Dalahican port (Lucena)
- 260 – Ferry ride from Dalahican to Balanacan port (Marinduque)
- 30 – Terminal fee
- 80 – Balanacan to Sta. Cruz
- ~67 – Tricycle ride to Buyabod port (this should only be 20)
- 70 – Boat ride from Buyabod to Maniwaya port
- 20 – Motorcycle ride to Wawie’s Beach
- 400 – Accommodation
- 50 – Entrance fee
- 35 – Use of kitchen
- 70 – Boat ride from Maniwaya to Buyabod
- 20 – Tricycle ride from Buyabod to Sta. Cruz
- 49 – Jeepney ride from Sta. Cruz to Boac
- 50 – Jeepney ride from Boac to Balanacan
- 208 – Montenegro ferry ride from Balanacan to Dalahican (promo)
- 16 – Terminal fee
- 219.50 – Bus ride from Dalahican to Manila
Updated on April 23, 2017: I have disabled commenting for this post as I have replicated it in Itinerant. For further enquiries, you may comment there instead.