Sunday, April 30, 2017

Maniwaya Island in Marinduque (Holy Week 2017)

First of all, this is by far one of my craziest, silliest, last minute trip I ever did in my wanderlust-ing life. This also took place during Holy Week, the busiest holiday in Manila so I don't know how I pull this one off. I think ako na ang reyna ng last minute trip haha Seriously, this is really not advisable because I was dead tired after I got home but it was all worth it in the end. It has to be lol.

Prior to this trip, I was actually planning to just stay at home. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, I really did consider that because everything is already fully booked from hotels to bus tickets. You have to plan & book everything months before holy week if you want to have a stress-free vacation which I failed to do so. On the night of Holy Wednesday, I still haven't made up my mind whether I should leave or not but all my officemates doesn't believe me that I don't have any plans to travel. They were like "Weh? Di kami naniniwala.." And then when I come home, all my boardmates were like "Wala kang travel ngayon of all days?" I was like am I not allowed to just stay at home?lol But I guess since everyone have their own plans & social media posts doesn't help either because I ended up getting jealous & restless, I decided to push through going to Marinduque on Thursday night. Which turn out to be a good thing because there's no long queue in the bus & ferry terminal since almost everyone already left Manila the night before.

Honestly, this is really not my first choice for my Holy Week vacation but given the limited time that I have (I only research about this mysterious place days before Holy Week), I think I was already lucky that this trip turn out to be a success. Why Marinduque? Well, I don't know anything about this place actually but I read that the city has a lot of nice beaches to offer so that's already enough to sent me packing hehe

Marinduque is dubbed as "The heart of the Philippines" because it is located in the center of the Philippines & the island itself is shaped like heart. It is one of the five regions in the country having no land border with another region or commonly known as MIMAROPA, an acronym combination of its constituent provinces namely MIndoro (Occidental & Oriental Mindoro), MArinduque, ROmblon & PAlawan. The province is home to one of the oldest religious festivals of the country, the Moriones which is celebrated every Holy Week. It is composed of six municipalities: Boac (the capital of this province), Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Sta. Cruz & Torrijos. Out of this 6, I only get to visit Mogpog, Boac & Sta. Cruz due to time constraints so this blog will be just about this three.

Boac Cathedral

How to go to Marinduque:

There are various ways to reach this island but the most popular one is the route Manila-Dalahican Port-Balanacan Port (Marinduque). Jac Liner has a daily trips to Lucena/Dalahican Port from Cubao or Buendia Terminal. Try to catch the bus with the sign board bound to Dalahican Port but if not, you can ride the Lucena bus & alight in the Lucena Terminal. From there you can take the jeepney or bus going to Dalahican Port for a minimal fare.

It is safe to arrive in Balanacan Port even in the wee hours of the morning. In fact they are reported to have the lowest crime rate in the country alternately ranking with Batanes so I don't really feel any pressure at all choz. I even slept in the waiting shade of Sta. Cruz along with other travellers to wait for the morning (I arrive around 2:30AM) Still, be mindful of your belongings though. The jeepneys/tricycles are available 24/7 outside the Balanacan Port that could take you to other parts of Marinduque so need to worry if you arrive late at night or early in the morning. If you are going to Maniwaya Island, take the jeep going to Sta. Cruz. From there, ride a tricycle going to Buyabod Port. Public boat going to Maniwaya Island is scheduled around noon & since that's already too late for me, I befriended other travellers (nakakahiya pero kailangan lol) so we can split the cost for the whole boat which already includes island hopping.

This was the famous Palad Sandbar..kaya lang high tide!
My new-found friends!

Where to stay in Maniwaya Island:

If you are on a budget, I recommend to stay in Wawie Beach because they have available tents for only Php 350.00 or you can bring your own tent for a minimum fee. Below is their contact details:

FB: Wawie Beach Resort
Contact#: 09067512497 / 09213695359 / 09081828156

FB: Marikit-Na Beach House
Contact#: 09278789782 / 09219785565

FB: Playa Amara Beach Resort
Contact#: 09285070362

FB: Residencia De Palo Maria
Contact#: 09505055937 / 09985394726

On my way home back to Buyabod Port. Crowd lining up the boat on their way to Maniwaya Island.
First time to see this huge jellyfish in Balanacan Port!


Day 0-1:
6:00PM-10:00PM -   Bus from Buendia to Lucena Terminal: Php 210.00
10:00PM-10:15PM - Bus from Lucena Terminal to Dalahican Port: Php 35.00
10:15PM                 - Arrival in Dalahican Port (Pay Terminal Fee): Php 30.00
10:30PM -1:30AM - Roro to Balanacan Port (Mogpog-Marinduque): Php 270.00
1:30AM-2:30AM - Jeep from Balanacan Port to Sta. Cruz: Php 70.00
***Tried to sleep in waiting shade, didn't work though***
5:00AM-5:15AM - Ride a tricycle from Sta. Cruz market to Buyabod Port: Php 100.00
6:00AM-10:00AM - Start of Island Hopping (Palad Sandbar, Ungab Rock Formation & Maniwaya                                       Island) : Php 340.00 **
11:00AM Onwards - Lunch, Beach bumming in Wawie Beach
6:00PM - Dinner: Php 150.00
11:00PM - Overnight stay (Tent) : Php 350.00

** The price of the whole boat is Php 2,000.00 which includes island hopping & back to Buyabod Port for six persons. I think the price depends on your haggling skillls so haggle, haggle & haggle. My new found friends are not staying overnight in Maniwaya Island though since they only plan to stay for day tour.

Day 2:
7:00AM-8:00AM - Public boat from Wawie Beach to Buyabod Port: Php 70.00
8:00AM-8:15AM - Tricycle from Buyabod Port to Sta. Cruz Market: Php 20.00
8:15AM-9:15AM - Jeep from Sta. Cruz to Boac: Php 50.00
9:15Am-11:00AM - Walking City Tour in Boac
11:00AM-11:30AM - Jeep from Boac to Balanacan Port: Php 50.00
11:30AM-12:00NN - Lunch near the Port (Seafood & Halo2x): Php 110.00
12:00NN-12:15PM - Pay Terminal Fee: Php 30.00
2:00PM-5:00PM - Roro from Balanacan Port to Dalahican Port: Php 270.00
5:00PM-10:00PM - Bus from Dalahican Port to Buendia: Php 220.00
Miscellaneous (Food & Pasalubong) : Php 150.00
TOTAL: Php 2,525.00