I have always wanted to go to Marinduque. I have seen a lot of blogs and even travel shows about the island but it is more fascinating when you experience it. I did not prepare any itinerary but one of my office mate is from Marinduque and he was able to at least gave me ideas on what places to visit.
How to get to Marinduque
From Manila or Alabang, you need to ride a bus going to Lucena City, Quezon for php208 directly going to Dalahican Port.
From Dalahican Port, you will need to ride a RoRo (roll on/roll off ships) from Starhorse or Montenegro Shipping Lines. Just check their website for the schedule.
Montenegro Shipping Lines
Starhorse Shipping Lines
From South Station in Alabang, I arrived at Dalahican Port Lucena City, Quezon around 9am. Take note that the travel time is 4 hours. So you will need to go to the bus station early to catch up with the RoRo.
The travel time from Dalahican Port to Balanacan Port in Marinduque is about 2-3 hours. Fortunately, I was able to secure a ticket from Montenegro Fast Craft for only php130 from php230. I left the port at 10am and arrived 12noon. The fast craft service of Montenegro is more convenient because aside from its faster which takes about 1.5 hours of travel time, less passengers and its air- conditioned.
Welcome to Marinduque
Marinduque is an island province in the Philippines located in MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Masbate, Romblon and Palawan region. Its capital is the municipality of Boac.
Home of the Moriones Festival
From the time, I arrived at Balanacan Port, I rode a jeep going to Boac for php50. I talked to the passengers from DepEd regarding the rules and regulations on the province. I noticed that not a single person is smoking in public. They said that it was a municipal ordinance.
Our Lady of Good Voyage Groto
Tip: As a traveler, it is important for you to know the rules and regulations of the place you will visit. It better to ask the locals just to be sure. It took around 30-45 minutes from the port to Boac. You will passed by Mogpog, where the Moriones festival is being held every holy week.
I arrived in Boac by 1pm. I went immediately to Lucky 7 Pension House because it was featured by a blogger which is a backpacker friendly hotel.
I also had my lunch at Kusina de Plaza just right beside the municipal hall. It was really hot and they did not turn on the AC. There is nothing special about the food. Its just the same as the regular “food court” food available at the mall. There are still other restaurants in Boac, you need just to look for one. The restaurant was featured in a blog last 2012.
“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” #thebrokenheartedtraveller
Lucky 7 Pension House is located at the Lucky 7 Commercial Building beside Pure Gold. The lowest rate they have is php300 non -air-conditioned. You can call Jun Malabayabas (09125323867. They are really accommodating. You need to enter a “Tiang” (RTW stores) first before the hotel. I am not really sure if the place is quiet during night time.
Marikit Na Beach Resort in Maniwaya Island
While I was looking at the rooms, I decided to go to Maniwaya Island stayed at a resort instead of staying in Boac then go to Maniwaya the following day. So I asked Kuya Jun if I can still catch up with the schedule going to the island.
I planned to start my tour at the farthest destination and my end point will be in Boac.
Below is the schedule of Jeep rides of Marinduque. It is important that you these facts so you can plan your time accordingly.
- Balanacan to MogPog – 6am to 4pm (back & forth)
- Boac to Sta. Cruz – 6am to 4pm (back & forth)
- Sta. Cruz to Poctoy – 6am to 4pm (back & forth)
How to get to Maniwaya Island
From Boac, you will need to go to Sta. Cruz proper for php50, it takes about an hour to get there.
Municipality of Sta. Cruz
Buyabod Port in Sta. Cruz
From Sta. Cruz, you need to ride a tricycle going to Buyabod Port for another 15-30 minutes.
Tip:You can contact Willie Revilla (0933) 043 6286 for the tricycle ride. Just negotiate with him for the fare. I paid php120 since he waited for me and the port is far from the town proper. Fair enough since the jeep from Sta. Cruz to Torrijos is only until 4pm. But if you arrived early in Sta. Cruz then you can ride a jeep then ask the driver to stop at the waiting shed at Buyabod. But you still need to walk 1-2 km from the highway to the port. So, its better to contact him. 👍😜
Tip: Please make sure you already have a boat contact person before you go to Maniwaya Island. Their public boat transfer is only until 8am for php70. However, if you are a camper and no resort reservations, there are boats in the port. Just use your “tawad” skills since of course, they will definitely give you a higher price and will also depending on the boat capacity and number of passenger.
You can contact Roberto Pijarra (0912) 343 4456 Maniwaya Local (Boat Transfer Contact), he does not have his boat as of now but he can definitely help you look for one. Just be reasonable with the price. I have already gave him insights for budget travellers.
The boat transfer from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island is about 30-45 minutes. I know that you are already exhausted because of so many transfers but once you are on the boat, enjoy your moment at sea.
We were supposed to be 6 passengers in a small boat but it ended for me to take the boat alone. But one good thing happened since the boat driver we already upset waiting for them for hours but declined. He did not ask me to pay the fair. It maybe he saw me that I was really enjoying the sea travel and did not mind the inconvenience. I asked him a lot of questions and diverted his attention. Maybe he was glad that someone understood him and made the ride for free. See? It pays to be friendly. 🤓🤓🤓
There are a lot of resorts in Maniwaya Island. But I really intended to go to Marikit Na Beach Resort since the owner of the resort is a friend of our neighbor. Without any idea what the resort looks like. When I arrived at the Marikit Na Beach Resort, I was really impressed of the house structure. It is not a typical beach resort where you have individual rooms.
It is a higher class homestay type of resort. The big and made up of wood. The interior is like Victorian meets summer time camp rustic feature. From term Home Stay, it means that you do not need to buy food. Most of their package includes 3 days and 2 nights including breakfast,lunch,dinner and the breakfast before departure. Most of the rooms are good for group. However, they let me stayed in room for 2 pax.
I was able to talked to the resort owner and the manager and learned that the resort is self- sustaining. Meaning, since it is an island, there is a time frame when it comes to electricity and water. I think it is common when you are in an island. They have their generator and solar panels just to make sure that they have enough electricity in the resort.
For more information regarding the packages offer, you may contact Ron 0921 978 5565. He is the resort manager.
Dinning Area at Marikit Na Beach Resort
After dinner, I stayed at the beach front and it feels so good when all you can hear is the sound of the waves. I never felt so calm in my life until I went to Maniwaya Island.
Although that I am not the only guest the resort but it feels like you are not in a resort at all. It feels you are at home. You can even stay at their veranda over looking the sea and have your moments.
Sunset at Maniwaya Island
I slept around 8:30pm and woke up by 2am because if the noise from the 20 guest who came around midnight. I assumed that they are also impressed with the interior because 2 guest opened the door at my room which seems they are curious what is inside. But I got upset the second time since it a sliding wood door therefore when you open it, its creates noise.
I was able to witnessed as the sun rises and immediately swam since I need to catch the first boat transfer back to Buyabod Port.
Groufie with locals of Maniwaya Island
While I was taking pictures I met Kuya Bert and told me that he will also go to Buyabod Port. I asked him to go the resort so we can go together. He came to the resort and informed me that there is already a boat waiting at the shore. To my surprise it is only a small about with 6 passengers including me. But they guarantee that it will be safe. So I decided to take the challenge and rode with the locals. I only paid php100 for the gas. Thank you Kuya Bert, I enjoyed the ride.
By the time, I was in Buyabod Port, I need to go back to the jeep terminal in Sta. Cruz going to Poctoy, Torrijos. Kuya Bert went with me to the town proper just make sure.
Poctoy White Beach, Sta. Cruz Marinduque
It is an hour ride from Sta. Cruz. When I arrived in Poctoy, I was looking for resort to have a day tour. The beach is clean and they are only few guests. You will need to pay php30 as the entrance fee and there are also resorts in the area for overnight.
Rendezvous Inn is owned and managed by Mr. Leonard Fetalviro. You can contact him at (0981) 475 4298. I can say that its the best resort in Poctoy White Beach. It was Barangay Councilor Nilia Vilar who helped me look for a resort. I was able to talked to Sir Leo and gave me a discounted price of php200 for the day tour.
I met new friends from Manila which were also travelers. Its not their first time to go to Poctoy. While we were sharing our travel experiences, sir Leo offered it to me for free. I was really happy at least I get to secure my things while swimming. Thank you sir Leo. 😂
The place is very clean and the AC’s are functioning well. You can at least get to stay in an air-conditioned room if its really hot and you don’t want to swim. The resort also serves food at your choice for a reasonable price.
You can also buy flavored shake at Councilor Nilia Vilar (0949) 780 0516. I saw a lot of people buying shakes in her kiosk.
I ended my day traveling back to Boac. I need to ride a jeep again going back to Boac to have lunch and visit the church.
From Boac to Sta. Cruz is an hour ride for php45 and from Sta Cruz to Boac is php47 for another 1 hour. Upon arriving at Boac, I immediately when to the Boac Cathedral, prayed for a safe trip and took some pictures.
I asked a tricycle driver where can I buy a ticket for Balanacan to Lucena. He told me to go to ABC where the ticketing outlet is available.
The ABC building is within the public market and to me surprise the person I asked at the market was the one who sells the ticket. I bought my ticket back to Lucena for only php50. I was kinda nervous and hesitant because it might be some sort of a scam. I asked several locals if the ticket was valid and told me that it is.
Before I went to Balanacan Port, I decided to look for another restaurant then I tried the one beside Kuzina de Plaza. Their food was good and the service was also great. I even asked them if the ticket that I bought for Starhorse Shipping was valid then they said it is. There are vans located at ABC Market where it directs you to Balacanan Port. I paid php60 and was able to ride the 5:30pm schedule.
While on my way to the port, there are 2 men who sells tickets for Montenegro along the highway for php130. During the inspection, the ticket was a valid. Indeed honesty is the best policy. Now, another 3 hours RoRo ride going back to Dalahican Port, Lucena City and another 4 hours bus ride going to Alabang. What a day!!! 😌
My weekend summer gateway in Marinduque Island was a not all about going to nice beaches, island hopping or trying different food. It was more on patience because of the long travel, so many transfers, appreciation of nature and the kind of culture the Marinduqueños have when it comes to genuine hospitality.
There, I got to experience how difficult their lives are when it comes to the mode of transportation and no 24/7 electricity but still I saw smiles in tier faces when they see me happy and most importantly regardless of their situation, they still able to help a broken hearted traveller like me.
Breakdown of Travel Expenses:
- Manila to Lucena City (Dalahican Port)- php208
- Lucena to Marinduque (Montenegro Fast Craft)- php260
- Balanacan to Boac Jeep Fare- php50
- Boac to Sta. Cruz Jeep Fare- php36
- Sta. Cruz Proper to Buyabod Port- php120
- Boat Transfer from Buyabod Port to Isla Maniwaya- Php500
- Marikit Na Resort Hotel -php1, 900 (food included)
- Sta. Cruz to Poctoy Jeep Fare- php92
- Rendezvous Inn Day Tour- php200
- Sta. Cruz to Boac Jeep Ride- php75