I like exploring the not so mainstream destinations in the Philippines because it always makes me realize how beautiful our country is. Beyond Boracay and the rest, there are a lot of islands in the country that can really make you say wow! Say, for example, Jomalig and many more! It’s just up to you to discover it.
A few months ago, my girlfriend, Eloi, and I explored Burias Island in Masbate. And just a few weeks after that, we traveled to Maniwaya Island in Sta. Cruz, Marinduque.
Marinduque is not that talked about among tourists, until recently that social media feeds have suddenly been full of amazing photos and experiences of travelers about this province. The first time I saw a picture of Maniwaya Island, I was intrigued. “Marinduque has these beautiful beaches?”
Then it was Eloi who pushed and convinced me for this island getaway. Well, it’s nice also to blog about the place, right? Haha!
One thing I make sure whenever I travel with my girlfriend is that everything is at least planned. You know if most of the time I travel DIY (Do It Yourself) and all, it’s a different case when I’m with her. So most of the time, we opted to join some travel events and tours. For our Maniwaya trip, we joined S&B Adventure by couple Bes and Son; it was one of the best-packaged travel that we joined in. Really! The way they treat their guests and also the food! And the way we ended up meeting new friends.
We traveled like 5 hours by van until we reached Gen. Luna in the province of Quezon as our jump-off to Maniwaya. It was only an hour of boat ride until we reached the island.
I was delighted the moment I saw Maniwaya, the same reaction I had upon witnessing some of the secluded islands in the country.
Clear waters and pristine beach as always. Maniwaya is charming in its own way. We first set up our tent and just made sure everything was all right before we took the time to walk on the beach. Our tour coordinator said that lunch would be served after an hour, just enough time for us to explore the island. Yihiii!
Just like a lot of girls out there, Eloi also loves taking pictures. So as a good boyfriend, we always have to do the things that make our girl happy, right? So then we ended up having a lot of photos. And it was all okay, Maniwaya’s beauty, and our moments together deserve to be captured. Naks!
We had a terrific lunch!
The lutong bahay feel of meals prepared by Bes and Son were delicious, especially the lumpiang shanghai and the spicy adobo. It was our first meal, and it was also the start of more satisfying food they served to us for two days.
After lunch, it was another free time for us, since we were scheduled to go to Marinduque’s famous sandbar by 3 PM. We were there during summer, so just imagine the scorching island heat. It was time for Eloi and me to swim and feel refreshed. The water was cool and crystal clear, perfect for summer.
We then settled under a tree. We just sat there looking at the beach, another precious moment for us. I remember I was so calm, relaxed, and sleepy at that time. Haha! Just imagine having a satisfying lunch and then having some siesta time on the beach with the one you love. Naks!
To make the story short, we both took a nap while lying on the sand. Haha! It was not an issue for us; we did that in Calaguas. Haha!
We were awakened after a few minutes, ready to take on some new destination in Maniwaya Island.
It was just a 30-minute boat ride from Maniwaya until we reached Palad Sand bar, probably the most popular sandbar in the province.
At first, I was intrigued by some motorboats flocked in the middle of the sea. It was when we got closer that I realized it was the sandbar.
Though there were a lot of tourists at that time because it was weekend, we still found a sweet spot at the farthest part of the sandbar for us to enjoy its beauty and take some good photos together and with of course, with our new-found friends. No doubt, there are a lot of activities that you can enjoy on the island.
Must Read! – Palad Sandbar in Marinduque
Ungab Rock Formation
Another stunning tourist destination in Marinduque is the Ungab Rock Formation in Mongpong Island. Just another 30 minute boat ride from Maniwaya, we were welcomed by stronger waves and these huge rocks that when you see the first time, it will take you a second look.
This is called Ungab because it is located in the eastern part of the island, which is also called Sitio Ungab. This looks like a natural bridge or an arch, depending on how you see, as for me, it seems like a bridge with space underneath.
There’s a wide opening underneath the rocks that gives the much-needed shade from the sun. I know those who don’t want to get sunburn or get darker skin will enjoy swimming below this rock, aside from its clear water.
This is also perfect for those who want to try some rock climbing.
Our new friends went to the farther part of the rocks. For Eloi and me, after swimming, we just enjoyed each other’s company at the beach while eating halo-halo. Haha! Perfection. 🙂
Our travel to Maniwaya made me realize the importance of exploring the world with the one you love. I would want to create a separate post solely about this topic in the future, but all I know now I am happy traveling and exploring new places with Eloi.
One afternoon at the beach of Maniwaya, we both sat together while enjoying the sunset. She was sleeping on my lap. I was looking at her, and as the last ray of the sun slowly disappeared, I was again reminded always to enjoy the present, the moment. Thank you, Maniwaya, for another excellent experience.
Must Read! – Ungab Rock Formation in Mongpong, Marinduque
How to get there? (Maniwaya Travel Guide)
Maniwaya DIY via Gen. Luna, Quezon (From Manila)
- Bus companies like JAC Liner have daily trips to Lucena Grand Terminal. The travel time is around 3 hours.
- At the terminal, ride a van going to Gen. Luna. Travel time is about 2 hours and the fare is PHP 170.
- From General Luna Port, there are boats in the morning bound to Maniwaya. If you’re a group, another option is to rent a boat going to Maniwaya. Ask around at the port for boat rental, but it is still recommended that you already have contact before your travel. Travel time to Maniwaya is 1 hour.
- You can have your breakfast at General Luna Market, and buy supplies before boarding the boat to Maniwaya.
Via Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
Jac Liner Bus has daily trips to Lucena/Dalahican Port. At the port, there are RORO vessels bound to Balancan Port in Mogpog, Marinduque. Travel time is about 2 to 3 hours.
Once you get to Balancan Port, there are jeepneys that will take you to Sta. Cruz. From there, ride a tricycle going to Buyabod Port (Sta.Cruz). There are motorboats going to Maniwaya Island at Buyabod port scheduled at 10 AM. If you have a confirmed booking in a resort at Maniwaya, they also offer boat transfer. They can fetch you at Buyabod Port.
Through Maniwaya Tour Package
Our travel was organized by S&B Adventure. We had a great time. I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a hassle-free trip to Maniwaya. It is also recommended to go for group packages if you want to lower down your expenses.
Maniwaya Island Itinerary
This is just a sample itinerary of our weekend getaway. There are many options for going to Maniwaya, this IT is based on our own experience.
12:30 AM – Departure from Manila
6:00 AM – Arrival in Gen. Luna, Quezon
6:30 AM – breakfast at Gen. Luna Market/Port
8:00 AM – departure of motorboat bound to Maniwaya Island
9:15 AM – Arrival in Maniwaya
9:30 AM – Freetime. Set up the tent etc.
10:00 AM – Beach bumming, Freetime
12 Noon – Lunchtime!
1:00 PM – swimming and beach bumming again
2:00 PM – Palad Sandbar and Island Hopping
3:00 PM – Palad sandbar experience
5:00 PM – back in Maniwaya Island
6:30 PM – Dinner time. Chit-chat with the new friends
9:00 PM – Sleep time
6:00 AM – wake up
7:00 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Island hopping bound to Ungab Rock Formation
9:00 AM- Ungab Rock Formation
11:30 AM – Back to Maniwaya Island
Noon – Lunchtime
2:00 PM – departure from Maniwaya to Gen. Luna
3:30 PM – Arrival in Gen. Luna
4:00 PM – Shopping and Pasalubong
5:00 PM – bound to Manila
7:00 PM – Dinner
10:00 PM – Manila
Maniwaya Island Beach Resorts / Accommodation
We stayed at Wawies Beach Resort in Maniwaya. It’s a beachfront resort, and we enjoyed it. Hopefully, I can also write a review of the resort soon. You may contact them through below details.
Wawie’s Beach Resort
Contact: Warlie Constantino – 09213695359 / 09081828156 / 09464743700
Facebook Page: Wawies Beach Resort
Marikit-na Beach Resort
Address: Sitio Central II, Barangay Maniwaya, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines 2490.
Contact this number and their Page for Rates. Phone: 09278789782 (Update 2016)
FB Page: Marikit-na Beach Resort
Playa Amara Beach Resort
Maniwaya Sta.Cruz Marinduque 4902
Contact: 0928 507 0362
FB Page: Playa Amara
Residencia De Palo Maria
Maniwaya Sta.Cruz Marinduque 4902
FB Page: Residencia De Palo Maria
Maniwaya island Weather
For details on the weather on the island, please check Accuweather here.
Maniwaya Island Map and Location
First published on July 3, 2016
Updated on July 8, 2018 / Updated for 2020