A Weekend in Maniwaya Island

Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque

For a change, I spent Valentine’s Day on the beach with two of my roommates when I was a college freshman. On the eve of the Dinagyang Festival, we were out drinking, celebrating it our way. That’s when they mentioned their plan of visiting Maniwaya Island in Marinduque. As I can’t just let this life pass by without seeding my seemingly growing love for the beach, I didn’t bother putting up a fight.

Transportation

We took the 11:00 PM 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.

Buying tickets at Dalahican Port

As of writing 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 had a 4:00 AM trip. The next one to it was late in the morning. 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. A jacket would greatly help as it can be freezing even after daybreak. And yes, those benches will be your beds.

Ferry ride to Marinduque

Santa Cruz

Travel time to Balanacan Port in Marinduque was another three hours and public transportation was readily available upon arrival. We took an hour-long jeepney ride to Santa 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.

Rico's Inn in Santa Cruz

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 was roughly 15 minutes away. He asked us ₱200 for all those rides! Fvckin’ son of a… If there’s one thing that I always do when traveling, it’s asking the fee for a ride before taking it. I was 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.

Boat ride to Maniwaya Island

Apparently the port in Maniwaya Island was damaged by a typhoon. From there, motorcycles can take you to the resort you’ll be staying at.

Arriving at Maniwaya Island Port

Resort & Accommodation

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.

Wawie's Beach

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.

Maniwaya Island shoreline

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 below. Pitching one cost ₱300. As for the huts, they can be rented for ₱500 each. There also happened to be a karaoke machine for ₱1,000.

Wawie's Beach cottages

The kitchen can be used for ₱35. It had a stove and a complete set of cooking and eating utensils so if your group will be cooking all you need to bring are the ingredients and condiments. There was also drinking water but you can always bring yours as well if you want it that way.

Wawie's Beach kitchen

The cottages, I think, were all of the same size and could probably even accommodate up to five people given the size of the foam on the floor and the sizes of the occupants.

Wawie's Beach cottages

Wawie's Beach accommodation

The Beach

The “sand” up-close.

Sand in Maniwaya Island

The rain ditched us like an almost-lover in the afternoon but there was still no sun, making the scenery positively blue.

Blue waters of Maniwaya Island

Panoramic view of Maniwaya Island shoreline

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.

Shabu pa

Red Horse

The following day the sun outshone its shyness and we had a game of stone skipping. What can I say? I sucked at it. Was a good start though as I don’t remember any instance of me ever doing it.

Stone skipping in Maniwaya Island

We explored the left side of the shore and found a good spot for taking photos. Timer, set, go! We must’ve looked silly from afar.

Sunny Maniwaya Island

This part of the beach also happened to have less seagrasses.

Flexing in Maniwaya Island

Leaving the island was my primary concern as the only trip going back to Santa Cruz was at 7AM. However, we ended up not leaving that early because apparently there were two more options for going back to Manila. Maniwaya Island is a stopover for boats from Marinduque heading to General Luna in Quezon and vice versa. The former stops by at 10:00 AM while the latter is at midday. We were told there were no passengers heading to General Luna so we got on the second one.

Maniwaya Island Port

Boac

From Santa 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 were ferry trips even in the evening. We just had lunch, relaxed, and killed time in Kusina sa Plaza where the food was a bit pricey.

Stopover in Boac

Boac, a town reminiscent of Vigan

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!

Kusina sa Plaza Cafe in Boac

Mixed Berries shake

Kusina's Special pizza

Around 4:00 PM 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 since 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 by not sharing seats. He was probably pissed that there were four of them in their row. He’s also Filipino, by the way, which makes him disrespectful as well.

Ferry ride to Lucena

Like at Balanacan Port, public transportation was readily available at Dalahican Port. We took a bus which goes straight to Metro Manila.

Tips

If your love for the beach (and summer) is like mine and intend to visit Maniwaya Island, here are a few things which might be helpful:

Starhorse Shipping Lines schedule

Montenegro Shipping Lines schedule

  • There’s mobile data coverage so those who are always on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram need not worry. 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 that you can go to (a reason for me to go back).
  • The sea floor (yes, the term) in front of the resort had a considerable amount of seagrasses so if you find it uncomfortable you can simply move to the left side (when facing the horizon) where it wasn’t the case.
  • 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 was 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! For any concern, just tell him. Rice, booze, fresh fish… Name it.

Expenses

Finally, let’s talk about money, money, and money. The list below is exclusive of food, and you and I both know why.

ItemCost (PHP)
Bus ride from Manila to Dalahican Port (Lucena)219.50
Dalahican Port terminal fee30
Ferry ride from Dalahican Port to Balanacan Port (Marinduque)260
Jeepney ride from Balanacan Port to Santa Cruz80
Tricycle ride to Buyabod Port (this should’ve only been 20)67
Boat ride from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island70
Motorcycle ride to Wawie’s Beach20
Accommodation400
Entrance fee50
Kitchen fee35
Boat ride from Maniwaya Island to Buyabod Port70
Tricycle ride from Buyabod Port to Santa Cruz20
Jeepney ride from Santa Cruz to Boac49
Jeepney ride from Boac to Balanacan Port50
Balancan Port terminal fee16
Montenegro ferry ride from Balanacan Port to Dalahican Port (promo)208
Bus ride from Dalahican Port to Manila219.50
Total1,864.00

Visited: February 2015

Nelson

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An outdated software engineer with the attention span of a fruit fly. Follow me on Instagram if you have one? Cheers!

22 Comments

  1. Sir yung sinakyan nyong boat going to maniwaya eh public?
    tapos yung pabalik niyo ng Buyabod eh public din na galing gen luna? We’re planning to go there kasi this coming holy week. baka may contact kayo dun sa port?

    1. Hi Gene!

      Yes, public for both trips, so unfortunately, wala akong contact sa port. If you want private rides, the resort you’re going to could probably arrange them for you, although may possibility pa rin na mas makamura kung may direct contact na kayo sa bangka.

      Hope this helps and I hope you have fun there!

    2. okay po. Medyo pricey kasi ung inoffer ng wawies resort sakin kasi malaking bangka kaya hanap ako ng plan b hehe. So yung public boat going to maniwaya eh around 10-11am naalis ng buyabod? and yung maniwaya to buyabod naman eh 7am, righ?

  2. Thanks for mentioning our place sir.. Ronald here, Gm of Marikit-NaBeach and sadly u didn’t visit another side of the island which our place is located

    1. Hi Ronald!

      If I’m visiting Maniwaya again and with a bigger lot, we’ll definitely consider your place. It’s huge, and the interior looks great!

    2. sir how much po yung cheapest room nyo na aircon na good for if mag’overnight po kame???

  3. hi, good evening, kapag po ba overnigh magkano kaya yung pinaka mura nila na room pero komportable naman tulugan na good for two po??? thanks!

    1. Hi Louie!

      Best thing to do would be to text the resort owner (09213695359 / 09464743700) and ask for the price. Di ko rin kasi natanong kung ‘yung room worth 1,200 ba na kinuha namin ang pinakamura na. I don’t think may air-conditioned rooms na sila, kasi limited lang and power supply sa isla. Tumawad ka na rin bilang dalawa nga lang naman kayo. 😉

      Hope this helps!

  4. ah ok…. saktong 10am ang alis ng bangka tama? mula Maniwaya port puwede bang lakarin papunta ng Wawies? o magmomotor talaga?

    1. Nung kami mga 11 na nakaalis, but to be sure I suggest you guys be there on time. Pwede lang lakarin from Maniwaya port to Wawie’s, actually. Nung pauwi naglakad nalang kami.

  5. good day sir, can I ask you something? balak din kasi namin ng mga friends ko pumunta ng maniwaya marinduque, pero in a cheaper way then I found your blog, kaso walang nakalagay kung magkano ang fee kung my sarili kaming tent na dala, alam nyo po ba kung mgkno? at pra saan po pala yung accomodation fee? nkita ko kasi hiwalay pa sa entrance fee. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Kisha!

      Accommodation fee is for the cottage na tinulugan namin. Bale 1,200 siya kasi tatlo kami. As for the rate in pitching your own tent, di ko na naitanong eh. The best way would be to contact Sir Warlito via 09213695359 / 09464743700 (hopefully same pa rin ‘yung numbers na ginagamit niya). 🙂

  6. Good day sir,
    Balak po naming ng husband ko na magpunta sa Maniwaya with our 3yo daughter via commute. Hindi po ba matagtag ang Lucena-Balanacan-Buyabod-Maniwaya route? We plan to stay at Residencia de Palo Maria. Habal habal din po kaya ang papunta dun? Thank you!

    1. Hi Nes,

      Kung may matagtag man ay siguro ‘yung ride lang from Maniwaya port to the resort kung san kayo, which in this case is Residencia de Palo Maria. Di ko siya nakita nung nandun kami so it would be safe to assume na kelangan niyo ngang maghabal-habal papunta dun.

  7. Your boat fee to maniwaya is only 70 pesos im planning to go there with my father next week andito kasi kame nagbabakasyon now sa sta. Cruz and i heard boat is 1500 – 3000 how do uget theboat fee of 70 please help naman po tnx ^^

    P.S nice blog btw ^^

    1. Hi Rico,

      It’s only 70 pesos if you’re taking the public boat. I don’t know how many trips there are in a day now but we took one in the morning. I’m guessing special/private trip ‘yang 1500-3000 na rate.

      Thanks and I hope this helps!

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