Halina sa Maniwaya | Maniwaya Island, Marinduque

This year’s November holidays was quite a long one because a 2 holiday fell (All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s day) fell on a Monday and Tuesday. Of course, #TeamHartHart planned months before and it was decided that we will spend the holidays in Maniwaya Island located in the island province of Marinduque.

There are two ways to get to the Marinduque. You can ride a RORO at Dalahikan port located in Lucena, Quezon or hire a an outrigger boat/pump boat in Gen. Luna, Quezon. We chose the former to get to Marinduque and the latter to go back to Manila. I suggest the latter as it is a shorter journey and cheaper if you are travelling in a group.

How to get to Maniwaya Island via Dalahikan port:

From Cubao, ride a bus (Jac Liner) bound to Dalahikan Port. The bus fare is 228 php per person and the journey is more or less 4 hours. Our team left at midnight so that we can catch the first RORO trip to Marinduque. Once in Dalahikan port, ride the RORO to Balacanan Port. The first trip is at 7:30 a.m. (take note that trip schedules vary depending on the shipping line). There are regular trips every hours or so to and fro since Dalahikan and Balacanan are both major ports. The fare from Dalahikan port to Balacanan port is 260 php + 30 php for the terminal fee.

Take note, butane gas canister, knives, tools such as screw drivers etc. are not allowed inside the RORO. You will have to leave those behind with the security personnel and claim it on your way back. You may buy butane gas in Mogpog or in Sta. Cruz.

Once in Marinduque, you need to get to Buyabod port. You may ride a jeepney going to Sta. Cruz (fare is 100 php per pax) then ride a tricycle to Buyabod port. Another option is to rent a tricycle from Balacanan port which will take you all the way to Buyabod port. Our group (7 people) rented two tricycles and it costed us 170 php per pax  (1200 php for the 2 tricycles). This proved costlier however it saved us precious time since we did not have to wait for the jeepney to get full and it gave us the convenience of stopping at a cash point, public market etc. At the same time, the tricycles took us all the way to Buyabod port.

To get to Maniwaya Island, we hired a pumpboat for 1500 php (one way). You can also ride a passenger boat however there is only 1 trip which is at 11 a.m. We arrived in Maniwaya Island after 30 minutes.

We stayed in a resort called Playa Amaya. There we cottages and rooms available but for us, camping is still the way to go if you truly want to experience nature at it’s finest. The entrance fee in Playa Amaya is 50 php per head and the pitching fee is 50 php per tent (mind you we haggled for this rate). The resort was quite nice as it was well maintained, had fresh water taps and several showers and toilets and electricity. They also allowed as to use their bamboo huts for free. This made cooking a whole lot easier.

We woke up early the following day and did a bit of yoga to wake our bodies up following a night of socials.

Our inhouse boatman arrived early (which was a good thing) so we quickly at breakfast and prepped ourselves up for the island hopping. This first island we went to was Palad Island, a sand bar surrounded by crystal clear water which was fit for swimming. It was sort of high tide already went we got there so the island was smaller. We enjoyed staying there nonetheless as the water was calm and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. A perfect day to just go for a swim and take pictures.

The next island that we went to was called Ungab. It looked more like a cove due to the spectacular rock formation that is worthy to be in a panoramic opening scene of a pirate move. There were also plenty of cliffs to jump from and the water was deep enough you won’t be able to touch the bottom even if you jump from the cliff. A good place to face your fear of heights 🙂 Just be sure to have your life vest handy if you are not a good swimmer. For me this was the high light of the day. I would’ve love to spend more time there but our boatman told us that we needed to leave soon before seas get rough again.

We got back to Playa Amaya around lunch time. The resort owner offered to cook us adobong pusit  and fried fish for lunch while we ready ourselves up for the trip home. The owner was very thoughtful and kind. She even told us another way to get back to Manila. Instead of going back to main island of Marinduque, we went straight to Gen. Luna, Quezon (via the pumpboat we hired for the island hopping) where buses bound for Cubao our available. This route was much faster and costed way less than going back to Balacanan Port to catch the RORO.

Our trip to Marinduque is something that I would always look back on-the friendly locals, the beach, the rock formation. All of it! It’s just a matter of time before this island province welcomes us again. 🙂

  Watch our Marinduque travel vlog below!

Item Cost per head
Bus from Cubao to Dalahican Port 228
Roro to Balanacan Port 260
Terminal Fee 30
Tricycle to Buyabod Port (7pax) 170
Boat to Maniwaya (7pax) 215
Entrance Fee at Playa Amara 50
Picthing Fee 50
Palad Sand bar and Ungab (Island Hopping) (7pax) 142
Boat to General Luna (7pax) 215
Tricyle to Crossing 10
Bus From General Luna to Cubao 308
Food for sharing good for 2 days 200
Total 1878

Playa Amara Beach Resort – Edith Rejano 09205556256
Boat Man from Banacayan Port – Obet Pielago 09074208482 / 09307708030


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