Tales From The Heart: A Maniwaya Island Escapade
How to go to Maniwaya Island:
- From LRT Buendia, ride a JAC Liner bus to Lucena-Dalahican. Make sure that you don't ride a bus bound to Lucena only as it will not bring you all the way to the port. This will turn out more costly as you will have to alight at the Diversion to ride a jeep (Php 8) that will take you to the town properwhere you'll ride a tricycle to the port (Php 120-150 per trip). A direct bus ride from Buendia to Dalahican is Php 220, while it is Php 209.50 from Buendia to Diversion (Lucena). For bus schedule and a list of terminals, you may visit http://jacliner.com/. Alternatively, you may also ride a JAM Liner Bus (see info here: http://www.jam.com.ph/). Travel time is 4 hours.
- From Dalahican Port, board a Starhorse Ferry to Balanacan. Fare is Php 260 plus a Php 30 terminal fee.Travel time is about 3 hours, depending on sea conditions.
- Upon arrival at the Dalahican Port, make sure to rush to the gates and catch the vans going to the town of Sta. Cruz. Vans are limited so better to be safe than sorry. Standard fare is Php 100. In the event that you miss the van, you might be forced to rent the entire van, which costs Php 1,100-1,200. Travel time from Balanacan to Sta. Cruz is about an hour.
- In Sta. Cruz, hire a tricycle to Buyabod Port, which is about 15-20 minutes away from the town proper. From there, you may hire a boat to Maniwaya Island. The resorts in Maniwaya Island (see list here) usually have their own boats for rent. This can be pre-arranged for your convenience. Travel time from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island is about 30 minutes to an hour depending on sea condition. A boat that can accommodate up to 25 persons usually costs Php 4,000 inclusive of roundtrip resort transfers and island hopping.
|Boarding Playa Amara Beach Resort's boat at Buyabod Port|
|A view of Sta. Cruz Island on our way to the resort|
|Approaching Maniwaya Island|
|Playa Amara Beach Resort's shoreline|
|The resort's bar|
|The aircon room at Playa Amara Beach Resort|
- Beach bumming and sunbathing
- Snorkeling (bring your own gear)
- Island hopping to Mongpong Island (Ungab Rock Formation) and Palad Sand Bar
|Frolicking in Maniwaya Island|
|Calm waters. Last hurrah before the habagat season|
Upon arrival in Mongpong Island, we were awestruck to see the beautiful Ungab Rock Formation, a natural arc that opens to the sea. A must-see in Marinduque, the seascape around Ungab Rock Formation is said to have the best diving sites in the province.
Here are a few snapshots of Ungab Rock Formation:
The only downside is that the underwater scenery around Palad Sandbar is not something to look forward to as the corals are dead and few.
|Palad Sandbar underwater|
|Jump pa more!|
We went back to the resort just a few minutes before sunset. However, we were too tired to move out of the bed when it was already time for sunset viewing. 😋
|The other side of Maniwaya Island|
|Goodbye Maniwaya Island|
|Thank you madam Toni! 'Til next time, Tres Reyes naman!|
While the rest of the group went all the way to Marcopper to stay for another night, Kim and I went ahead as we have prior commitments in Manila that following Monday. From Buyabod Port, we went to Sta. Cruz Church where a van bound to Balanacan Port was stationed. We paid Php 80 for the shuttle fare and Php 220 bus fare (Jam Liner to Dela Rosa).
At Balanacan Port, we boarded a Starhorse ferry bound to Dalahican Port. Fare is Php 260 plus a Php 20 terminal fee.
We were surprised to see the interiors of the ferry! It's like we were transported to the Renaissance era for awhile. Oh, and the restroom was well-decorated, clean, and airconditioned, too! Such an experience to be onboard this vessel!
|Our Lady of Peñafrancia blessing our journey|
|The ladies' room|
|An island on Tayabas Bay|