Maniwaya Island in Marinduque (with Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation)

It became a tradition for my family to go for a swim to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. I was glad that I learned about this emerging beach destination, Maniwaya Island from a friend. I was mesmerized to see the photos shared to me. With sheer excitement, we will celebrate my son’s upcoming birthday in this island through DIY travel, where we are used to.

the stunning and clear water of Palad Sandbar truly beckons...

the stunning and clear water of Palad Sandbar truly beckons…

 

Maniwaya Island is located in Sta. Cruz, Marinqudue. From Manila, it will take 5 to 6 hours in getting to General Luna port which is the easiest way in getting to the island. Boat ride may take an hour and more depending on sea condition. The other jump off point is in Dahican Port in Lucena City.

the family that swims together, stays together haha! ready now for Island hopping!

the family that swims together, stays together haha! ready now for Island hopping!

There are several resorts now in Maniwaya. Wawie’s Resort is the top favorite resort of group tours. But we were told, it is crowded with beach goers and campers so we chose the serene Villa Atilana. I found their contact number in their website and booked a reservation to Jill, the daughter of the resort’s owner.

we had a wonderful stay at Villa Atilana

we had a wonderful stay at Villa Atilana

Rate for the air-conditioned room is P2,500. For the boat transfer, we contacted Chris of Amara Resort and gave us a budget price of Php4,500. It includes island hopping.

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Our trip:

Coming from Manila, our travel time took us about 6 hours because of several stops munching and coffeeing. My family loves to eat on road trip. Their tummies got easily famished when out of home. Haha!

the long stretch of creamy white sand is embraced by serenity and peaceful ambiance

the long stretch of creamy white sand is embraced by serenity and peaceful ambiance

When we arrived in the city, we parked our van in a parking lot owned by Kuya Bibong Vercelos and paid Php200 (overnight rate). We had our breakfast in a nearby eatery and later picked up our stuff in our car and head off to the port.

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Since it was low tide the boat cannot go near the port. We were met by our boatmen Chris and Jhonrie near Mamaw Resort, fifteen-minute walk from parking area. The boat was small and can carry up to eight persons including the boatmen. Thank God the weather was cooperative. The trip was wonderful. The boat traveled in a moderate pace through the waters. It took us about one hour and fifteen minutes in getting to Maniwaya Island.

me and hubby while taking a rest after the long road trip

me and hubby while taking a rest after the long road trip

The Island

What I initially like about the island is the serenity that greeted us as we walked on the long stretch. The Island has clear water but the beige sand is not powdery as compared to other famous islands. There are crushed corals and small stones scattered on the shore so it’s best to walk with slippers. There are towering coconut trees and other lovely small plants.

ready now for the boat ride

ready now for the boat ride

We walked for about ten minutes in getting to Villa Atilana. The resort had a charming ambiance. Its main attraction is the cruise ship-like guesthouse with several rooms, dining area, lounge area and kitchen. Within the vicinity are nipa huts, open dining area, griller and a small kitchen. At the far end of the resort is a miniature cruise-like guesthouse that is good for one big family.

What is so amusing in Villa Atilana are the “hugot” lines hanged on trees. Read some here!

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Jill warmly greeted us and accompanied us in our room. This has two double beds, one extra mattress, bathroom and with free use of all the amenities inside the resort. Food is allowed inside with no corkage fees. We put all our stuff in our room and got busy grilling sea foods for our lunch.

my hubby is busy grilling our food

my hubby is busy grilling our food

We cooked our rice in our portable stove. Later, we sat on the long table with yummy grilled tuna and squid with dipping sauce of tomato sauce and calamansi. We also had adobong chicken, veggies and fruits for dessert. After we ate, we tidied our table and took rest.

lunch time outside our room

lunch time outside our room

The resort is not in the beach front but they have resting areas where guests can enjoy the solitude by just sitting, taking naps, talking to some guests, playing gadgets or simply doing nothing. Haha!

this cute guesthouse is ideal for one big family

this cute guesthouse is ideal for one big family

Snorkeling

By 3:00 pm we were fetched by our boatmen for snorkeling. The snorkeling site is just about ten-minute away from the resort. It was so nice to spend the day wading in the water because of the muddling weather. There was nothing interesting to see under the water so we just swim until we get tired.

one of our favorite water adventures is snorkeling, it is nice to see wonderful underwater creatures

one of our favorite water adventures is snorkeling, it is nice to see wonderful underwater creatures

By late afternoon we walked on the long stretch. We stopped by at Wawie’s Beach dotted with several tents. There was a little sari-sari store in the area that sells basic goodies like biscuits, breads, soft drinks and halo halo. We ordered halo halo and munched it happily.

the beautiful sunset

the beautiful sunset

Maniwaya is not a crowded beach yet compared to other well-known beaches in the country. It is so nice to while away the time in the shoreline. There’s no pesky sound of videoke. And what’s beautiful, it has a glorious sunset!

the clear water of Maniwaya Island

the clear water of Maniwaya Island

When night time came, we ate our dinner outside the guest house where we could see the sky. It was a perfect place to eat with the family while having happy conversation. After eating and tidying our table we stayed in the dining area chatting with other guests. Since we have no food for breakfast the next day, we ordered the traditional tapsi meal ahead of time to Jill so we can set out early for the island hopping.

We retired early to bed and slept comfortably.

low tide in General Luna Port

low tide in General Luna Port

Mornings at Maniwaya

My hubby and I were up early and set off for a morning walk. It was so peaceful that we enjoyed strolling on the long stretch. When we got back, the breakfast was served at exactly 6:00 am. Our tapsi meal was complimented with coffee, milo and a big bowl of lomi. Yum! Yum!

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our yummy Filipino traditional breakfast with one big bowl of hot lomi

Island Hopping

Palad Sandbar is the most striking feature of Maniwaya Island. The sandbar got its name from its shape “palad” which means palm. When we got there by 7:30 am, the small strip of white sand had already appeared and many people are now frolicking on the water.  We were amazed of its crystal clear water. This is one of the clearest waters I had seen in all my beach getaways. It has fine texture of creamy white sand and it was so shallow, so safe to swim for all ages.

I just can't get enough of the clear and stunning water of Palad Sandbar

I just can’t get enough of the clear and stunning water of Palad Sandbar

I enjoyed much doing my favorite back float style! Mama enjoyed immersing herself to the water too! Indeed, all of us had fun swimming and sitting on the sand bar that we did not want to get out there as early as 9:00 am! Bitin!

our Shen Shen and the mesmerizing water

our Shen Shen and the mesmerizing water

Sunrise is best seen in the sandbar and the best time to be here is from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.

Ungab Rock Formations 

Another famous spot to visit in Maniwaya is the Ungab Rock Formation, a unique rock formation situated in the island of Mongpong. It looks like an arch with other big rocks scattered on its bottom. It is amazing to see such kind of wonder with my family who seldom witness this kind of rock formation.

it's good to see another geological wonder in the island of Mongpong

it’s good to see another geological wonder in the island of Mongpong

The water was clear and with few small rocks at the bottom. From Palad Sandbar our travel time in getting here is about 28 minutes. During rainy season, it is not possible to visit the area because of the raging waves. It is good it is sunny today, we were able to set foot in this wonderful island.

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We went back at the resort by 10:45 am. There were seaweeds few distances away from the shore. We just waded on the clear water until knee-deep and head off to our room. We rinsed and later, we packed-up.The Island Charm

Maniwaya Island has a unique charm. Its clear water is perfect to soak in the sun. However, the sea weeds are somewhat scary. Hahaha! We were told that there are portions in the island that has no sea weeds. If only we still have time to explore we can visit that part and swim. Overall, everyone of us enjoyed our stay in Maniwaya.

another IG worthy photo of Ungab rock Formation

another IG worthy photo of Ungab rock Formation

Our water ride in getting back to the port was again, a wonderful trip. The boat can now dock at the port because it was already high tide.

Thanks to Jill and to all the staff of Villa Atilana for making our stay in Maniwaya truly one of a kind. Their service was good and the staff was all courteous and helpful. It is nice to chill out in their resort any time of the day and at night.

Contact Info:

VILLA ATILANA
Contact Person: Jill Lyka Rodriguez: +639954062027
Address: Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
Website: villatilanaresort.com

Other Resorts:

Playa Amara – 09285070362;
Facebook Page: Playa Amara Beach Resort

Wawie’s Beach – 09104619522; 09773314872
Facebook Page: Wawie’s Resort

Residencia de Palo Maria Hotel and Beach Resort – 09228670312; 09192375633; 0933 923 6620
Facebook Page: @ResidenciaDePaloMaria

Marikit na  Beach – 09278789782; 09219785565;
Facebook Page: Marikit na Beach

How to get to Maniwaya Island?

The easiest trip in getting to Maniwaya Island is via General Luna Port in Southern Quezon’s Bondoc Peninsula. Ride a bus (JAC Liner in Buendia or Cubao-Php210/head) and alight at Lucena Grand Terminal. From the terminal ride a van that heads to General Luna-Php160/head then a tricycle in getting to the port-Php10/head. Travel time may take 5 to 6 hours.

The public boat is one trip per day only and is scheduled at 10:00 am. From the port, ride the public boat in getting to the island-Php180/head. It may take one hour and fifteen minutes. Or you may hire a boat that starts at Php1,500 for 4 to 6 persons.

Things to do in Maniwaya:

1) Swimming
2) Island Hopping to Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation
3) Snorkeling
4) Sunrise and sunset watching

Tips:

1) Bring enough cash as there are no ATM machines in the island.
2) You may buy food, fish, fruits in the public market of General Luna Port.
3) There are parking areas near the port. Php200 for overnight stay.
4) There is good supply of electricity in the island.
5) The resort may cook food for certain fees.
6) Leave nothing but footprints.

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