The water was surprisingly very still, calm, and only the littlest ripples disturbs it as we pulled away from the Buyabod Port in Sta Cruz, Marinduque. We were then on our way to Maniwaya Island, a promising place that boast of a long stretched of white sandy beach.
Our 4-man group was aboard this tiny banca, a boat provided for by our hotel as part of the package we availed of. Since none of us has visited Marinduque previously, nor we know anyone who has been there personally, we had to turned to online research to get a bit familiar with the place.
We’ve also opted to book a hotel in Marinduque online ahead of our overnight visit. Using online travel apps like Traveloka is very helpful since they are easy to use, offer discounts, and have different features to make finding an accommodation convenient. If you are also venturing to a new place or a new city, it is good practice to do prior research especially on possible places to stay. Compare the offerings; some hotels offer special discounts on room accommodations if you go for hotel online booking ahead of your arrival date.
10 minutes, 20 minutes passed since leaving port, yet the banca felt like it was smoothly skimming through the surface, the sea continues to be astoundingly still. I took lots of photos of the still sea water, it was so surreal for me who is used to experiencing rough waves during inter-island boat rides.
My amazement led me to ask our bankero if the sea going to Maniwaya is that still on a regular day. He said yes, but there will be a rough patch ahead of us. True enough after a few minutes of me asking the boatman, we came face to face with bigger waves as our boat navigated near a mangrove-rich islet, but I was surprise yet again because the rough waves didn’t last long and made way for the stillness yet again.
The still water on the way to Maniwaya left a lasting impression on this traveler, one of the best highlights of our Marinduque trip.
Marinduque attractions in and around Maniwaya Island
Marinduque province is smack right in the center of the Philippines, the Luzon Datum of 1911 can be found in this province too. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had the time to visit this famous landmark when we went there last May.
I am hoping that one day I’d be back once again in Marinduque to see all its other famous tourist spots especially the datum since I have a thing for reference points like the datum, like Kilometer 0.
**The Luzon Datum is the 0 point, the base point for all geodetic and mapping surveys in the country.
Our itinerary was overnight in Boac staying in Boac Hotel, then the day after travelled to Maniwaya Island to stay one night in Marikit Na Beach Resort. We’ve chosen this resort because of its proximity to the Palad sandbar and the good reviews by previous visitors.
Kindly refer to this separate post detailing travel time per leg of the journey and point to point transportation we’ve taken while in the Province of Marinduque.
We were having our island lunch of steamed lapu -lapu when we observed a boat anchored near the Palad Sandbar. Our boatman says we must make the 15-minute cruise from the resort to the sandbar by 1 PM, any later and we might miss experiencing the sandbar. Around 12:30 pm we were already looking for our boatman, rearing to go. 🙂
A white sand bar surfaces in the middle of the sea during low tide in Maniwaya. At high tide, the waters engulf, claiming back the Palad sandbar and hiding its beauty from visitors. It was perfect timing when we got there, the other boat was about to leave, leaving the sandbar all to ourselves!
Eyes glistened looking at the crystal clear, pristine, amazingly aquamarine water of Palad sandbar! When the feet touched the white sand, wide grins and happy faces followed. 🙂
*Hotels and resorts in Maniwaya can arrange banca ride to the sandbar for you.
MOMPONG ISLAND’s Ungab Rock Formation
With sad faces we had to wrestle ourselves away from the Palad Sandbar to continue our island hopping tour. Our second stop was Mompong Island, this place is famous for the Ungab Rock Formation.
Ungab Rock’s triangle opening looks like a gateway to the sea.
One curious thing about this natural monument is that the outer side appears cleanly cut like a giant took a sharp knife and sliced through the rock with little resistance. Check out this other picture and see what I mean.
There is a small community living in Mompong, and one of its resident was selling halo halo for P30 per cup. With the afternoon’s heat, how can we say no to a cold treat? 🙂
DOLPHINS SIGHTING in Marinduque!!!
Now, this is totally a surprise, we saw dolphins twice during our island hopping tour. Really! Dolphins in Marinduque!!! I couldn’t believe it! And we saw them twice!!! 🙂
We were enjoying our halo halo, when suddenly a couple of local kids ran to the water’s edge, exclaiming ‘dolphins!’. Abruptly rising from where I was seated and squinting my eyes to ward off the sun’s glare looking to the far sea, and lo and behold, I saw them, there they were!
These playful sea creatures showed up without warning, playing, regaling those of us who were ashore as they race against each other. With smiles plastered on our faces, we looked at them until they disappeared over the horizon.
We stayed a bit of time in Mompong, happy to while the afternoon away while chatting excitedly with the local kids about the dolphins and the serene sea.
Finally, we got back on our boat to go to this other place that our boatman wants us to see, when the dolphins made a second appearance. Oh! how lucky we were! This time we were closer to them and able to catch them on video. It was such a delight to see the dolphins in the wild and free.
I sincerely hope when you get to visit Marinduque, you’ll also catch a glimpse of these playful creatures in their natural habitat.
Before going back to our resort, we stopped by this rocky islet between Mompong and Maniwaya that some locals use as hiding place if suddenly caught under heavy rain and ferocious winds. It also has scattered shallow pools perfect for chilling out and a small cave for those seeking refuge. Sadly, we didn’t have much time to stay and explore as we wanted to catch the sunset at the resort.
This was the beautiful sunset that ends the day while we were there in Marinduque’s famous Maniwaya island.
More Marinduque Tourist Spots
Aside from those natural attractions in and around Maniwaya, these are the other tourist spots in mainland Marinduque that we checked – the giant Moriones head statue in Sta Cruz town plaza, Balanacan Port’s Moriones monument, and the Boac Cathedral.
The province is also blessed with other natural attractions like Poctoy White Beach, Tres Reyes Marine Sanctuary, Malbug Sulfur Spring, Natangco Islet, and more. Our time was limited so we prioritized visiting Maniwaya. 🙂
Make your way to Marinduque! Visit the heart of the Philippines!