Marinduque Province | Journey to Maniwaya Island - DIY Travel Guide + Personal Notes

My home province Marinduque is most famous for Moriones during Holy Week. However, not many people know that here lies an island which holds treasures that can bring joy and exhilarating feelings to any traveler. Maniwaya Island, despite being a new travel destination, has some of the most breathtaking and stunning shores, water, and rock formations I’ve seen here in the country. It brings a certain serene and quiet atmosphere because of its isolation.

Maniwaya DIY

Maniwaya Island is slowly gaining popularity now. A lot of accommodation options are now available on and near the area. Maniwaya is so breathtakingly beautiful that you need to keep your phone or camera fully-charged because of the endless sights of well-grown corals, white sandbars, and clear waters everywhere! 


Day 2 of our Marinduque getaway! We woke up later than our scheduled time to travel so very little time was spent on breakfast. My daughter enjoyed her tosilog and chocolate drink while I quickly finished my daingsilog.Wag kang magmadali Papa”, she insisted. “Okay, I will just relax… Even if I’m pretty sure that we’re cutting too close and we might miss the 7:00AM jeep to Santa Cruz”, I replied with smile. There was an hour interval before the next trip, and if we don’t catch this early trip, our schedule will be ruined.

The terminal is just a walking distance from Boac Hotel, but we decided to ride a tricycle to manage our time. By a stroke of luck, the scheduled jeepney also arrived late. It was almost boarding time when we arrived. The hour ride from Boac to Santa Cruz felt like minutes, as we were asleep in the entire trip. Yep, that’s one of our father-daughter things: we can sleep anywhere, even in at uncomfortable position.

We arrived at the Santa Cruz Terminal at around 8:00 AM. The jeepney driver was still waiting for four more passengers when we arrived so I just offered to pay the remaining seats so we could leave the terminal ASAP. At this time I was smiling again – we were pretty sure that our main itinerary for the day was still on track.

From Santa Cruz, our Barangay (in Torrijos) was just half an hour travel. I decided to swing by and made the usual kumustahan with relatives for an hour. Finally, at around 10:00 AM, our boat operators arrived - we're heading to Maniwaya Island, our main itinerary on day 2 and 3 of Marinduque getaway. To clarify, this is not the usual route going to the island. It’s an additional +45 minutes sea travel compared to coming from the usual jump-off points: Buyabod Pier in Santa Cruz (Marinduque) or in General Luna (Quezon Province). But since I also wanted to visit my relatives while in Marinduque, and my barangay is also a fishing community and has a local docking area of big fishing boats, I decided to arrange and start the Maniwaya trip from there. 

From our house, we walked through the now cemented pathway going to the fishing boat docking area called Lalao. Lalao, aside from being my childhood playground and having a special spot in my heart, is a rich habitat of different fauna and flora. It took us more than an hour from the boat docking station in our Barangay going to Maniwaya Island. We had a rough time traveling because of this year’s habagat.

Mangrove Area
Beautiful sight of thick mangrove forest - going to Maniwaya Island 

First things first - we book our accommodation at Wawie’s Beach Resort. I availed the air-conditioned room for Php2500. Their non-air-conditioned rooms/cottages are for Php1200.00 and tents are also available for Php500.00. Power outages or “brownouts” are one of the known problems in the island but the owner assured us that they have a generator set and operational. Upon reaching the resort, I felt relieved to find our room was clean and comfy. The water supply was also good and the hot shower was a plus. The resort also has a restaurant and function hall for videoke sessions. Our cottage was conveniently located near the beach area so the relaxing sea breeze was our best consolation.

Aside from the resort’s restaurant, there were also a few local food stalls near the resort where you could buy chips, toiletries, bottled water and soda drinks. There is also a branch of Rico’s Inn Restaurant just beside Wawie’s Resort. Rico’s Inn is a popular food place in the town proper of Santa Cruz that served affordable pinoy dishes and snacks like litson kawali, pansit and their famous halo-halo.

Maniwaya Beach Morning
Bird's-eye view of the northwestern side of Maniwaya Island


There are a lot of accommodations in Maniwaya Island, which you can easily book online. We stayed at Wawie’s Beach Resort, in the northwestern side of the island, famous for the long stretch of coral beach. The location of the resort is also near everything – most especially within walking distance from restaurants and the warf area going IN and OUT the island. They have a wide selection of room accommodations – from tents and cottages, to non-airconditioned and airconditioned rooms. Lastly, the good thing about their location is the beautiful sunrise and sunset views! 

Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: Kuya Warlito +639213695359 / +639773314872 
FB Page:

Below are the other recommended accommodations when in Maniwaya Island. 

Location: Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: +639192375633 / +639228670312 / +639179540495 / (046)5172189
FB Page:

Location: Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: +639185594522 / +639954062027
FB Page:

Location: Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: +639285070362 / +639205556256 
FB Page :

Location: Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: +639278789782 / +639219785565

Location: Maniwaya Island, Santa Cruz, Marinduque
Contact Numbers: +639214583462 
FB Page:

Maniwaya Beach PM
The beautiful beach area on the northwestern side of Maniwaya Island.

Things to Do and Interesting Activities in Maniwaya Island
  • Enjoy the sunset and sunrise – perfect view from Wawie’s Beach Resort
  • Beach Bumming 
  • Island hopping – Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation
  • Snorkeling at coral garden area (included in island hopping package)
  • Enjoy the long streets of coral sands near the Wawie’s beach resort area

Maniwaya Beach
Long stretch of cream sand beach

We grabbed lunch in one of the huts near the beach and got ready for our itinerary for the day – island hopping to Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation in the neighboring Mongpong Island.

Palad Sandbar 2
Bird's-eye view of Palad Sandbar

Palad Sandbar is always a good place to go to because it’s not easily accessible; you can only visit it during low tide. The sand there had an off-white shade but it was surrounded by teal water, which made the sky and the sandbar itself look a lot brighter. Plus, it was fun to take photos here because there weren’t a lot of people. You and your friends, family or partner can take endless photos without having to be bothered by other people blocking the view.

Our next stop was supposedly Ungab Rock Formation. Unfortunately, the locals and our boat operators advised us not to proceed to it as the waves became quite big and dangerous. But to give you a bit of information about the place, the rock formation is more of a huge arch or a bridge-like formation. You can also climb it. So, if you have a brave heart, you can go rock climbing there. But for those who just want a chill visit, the breathtaking view will be enough to make all the expenses and time spent worth it. 

Palad Sandbar 1
Palad Sandbar

Palad Sandbar 3
View of the stunning Palad Sandbar from the sky

  • There is a good mobile signal in the island (3G to LTE) 
  • Bring enough cash, there are no ATM’s in the island and credit/debit cards are not accepted as of this writing. 
  • Maniwaya Island has two long beach areas of coral sands - the one on the eastern side of the island (docking area of the fishermen) and the northwestern side (Wawie’s Beach area). 
  • Summer (March to May) is the best time to visit Maniwaya Island. Waves and currents are strong during Habagat and rainy seasons. 
  • The island has now 24 hours electric supply (connected to the mainland) but be prepared for rotational brownouts in the province. 
  • Take note that if you want to go island hopping (to visit the Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formations), it will cost you around Php1500-Php2000. 
  • There are also fees for camping with your own tent and the cottage rental on Maniwaya Island, but the price varies. 
  • Polo, Mompong and Salamague are the other 3 other interesting islands of Santa Cruz close to Maniwaya – you may opt to include on your itinerary. 
  • Maniwaya Island is inhabited and there is a local community – fishing is the main livelihood. 
  • Talk and interact with the locals – that’s our best experience in the island. They’re warm to visitors and willing to help specially on giving tips on the best spots and where to buy food. 
  • You can buy fresh catch from the fisherman then have it cooked at the restaurants/ food stalls for you. Of course don’t forget to pay for the service. 
  • There are restaurants and sari-sari stores in the island. 
  • Bring your camera – the views here are amazing!
  • Flying drones is allowed in the island but check the wind – it tends to get stronger during Habagat season. 
  • Don’t litter! Please preserve the island for your next trip – and for the future generation. 

Palad Sandbar
Palad Sandbar


From Metro Manila 

By Air 
  • There is a regular flight from Terminal 4 of NAIA (Manila) to Gasan Airport in Marinduque. Flight time is more or less 1 hour. 

       From Gasan Airport and Boac 
  • You ride in a public utility jeepney from Buenavista going to Boac. Regular PUJs are passing Gasan airport bound to Boac. Ask the driver to drop you off at the jeepney terminal going to Santa Cruz. 

The usual jump-off point is the town proper of Santa Cruz
  • At Poblacion, Santa Cruz, ride in a tricycle bound to Buyabod Pier for Php120.00. For a cheaper fare option, look for the Santa Cruz jeepney terminal (also the location of the public market) then ride in a jeepney routing Torrijos then ask the driver to drop you off at Buyabod Pier Crossing – for less than Php20.00 fare. From Buyabod Crossing, ride a tricycle going to the port area. 
  • There are only two (2) boat trips going to Maniwaya Island: early in the morning (7:00AM) and before lunch (11:00AM). Fare for passenger boat is Php80.00 and travel time is more or less 30 minutes. 
  • There is only one trip boat trip schedule from Maniwaya Island back to Buyabod Port, and that is at 6:00 in the morning. 
  • If you miss the scheduled boat trip, the other option is to charter a boat, with rate ranging from Php1000.00 to Php1500.00. 

By Land
Option 1: Via Land + Sea Travel (Grand Terminal in Lucena) 
Manila to Grand Terminal to Talao Talao Port in Dalahican to Cawit Port or Balanacan Port 
  • From bus terminal in Metro Manila, ride in a Bus bound to Grand Terminal in Lucena. 
  • From Grand Terminal, ride in a jeepney or tricycle going to Talao-talao Port in Dalahican. 
  • In Talao talao Port, take a 2-3 hours RORO trip going to Balanacan Port or Cawit Port. There are two (2) ports in the province now: Cawit Port in Boac and Balanacan Port in Mogpog. Balanacan Port is the nearest port to Santa Cruz, the town covering Maniwaya Island. 
  • From Cawit or Balanacan Port, take a van or jeepney bound to Santa Cruz. Then follow the instructions above. 

Option 2: Via Land + Sea Travel (Direct Bus to Talao-talao Port in Dalahican) 
Manila to to Talao Talao Port in Dalahican to Cawit Port or Balanacan Port 
  • From bus terminal in Metro Manila, ride in a bus bound to Talao talao Port in Dalahican, Lucena 
  • In Talao talao port, take the RORO trip mentioned above and go take the Cawit Port destination. Cawit Port is the nearest to Gasan but the schedule of trips here is limited as of this writing. 
  • From Cawit Port (Boac) or Balanacan Port (Mogpog), take a van or jeepney bound to Santa Cruz. Then follow the instructions above. 

Option 3: Direct (RORO) Bus from Kamias Terminal in Quezon City to Marinduque Province
  • You can ride a direct bus trip bound to Marinduque. JAC Liner has regular direct RORO Bus trip to Marinduque departing at 4:00PM (3:00PM boarding time) in Cubao terminal. 

Option 4: General Luna Route to Maniwaya 
  • Ride in a bus or van going to General Luna in Quezon Province. From there, there is a regular boat trip going to and from Maniwaya Island. The fare is Php180 as of this writing. Maniwaya Island is approximately an hour travel from General Luna Port. The boat leaves General Luna Port at 10:00AM. And the schedule of boat going back to General Luna from the island is at 6:00 in the morning. If you miss the daily passenger boat, you can charter a boat for Php1500-Php3000 (price varies on the size of the boat). 

If you’re coming from different towns of Marinduque Province 
  • From Torrijos, take a van or jeepney bound to Santa Cruz. Ask the driver to drop you at Buyabod Crossing. From there, ride in a tricycle going to Buyabod Port. Then follow instructions above. 
  • From Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos, another famous tourist spot in the province, you can hire an outrigger boat going to Maniwaya Island – it’s possible but we have no idea on the rate but we’re pretty sure that you’ll save time but it’s a little bit expensive. 
  • From Poblacion Mogpog, wait for one regular scheduled jeepney from Balanacan going to Santa Cruz. There are also jeepneys and vans from Balanacan Port direct to Torrijos – just alight at Buyabod crossing then from there, ride in a tricycle going to Buyabod Port. Then follow instructions above. 
  • From Buenavista, ride in a jeepney bound to Torrijos. From there, ride in a jeepney bound to Santa Cruz then alight in Buyabod Crossing. From there, ride in a tricycle bound to Buyabod Port. Then follow the instructions above. 

Maniwaya Sunset
Sunset view at Maniwaya Island

The sun began to set, and I had to bid goodbye to my nieces and nephews. They had to go back home and so they left us at Wawie’s, where my daughter and I spent the night.

While we looked for a place to eat dinner at, I recognized a familiar face. We happened to see Bokal Norma Ricohermoso of Rico’s Inn Restaurant. I approached her and made a good conversation for an hour – from politics to health. After dinner, we headed back to the resort and called it a day, though it was just 9:00 in the evening. Yep, that’s my bedtime whenever I travel with my strict daughter. Oh btw, this happened on Father’s Day!

Maniwaya Beach Sunrise
Early Morning at Maniwaya Island

We woke up early the next day (day 3) to catch the early trip back to Buyabod Port. There was a regular passenger boat scheduled at 6:30 in the morning from Maniwaya to Buyabod for Php80. The travel time was more or less 45 minutes. From Buyabod, it was a 15-minute travel to Poblacion, Sta Cruz, with a fare of Php120. From Sta Cruz, we hopped on a van stationed in front of the town’s parish church going to Balanacan Port. Travel time was more or less an hour for Php80. We arrived in Balanacan just in time for the 11:00AM scheduled trip of the Montenegro Shipping Lines. We paid Php195.00 (half promo fare) for more than 3 hours of Marinduque - Lucena sea travel. Before the RORO ship left the port, I managed to take a photo of the iconic Our Lady of Biglang Awa beautifully standing on the eastern side of the port, as if waving us goodbye and blessing our trip home.



Follow TRAVELING MORION's Journeys and  Travels
 Twitter| @travelingmorion
 Facebook Page| Traveling Morion


  1. I'm slightly embarassed to admit that I have never heard of Maniwaya before! But it looks absolutely gorgeous and I am totally going to do more research!

  2. The island looks fantastic. Lovely pictures. Such serene waters and greenery. Loved your detailed travelogue. Very interesting.

  3. Sounds like you had a busy schedule. I would be content spending the day on the beach enjoying the sun and water. It's so beautiful.

  4. Never been to this place but that place looks very vibrant to relax and unwind. Looks like you had a great time there!

  5. This place looks beautiful! Even though I have never heard of it before...I am intrigued. This could be added to my bucket list. I like your tips if traveling to the island, especially to have plenty of cash. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow look at the ariel view of that water. I love it and it shows just how magical this world is Marinduque is beautiful!

  7. Wow! Never even heard of this island and it sounds incredible. Thank you for putting together a list of accommodations :) Might have to add this to a future travel location!

  8. Sincerely JacklineAugust 21, 2019 10:40 AM

    Your detailed travelog is so interesting. I love how serene the water is. The island looks so gorgeous.


Thank you for visiting
Feel Free to drop/leave comment/suggestion(s) here :)