Holy Week Escape: Maniwaya Island, Marinduque

Only a few hours at work before Holy Wednesday ends did I realize that there was a long weekend ahead of me. Thanks to a friend, he saved me from sulking in my bedroom, nursing a broken heart. So I packed my bag and let him whisk me away.

Despite the grueling 12 hours of land travel due to heavy traffic, the reward of discovering a hidden paradise was priceless and exactly what I needed. It was timing and chances that made my crossing out Marinduque on my to-go list possible.


Time stood still for a good four days of relaxation in Maniwaya, a barangay-slash-island tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland that is worthy to be discovered.


Having seen one too many marvelous beaches in all my local and international travels, I thought Maniwaya doesn’t fall far from them. The fine white sand and the clear turquoise water plus the tall trees and the surrounding islands made it all dreamy—a perfect place to chill and ponder on things.




Since it’s not so big, you could circle the whole island in one walking and then go back to where you started just in time for the sunset. What’s so special about the sunset is that it sleeps behind the mountain ranges.




The nights at Maniwaya were just as perfect. We were covered in blanket of stars and the moon served as the light. The cool breeze made it easy to relax and fall in a deep slumber. No mosquitoes, too!

I’d definitely choose Maniwaya over Batangas beaches any day!



As if the beach itself wasn’t enough, a sand bar a few minutes away from the island made the trip more extraordinary. It was a short strip of fine sand that floats during low tide and sinks during high tide.


The small piece of land in the middle of the sea is one of the favorite spots of everyone visiting Maniwaya. Boats crowd the sandbar most especially in the morning as it disappears completely later in the day.



A quick boat ride from the sand bar led us to the rock formation where my friends and I got to cliff jump (not so safe though, as the place was a bit rocky). Careful with the jellyfishes!

It was a good place to take photos, too!

All in all, Maniwaya is the place to be when you want clear waters, fine sand and no crowd. The only time you will have to spend is when you pay for your accommodation or camping fee and the yummy halo hallo by Wawie’s Beach.


From Manila (Buendia or Cubao), you can take a bus (JAM or JAC) that would take you directly to Lucena, Quezon for roughly P200-P250. If the bus did not go directly to Dalahican Port, take a tricycle to the pier for P30 each.

There are two major shipping lines that can take you to Balanacan, Marinduque—Montenegro and Starhorse. Fare is at P260 plus a terminal fee of P30. Ferry schedule bound is every three hours that starts at 12 midnight and ends at 4 pm.

At Balancan Port, you will find jeepneys and vans going to Sta. Cruz for P80. Upon reaching the town proper, you will have to take a tricycle going to Buyabod for P15. Then from Buyabod, take a boat to Maniwaya at P70. The boat from Maniwaya back to Buyabod leaves at 7 am the next day.



We stayed at Villa Atilana. The owner, Aling Lana, has cabanas and cottages to offer for a minimal amount. Wanna pitch a tent? You can, too! You can also either cook your own meals or ask Aling Lana in advance if they could prepare food for you during your stay.


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Steph is a free-spirited girl who is currently sashaying her way around the world one country at a time. Her heart is set out to explore the world, seeing for herself the words she has read in books come to life. She's a mermaid with two feet, swimming in every form of water to appreciate the life under. She's a bird with no feathers soaring high with her dreams as her wings. Reading is her hobby; hitchhiking is her way of traveling; adventure is her drug.

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