Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015
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I S L A N D

H I D E A W A Y









A far-flung island paradise deserves a fitting castle. Not the type that destroys it, but one of palatial proportions to soothe its soul. The remoteness of the countryside at Maniwaya Island is intact within its shorelines from scattered cornfields to the presence of coin-operated videoke machines. If there’s any tropical bliss to be had there, its patch of rural retreat that’s called Marikit-na Beach Resort is the next best thing. Perhaps, it’s the only luxury that matches its natural beauty.

Maniwaya Island is shaped like a fish and a young local was witty enough to point it out to me. My first morning stroll from my booked accommodation at Marikit-na had me chatting with a young boy who told me that he saw his island barangay on the internet looking like seafood. It occurred to me that the place wasn’t that detached from the rest of Marinduque after all. I happened to have seen a herd of cattle being transferred via an outrigger at the port the day after. Along with residents, goods such as gallons of distilled water and sacks of grains get to cruise back and forth the Tayabas Bay via passenger boats.

Visiting the vanishing Palad Sand Bar of Maniwaya Island






Travel Ordeal

Reaching the island is not an attractive endeavour for someone who’s used to random commutes. Heck, even scheduled boat rides from the Buyabod Port of the provincial town of Sta. Cruz don’t leave on time. After a Jacliner bus commute from Metro Manila and a RORO vessel ride via Dalahican Port in Quezon Province, I reached Marinduque missing the first boat that left as early as 6:00am. The next started boarding passengers four hours later. During my ordeal, I had to contend with a couple of hours more for carnival paraphernalia to be loaded before we finally headed out to sea. By lunch time, I was without food aboard a fully-loaded boat.

I played the mental picture of beachfront luxury over and over on my mind. To pass the time, I resorted to cutting my nails. The morning mist of the damp weather seemed to adore my temporary misery. The port was subsumed of such melancholy.

Arrival At The Island

The melodrama ebbed away as the boat approached the island. For P20, I rode the habal-habal (a motorbike), the only mode of transportation at the highly vegetated terrain. The concept of conventional roads there does not exist. If anything, any paved way is in the form of concrete strips that serve as two bike lanes.

Exclusive Amenities

I expected privacy during my stay at Marikit-na Beach Resort because I was told by my contact person, Ron Montes (Marketing Manager and Resort Consultant), that the establishment is only scheduled per set of guests. This was to ensure essential exclusivity of amenities. Not operating in the usual way as its neighboring competitors, the resort did not even look like one when I checked in. It’s actually more of a vacation house. The charm of a private villa that has extended space of a gazebo and a well-manicured garden made it more attractive to me. It even has a rustic 3-seater bench built into a latticework with trellis that I found quite adorable to lounge in.


Guests can rent the resort's private boat





Beachfront Luxe

Next to it, I anticipated relaxing at the three-storey villa’s balcony. My bed was conveniently right next to a sliding glass door with wooden panels that elegantly open to the ocean view balcony for fresh whiffs of sea breeze. Equally nifty was the wooden latch that opens it. I loved that the access to my room was designed as a secret door from the living room. The rest of the guesthouse is of acacia splendor from the walls to the imposing ceiling that can be touched from the spacious attic. As if bordering on eclectic, the displays and furniture seemed to have clashing personalities that clicked when tucked next to each other. Both rustic and elegant, the interiors effectively combined the feel of a middle-of-the-woods cabin and a beachfront villa.

The mini-theater of the vacation house
Delectable Meals

My first few hours of stay at the resort suddenly made me forget my earlier bout with the realities at the port. The resort restaurant meals added blissfulness to my relaxing stay as they were served in full sets of appetizer, main course, and dessert with refreshment. What’s more, the value was inclusive of unlimited extra rice. The place even has its own water filtering station for clean drinking water. Such tremendous passion for fine living was palpable in the services during my stay and with good motivation. I learned from the stay-in consultant that the resort owner used to operate a restaurant somewhere in Quezon City’s Katipunan food hub before envisioning a dining destination at the island which he later transformed into a full-blown vacation house.








Visiting The Palad Sandbar

To enhance my stay, I visited the vanishing sandbar that was just a 15 to 20-minute boat ride away during low tide with a fellow travel blogger and contributing photographer. Our resort base gave us a boat ride to and from it. We also did a side trip to a so-called Japanese House, a cliff-side property that was abandoned by its Japanese builder-owner who was buzzed about to have plundered a buried treasure of gold in the area.

Alternative Route Home

Going home, I tackled the General Luna fish port-Lucena Grand Terminal route for a change. The travel was cut short by two hours and I enjoyed this alternative passenger boat ride because it did not have a pack of tourists aboard it except for me and a couple of tagged along friends. The ride was an authentic taste of local travel and it offered me a fantastic view of the distant Mongpong Island for more than thirty unobstructed minutes.

Essential Rates

The whole vacation house, with its numerous rooms, plus the attic, can actually accommodate a set of more than 30 guests at a time. There's even a bar for a necessary night cap and a mini-theater to watch movies from a list of popular Hollywood titles. The standard room rate is quite affordable for two guests. An additional guest will be accordingly charged.

With the exclusivity of amenities per set of guests at the resort, I felt the total attention of the small number of staff. Since the owner also lives in the same premises, I felt safe and assured that the quality of fine beachfront living being experienced by him was the same kind that I experienced.

For the convenience of arriving and leaving the island, guests can rent the 15-seater private boat of the resort. The boat rental rate is packaged with a visit to the nearby sand bar for an affordable rate. For more details, check out the contact information of the resort further below.

Brimming with natural beauty, Maniwaya Island is ripe to be spotted not just over the internet and Marikit-na Beach Resort is a fitting palatial hideaway that complements it. Both deserve to be experienced regardless of the distance because their lasting impression is one that can make you go back. I know I will.

Marikit-na Beach Resort

Address: Sitio Central II, Barangay Maniwaya, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque, Philippines 2490
Phone: 0927-878-9782 or 0921-978-5565

More Photos Below:
















20 comments:

  1. I miss this place. Hope to be back this year. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜†

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your revisit may just find you seeing a swimming pool soon.

      Delete
  2. Nung last time ko jan parand di ko nakita yung resort na yan. Hehe. Anyway, ang ganda ng design nia. Homey na homey!! Thanks for promoting our island province.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, Billy. home away from home talaga. it's just new sa island. your province is beautiful.

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  3. 1,500Php is for a single night stay tama po ba?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Magkano po rate ng room? If we visit in june?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As of late 2014, P1,500 per room was the rate. It's best to call the contact info to verify updated season-based rates since it's now 2015. Thanks!

      Delete
  5. Hello, we plan to visit Maniwaya by next year, 24/7 ba and water and elecricity? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At Marikit-na Beach Resort, yes. I can't really confirm for other establishments.

      Delete
  6. How long is the travel time to maniwaya?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Most travelers peg it at 6 to 8 hours.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for your great article friend, i get new information, new ideas to do something’s, i hope you will share again, i keep waiting for next post, thanks. education systems in usa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi! Would it also be possible to take the General Luna route upon going to Maniwaya? Can you give me some details on how you took this way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was only able to try the Maniwaya-Gen. Luna route one-way -- from Maniwaya to Gen. Luna -- so I'm not aware of passenger boat schedule the other way around. If you're asking the schedule of passenger boats from Maniwaya to Gen. Luna, it leaves Maniwaya at 6:00am or 7:00am daily.

      Delete
    2. Upon arriving at Gen. Luna, how did you get back to Manila?

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    3. We were supposed to board a tricycle to get to the nearest van terminal for Lucena. However, we were fortunate to have bumped into an empty passenger van that was currently parked right at the entrance to the port of Gen. Luna, so we boarded that all the way to Lucena.

      Delete

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