Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015
Vanishing Palad Sandbar
Marikit-Na Beach Resort of Maniwaya Island


I S L A N D 

T O U R 

Marinduque is an island province in the Philippines just south of mainland Luzon. Shaped like a heart, its shoreline is viewed as the geographical center of the country. Known for its colorful Moriones Festival held every Holy Week of the year, it seems unattractive to visit once the festivities are done.

When it's not Holy Week and you're compelled to explore Marinduque, here are a few exciting ways to enjoy the visit while you're getting lost in your own genial travel:

Marikit-Na Beach Resort
Balanacan Port of Mogpog

RORO Vessel

1. Enjoy The RORO Vessel Ride

In my attempt to upend preconceived notions, I tackled the 4-hour Jacliner bus ride last Christmas time from Metro Manila to Lucena where I had a RORO vessel ride to Balanacan Port of Mogpog. The latter was a voyage of a couple of hours at sea, but an amusement facility of videoke was in place. I chose to check out the ocean view at the deck instead since it was a clear day.

2. See Old Houses At The Town of Sta. Cruz

To explore Marinduque's emerging beach destination of Maniwaya Island, I had to meander through the municipality of Sta. Cruz where a necessary layover had to happen. A tour of the town will reveal several old houses that still stand unaffected by modernization, something that's good to pass the time while you're there. This is because it would take the early hours of the next day to chance upon a Maniwaya Island-bound passenger boat at the Buyabod Port. Sometimes it leaves as early as the golden hour, but sometimes, like when I waited it out at the port for three hours, it leaves at lunch time. Such is the way of life there.

An old house in Sta. Cruz
Marikit-Na Beach Resort's bathroom

3. Visit The Bathala Cave and Boac Cathedral

Over intoxicating drinks, locals I had a drink with at Sta. Cruz for my layover started encouraging me to check out the nearby Bathala Cave if I still had the chance. They mentioned that it's something worth returning to if I missed it during my trip because of its cultural and historical significance. Only four of its seven caves have been explored so far and the first one is a stunner for looking like a cathedral. The second cave is said to be guarded by pythons and the third one has an underground river. The fourth cave is eerie for having skeletal remains. I was also encouraged to visit the provincial capital of Boac where its 1792-built cathedral stands. For my revisit of Marinduque, the Bathala Cave and the Boac Cathedral are definitely going to make for intrepid side trips.

Bathala Cave of Sta. Cruz: photography by John Raymond Cruz, Julian Edwin Flores, and Benjamin Lauron, Jr. 
Marikit-Na Beach Resort's villa living room
4. Stay At The Marikit-Na Beach Resort of Maniwaya Island

With an expansive shoreline, Maniwaya Island is filled with numerous beach resorts dotting the beachfront.

Not all have satisfactory facilities that can sustain your decent overnight though. This is why I chose to book at Marikit-Na Beach Resort because it has its own drinking water-filtering facility and restaurant.

Full-board meals can be pre-arranged with the resort contact at an affordable price to match your luxurious beachfront stay at its villa which houses a variety of guest rooms.

Learn more about this resort here.

A guest room of Marikit-Na Beach Resort
Another guest room at Marikit-Na Beach Resort
Approaching the vanishing Palad Sandbar
The vanishing Palad Sandbar

5. Check Out The Vanishing Palad Sandbar 

A short 20-minute boat ride from Mariki-Na Beach Resort is the vanishing Palad Sandbar which is touted as a tourist destination at Maniwaya Island. As a guest of the resort, a boat ride can be arranged to reach the pebbled shoal ahead of most tourists from other resorts because the sandbar is approximately the closest to Marikit-Na.

6. Dock At The Haunted Cliff-side Japanese Mansion

After your visit of the vanishing sandbar, you can request your next destination to be the cliff of where the Japanese mansion is erected at the island. It's where you can dock to walk your way from the rocky beachfront to reach its main entrance inland.

The inland trail to the haunted Japanese mansion
The cliff-side property was abandoned by its Japanese builder-owner who was buzzed about to have plundered a buried treasure of gold in the area.

The palatial guesthouse is said to be haunted and a stay at its basement may likely make visitors see a floating kettle.

I learned from the resort’s consultant that the whole property was boarded up during its construction decades ago as a big ship hauled in all the building materials necessary to erect the development. For the vessel to even dock near it, a portion of the cliff was blown up with dynamite into smithereens, forming a small, rock-filled cove. It was where we docked our boat to check out the dated crumbling mansion.

The haunted Japanese mansion
Maniwaya Island's Lambingan Park
Waiting for the sunset at Lambingan Park

Getting off the boat to reach the haunted Japanese mansion

7. ViewThe Sunset At The Lambingan Park

Maniwaya Island is considered remote so it doesn't have conventional roads and most pathways are not lit at night. It only has cemented lanes for motorcycles and bicycles that transport residents, tourists, and a variety of goods. The popular area at the island that attracts sunset gazers is called Lambingan Park and it's where you can see the local scene of boats arriving form a full day of fishing and those that carry cattle from the provincial mainland or Quezon Province.

Why wait for Holy Week to see the Moriones Festival when you can discover the tropical charm of the province at any given time of the year? Visit Marinduque soon!

Marikit-Na Beach Resort

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

Special thanks to John Raymond Cruz, Julian Edwin Flores, and Benjamin Lauron, Jr. for their photo contributions of the Bathala Cave

More Photos Below:

Arriving at the vanishing Palad Sandbar
The living room of Marikit-Na Beach Resort
Marikit-Na Beach Resort's beachfront garden
Full-board meals at Marikit-Na Beach Resort


  1. Those caves are amazing! And the sandbar looks really pristine!

    1. Yeah. I agree. I'll return for a visit of the caves for sure.

  2. Hi sir! Tanong ko lang po, saan po kayo nakakuha ng guide para sa Bathala Caves at tsaka paano po kayo pumunta doon? Plano po kasi namin pumunta sa first week of August. Maraming salamat po!

    1. You may contact Marikit-Na Beach Resort at 0927-878-9782 or 0921-978-5565 as they may be able to refer you to local guides or they may have their own that you can hire.

  3. Hello! How much did you spend for this trip. Just planning to go there this summer.

    1. Budget for it is roughly Php4,000 inclusive of bus commutes and boat rides, meals, and lodging.

    2. Thanks for your reply! Hope to see my mother's hometown soon.


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