Region IV-B in the Philippines, also known as MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), is known to have the best island and beach experience. The region is home to so many virgin and pristine beaches which are yet to be discovered by most of us. Traveling to the region is a little challenging though: yes, they have flights to all provinces, but going to the more beautiful outskirts requires you to ride a boat and brave the waves, as well as enduring several hours of land trip.
When I had my first government job, I was assigned to monitor the implementation of a development project in MIMAROPA region, hence I had the chance to travel around this beautiful but not-so-touristy destinations, including the Romblon Islands, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. I was only able to go to Coron, Palawan on my own years ago, and lately, in Marinduque.
I’ve been reading that Marinduque is a very chill province at the heart of the country, with zero crime rate, notable traditions (like the Moriones Festival), and Greece-like beaches. To finally complete my MIMAROPA bucket list, I took a chance to visit Marinduque this Holy Week.
Now the problem arises: I only have a limited time. Shall I go chill at the beach and do island hopping, or witness the cultural activity special to Marinduque, the Moriones Festival?
I hope you won’t get disappointed in me, but I chose to go to the beach. I could use trying to go back for Moriones next time.
So what did I do in Marinduque? Here are some tips:
1.Visit the Palad Sand Bar
2. See the beauty of the Ungab Rock Formation
3. Snorkel at the Coral Garden to see the marine wonders of Marinduque
I dunno why, but I just stayed inside the boat when others went to snorkel. You have to pay Php50 if you want to try it.
4. Take a look at the Maniwaya Island Ruins
I went here only to find out that there are a lot of foreign tourists having a photo shoot at the ruins. I just can’t stand the heat and the time so I just watched them a little and walked back to my resort.
5. Swim, chill, and watch the sunset at Maniwaya Island
If you’re looking for a few days to chill, I think this is the place to be. (Just don’t go on a Holy Week, I think). Moreover, if you have more time, you could also use going to mainland Marinduque to go around the towns. After all, Marinduque is a small province composed of only 6 towns: Boac, Buenavista, Gasan. Mogpog, Santa Cruz, and Torrijos.
A quick guide on how to go to Maniwaya Island by commute:
- Ride a bus from Manila to Lucena, Quezon.
- From Lucena, ride a van/bus to General Luna, Quezon.
- From General Luna Port, ride a boat going to Maniwaya Island (travel time is approximately 1 hour).
- Maniwaya Island has several resorts that can accommodate you for your chill weekend.
Happy travels and have fun under the sun!
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