Jomalig Island (hu-MA-lig) is the golden paradise of Quezon Province only a handful people ever talk about. And when they do, they will tell you stories of pristine beaches and clear waters alongside the golden sand and lush forests. Their main source of food are the agricultural products they grow themselves, plus anything from the fishing areas. Jomalig is the farthest island in the Quezon Province.
Jomalig is derived from the word, ‘humalik‘ which means ‘to kiss’. This is from a folk story where a young man was challenged by a Datu to roam a whole island but died in the end due to fatigue. The young man’s dying wish was to be kissed by the Datu’s daughter.
Though a sight for sore eyes, it’s relatively difficult to get there especially if you’re not a travel junkie. So we’ll give you a little hand. Here’s everything you need to know about the island: guides, directions, and tour packages (or lack thereof).
We’d just like to give you a head’s up that the best way to travel to Jomalig is to just plan it on your own. I’ve searched endlessly for reliable and concise travel packages to the island but to little avail. It just looks like they aren’t readily available and your trip might end up getting cancelled.
Thanks to itineraries people have been posting on their blogs, we’ve gathered the best way to get there and the best places to go to.
The last of the sun’s rays catch a passing cirrus cloud, casting it a bright orange and setting the sea ablaze with reds and blues and purples. The tips of fluffy cumulus clouds are traced in fiery colours as they drift across the sky. A friend of mine watches from the shore, the ocean lapping at her and enclosing her in a circle of foam as the evening explodes in front of us. I love sunsets. They’re silent poetry born of the day and the night. They’re subtle and serene, yet vivid and vibrant. I predict the leaders of every nation will declare world peace to the light of a setting sun, and I feel I will propose to the love of my life on some beach somewhere out there as the day ends in impossible colours. That is how much I love sunsets. The next time you catch the sun setting, drop everything you’re doing and watch it for a little while. You will find serenity. Jomalig Island, the Philippines. July 2, 2016. #summer #travel #Philippines #Jomalig #Island #beach #sea #ocean #sky #earth #sunset #sand #water #sky #clouds #beautiful #nature #whp #love #peace #wanderlust
But before anything else, leave no trace.
We do ask of everyone who will visit Jomalig to leave no trace. Jomalig is a peaceful and clean place and we want to leave it that way. Besides, people go here for its untouched beauty. Because of the ongoing developments in this island, people have been irresponsible with their personal belongings and waste. Keep your trash and leave everything in place.
How to get there
The whole trip takes almost 11 hours, that is if weather conditions permit. We suggest you take your bus ride in the evening, people say around 11:30pm or 1am depending on the current schedules of the buses.
BUS + BOAT
Route: Manila to Real to Jomalig Island
Manila to Real: Travel to the Legarda LRT Station. The LRT closes around 9pm to be sure so plan your trip to the Raymond Bus Terminal accordingly. Alternatively, you can ride an Uber or a cab.
Once in Legarda Station, look for the Raymond Bus terminal and board a bus going to Real. These buses have ‘Infanta’ on their signages. This means that the bus is going to pass by Real on the way to Infanta, another town in the Quezon Province.
The trip takes a good 4-5 hours. You can get off at the main drop off point in Real, Quezon then ride a tricycle to Ungos Port. This is where all the boats bound for Jomalig Island are.
Real (Ungos Port) to Jomalig Island: Board a boat going to Jomalig Island. These boats carry both passengers and cargo and are usually full. I have not come across boats to Jomalig for individual passengers. This trip alone will take 5-6 hours depending on the weather conditions. Boarding a boat to Jomalig Island costs P400 inclusive of a fisherman’s meal.
What to do if you miss a boat: The Jomalig Island Facebook page (yes they do have one and you can add them as friend too if you’re into that) suggests you take a boat to the nearby island of Patnanungan then take a boat from there going to Jomalig.
Jomalig Island drop off to your resort: Jomalig Island’s main mode of transportation is the habal-habal, a regular motorcycle fitted to carry 2-3 more passengers. This is what you ride going to your resort or just anywhere in Jomalig.
Bus: P195 – 210, depending on the bus amenities
Travel Time: 11 hours
Before you ride a bus, it’s best to call them up for the current schedule and rates.
Raymond Bus: 09338596862 – Sampaloc Office
Motorboats from Real to Jomalig
Where to stay
For accommodation, before all the developments took place, homestaying and camping were the top options. There are beaches here in Jomalig where you can camp and I personally recommend this more than staying in hotels.
But if you must, blogs recommend South Pacific Island Resort (SPIR). The accomodations are nice and clean plus the meals are homecooked and cheap. Each night costs only P500 which is a far cheaper and easier option than frantically looking for #aesthetic places on Airbnb.
SPIR Contact Number: 0907 828 5161 (Thelma)
SPIR Facebook Page
People also recommend Banana Beach Resort where you can rent and pitch a tent for P250 (for 4 people) or rent a cottage for P500.
Banana Beach Resort Contact Number: 0910 052 7501 / 0928-750-6148
Banana Beach Resort Facebook Page
What to do
Jomalig Island is home to golden sandbars and white sand beaches. Without a recent and detailed map in sight, you can avail of a habal-habal tour from your beach resort. Each tour costs around P600 per person and can take you to most of the beautiful places in Jomalig. If your beach resort doesn’t have habal-habal tours, we recommend the one organized by Banana Beach Resort and Kagawad Darwin Azana.
This tour will take you to the golden sand bar, little Batanes, little Boracay, Bigwangan Lake, and Kanaway Islet among many others.
Salibungot Beach is their ‘main’ beach, the one with the I Love Jomalig sign. People who have been here say it is absolutely breathtaking both daytime and nighttime. Currently, pitching a tent in this beach is not allowed but you can ask resorts nearby if you can pitch your tent there.
Darwin Azana – Day Tour: 0928-750-6148
The sun sets from the west over distant Quezon, a good six hours across the ocean from my perch on a stage of sand on Jomalig Island. Travellers stand watch as the silvery sunset shimmers through the clouds, mere pinpricks of shadow against the scenery. It was as if heaven itself had opened up across the waters. Jomalig Island, the Philippines. July 2, 2016. #summer #travel #Philippines #Jomalig #beach #ocean #sea #sunset #clouds #sky #silver #light #water #beauty #nature #heaven #heavenly #wanderlust
*Featured Image courtesy of Alo Lantin