TORRIJOS, MARINDUQUE, PHILIPPINES — Most beachineers will admit: that they love white sand beaches. That’s how we came by the idea of checking out the white sands of Poctoy Beach located in the geographical heart of the Philippines: Marinduque.
It started with just a random invite from a friend, Kristyl, who was also bummed for the lone long weekend of November 2015. After several long, nonsensical discussions on where to go, we ended up choosing Marinduque as our destination although we planned for a no-definite-itinerary getaway. Or so I thought because I was the one in-charge of planning the IT, but didn’t made one. Poctoy Beach is the first item in our “itinerary” and spent the whole day on it bumming.
We were lucky Poctoy Beach is one of the Googleable destinations in Marinduque. So finding it is not much of a hassle. We were really excited on doing nothing but “bask in the heat of the sun while rolling around the white sands of Poctoy”.
When we came by the beach, accommodations in Poctoy White Beach Resort were already full. There is one inn with vacancies, but the price and the space is not suited for our thrifty nature. What now?
THE OTHER SIDE
Desperate to find accommodation, we were told by several locals that there are far-flung resorts on the left side. We found two resorts but there were no one around. By provincial standards, these resorts equate to traditional open cottages; not those Manila-type of luxury resorts. Suddenly, the all-gloomy weather poured down on us. That’s when we met the caretakers of one of the two resorts, the Wow Hanep Resort. We rented one cottage and spent the whole day and night sleeping outside. Good thing there was Blackie the puppy, who was also a newbie in town, to accompany us.
I woke up in the morning with the puppy’s saliva on my face. With Kristyl still asleep, I’ve walked around the low-tide beach as I watched the sun to rise. Although the weather was generally gloomy since yesterday, a bit of the sun made its appearance — seemingly telling me that it will not be a bad day ahead.
TORRIJOS FREEDOM PARK
Upon seeing a recent Instagram post about Marinduque, we asked locals on where the Torrijos Freedom Park is. Some were confused about our queries because it turns out, most locals call it Luneta Park (its old name). Just a tricycle away from Poctoy Beach, we decided to drop by the place on the second day of our random roadtrip to Marinduque. On the left side of the park is a view of the stretch of Poctoy Beach while on the right is a backdrop of Mt. Malindig. Down the shore, there are statues built on the waters. A group of three mermaids on a boulder, with a distant merman who seemingly is a suitor of one of the three maidens.
TRAVEL GUIDE / TIPS
- HOW TO GET THERE (Marinduque).
- There are Jac Liner buses that are bound for Dalahican Port in Lucena, signboard is Lucena/Dalahican Port (fare, PhP 220-230/person).
- In case you didn’t catch the Dalahican-bound buses, just ride any bus bound to Lucena Grand Terminal (fare, PhP220-230/person). From Lucena Grand Terminal, ride a jeep bound to Dalahican Port (PhP10/pax) or a tricycle (PhP160/trip).
- At the Dalahican Port, pay the terminal fee of PhP30. You can either ride the RORO/ferry (travel time, 2.5-3 hours) or the fast craft (travel time, 1.5 hours). The RORO costs PhP260-280, fastcraft costs PhP390.
- There are regular promo fares but I’m not sure when this pops up. You’re lucky if you got it (’cause we did!).
- HOW TO GET THERE (Poctoy Beach). To get to Poctoy Beach from Balanacan Port in Mogpog, ride a van bound to Sta. Cruz (PhP60/pax fare, 30 minutes travel time) and from the terminal in Sta. Cruz, transfer to a jeepney bound to Torrijos. Tell the driver you’ll be getting off at Poctoy Beach, located on the left side of the road. What you’ll see on the road is the arc and you’ll need to walk further to get to the beach proper.
- FEES. If you’ll stay at the Poctoy White Beach Resort, there is an entrance fee of PhP30/pax. Other resorts may have different rates.
- SIDETRIP (Torrijos Freedom Park). To get to the freedom park (located in Torrijos town proper) from the provincial road near Poctoy Beach, just ride a tricycle and tell the driver you’re bound to Luneta Park (locals may get confused if you say Freedom Park). Fare is PhP10.00/pax. You may also visit St. Ignatius Loyola Church, a walking distance from the park. Terminal for jeepneys bound back to Sta. Cruz is located near the church.
- Ka Amon Cave in Brgy. Bonliw is just 15 minutes away from Poctoy Beach. A sidetrip is very possible!
- According to the locals, first ferry-trip (usually AM) back to Lucena is always a promo fare (PhP50/pax) except during Moriones Festival.
- Marinduque is considered one of the safest provinces in the country because of its low crime rates. However, common safety precautions should still be observed.