JOMALIG, QUEZON, PHILIPPINES — Located on the far-flung easternmost side of Luzon is the island municipality of Jomalig. It is even beyond the Polillo Islands hence, the quaintness and simplicity of their way of living. Over the past few years, the island have increasingly caught the attention of travelers around the country, not just because of its golden beaches, but also because of the warm hospitality of the community.
Our planned getaway to Jomalig Island was meant to celebrate the birthday of a friend. We were already at the port as early as 5:00am. Since the boat will leave at 7:00am, we’ve decided to check out the vicinity and congest in a breakfast. You can also shop for supplies as there is a nearby market.
The boat ride was loooong. And sleeping (for me) is one of the best activity to let time pass. The boats are mainly designed for cargo, not for passengers; hence you’ll need to hunt your own happy space. The sea may be rough at times, so prepare to get wet. Going to Jomalig Island is already an adventure itself.
Although what Jomalig Island offers are simple things: golden white sand, turquoise waters, beach camping. It is exactly what most adventurers seek. Simplicity serves as an elixir for our chaotic city life. Salibungot Beach is the premier beach of the island along with its long stretch of coarse-to-fine, golden white sand.
Aside from the beauty of the place itself, the warm hospitality of the residents adds up to the reason why you would love the place. It’s nice to see children greeting you a good morning with a wide smile on their faces.
TRAVEL GUIDE / TIPS
- HOW TO GET THERE. From Legarda terminal in Manila, ride a van or a Raymond bus bound for Infanta and alight at Real, tell the conductor you’re bound for Jomalig (P180-220 fare, 4-5 hours travel time). Boat to Jomalig Island at the port leaves as early as 7am. Fare is P350, inclusive of an on-board meal. If you’re a picky eater, better pack your own. Travel time is 5-6 hours, and the roughness of the sea waves depends on the season. Oftentimes, the boat will not be able to dock near the port so you’ll need to ride small flatboats for transfers (P10 fare).
- CONTACT INFORMATION – PASSENGER BOATS.
- JADE (+63910-631-6763)
- CHOW (+63929-258-0824)
- NICOLE (+63909-557-7012 / +63999-547-1564)
- FEES. From the port of Jomalig Island, all tourists need to pay the environmental fee of P170 and barangay fee of P50.
- GETTING AROUND. You can ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) from the port to get to Sitio Salibungot for P40. An alternative is to hire the flatboat (the one that will transfer you from the boat to the port). We paid P500 / 15 persons = P33.33 each.
- WHERE TO STAY. Old-school beach camping is the best and most common choice of stay in Jomalig Island. There are also a handful of residential houses offering homestay. We stayed at the house of Ate Lolay Apin (+63907-597-9773). The homestay includes use of several amenities such as bathroom, electricity, and cooking service. She implements a “kayo na po bahala” policy for the payment. Please pay her appropriately as she and her family are very great and hospitable hosts.
- Electricity on houses run only from 6pm to 1am.
- There are no public bathrooms yet near the campsites. Several local houses offer theirs for a small fee. You need to understand that fetching freshwater in the area is a bit laborious.
- NEVER BUILD A BONFIRE. Imagine this: if 6 out of 10 tourist groups will make a bonfire by the beach each week, what will happen to the golden-white sand in the next few years?
- As an alternative to a bonfire, bring a cuddle buddy to warm you through the night. For the singles, you’ve endured cold nights for years, one more night won’t be a bother.
- LEAVE NO TRACE. Do not throw/leave your trash around. Bring your trash back with you. Remember this is a small, distant island, i.e. it’s not meant to contain your trash.
- You can also visit Kanaway Beach and several rock formations via the island-hopping tour either through a habal-habal or a boat.