Jomalig Island – The hidden paradise of the south. With the increasing number of tourist, Jomalig becomes more popular through the help of blogs and social media. I can say that Jomalig Island is a one-stop destination you can visit near Manila because you can experience all you want to experience around the Island. The island is so raw, clean and almost untouched. Jomalig is another destination should be listed on your travel bucket list.
Jomalig is an isolated island located in the easternmost part of Polillo group of Islands in the province of Quezon. Here are our latest travel guide and I hope this guide will help you to plan your visit to Jomalig Island. This travel guide includes budget breakdown, sample itinerary, recommended resort and travel tips.
A JOURNEY TO THE HIDDEN PARADISE
3 years ago when we started this blog along with our willingness to go to Jomalig Island until we’ve finally decided to visit it last holy week of 2019. I used to stay at home during holy week yearly because I don’t want to go along with other vacationists as it’s really crowded during this time. Actually, this is the first time I go out during this season if not just because of Aj’s Birthday.
We were 16 in the group, 14 adults and 2 kids. We rented a van going to Port Real, but it didn’t show up so we decided to get a passenger van along Aurora Boulevard to get us to Port Real for PHP 4000. It was Thursday morning when we left Cubao around 1:30 AM and we arrived at Port Real around 5:40 AM. Because it’s Maundy Thursday. All the people were out for a vacation, so the port gets really crowded. At first, I thought that we can board a boat for just 2-3 hours. There’s a long queue of passengers going to Jomalig that Polillo Island. Some of them were sleepless, hungry and exhausted. We have no choice but to wait.
13 HOURS AT UNGOS PORT
That was probably the worst travel I have ever experienced in my life. Imagine we’ve waited for almost 13 hours for the boat just to transport us to Jomalig Island. We were about to surrender that time but we’ve continued and we stayed because we believe that all the perseverance will be paid off when we arrive at Jomalig.
Maybe the LGU of Real was not yet ready or prepared to accommodate a huge volume of visitors in the Port. We’ve also heard that some of the tourists and travel agencies gave more than what is due instead of PHP 570 boat fare including the environmental fee so they can immediately board. Some people in the port gets angry when they knew what is actually happening since most of them were tired already.
Finally, a Mercraft arrived at 6:30 PM which only transport passenger to Polillo Island just to deliver remaining passengers left on the port to Jomalig Island. We arrive at Jomalig around 11:30 PM. It’s been 5 hours long journey in the boat. We were all on a deep sleep while heading to Jomalig because of tiredness.
We arrived at Jearts Emerald Beach Resort around 2:30 AM. Yes! all of the hard work has been paid off and our tiredness vanished away when we saw how beautiful the island is especially the resort. Jomalig Island is gradually recognizable. I hope that LGUs and organizers in the Ungos Port will implement a systematic way to accommodate more visitors in the future so what we experienced will never happen again to others.
I used to think that Jomalig is just a small island before where tourist flocks together on one beach. I was surprised that it has so many beaches scattered around the Island. You can experience inland tour via Habal-habal. So here are the destinations we’ve visited during our trip to Jomalig Island.
Salibungot beach is one of the popular spots in Jomalig. “We love Jomalig” sign is located on this beach. Salibungot beach was the first destination we’ve visited. Words may not be enough to describe its exquisite beauty. The pristine beach and emerald green waters of Salibungot beach really amazed us. Its feet-sagging golden sand is really soft making us walk difficulty. Water is indeed super clear.
Yup, it might be a typical beach you can find in the other beaches and islands in the Philippines but I can assure you that it’s totally different. This paradise is definitely stunning, a home of sandbars and fine sand beaches. Reading this blog is not enough, I highly suggest to experience it.
One of the best spots in Salibungot is the narrow curve part of the beach with a wide sandy golden shore fronting the Polillo Island. We walked like we are the only people on the beach. Even there’s a long queue of people in the Ungos Port, we were surprised that there is no huge crowd, there’s a small group of people swimming on the beach, no buildings/hotels like in other beaches aside from Agoho trees, everything is in a raw state. Salibungot beach is also a home of the popular resorts in Jomalig. There’s no entrance fee in Salibungot unlike in other beaches such as Kanaway Beach, Lingayen Cove, and Bagasbas Golden sand.
A few meters away from the main beach of Salibungot is the spectacular Salibungot sandbar. Actually, there is a sandbar near “We love Jomalig” sign but surprisingly there is also another long stretch of a white sand bar located between South Pacific Island Resort and Apple’s Resort. We were so lucky that we have visited this place since some tour didn’t include this spot in their itinerary. The place is also uncrowded, in fact, we are the only people in the sandbar at that time.
BAGASBAS – THE GOLDEN BEACH
Bagasbas Golden Sand beach is located 10 minutes away from Salibungot beach. One of the features of this each is its rock formations and the golden sand ripples. Rock formations here are different from the rock formations in Kanaway beach.
PUNO NG WALANG FOREVER
It’s funny to think that a single tree can earn as much you were earning by just standing in the middle of a vast green field and scenery alone. hahahaha! Maybe that’s the reason why it is called puno ng walang forever. Picture taking fee is PHP 5. Imagine if there are huge visitors who want to take photos with that tree, that’s a lot of money. Actually, many visitors taking photographs with it especially the younger ones or what so-called “Millenials”. We haven’t taken photos with the tree since we have to rush to Kanaway beach while it is low tide. To conclude, Puno ng walang forever is just another must-visit in the Island of Jomalig.
LITTLE BATANES OF JOMALIG – LINGAYEN COVE
As I said, Jomalig Island is ultimately a one-stop destination you can find in the province of Quezon. If you cannot yet afford to visit the Batanes, I can assure you that you can experience the feeling of being in the Batanes for a while on the Island of Jomalig. Situated in Lingayen Cove at the eastern part of Jomalig are a Batanes alike scenic view and rock formations almost similar to Chamantad Tinyan viewpoint that’s why locals called it “The Little Batanes”. It’s so amazing to think that we have beautiful places like these here in the Philippines.
LITTLE BORACAY OF JOMALIG
Not only Batanes alike spot Jomalig has but they also have a little Boracay. Maybe some of you are thinking that I’m kidding. No, I’m not. Aside from golden sand, Jomalig Island can show-off against other white sand beaches like in Zambales, Batangas and especially in Boracay. Situated in the Alog white sand beach is a paradise-like beach similar to Boracay. This is one of our best spot for swimming as its water is calm and the place is peaceful.
You might have not been to Jomalig if you didn’t visit Kanaway beach where you can see a wide area of the low-tide shore with huge rock formations in the middle of it. Kanaway sand ripples are one of the reasons why it’s very popular. The sand is basically dragged along the bottom by the water current piled up to form ripples and dunes. It looks like you are in the desert of the sea because of the sand ripples perfectly formed in the seashore.
We stayed at Jearts Emerald Beach Resort. They just opened last April 17, 2019. In fact, Aj was their first ever customer who booked a room since they open their page to the public in April. Jearts Emerald Beach Resort is one of the newest resorts in Jomalig. It was 2:00 AM when we arrived at the resort. We were pitifully welcomed by the owner of the resort since we spent almost 13 hours at the port. Since there is no assurance if we still push through, many passerby tourists have offered money just to get our reserved Kubo but the owner didn’t give it and they still wait for us until we arrive as per Kuya Botik(Owner of the resort). “Dumating kayo o hindi, hindi namin ibibigay, kasi ikaw yung pinaka una naming customer”, said by the owner. Ohhhh <3
Anyway, believe it or not, though the resort is simple. We will gonna put this place on the list of best resort we have visited. It’s indeed beautiful and totally worth it despite an exhausting long journey we’ve experienced from the Port Real going to Jomalig Island. Serenity, tranquil, relaxing, peaceful and uncrowded. That’s all the words I thought that best describe Jearts Emerald Beach Resort. Since the resort just opens last Holy Week. It is not that crowded unlike the other common resorts in Jomalig.
They immediately prepare foods when we arrived. They are very accommodating until our last day on the resort. We were so glad that all of our hard work just to visit the island has been paid off.
They have a total of five nipa hut. Three of them have a room with beddings while the two others are open cabana. You can also rent a tent for PHP 300 per night which is good for 2 pax. Videoke is also available for those who want to sing along. You can also ask for “Paluto” in the resort.
We were expecting the island was already crowded since there around approximately 7000 tourists at the Port Real going to Jomalig, but we haven’t seen even their shadows on the Island. Luckily, we’ve booked our accommodation to Jearts Emerald Resort. We woke up along with a very peaceful ambiance. Lowtide. Calming. Fresh air. We stroll around the beach for an hour. Their beach is clean and almost white sand. You can play volleyball on the beach front.
Thanks to Ate Ana and Kuya Botik for a warm welcome and for accommodating us. Our complete resort review and info can be found here.
Contact and Reservation
Ate Ana: 09489575088 / 0915 1508265 /
09474927171 / 0915 5318541
HOW TO GET THERE
There are many ways to visit Jomalig. You can either rent a private van or commute through the bus.
Option 1: Rent a van
Nowadays, many travel agency offering a package tour including a van transfer. There are also car owners that offer their service to transfer you to your desired destination. Actually, they had become more widespread when traveling turn into a trend, especially to millennials. You can find them around the internet especially on Facebook travel groups. Just be careful with the scammers.
Option 2: Ride a bus
Raymond bus offers daily trips to Real, Quezon. You can ride LRT 2 and alight at Legarda Station. From there, Transportation is just a walking distance. Use Google Map.
- From Cubao, ride LRT-2 going to Recto then alight at Legarda station.
- Walk towards Legarda Street until you reach Raymond Transportation.
- Ride a bus bound to infanta or Real. Travel time is 3-4 hours.
- Once you are in Quezon, there are tricycles that can transfer you to the port that bound to Jomalig.
- Ride a boat from Ungos Port going to Jomalig. Travel time is 4-5 hours.
- Ride a habal-habal and tell your destination to the driver.
Based on the schedule we’ve researched, Raymond bus night schedule going to Infanta and Real is 11:30 PM and 1:00 AM. Look at the bus with the signage of Infanta and tell the counter that you are going to Real.
Alternatively, if you are in a group, you can negotiate a passenger van and ask the driver to transport you to Real. In our case, our contact van does not arrive at the preconcerted time. So the only choice is to hire a van at Cubao that will transport as to Port Real. We paid PHP 4000 for a one-way transfer. Since we were 15 in the group. We only paid PHP 266 each.
Boat fare going to Jomalig is PHP 400 per person. The boats are mostly big since it’s for cargos which is enough to accommodate around 150-200 persons. As per local, the early departure is 5 AM and the last trip is 12 NN.Aside from the boat fare, there is also an environmental fee of PHP 170. Once you arrived at Jomalig Port, there are Habal-habal there that can transport you to your resort. The habal-habal fare depends on the distance, we’ve paid PHP 150 each since our resort is located on the other side of the island and it’s 50 minutes away from the Port. If the resort is near the port, the habal-habal fare is around PHP 50 only.
TRAVEL TIPS AND GUIDES
- Travel time by boat is 4-5 hours from Port Real to Jomalig Island.
- Buy foods at the market near Port Real then ask for “Paluto” on the island.
- There are two ways to tour the Jomalig island. You can either choose by boat or by habal-habal. Tour by boat might be cheaper but I would suggest getting the habal-habal since it’s fast and it’s more exciting. Rate starts at PHP 600 per person.
- Electricity is not stable on the island. The Electricity shut down every 5 AM to 1 PM. *Not sure if this only happens on our resort or in the entire island.
- There is a mobile data signal available at Jomalig port but some areas have limited access.
- There’s a public market near Ungos port where you can buy fresh fish, vegetables and meats.
- Don’t go there during holy week. It’s very crowded at the port. Imagine we’ve waited for almost 13 hours for a boat from Port Real.
- Bring extra cash as there is no available ATM on the island.
- In fact, no need to bring foods since you can have a good meal just for PHP 100 only.
- Always bring travel food.
- Avoid swimming at night since some of the beaches are already deep just a few meters from the shore.
- Do not litter. Preserve the paradise for the future generation.
THINGS TO BRING
- Snorkeling gear
|0||Assembly/Meetup at Cubao||9:00 PM|
|ETD from Cubao||11:00 MN|
|1||ETA Ungos Port Real, Quezon||3:00 AM|
|Board the boat – First trip||4:00 AM|
|ETD from Ungos port||5:00 AM|
|ETA JOMALIG ISLAND||9:00 AM|
|Ride habal-habal||9:30 AM|
|ETA at the resort||10:00 AM|
|Continue tour||1:00 PM|
|End of tour||4:00 PM|
|Sunset viewing||5:00 PM|
|Prepare for dinner||6:00 PM|
|2||Wake up||6:00 AM|
|Free time. Swimming||8:00 AM|
|Early lunch – habal-habal to Port||10:00 AM|
|ETA Jomalig port||11:00 AM|
|ETA Ungos Port||5:00 PM|
|Van to Manila||6:00 PM|
|ETA HOME||10:00 PM|
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
|EXPENSES FOR 3D2N IN JOMALIG||IN PHP PER PAX|
|Van transfer from Cubao to Port Real(4000/15)||266|
|Boat from Ungos Port to Jomalig||400|
|Roundtrip Habal-habal (Depends on the distance of your resort)||300|
|Foods and Paluto||500|
|Kubo rental (500 per night * 2N = 1000) / 2 pax||500|
|Boat From Jomalig Port to Real||400|
|Van transfer from Ungos Port going to Manila||250|
Note: Our total expenses is not accurate since we didn’t include small expenses. It’s actually more or less PHP 3500-4000. You can still save more depending on your needs and budgeting skill.
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