Maniwaya Revisited


This is how Boracay was 20 years ago. Once you go to Maniwaya, you will keep coming back.




invisible vollevball net?

invisible vollevball net?

I first went to this island when there were probably less than 50 residents, back in the early 80s. On my two visits last year, I saw some resorts being built, and I was not surprised that someone will think of building accommodations for visitors wanting a piece of paradise.

I started blogging about Maniwaya then.

I went back to Maniwaya last Maundy Thursday (2013) and the resorts were fully booked – – – yet one can still contrast the density of people on the water versus the elbow-to-elbow density in  famous Boracay. Somehow, Maniwaya visitors still feel they own the beach, even during the peak travel season. I can see it is not going to be the case for very long.

On a Maundy Thursday, still not elbow-to-elbow

On a Maundy Thursday, still not elbow-to-elbow



Today, a Maniwaya vacation is still restful. Pitching a tent is still enjoyable as you will not have to be in a spot with 200 tents side by side. There are open cottages for picnics, like the one we rented for a day tour. We paid only P500 for a huge table with many benches, shaded under a tree.


The owner of the THREE BROTHERS store is so enterprising they built the open cottage we rented. And they also have 3 units of bamboo huts for rent, at only P750 for the day or P1,500 overnight. This is a good enough place to stay – – –  there is a bed, a small veranda, a bathroom, and even a kitchen.




At the property’s fence, there was this info on contact details:

The cottages can accommodate 5-6 people sardines-style, but chap for P1,500 overnight (24 hours)

The cottages can accommodate 5-6 people sardines-style, but cheap for P1,500 overnight (24 hours)


The congressman that represents Marinduque has also built a vacation place in Maniwaya. He probably believes, too, that the island is paradise that he would like to have a part of. On one visit, I saw him jet-skiing. On a visit last year (or was it two years ago?), I chanced upon the congressman with whom I had a couple of beers over lively chat on how Maniwaya may be more popular and more accessible, to spur Marinduque tourism.

a bit of Bali in the congressman's property

a bit of Bali in the congressman’s property


A new resort hotel is Residencia de Palo Maria. First of all I was confused and thought this might be the high-end extension of the first-ever resort accommodation in Maniwaya, also called Palo Maria. As it turns out, Palo Maria is the name of the barangay where both are located. Residencia de Palo Maria has air-conditioned rooms, and a swimming pool. They also operate ATVs,   watersports facilities like jet skis, banana boat rides, kayaks, speed boats, snorkeling, etc.

the newest resort with swimming pool and aircon rooms (photo taken by my friend Bob Gan Ferrere)

the newest resort with swimming pool and aircon rooms (photo taken by my friend Bob Gan Ferrer)



A family room at La Residencia is at P3,500 for overnight stay (24 hours), with aircon, cable TV and ref. The room is good for up to 5 persons although there is an extra charge of P200 per bed/person. A twin bungalow room rents out for P3,000. A bamboo hut/kubo with fan and TV rents out for P1.500, for 2-3 persons.

Contact Details: 09192375633, 09228670312,09179540495, landline (046)5172189. Email Facebook : residencia de palomaria


On the stretch where the congressman’s property is located, there are many open-cottages that may be rented by day excursion visitors. In fact, I imagine that some would even rent these as accommodations, sleeping on the built-in benches, enjoying the sea breeze while resting at night. This stretch, in my opinion, offers the best spot for visitors to the island.

an open cottage beside the old Palo Maria

an open cottage beside the old Palo Maria




Maniwaya is best accessed from Buyabod Pier in the town of Sta Cruz. Fares are very reasonable. Enjoy Maniwaya. But I appeal to one and all to keep the place the paradise that it is. Be responsible and do not throw around plastics and other wastes.


the view from where we took off in Buyabod

the view from where we took off in Buyabod

approaching Maniwaya

approaching Maniwaya



To go to Marinduque, take a bus to Lucena and head to Dalahican pier. From there there are many ro-ro trips to Marinduque.

roro from Dalahican to Marinduque (photo taken by my friend Jun Bucao)

roro from Dalahican to Marinduque (photo taken by my friend Jun Bucao)

Whether the roro is going to Cawit or to Balanacan, visitors can easily take a jeepney ride to Sta Cruz. There are boats that ferry passengers to Maniwaya or to the other islands at reasonable fares. If you are traveling as a group, you may even consider renting out the whole boat. A boat for 25 people can be rented for P3,500 on a whole day excursion to the island, the rental cost covering travel to and from the island. Prepare to pay a landing fee, charged  per person. The take off point is the Buyabod pier in the town of Sta Cruz, less than an hour by jeepney from the Balanacan pier in Mogpog.

Buyabod pier used to be a port of entry from Lucena. Now it exclusively handles Sta Cruz-Maniwaya and other small islands

Buyabod pier used to be a port of entry from Lucena. Now it exclusively handles Sta Cruz-Maniwaya and other small islands

cheap fares to paradise

cheap fares to paradise


36 thoughts on “Maniwaya Revisited

  1. Pingback: Maniwaya Island : camping is still allowed | LAKWATSA

  2. Anytime when weather is fine, best for me is bet. Nov and Jan. Try celebrating with the island folks during barangay fiesta every Jan 14-15..

  3. While Maniwaya is not yet spoiled, the local government should take time to carefully plan its development. Boracay and Pagudpud have both been spoiled by overdevelopment and we need to preserve what can still be preserved.

  4. While there’s still a chance, the local government should take time to carefully plan the development of Maniwaya Island. Both Boracay and Pagudpud have been spoiled by overdevelopment. We need to preserve what can still be preserved. They should follow the example of Palawan – one of the few places in the Philippines who have done a decent job of preserving the environment while promoting tourism.

  5. sir ilang oras ang byahe from manila to maniwaya? pwede po pabigay ng detailed instruction papunta dun.thanks

  6. Hi BoyP. Been there over the weekend and it was so surprising na ok ang place. too bad I was’nt able to go to palad sandbar. According to tita rosy one of the residents there and caretaker of palo maria sanctuary its easier if you’re comung from gen luna. She said it’s just a 2 hr boat ride amounting 150+ each way. I think mas ok na yun kaysa sa long land and boat ride combination kung galing sa lucena. Nainip talaga ako dun sa byahe ko. haha! Will be back again end of this month to check out palad sandbar.

  7. Nice. We’ll be there this Holy Week. Hope it’s not yet fully booked. BTW, do you have other contacts aside from the nos you posted here? Tried texting them but no one answers. Thank you

  8. Great island mariduque is my dads hometown. We’re plannng to go there this May. Thanks for the info sir boy.

  9. Sir Boy…were planning to go in Maniwaya island this coming May 1-4..regarding sa food..may nabibilan po ba mga fresh fish & meat? May makakainan din bang resto or may naglulto sa bibilin namin? Salamat po..!

    • I think it is best to arrange beforehand. There is a contact detail I included in my blog. If, for whatever reason, they have changed numbers and may not be contactable, i suggest you bring food to cook. There are resorts with restaurants, thoug, but that will not be much fun. Enjoy Maniwaya, one of my favorite places.

  10. Sana naman hindi maging marumi ang Maniwaya,Maging responsable nman sana ang mga tao. Pagdating ng panahon n gusto n nming umuwi,dasal ko n Paraiso pa rin un babalikan namin.

  11. We had our marinduque trip early last year and tried maniwaya, the island was really nice but I was a bit disappointed with residencia de palo maria. We got there a little before 11pm(a boatman was nice enough to take us there for 800 pesos because it was pretty late) the person who welcomed us there offered their aircon room for 2500,discouraging us to pitch our tent, and/or taking the open-air kubo, and trying a different resort since it was really late…we agreed and settled in. After 30minutes in the room, they shut off the generator saying it was overheating and that theyd fix it the next day. We didnt really complain much because we were too tired.The next day, there were still no power even before lunch where we were about to leave. We were actually ok with no electricity, what disappointed us was that, they still charged us the rate for the aircon room, when we were only able to experience their ac for around 30min, we could have been better off staying in their open kubo. Im still going back to the island, but will not likely stay in residencia.

    • Sad to hear about your experience. I would imagine that the resort will not allow you to pitch a tent because they will lose the accommodation business. If facing Palo Maria, the left side of the island has low-end open-cottage accommodations, picnic tables etc. There is where guests pitch tents. Arrive early next time so you can scout around. But ythe fact that you want to come back is proof positive that you also fell in love with Maniwaya.

  12. Were about to go there this coming weekend. Just wanna ask, which is better going to Marinduque? commute (bus) or bring a car via RORO? Thanks.

    • I have always brought my car via roro so I can move around Marinduque, except one time when I couldn’t load my car because it was nearly Holy Week and it was busy. Commuting is ok, too, and you don;t have to spend a fortune on the roro which is rather expensive, and you have to pay twice (to and from Marinduque). If you commute and you want to go around, you can hire a van which will still be cheaper than the 2 roro rides.

      • Hi Mr. Boy, thank you for the information. I have another question, which places do you think is the best, for us to go, since we will just spend overnight there at Marinduque?

      • That depends on what you fancy. But maybe book a hotel in Boac, the capital and the center of commerce in the province, and I suggest Boac Hotel because it is the best. They have premium rooms and regular rooms. Check them out – – I believe the contact details are on my blog. There are other accommodations options at the end of my blog on Marinduque. If you want to stay on the beach, go to Poctoy White Sand Beach in Torrijos. There is a hotel there called Rendezvouz but you can stay in the town of Torrijos where there are cheaper accommodations. In fact, some people who stay overnight in Poctoy just sleep on the benches of the picnic cottage using their kumot. I don’t advise this unless you are really adventurous. Or you can bring a tent and pitch tents on the beach.

    • You can also take the jeepneys and tricycles (tried them) but you will have to wait for the jeepnesy to get filled up, and therefore the waiting time will reduce your sightseeing time.

  13. hello! we are going to maniwaya this saturday may 7, 2016, planning to take 10pm bus ride friday from buendia to lucena grand terminal. might be in lucena by 2am or so.. would you know if there is already a van that will take us to gen. luna by that time? hoping for your help on this.. thanks!

    • Sorry but the honest answer is “I don’t know”. Alternatively, why don’t you go to Marinduque island on a roro from Lucena, travel to Sta Cruz town, and take a boat from there?

  14. Sir. May entrance fee po ba sa maniwaya? And magkano po babayaran sa bangka per person.
    Mag walk in lang Po kami i mean sa umaga kami then alis namin mga 5 napo .
    And pagdating po ba ng maniwaya may sakayan po ba dun ng bangka pa palad sand bar?. Mag tent po kami may bayad pa din po ba pag may tent kana then walk in lang . Thanks po

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