Jomalig Island in the Philippines. A Relaxing Off-the-Beaten Track Adventure

Jomalig island Quezon province Philippines

As a travel blogger, I am always on a quest for a new adventure, and thirsty for a unique outdoor grind. It's always on my bucket list to try something new and explore new places and learn from the experience. It pumps my desire to write more and tell stories to the world about how wonderful life is.

Jomalig island Quezon province Philippines

Wanderlust drives my travel passion to search and explore more destinations. Something that feeds my curiosity about the environment, about the world, about life.

Traveling offers a whole new experience of discovering what's on the other side of life. That's why I always considered it as an excellent breather from a monotonous existence. Never a luxury.

While admittedly, I am a country girl by heart who loves a scenic view of the countryside and the poetic atmosphere of the lakes and the valleys, beaches, nonetheless, fascinate me.



The soothing scenery of the seaside calms my tired spirit. And the breeze rolling from the ocean relaxes my weary mind. It's still the most awesome place to chill and get rid of the kinks of everyday life in the city.

Island adventure offers new excitement and new memories to keep. New adventure means new experiences, and new discoveries to unveil. The more I discovered new things, the more I learn about life. It is for these reasons that I joined colleagues on a risky trip to Jomalig island, one of the remotest of all islands in the Philippines.

Jomalig island
Pamana beach
Jomalig island
Lingayen cove

Isolated. Less traveled and still unspoiled, with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picture-perfect long stretches of coastline, Jomalig is an ideal destination for the beach junkie. It pumps thrill and excitement!

It's a beautiful island to wander. A perfect oasis for a tired soul. Its location in the middle of the rough seas provides a stunning ocean view, an endless delight of wonder.

Its countryside scenery dotted with rugged terrain, verdant tropical trees, and agricultural land provides travelers with an exciting experience of exploring the hinterland and beaches.


Golden sand beach

Located off the coast of the Quezon province, in the southernmost part of Polillo group of islands, it is home to incredible seaside scenery with sparkling turquoise waters.

And because it is directly facing the open sea where the horizon meets, it offers the most spectacular sunset viewing one could ever experience.
Its sun-kissed white sand, washed off by powdery sand that ranges from shimmering gold to creamy white, offers fun and thrills. 

Kanaway beach

It is isolated and rarely visited by tourists so no one interrupts your me-time, a great place to get lost in paradise and slow down a bit. And a perfect place to get tanned! At the same time, collect thoughts and create memories. 

With its tranquil atmosphere, balmy surroundings, and a post-card seaside view, Jomalig island is a quiet sanctuary to loosen up. While other popular beaches in the Philippines have been deluged by tourists the whole year round, and are already on the borderline of redundancy, Jomalig preserves its immaculate existence.

Jomalig island

Tranquil, peaceful, breezy, and where the smoothness of the afternoon perfectly blends with the essence of the sun going down at twilight, it's a spectacular place to relax and de-stress.

It's where time stood still. And life finds its balance again. The tropical environment and the countryside scenery will make you believe once more that the world is at peace.


Tejada resort where we stayed
Pamana beach 

Jomalig is an ultimate, off-the-beaten-track fodder for adventure junkies. While its coastline is hugged by a rugged landscape, and its beaches boost clear waters and stunning views of the Ocean. Its vast terrain is thoroughly agricultural, with most of its land being utilized for farming and melon plantation. Its hinterlands are smothered with verdant trees and greenery.

The best way to explore this island is through a habal-habal (a Filipino term for a motorcycle ride) to see its entire landscape, and agricultural land, and experience the essence of rural living. This was the option we've chosen when we visited Jomalig island last week.


Golden sand beach in Jomalig

Our Jomalig Adventure

Taking time off from work, and making good on our previous plan to take a beach trip, Mikko, Rapid, Angge, and I decided to embark on an ultimate beach adventure despite the forecast of terrible weather.

It was in fact, very fine when we got there. The atmosphere was balmy and humid and we explored the island under the sweltering heat of the sun.

We left Metro Manila in the early morning of September 29 via Raymund bus (in Sampalok, Manila), going to Real in the Quezon province.

In contrast to other travel testimonies online, we'd a shorter trip, reaching Real, Quezon only within four hours. Upon alighting from the bus, we immediately hired a tricycle going to Ungos port and bought a ticket at the port terminal.

Aboard MV Jessa

At 8:00 in the morning, we were on board MV Jessa but the sea voyage did not start until 9:30 AM. The boat appeared to be more like a fishing vessel than a passenger's boat, taking travelers on a long sea voyage. 

Despite its expanded wooden rudders and roof deck, it still looked like a vulnerable commercial boat that can't endure the harsh waves of a rough sea. Luckily for us, the weather was fine when we left the port so the voyage was stable. Big waves continuously rock the side of the boat, but not too scary.

However, little inconvenience crept in when we were told that we won't be directly going to Jomalig. Because it was off-season, beach travelers were rare so direct boat trips from Ungos port to the island were not regular.

Scary boat transfer in the middle of the sea

Four hours later we found ourselves being transferred to another boat in the middle of the sea! In great contrast to our expectation that we would be docking at the Patnanungan port, the transfer was facilitated right there in the middle of the mighty sea. Yeah 😄

A bit creepy. There was no ladder to support us, we just jumped off from one boat to another. But we got through with it and switched boats without any entanglements. 

The boat that brought us to the Jomalig port was arranged by the caretaker of the resort that we booked in Jomalig. An hour later, we finally reached Jomalig. Thank God!

Jomalig port

Welcome to Jomalig!

Days before our trip, we already made an arrangement with Tejada beach resort to book us a room and arrange our boat ride.

When we disembarked, the resort's caretaker, Juvy Tejada, was already there to assist us. She also secured four motorcycles to bring us to the resort from the Jomalig port. It was a long trip. 

We passed a vast coconut field that seemed to lead us to nowhere and a line of rural houses. It was a good breather though since the crisp afternoon wind of the countryside made us feel at ease.

We had a good sleep that night. Dinner was great and the calm surrounding helped us dose to sleep early. Our proper tour kicked off on the following day at 5:00 in the morning. Yes, before the sunrise!

Start of the Tour - Sept. 30, 2018

At the break of dawn, we're up for the day. We were fetched by the four habal-habal drivers at the resort and dropped by at Juvy's house near the port to take our breakfast. Then off to our beach adventure at 6:00 in the morning!

Warm sunrise greeted us as we began our journey along the island's rural areas, passing villages and terrains. The habal-habal drivers also served as our tour guides around Jomalig island.

Inland tour with habal-habal (motorcycle)

It was a cool Sunday morning on the island as we kickstarted our adventure. We were told that our first destination will be Kanaway beach.

1. Kanaway Beach

Our first stop was at this beach. Surrounded by tropical trees, a long coastline, and rock formations, Kanaway beach has a wide beachfront, hinged through coconut trees. Rock formations can be reached by foot during low tide but we did not set foot there, it looked a bit far from the seaside. 

Kanaway beach in the morning

As the morning sun slowly rose from the east, our thirst for adventure was heating up. So we had our moments, exploring this natural treasure all by ourselves, relishing the coolness of Sunday morning. Entrance fee: Php30.00

Daybreak at Kanaway beach 

2. Pamana beach

The second leg of our tour was at this pristine beach called Pamana. Also known as the little Boracay in Jomalig, it has powdery white sand and crystal-clear water. Its beautiful seaside, unruffled atmosphere, and view of the vast ocean are simply terrific.

Pamana beach
Little Boracay in Jomalig

Though I've been to many splendid beaches in the Philippines, including Boracay, Camiguin, and Pearl Farm, I've never seen such incredible treasure as Pamana beach! Surreal! 

A dreamy place to quest one's thirst for an exotic beach getaway. Sugary sand, tropical environment, seductive sea water, secluded and quiet spot, nothing beats the allure of Pamana beach. This is a must-visit place! And should be on every beach lover's bucket list. Entrance fee: Php30.00

Sugary sand of Pamana beach

3. Lingayen Cove

After staying for less than an hour at Pamana beach, the motorcycle drivers brought us to another breathtaking spot, Lingayen Cove.

The locals also called it the little Batanes because of its howling wind and a rugged cliff overlooking the magnificent view of the ocean, with crashing waves below. This area left me totally stunned! Breathtaking is an understatement.


clear blue waters at Lingayen cove

Sprawling. Awesome.  Jaw-dropping. As if things around me just appeared like a dream. It was completely spectacular. Gazing at the vast ocean, with waves crashing at the rock formations below made me totally lost in wonder. 

Life indeed offers treasures we never dreamed we would find in a lifetime. And Lingayen Cove exactly painted that kind of dream into reality. 


Lingayen cove in Jomalig

Water changes from emerald to turquoise at the caress of the bright sun, rushing to kiss the seashore. It was alluring to swim! But we were advised to never plunge into the water because of the harsh waves unless we're professional surfers. So we just took photos and proceeded to our last destination.

4. Golden beach and its sand bar

It was incredibly hot when we arrived at Golden sand beach. It was almost 11:00 in the morning and the blistering sun seared through our skin, but it did not stop us from enjoying the place.

under the sweltering heat of the sun at Golden sand beach

Everything was so vast and endless in this area with a large grain of sand, so you really need to put your slippers or any footwear on. We decided to pass along the knee-deep water river, to reach the sand bar, and to be at the other side of the beach that has a long stretch of coast line.


By the time we reached the other side of the beach, it was already low tide, but still a good moment to swim. What made this area very interesting is the presence of the rugged sand that turns golden brown under the gleaming sun. 

As the hour edged toward 11:00 in the morning with the spiky glow of the sun penetrating the seaside, the sand turned into deeper gold. The crisp hue served as a perfect backdrop for photos and videos.


under the scorching heat of the sun at Golden sand beach

5. Punong Walang Forever!

I had a good laugh when I first heard the name of this tree, "punong walang forever" which means, "a tree without forever". I mean what a name! It sounds like a humiliating taunt to people who seem cannot find "the one"😂. What's in God's treasure that made this tree a "hugot thing?".

At "Punong Walang Forever" 😂

Walang Forever is a taunting term used in the Philippines to tease people who seemed waited a lifetime to find "the one" 😭 And a term to taunt people who broke up with their loved ones. That yeah, nothing lasts forever, including feelings.  So this moniker almost sounded like a joke.


But we did visit this tree. haha! And at the behest of the tricycle drivers, we slipped a coin at its bark, to make some wish, and to dispute the name of the tree, to find our "forever" lol!

However, it turns out that the name of this tree has something to do with its natural strength and courage. Yes! Punong Walang Forever, afterall, is an empowering term.

According to the motorcycle drivers, the name reflects the tree's endurance alone in the vast field. It stood in the middle of the fields and survived the harsh storms. It also changes as the season rolls. With leaves falling during the rainy season, and brighter and more alive during the summer or dry season.

It left me thinking silently. So why this tree has been called unfairly, "Walang Forever", when it extracted some beauty in itself alone that lasts a lifetime?


Rapid emoting at Punong Walang Forever 😁

End of Tour at 12:00 noon

Anyway, fifteen minutes later, after slipping some coins at the bark of the tree (for some wish haha), we left the area and traveled back to Juvy's house for our lunch. We had a satisfying lunch! A fresh catch from the sea has been cooked into a sweet-sour recipe. 



After our lunch, we returned to the resort and spent the rest of the afternoon at Tejada's sprawling ground, enjoying the afternoon breeze and the calmness of the environment, waiting for the sunset to come.

Sunset in Jomalig

Our Accommodation

We stayed at Tejada Beach Resort during this trip and it was a perfect decision. Such a beautiful place to loosen up. It has choices of accommodations. There was a kubo for folks who want to experience a unique countryside life.

The room we rented on the upper floor

There was a modern bungalow for a more luxurious stay, and there was a two-storey dorm for groups. We stayed at the two-storey dorm (picture above) with a veranda facing the beachfront.

We rented a single room with two king-sized beds. It has two choices: fan and air-conditioned. We chose the fan accommodation.

What I love about this place is its sprawling ground with a line of pine trees. It also has a wide beachfront that is so perfect for sunset viewing and bonfire.

Guests can also pitch a tent at night time but they should bring their own tent as the resort has no available one for rent.

Spending dinner at Tejada Resort's ground
 
I would recommend this place to everyone who is planning to visit Jomalig island. The caretaker, Juvy Tejada, was so generous, attentive, and kind enough to take care of our needs during our stay. 

She cooked our food based on our preferences and catered to all our whims. She also made an arrangement for our boat ride back to Ungos port.

Sprawling ground of the Tejada's Resort in Jomalig


We're going home. Thanks for the memories! Such a relaxing weekend getaway for the four of us. And some great memories to treasure and cherish. 

Jomalig island is a quiet oasis. A remote destination to explore and just watch the world go by. It might be a far-away island to explore over the weekend but its pristine and captivating scenery pays off all the risks, challenges, and travel inconveniences going there. It's all worth the exhaustion!

How to get there?

If you are coming from Metro Manila, take a bus ride via Raymund bus from Legarda, Sampaloc, Manila. The route should be Infanta, Quezon. You should depart early in the morning, around 2:00 AM. Travel time is four to five hours, depending on the volume of traffic along Rizal and Laguna provinces. You must inform the bus driver to drop you off in Real, Quezon.

At Raymund bus terminal

From Real, Quezon, ride a tricycle going to Ungos, port. Travel time is only 15 minutes. Proceed to the Ungos port Passenger Terminal and secure a ticket for Jomalig.

It's also highly recommended to contact someone from the resort you'll be staying in ahead of your visit so that they can arrange a boat ride from Patnanungan in case no direct trip for Jomalig.

In our case, the caretaker of Tejada beach resort was the one who facilitated our boat transfer from Patnanungan to Jomalig.

In the absence of this arrangement, the fare of connecting a boat ride could be very expensive. Juvy also arranged our motorcycle ride going to and from the Tejada beach resort, including our inland tour. 

You may reach out to her via her mobile phone: 09282960103

Important reminders:

1. Jomalig is only run by power generator so expect a limited supply of electricity. It's only available between 12:30 noon to 4:30 in the morning. 

2. Bring your own powerbank. Boat trip timetable is strictly observed. Be on time. Contact someone from the resort ahead of your visit. 

3. Inquire about a boat ride and its schedules from Ungos port. During the off-season (July to Feb) boat trip to Jomalig from Ungos port is very rare. 

4. It's okay to bring food and drinks, resorts on the island have no restrictions on bringing food. Jomalig is a remote island and there's no restaurant around the area. The resort serves freshly cooked meals to their guests at Php100.00 per head per meal. 

HERE'S OUR ACTUAL ITINERARY FOR THIS TRIP

DAY 1 - SEPT.29, 2018 SATURDAY

3:30 AM - Departed Manila via Raymund bus
7:30 AM - Arrived at Real, Quezon
9:30 AM - Left Ungos Port via MV Jessa (with free lunch)
1:30 PM - Boat transfer from Patnanungan sea to Jomalig
2:30 PM - Time of arrival in Jomalig

The rest of the afternoon was free. Dinner was served at 7:00 in the evening. There was no restaurant in Jomalig, so we made an arrangement with Juvy to cook our meal. 

What made this setup truly amazing is that she let us decide what kind of food we want. Per head is Php100.00 per meal. And it was all worthy since she offered a generous serving of food. In the morning there was a free coffee.

DAY 2 - SEPT.30, 2018 SUNDAY

4:30 AM - Wake up time
5:00 AM - Breakfast at Juvy's house
5:30 AM - Start of our inland tour through a motorcycle ride
6:00 AM - Kanaway beach
6:45 AM - Pamana beach also known as Little Boracay
8:00 AM - Lingayen Cove also known as Little Batanes
9:00 AM - Golden Sand beach
11:00 AM - Punong Walang Forever
11:30 AM - Back to Juvy's house for lunch
12:00 Noon - Lunch time
12:30 PM - Back to the resort

The rest of the afternoon was free.

DAY 3 - Oct.1, 2018, MONDAY

5:30 AM - Wake up time ( I went alone to the beach and had a morning dip, except for Angge, the two boys were still in deep sleep 😂)
7:00 AM - Breakfast
9:00 AM - Departed Jomalig for Patnanungan port
10:00 AM - Embarked on another boat ride for Ungos Port
2:30 PM - Arrival at Ungos Port
3:30 PM - Left Manila via Van
7:00 PM - Arrival time in Manila

Breakdown of Expenses in Php per head:
1.Bus from Manila to Real, Quezon 168.00
2.Tricycle from Real to Ungos port 10.00
3.Boat for Patnanungan 400.00
4.Boat - Patnanungan to Jomalig 50.00
5.Room per head for 2 nights 600.00
6.Meals (100 each for 5 meals) 500.00
7. Habal ride upon arrival 50.00
8.Habal Inland Tour 600.00
9.Kanaway beach entrance fee 30.00
10.Pamana beach entrance fee 30.00
11.Lingayen Cove entrance fee 50.00
12.Boat - Jomalig to Patnanungan 250.00
13.Boat - Patnanungan to Ungos 350.00
14.Van ride from Real to Manila 220.00
15. Environmental and Tourism fee upon arrival in Jomalig 170.00

Timing of travel is the key to cutting costs on boat rides. Going directly to Jomalig from Ungos port is only Php450.00. Take note that the boat bound to either Patnanungan or Jomalig leaves at 9:30 in the morning at Ungos port so be on time. 

Since the boat ride exposes you to the splashing of waves, secure your bag and valuables with a plastic cover. Bring something to cover you during the voyage to avoid getting wet. 

Check our Jomalig Island vlog on our Youtube Channel


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