Remembering Our Jomalig Island Adventure. An Off-the-Grid Travel Experience

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

Jomalig Island in Quezon province, which is part of the Polillo islands (a group of about 27 islands in the Philippine Sea), has been hammered by the recent typhoon, Karding. And many infrastructures have been damaged. 

Felt sad upon hearing about the devastation. I had a great experience exploring this hidden gem of the Philippines in 2018. It is one of the remotest of all islands in the country, but one of the loveliest. Can't help but think about the people living there and the natural beauty of this island.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Kanaway beach, Jomalig island

Wanderlust drives my travel passion to search and explore more destinations. Something that feeds my curiosity about the environment, the world, and life. Traveling offers a whole new experience of discovering what's on the other side of life. That's why I always considered traveling an excellent breather from a monotonous existence. And never a luxury.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Enjoying the sun and the sand in Jomalig

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
with my colleagues during the trip

We need to travel to experience life from a more realistic point of view and to see the other side of the world beyond our station. The experience enriches our wisdom and views about the world in general.

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. 

And Jomalig island is one of the most fascinating places in the Philippines to explore. It's not only a secluded island where privacy is guaranteed, but it's also a great place to stay out of the nuisances in life. A perfect paradise to loosen up.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Pamana beach
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Lingayen cove

About Jomalig Island

Jomalig is correctly pronounced "Huma-lig" by the locals and is located southeast of the Polillo group of islands. It is considered one of the smallest municipalities in the Quezon province, and the farthest.

It takes five hours by boat, usually fishing vessel types, to reach the island from the Ungos port in Real, Quezon. With scary waves pounding the boat constantly, the trip is not for the faintest of the heart, but the experience is so worth it.

Jomalig is basically an agricultural land spreading across its 21.87 square miles area, inhabited by more than 7,000 population. 

Due to the distance, Jomalig is considered one of the riskiest islands in the Philippines to visit. Travelers will have to endure the ordeal of facing the rough sea. Even on sunny days, the open sea can still be scary.

However, despite the danger it poses, Jomalig remains one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines to explore. It is isolated but a gem! With sparkling turquoise waters and long stretch of beaches, Jomalig is a perfect oasis for a tired soul. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Golden sand beach
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

Its countryside scenery is dotted with rugged terrain, verdant tropical trees, and agricultural land providing travelers with a unique experience of adventure.

And because it is directly facing the open sea where the horizon meets the crystal water, it offers a spectacular sunset viewing. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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. With its tranquil atmosphere, balmy surroundings, and a post-card seaside view, Jomalig island is a quiet sanctuary to de-stress. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Little Boracay in Jomalig island

The island offers a magnificent sunset viewing. As if time stood still. And life finds its balance again. The tropical environment and the countryside scenery provide a relaxing retreat/


Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Tejada resort where we stayed
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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, its vast terrain is thoroughly agricultural, with most of its land being utilized for farming and melon plantation. 

The best way to explore this island is through habal-habal (a Filipino term for a motorcycle ride) to see its entire landscape and experience the essence of rural living. 


Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Golden sand beach in Jomalig
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

Our Jomalig Adventure

When we left Metro Manila, there was a forecast of a looming typhoon, but when we arrived at Ungos port in Real, Quezon, the atmosphere turned balmy and humid. In contrast to other travel testimonies online, we'd a shorter trip, reaching Real, Quezon from Metro Manila within four hours. 

Upon alighting from the bus in Real, we immediately hired a tricycle going to Ungos port (less than 15 minutes ride) and bought a ticket at the port terminal.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Aboard MV Jessa

At 8:00 in the morning, we were on board MV Jessa but did not leave the port until 9:30 AM. The boat appeared to be more like a fishing vessel than a commercial boat. 

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

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.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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. Yes! We did not dock at the Patnanungan port, the transfer was facilitated right in the middle of the mighty sea. 

What an adventure!😄

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. An hour later, we finally reached Jomalig. Thank God!

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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 through many intersections and coconut plantations before reaching the resort. But as soon as we reached the area, it was worth all the exhaustion! The resort has a sprawling ground to frolic, a breathtaking view of the vast ocean, and there were massive pine trees hugging the coastline. Chill!

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

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 Juvy's house near the port to take our early 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 through sleepy villages and vast terrains. The habal-habal drivers also served as our tour guides around the island.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Inland tour with habal-habal (motorcycle)

It was a humid Sunday morning on the island as we kickstarted our adventure. We were told that our first destination was 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 by coconut trees. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Kanaway beach in the morning
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

As the morning sunrise spread through, 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, and enjoying the beach. Entrance fee: Php30.00

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Daybreak at Kanaway beach 
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

2. Pamana beach

Our tour guides brought us to this pristine beach called Pamana. Also known as the little Boracay in Jomalig. A picturesque beach with dreamy waters that glimmered at the caress of the bright sun, a sort of hidden paradise. Pamana Beach is my personal favorite among all the remote beaches in Jomalig island. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Pamana beach
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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 treasures as Pamana beach. Surreal! 

All the elements of a breathtaking island are offered by Pamana beach - Sugary sand, irresistible emerald waters, a secluded spot, and balmy weather, nothing beats the allure of Pamana beach. This is a must-visit place in Jomalig! Entrance fee: Php30.00

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Sugary sand of Pamana beach
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

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. 

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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.  

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Lingayen cove in Jomalig
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

Water changes from emerald to turquoise at the beam of the bright sun. It was so enticing to swim! But we were told to never take a dive because of the harsh waves unless we are professional surfers. Uggh! So we just took photos and proceeded to our last destination.

4. Golden beach and sand bar

It was incredibly hot when we reached 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 exploring the place without footwear haha!

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Golden beach in Jomalig island

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
under the sweltering heat of the sun at Golden sand beach

Everything was so vast and endless in this area with rough granules of golden brown sand, so you really need to put your slippers or any footwear on. We walked along the knee-deep river, to reach the sand bar, and to be at the other side of the beach that has a long stretch of coastline.

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 sunlight. 

The spiky glow of the sunshine made the sand turn into deeper gold. It was a perfect backdrop for incredible photos and videos.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
under the scorching heat of the sun at Golden sand beach
Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

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?".

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
At "Punong Walang Forever" 😂

Walang Forever is a term used in the Philippines to tease people who have waited so long to find "the one" It's also 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.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

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! Honestly, four years later after this trip, my wish did not come true haha!

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

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Rapid emoting at Punong Walang Forever 😁

According to the motorcycle drivers, the name reflects the tree's endurance alone in the vast field. It stands in the middle of endless fields and has survived severe typhoons in the past. It also changes as the season rolls. With leaves falling during the rainy season, and brighter 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 that lasts a lifetime?

Today, while rewriting this blog, I am wondering if the mighty "Punong Walang Forever" was able to survive the lashing of typhoon Karding? I am hoping it still stands today.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Lunch!

We only had a half-day tour. After our lunch, we returned to the resort and spent the rest of the afternoon at the sprawling ground, enjoying the afternoon breeze and the calmness of the environment. And waited for the sunset.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
The room we rented on the upper floor

There was a modern bungalow for a more luxurious stay and a two-story dorm for groups. We chose to stay at the 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 fun activities.

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.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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. She also made an arrangement for our boat ride back to the Ungos port.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
Sprawling ground of the Tejada's Resort in Jomalig

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches

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 the captivating scenery pays off all the risks, challenges, and inconveniences going there. It's all worth it!

WATCH video of this trip on our YouTube Channel HERE

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.

Jomalig island top Philippine beaches
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 the visit to arrange a boat ride from Patnanungan port 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

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