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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marinduque’s Best Kept Secrets: Killer Beaches Without the Crowds

hover_share A very relaxing calm boat ride with scenic view of Mt. Malindig in Marinduque
If I could tell you something about the beach and myself, it would be this – I am selfish and I’d rather wish we murder each other if you ever block my view of a golden sunset.

I flee to the beach whenever summer holiday strikes – and so does everybody else. Me and those hundreds of thousands of fellow beach bummers. That’s the kind of beach-becomes-public-market kind of holiday disaster we would most likely encounter at Philippine’s popular and overrated beaches. You know the drill - too many people, too much noise, not nearly enough serenity to enjoy the majesty of blue skies, build sand castles and hear the whispers of the waves. And Boracay, with its thousands of summer visitors, is one of the worst offender (but you’ll love Boracay or Puerto Galera if crazy beach nightlife is your thing.)
 
I know you also crave for undiscovered beaches out there — secret beaches and blissful hideaways where highly commercialized tourism hasn’t yet eclipsed the local scene.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to find relatively empty unspoiled beaches in the Philippines – so no need for murder – the trick lies in searching and getting there.

Last summer we went scouting for such secret beaches in Marinduque. Since the Poctoy White Beach is just way too crowded that time, we hitch hiked going to other beaches and there we discovered the mysterious vanishing Palad Sandbar, a slice of paradise called the Maniwaya Island and the unspoiled beach of Brgy. Mongpong in Sta. Cruz.  

Maniwaya Island


hover_share View of Maniwaya Beach against some beach vegetation
Glimpse of Maniwaya beach behind the relaxing beach vegetation

This island can be accessed by traditional motorized banca only and the boat trip proved to be a huge thrill for me. We rented a boat from the town of Torrijos which took us almost 2 hours going to Maniwaya Island, part of the town of Sta. Cruz. The excitement made it worthwhile. So did our destination.


hover_share Colorful boat and calm scene of Maniwaya beach
It's always to be alone at the beach

There is also quick way of going to Maniwaya Island. From Balanacan port, take a jeep going to Sta. Cruz. From the main town ask direction going to Buyabod port, but trips to Maniwaya island is not regular, so you better check out those schedules.


hover_share Front beach of Residencia de Palo Maria Resort
Beach front of  Residencia de Palo Maria Resort

As soon as we arrived, we quickly switched on to beach bumming mode and enjoy the beach – of course without the raucous crowd and gaudy commercialized setting found in the more established beaches in the country. We dropped by the Residencia de Palo Maria, the island’s first high-end resort, for a quick rest.


hover_share Deserted beach scene of Maiwaya beach
Deserted beach scenes of Maniwaya

It is said that the island got its name from the Filipino word maniwala (believe) – so yes, you have to see it to believe it.


hover_share Yodi flying jump shot at the amazing Maniwaya beach
I'm flying..

No crowd – that I can assure you – and I hope the beach remains a hidden treasure, sought out only by those who promise to love and protect it.

Mongpong Island

hover_share Stretch of beach at the Mongpong Island
Long stretch of coral beach at Mongpong Island

We discovered this remote island because we are dying to have a cup of halo-halo and we still have lots of time before low tide to check out the Palad sandbar.


hover_share Scenic pier of Mongpong Island in Marinduque
Scenic pier at Mongpong Island

From Maniwaya, we traveled again by boat and reached Mongpong after approximately 20 to 25 minutes. There are no tourist facilities in this islet and instead of finding a nice cup of halo-halo, what we discovered is a kilometer’s stretch of white coral beach – totally deserted.


hover_share Beach vegetation at Mongpong island beach
Greenery against the white beach and blue skies
hover_share Scenic pier stretching at the Mongpong beach
Scenic pier of Mongpong Island

It would be nice to stay for few more hours but we need to go or else we will miss the vanishing Palad sandbar, so we just take a few lazy walk at the coral beach, have some souvenir photos and again hopped into our getaway banca.


hover_share Coral beach stretch of Mongpong island
Mongpong winding beach


Palad Sandbar

It was indeed a secret beach. Out at sea, it was scarcely visible between surrounding blue waters. Out here, the world is blue - light blue skies with scattered clouds, and a tinge of ice-blue sea.



hover_share Palad sandbar slowly appearing at low tide
Palad sandbar magically appearing

Magically appearing at the center of the exquisite shallow turquoise waters as low tide sets in, was a snaky white sandbar slowly emerging against the vast waters.


hover_share Palad sandbar clearly visible against the clear blue waters
Palad sandbar before the full low tide sets in

This one-hectare Palad sandbar of fine sand at the northeastern end of Maniwaya island can be seen only during low tide. The sandbar’s shape changes, depending on the prevailing winds and flow of seawater.

And somehow I regret I actually made this blog post about it – because when I discover a bit of paradise, I don't want people to know about it! 


Where to find these secret beaches
hover_share Map of Marinduque indicating major tourist spot and travel destinations.
Marinduque Tourist Map
There's the Maniwaya Island and Mongpong Island. Palad sandbar is somewhere in between (I'm not sure where exactly.)

It’s OK to be selfish

The reason behind these Marinduque’s best-kept secret beaches ― and why I think it’s a supreme hideaway―is the combination of natural beauty and serenity off the beaten path.



hover_share Relaxing sleep at the boat while cruising back after island hopping
The world is your room

If like me, you just can’t take the crowds, seek out these Mariduque’s secret beaches instead. These beach hideaways are understated, unexpected, and—at least for now—under the radar.

Worth the hunt, right? So yeah, if an unspoiled beach on a hot summer can revive your spirit, then it’s OK to be selfish.




Related Posts:
Unforgettable Marinduque 





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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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