I want my first travel blog to be really special… So I will share to all of you my one-of-a-kind and wonderful trip last summer in the beautiful island of Jomalig.
The island is not as popular like Boracay, El Nido, and other known beaches here in the Philippines. This unspoiled island is located in Quezon. A separated island and far from Quezon. It’s also located near Balesin Island, which is still a dream to me because it’s exclusive to members only (sigh). So why not go to Jomalig instead, right? But as of now, this has become one of the most tourist spot destination here in PH. I actually knew Jomalig thru the Facebook page “DIY Travel Philippines”. This page is really a heaven-sent! It helps you to travel every corner in the country without being broke. Yes!! They will help and give you tips to travel with an affordable but yet enjoyable and memorable trip. So I suggest everyone here to join this page to have an easy peasy travel. 😉
At first, we’re kinda hesitant to go because travelling here is not that easy as 1 2 3. Wanna know why? You have to travel about 6 hours in boat before you reach the island aside from the 4-hour travel to Quezon if you’re coming from Manila. Yes, 6 long hours. That’s normal because you will pass through the Pacific Ocean. Yes, you’ll be travelling in the middle of the ocean. It can actually take long more hours if the weather is not cooperating. But because YOLO, we challenged ourselves and give it a go.
Aside from being underrated and unspoiled, what catches my attention here is their golden sand. Upon seeing those pics makes me wanna go already at that moment. So in less than a month, we planned everything to make sure that this trip will be a successful one. It’s also our first summer trip as a couple so mixed emotions everywhere. I will put here our itinerary so you can have ideas if you ever plan to go here.
The road to Jomalig
So we decided to enjoy the island for 2 days and 1 night only (because both of us have Saturday work, we just filed our VL and got back to Manila on Sunday night 😪). But we make sure that we have enough time to explore the island and make the long journey worth it. So I researched everything: the budget and all the things we need, the places to go, and many more.
We left Manila at 11 PM, Friday night so we’ll be in Quezon by 4 AM the next day. The terminal is located in Sampaloc, Manila near Arellano University. There are two options: ride a private van or a public bus. The van is located behind the Bus Terminal which is the Raymond Transportation. We rode a van to reach Quezon in just a short period of time (3-4 hours) while in bus, the travel time is 5-6 hours. However, the rate in bus is much cheaper than van. I will list down the budget and breakdown everything later on.
We got to Real Port (Ungos Port) as early as 3 AM. So we’re just waiting to the passenger boat that will be heading us to Jomalig. To make this trip less hassle, we had a contact person that will assist us as we reach the island. We found Ate Lyra (09287985691). I recommend her to be your contact person in case you’re planning to go here. She arranged everything: from the passenger boat we’ll ride, the room where we gonna stay, our island hopping adventure via Habal-habal, and even the food we’ll gonna eat. Almost everything. So thankful that I met her and got a less hassle trip. 😊
We got to the passenger boat as early as 4 AM because there’s many people already waiting in the port. The passenger boat is quite big. It can accommodate 60-100 people, I guess. It’s actually a cargo that’s exporting goods (like fish, drinks, and other necessities) to Jomalig. If you want to sleep, go to the upper deck of the boat. We went to the upper deck since we’re really sleepy that time. The boat usually leaves at 10 AM but in our case, we left at exactly 6 AM because the boat is already full that time (I think because it’s summer season).
The entire ride, we were just sleeping so we didn’t have any pics from the boat and the view of the Pacific Ocean. We just woke up when one of the staff in the boat brought us our food. Yes, the boat ride includes a free meal. Our meal that day was adobo and the taste was good. After that, we just appreciate the clear water and the wonderful waves. That time, we can already cite an island and I think that’s the Jomalig Island. After the 6-hour ride, we finally arrived at the island exactly at 12 noon. So beautiful!!! I want to dive already. Loljk 😝
Upon arriving at the island, we received a warm welcome by the locals and of course, Ate Lyra. She brought us to our “kubo” that we’ll be staying for one night. The room is good for 3-5 people. The room has banig, blanket, and pillows. If camping is your thing, you can pitch your tent for free or rent from the locals if you don’t have one. Camping is allowed only in Salibungot beach. One thing, the electricity runs from 6 PM to 1 AM only, it’s supplied by generators from NAPOCOR. So make sure to charged your cell phones and powerbanks by that time frame. As of now, many locals offering homestay. About the rest rooms, in our kubo, we have our own cr. But in case you are just pitching tents, you can ask locals, they also offering their rest rooms too. Don’t hesitate to ask, they are very kind and nice. But of course, you have to pay for it.
After fixing our things and rest a little bit, we quickly roamed at the beach already. We didn’t actually take our lunch even though we’re hungry. Our mantra that time was “every second counts”. First, we just took unlimited pictures from the beach. Thankful that I have a boyfriend/photographer too. Lol. I have wonderful pictures in Jomalig. Every corner was just so picturesque.
After roaming the Salibungot beach, we finally decided to take a shower and finally rest. It wasn’t an easy trip. Imagine travelling for almost 10 hours! But it doesn’t matter, it’s all worth it! As we went back to our kubo, Ate Lyra already cooked our food for dinner. Very accommodating, right? We also had a creepy experienced in the island. A short, mild earthquake happened while we were eating our dinner outside. We were so nervous that time, imagine we are in the middle of an ocean and had an earthquake, creepy. After that, we just got ready ourselves to sleep early because tomorrow is another busy day for us. We will have an island hopping via Habal-habal. It is a motorcycle that is commonly used in provinces here in the Philippines.
We woke up at 4 AM the next day. Yes, island hopping at 4 AM. We need to start early so we can finish and reach the passenger boat trip to Real by 9 AM. You can do island hopping by boat too. But since we want to try something new, we tried the Habal-habal. I suggest you do the island hopping via Habal-habal to see more beauty of this island. Jomalig isn’t just about the beach, it has also breathtaking views. From the long palm trees, greeny grass, fresh air, and what most tourists says, mala-Batanes kind of view. So what are you waiting for? Pack your things and go to Jomalig and see what it offers!
Sharing some pictures during our island hopping in Jomalig. All pictures are raw so you can see the real beauty of the island.
We went back to our kubo around 8:30 AM. We quickly had our brunch as Ate Lyra prepared it for us already and also had a quick shower because the passenger boat was already at the shore and waiting for the passengers to go inside. We quickly packed our things and hurrily get into the boat. We didn’t had a chance to take a picture with Ate Lyra (sigh) but we already thanked her for being accommodating to us. We got inside the boat around 9:30 AM. The expected time of departure was 10 AM but unfortunately, we left the island at 12 noon because of some reasons. All the people inside were so disappointed but we had no choice so another long 6 hours at the Pacific Ocean. Sigh 😪
We arrived at the Real Port at 6 PM, but another problem happened. There were no available van and buses bound to Manila. So we need to ride a tricycle first going to the terminal at Infanta to catch the bus bound to Manila. We left Quezon around 6:45 PM. Finally, we arrived at Manila around 11 PM and got home around 12 midnight. I was really tired, sleepy, and exhausted but the memorable and unforgettable experiences I had in Jomalig was worth it. Especially when you are with the person you love. Definitely one for the books! ❤️
Our itinerary for 2 days 1 night:
11 PM – Arrival at Legarda (Sampaloc, Manila); to Ungos Port
3 AM – Arrival at Ungos Port; waiting for the passenger boat
6 AM – Going to Jomalig; you can have your lunch in the boat since it has a free meal already
❗️ Normal time of departure is 10 AM ❗️
12 NN – Jomalig bound; rest
1 PM – Explore the beach; free time; swimming; photo ops
7 PM – Dinner; wash up; get ready to sleep
9 PM – Lights out
4 AM – Woke up; getting ready for island hopping via habal-habal
9 AM – Back to kubo; quick brunch; wash up; getting ready to leave the island
12 NN – Left Jomalig Island
6 PM – Arrival at Ungos Port; bus to Manila
11 PM – Manila bound
💰 Expenses (per pax) 💰
Van – 220 (one way) Bus – 205 (one way)
Balsa – 10 (will pass you to the passenger boat)
Boat – 350 with food (one way)
Room/kubo – 500 per night (Ate Lyra, 09287985691)
Fees – 220
Island hopping via habal-habal – 600 (negotiable)
Food – sorry I forgot how much we spent; courtesy of Ate Lyra
Estimated budget: 3,000 pesos
💡 USEFUL TIPS/INFO 💡
- Electricity runs only from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM only. Make sure your gadgets are fully-charged. Bring powerbanks and extra batteries.
- Globe and Smart have signals on the island.
- Waterproof your things. Use dry bag for your gadgets.
- Bring enough food. The food in Jomalig is quite expensive due to the location.
- The best time to visit Jomalig is during summer season (March, April, and May) because the waves are relatively calm.
- Pitching tents in Salibungot beach is free.
- Expect delays in travel time. There’s no strict schedule for boat departures and arrivals. Sometimes, they have to wait for other passengers before leaving the port just like in our case.
So for my ratings:
Budget – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Location – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Activities/Places – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Keep exploring! Love lots! 💋