Years ago, I was about to join a medical mission in Jomalig island but it didn’t push through.
Ever since, I’ve been wanting to go to this island in Quezon, but I was looking for someone or a group to join. I don’t know at that time I had an idea that since Jomalig is so far away from the mainland, going there is a tough one in terms of logistics. Imagine enduring a 4 hour land travel from Manila to Real, Quezon then another 5 hours boat ride going to Jomalig. Imagine 5 hours!
Well it’s only recently that I’ve finally decided to travel to Jomalig, the DIY style. And it’s the best decision! Me and my girlfriend, Eloi, loved Jomalig so much, and if there’s one tip to give you if you also plan to go to this island is, do it DIY! It’s going to be a lot more fun, and this blog post will show you how.
Jomalig is an island municipality of Quezon and considered one of the smallest towns in the province. Just a small island off the coast to the Pacific Ocean, it was only in the recent years that it captivated the hearts of a lot of travelers because of its raw beauty, golden and white sand beaches.
I know a lot of travelers would also want to experience Jomalig, but most are hesitant to endure the long 5 hour boat ride. So to ease that feeling of uncertainty and fear, more are looking for tour package.
Honestly, at first I searched for some group travels to Jomalig, but it was just weird that all of the tour packages I contacted just cancelled few weeks or days before the travel. So Eloi and I decided to go there via DIY. It’s an amazing experience to be in an island paradise where we were free to do whatever we want without following a schedule.
So if you’re willing to have an awesome adventure, this blog post is for you! Let’s start.
How to get to Jomalig Island (DIY)
One bus company that offers daily trips to Real, Quezon is Raymond Bus in Legarda, Manila near Arellano University. You can either ride the LRT 2 and it’s just near the Legarda LRT Station, just a walking distance.
You may also commute and ride a jeepney going to Divisoria from Cubao and tell the driver to drop you off at the bus station.
There are 2 night trips to Infanta and Real Quezon,11:30 PM and 1AM schedules. We weren’t able to catch the 11:30 PM trip so we opted for the 1AM schedule. Pay at the counter first, look for the one that has signage of Infanta and tell the counter that you’re going to Real and pay 195 pesos.
- Raymond Transportation
Address: 246, Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila, 1015
Contact Number:(02) 733 9380
After hours of travel and some intermittent sleep we arrived in Real Quezon just a few minutes after 5 AM.
There are tricycles there at the jump off point. Just tell the driver that you’re going to the port for boats bound to Jomalig. Once, you’re in Quezon, it is important that you know the proper pronunciation of Jomalig, it’s “Hu-ma-lig.” Okay? Hahaha! Fare for the tricycle is only 10 pesos per person.
The port is called Ungos port. It is important that once you get to the port, you immediately talk to the person in charge there and log in to the manifest for the first boat to depart. Boats going to Jomalig are mostly big boats that carry cargos and commodities for the island, so the passengers usually stay at the topload of the boats, where they can sleep for the long travel.
Fare for the boat ride going to Jomalig is 400 pesos per person with meals. Yes, you read it right. Meals are served during the trip, but don’t expect a fancy meal okay? These are just simple ala mangingisda meal hehe but enough to fill your stomach for the long boat ride, and I liked it.
The boat departed Real, Quezon at about 6:30Am, and we arrived in Jomalig just a few minutes after 11AM. You’ll know that you’re approaching Jomalig when you see an island with glistening golden sand beach. It’s so beautiful, it will get you too excited.
The water was clear and it blended well with the golden sand. The moment I first set foot on the island, I remember telling myself that we’re going to have a blast in Jomalig!
There is a tourism and environment fee of 170 pesos to pay once you arrive. Habal habal is a popular way of transportation in Jomalig. We paid 50 pesos each for a ride going to the resort.
Our Stay at SPIR Beach Resort
Due to the increasing number of travelers going to the island, there are more options now for resorts to stay in Jomalig. Please be reminded that it is not allowed anymore to pitch tent at Salibungot beach or the main beach in Jomalig. You have to stay in a resort and you can pitch tent there for 150 to 300 pesos.
We stayed at SPIR Beach Resort. SPIR stands for South Pacific Island Resort. It’s at the other side of the island with a spectacular beach front and sandbar! Just contact Nanay Thelma at 09078285161, the owner of the resort, if you want to stay there. Honestly, I recommend SPIR not just because of its beautiful beach front but because the owners are very hands on with their guests. You’d feel like you’re staying with a relative. They’re really nice.
We availed a room accommodation for two for only 500 pesos per night. You also have the option for group accommodation like the Kubo Style cottage (500), Cabana (300) and tent pitching.
How about the Food?
Worry about the food? Well, you don’t need to bring all your baon (food) to the island! At SPIR, you can have a generous meal of seafood for only 100 pesos per person per meal. They’ll cook the food and serve it for you. It’s affordable and generous seafood, unli rice and unli clean drinking water. Feels like you’re at home. Plus, you’re surrounded by coconut trees while eating. How about that?
Nanay Lota and Ate Aila will take care of you. They fed us during our entire stay on the island. Plus, you’ll also enjoy chit-chatting with them. Oh I’m beginning to miss Jomalig.
The Habal habal Tour
It’s a must that you do the tour! Jomalig is more than just the main beach at your resort. The island has so much beauty to discover!
We really intended to rest on our first day. We were so tired after the long travel, but Kuya Victor was persistent, the old habal-habal driver who brought me from port to the resort.
At first, we politely declined his offer. We just wanted to rest and sleep hahaha! So while our food was still being cooked, Eloi and I, decided to explore the beach in front of the resort. It was our first beach experience in Jomalig and we were amazed with the clear waters and the beautiful sandbar.
Back to the resort, Victor, offered the tour again, and it was different case that time. It was like the beach took away all our exhaustion from the travel. It felt like we were re-energized and we can still do the tour that day. Hahaha!
I remember thinking, at least by tomorrow Eloi and I are just free to chill and kill time by the beach. So yes, we decided to do the habal habal. Hahaha! Eloi and I had one habal-habal each for a fee of 600 pesos per person.
Habal habal tour was truly an adventure. It was a great way to explore the island, see the locals way of life and visit some beautiful spots. When I say adventure, it is really an adventure! I mean there are times when I felt like the habal habal ride was like a motocross. It was fast and furious. Hahaha!
Here are the beautiful beaches and spots we explored during the tour! Take note of this places to visit in Jomalig.
1. Kanaway Beach
The first and farthest destination of all the spots we explored. Kuya Victor had a strategy of going to the farthest location first then going back.
I tried to capture the adventurous habal-habal ride using my action cam but I realized it wasn’t working anymore. What?! Waaahh! But it’s okay. I still have my camera.
Kanaway beach is stunning in its own way. Clear waters and pristine beach. But what makes this place a stand out are the rock formations scattered all through out the beach. Looking beyond, you will see two islets which are called Pulo and Manlanat Islets which you can explore during low tide. We spent our time in Kanaway taking pictures, and enjoying the untouched beauty of nature. Look!
Oh by the way, there is an entrance fee of 30 pesos per person in Kanaway collected by the caretaker.
2. Little Boracay of Jomalig
Jomalig is known for its golden sand beaches, but hey there is a part of the island that has white powdery sand. Travelers who have been there called it Little Boracay because it is comparable to the popular Philippine tourist spot.
Little Boracay is managed by Pamana Beach Resort so there is a 30 pesos entrance fee. The place was peaceful as there was no other tourist there except us. We relaxed on a hammock and even took some beautiful photos.
The entire place is unspoiled and raw that sometimes there are a lot of sea weeds, but the resort owner is serious at taking care of the place. We saw a man with his huge net taking off the seaweeds from the shore.
3. Lingayen Cove or Little Batanes
It was a hell of a ride going there!
There were many times our motorcycle got stuck in the sand, and because of my weight, just imagine how much effort Victor exerted as a driver. Hahaha!
Another peaceful place with gold to white sand beach between two boulders of rocks. We hiked the huge rocks and we were welcomed by this stunning view of the long stretch of white sand and the blue sea. Just spectacular!
A fee of 50 pesos is collected by the caretaker for every tourist that visits Little Batanes.
4. Golden Sand
At first I didn’t understand why they just call this the Golden Sand, I mean almost all the beaches in Jomalig has golden sand, so why call this place like that?
But man, it didn’t disappoint. It has a stunning sandbar with glistening golden sand and some tiny rock formations scattered all over the place. God is just so good in creating this unique beauty of nature.
5. Puno ng Walang Forever
I laughed a bit when Victor told me about our next destination. He was also too proud to say, that next is called “Puno ng Walang Poreber.”
And when we arrived in a vast green land, we immediately understood why. This beautiful tree stood in the middle of wide piece of land that it felt so lonesome to look at. Just like someone who just broke up with her boyfriend or the other way around. There is a reason why this tree is called, Puno ng Walang Poreber.
6. Salibungot Beach
This is the main beach of Jomalig, the most popular among all the beaches mainly because this is near the port and also you can find here the popular “I love Jomalig” sign.
But more than that, Salibungot has a charm of its own. The golden sand and crystal clear waters is just too irresistible. After hours of touring Jomalig under the heat of the sun, Salibungot beach relaxed us as we both swam to its pristine waters while holding hands. Naks! Hahaha!
We also experienced the view of the dramatic sunset in Salibungot. Eloi and I just sat there on the beach looking as the last rays of the sun bid goodbye to island’s golden color.
When we got back to the resort, we went straight to Nanay Lota and Ate Aila’s kubo for our dinner. They served us this grilled huge fish for dinner with toyo and calamansi. We were both satisfied.
It was a jampacked first day for both of us! Just imagine how I slept that night. Hahaha!
2ND Day: Sandbar and Beach Bumming
Jomalig gave me something I’ve never experienced in a long time, that is to sleep more than 8 hours! I felt so refreshed and besides, it was our second day and we were free to do whatever we want. Any activities. No itinerary. Don’t you love that? Hahaha!
After having our breakfast, we decided to hit the beach early in the morning. I brought my Cabin Zero bag with me. We already talked about it, that Eloi will take some photos of me wearing the bag, because I will write a blog post about it and will post some promotions on my social media accounts. You know sponsors. Hahaha!
Here’s just one of my photo with my Cabin Zero.
We went back to our room for a while, then after that we hit the beach again to experience the sandbar in the morning.
This is another advantage of experiencing Jomalig via DIY, you are free to just relax. No pressure. Since we already did the tour the other day, we just spent our Saturday beach bumming. We walked on the sandbar, until such time that we couldn’t resist it anymore and decided to swim.
Eloi and I walked further the stretch of the beach until the end of it.
Not minding the summer heat, we just enjoyed our moment together. Jomalig is a kind of beach that you’re willing to get darker, and be under the sun, to experience it. It’s worth the sunburn on my skin.
Also, we’ve found some worthy spots for photos.
The best beach experience happened when we reached the tip of the beach. Actually turning right, we’ll find the Salibungot Beach, but we just decided to stay there, soaked under the sun. Awesome summer experience.
It was as if we owned the entire place. There were just us and enjoying our moment.
When we got back to the resort, it was already lunch time. Then we took a bath and stayed in our room for a while. What a life! We stayed the entire afternoon at the resort, feeling the breeze of the sea, chilling and sometimes taking naps.
The next day, we woke up early. We had our breakfast at 6am and planned to leave early to catch the first trip going back to Real.
Nanay Thelma arranged the habal-habal to bring us to the port which is called Moros or Sitio Moros.
We left Jomalig with a heavy heart. I wanted to stay longer, but we both have work on Monday. It was sad, but on the other hand, we both felt recharged to face the challenges of the city. It was like a button in us has been reset. Jomalig Island is truly special, with its beaches and nature to its warm people, Eloi and I would want to come back.
And I also want you to experience Jomalig in your own eyes and senses. Come and say yes to adventure!
Detailed Expenses for Jomalig DIY 3D2N
Here is the breakdown of expenses in our Jomalig trip ALL -IN!
|Bus Fare from Manila to Real Quezon||Php 195 per person|
|Tricycle from Real to the port||Php 10 per person|
|Boat Ride to Jomalig||Php 400 per person|
|Environment and Tourism Fee||Php 170 per person|
|Habal Habal from Jomalig port to resosrt||Php 50 per person|
|Entrance Fee to Resort||Php 100 each|
|Accommodation for 2 nights||Php 500 each|
|500 per night x2 = 1000|
|1000 divided for 2 persons = 500|
|Food (Resort)– Total of 6 meals (100 per pax)||Php 600 per person|
|Habal Habal Tour||Php 600 per person|
|Entrance Fees – Kanaway, Little Boracay and Little Batanes (30+30+50=110)||Php 110 per person|
|Habal habal from resort to the port||Php 50 per person|
|Boat Ride from Jomalig back to Real||Php 400 per person|
|Jeep from Real to Bus Terminal in Infanta||Php 20 per person|
|Bus from Infanta to Manila||Php 218 per person|
*There are very minimal miscellaneous expenses in Jomalig like a little bottle of coke during the island tour, so it’s safe to have Php 3,500 budget for 3D2N All in. Of course, still, bring some extra cash for pasalubong. There is not much pasalubong items in Jomalig. Remember you’re in a fishing village. Or else if you want to bring your friends some seafood or lobster? Nah. Just share your awesome photos with them instead.
So that’s it. Please be reminded that this budget is the right, truthful and transparent kind of expenses for 3D2N. Hindi ito tipid! Busog ka sa food! There are a lot of blogs there who always claim the LOWEST expenses just to catch your attention but has a disclaimer of excluding food or excluding the tour. Or the lowest expenses but you’re going to starve and be dissatisfied (tipid) with the food serving. Gutom ka bes! hahaha! I’ve read all of them when I did my research for this travel, and it just makes me sad.
If you want to lower down your expenses you can choose not to do the island tour, that’s minus Php 600 per person. But again, you’re already in Jomalig, and the island has so much more beauty than the main beach. So it is a must to do the habal habal island tour.
Jomalig DIY versus Tour Packages
Most of the tour packages (van going to Real) to Jomalig offer 2D1N for about 2,500 pesos, excluding Habal-habal tour which is 600 pesos per person. So if you go for the tour, that’s a total of 3,100 for 2D1N only! Compare to 3,500 for 3D2N DIY all in with enough time to chill at the beach.
2D1N is not enough to explore Jomalig. I’m just being honest here. We decided to do the tour on our first day because we knew that we still have the second day in Jomalig to rest and chill. And we enjoyed it a lot! Compare to a 2D1N with tour? So you’re too tired from the long travel from Manila then you do the tour for the entire day, then tomorrow you’re going back to Manila? That’s too exhausting. Even the locals in Jomalig said that 2 days is not enough. Go for 3D2N.
Most of the 3D2N tour packages to Jomalig costs about 3,600 pesos. So compare it with 3,500 DIY where you are free to do whatever you want with your time. You decide. 🙂
Travel Tips to Jomalig Island
- Electricity is still limited from 5PM to 1AM. But good thing, SPIR Resort has a generator that they usually turn on in the morning.
- Jomalig has mobile signal and data but it can be very weak at times. But you can still make a call or text.
- When going back to Manila, and once you’re in Real, Quezon better to ride a jeep for Php 20 to the Bus terminal in Infanta. Instead of waiting for the bus in Real which are mostly full already. You don’t want to stand during the 4 hour travel to Manila, right? There are also tricycles that offer ride to Bus Terminal in Infanta from Real for Php120 max of 4 persons.
- Again, it is no longer allowed to pitch tent at Salibungot Beach. You have to stay in a resort and do the camping there. This is to protect the beach from garbage left by some campers.
- It is best to go to Jomalig during summer, or until a few months after summer. During “ber” months , huge waves can sometimes cancel the boat trips, and you’ll end up stranded on the island.
- Bring sunblock and other toiletries.
- Leave No Trace. Always. All the time. Let’s protect this paradise.
- You’ll pass through the Polillo Group of islands going to Jomalig, there are also some islands there that are becoming a popular destinations like Patnanungan Island, Minasawa island and others.
- You can also travel to Jomalig via Atimonan Quezon. All you have to do is travel by bus from Manila to Atimonan, then boat to Jomalig. There are a lot of buses going to Lucena. Once you get in Lucena, take another bus or jeep to Atimonan. Ride a tricycle going to the old port. Ask around at the port for the boats going to Jomalig.
- Honestly, there are people who are asking me if there’s an airport in Jomalig, so I’ll just include it here. Well, there is a small airstrip in Jomalig for small private planes and helicopters. So it is not the airport that you’re expecting. Right now the main way of transportation going there is by boat.
- Also I’ve been receiving questions if they can surf in Jomalig. Well, I’m aware that waves going to Jomalig can be very tough during rainy season, but I didn’t found any surfing spot in the island.
Itinerary Jomalig Island 3D2N ( 2017 )
1:00 AM Bus ride from Manila to Real
5:00 AM Arrival in Real, Quezon
6:00AM Boat ride to Jomalig
11:00 AM Arrival in Jomalig Island
11:30 AM Arrival at the resort
12:00 Noon Lunch
1:00PM Start of Habal Habal Tour
(you have the option to do the tour the next day. We decided to do it on our first day to have freetime on our second day)
6:00PM End of Tour
7:00 PM Dinner
8:30PM Sleep na (sobrang pagod pero masaya)
8:00AM Walk by the beach
9:00 AM Sandbar experience
10:00 AM Beach Bumming
12:30 Noon Lunch
1:30 PM Freetime – Sleep, Chitchat, Relax at the Resort
5:00PM Walk by the beach in the afternoon
5:30 PM Watch sunset
6:30PM Back to the resort
7:00 PM Dinner
5:30 AM Wake Up
6:00 AM Breakfast
7:00 AM Bath
8:00 AM Left the resort
8:15 AM Port
10:30 AM Boat ride to Real, Quezon (boat was late)
4:30 PM Arrival in Real, Quezon
6:00 PM Bus station
11:00PM Back in Manila
2:00 AM Arrived home in Cavite
Jomalig Island Accommodation
Again, I highly recommend SPIR beach resort because I’ve personally experienced their warmth and exceptional service. Positive Reviews! Just contact Nanay Thelma at 09078285161. Just in case you’re looking for other options, here is the list of Jomalig Island beach resort s. Homestay is also an option on the island.
- SPIR Beach Resort – contact 09078285161
- Jojomalig Resort – contact 09399034275
- Bananas Resort Jomalig- contact 09494583724
- Apple Beach Resort Jomalig – contact 09106597361 / 09157992954
- Tejada’s Resort Jomallig- contact 09075375234
For weather forecast of Jomalig Island, please check out this Accuweather Update. It also has an update of its nearby islands like Patnanungan Island Quezon and the rest of Polillo islands. There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this travel guide and reviews of Jomalig!
*Updated for Jomalig Island 2018
Jomalig Island Map
More beaches in the Philippines? Check out below destinations on the blog!
Maniwaya Island in Marinduque
El Nido, Palawan
Masasa Beach in Tingloy, Batangas
Burias Island in Masbate
Calaguas in Camarines Norte
Alibijaban Island in Quezon
Subic Beach in Sorsogon
Kalanggaman Island in Leyte
Cagbalete Island in Quezon
Balicasag Island in Bohol
Tali Beach in Nasugbu, Batangas