Maniwaya Island Guide: The Hidden Gem of the Heart of the Philippines (Marinduque)

Honestly, I haven’t heard much about Maniwaya Island of Marinduque on the past few years that I am traveling. Our country, being an archipelago, has so many pristine white beaches that we can show off the world but little did we know this silent province island of Marinduque has its own prime destinations that one would love to see and experience.

The Province of Marinduque is known as “The Heart of the Philippines” as the shape of the provincial island is in similar shape of a human heart.  Its location on our archipelago is also similar to the anatomy of where the heart is, in the human body. I often mislook Marinduque on my go-to destinations as I haven’t heard much of the public transpo going to the island not until I saw several travel and tour groups in Facebook that offers all-in tours on the island.

Knowing Maniwaya Island

Maniwaya Island is an island which is part of the town of Santa Cruz, Marinduque. It lies between the main island of Mariduque on the left and the Province of Quezon on the right. So, the said island is accessible through those provinces. Maniwaya Island is a home of several beach resorts that showcase cream to white powdery fine sands, blue and clear sea waters and offers island hopping tours to nearby pristine must-see stops like Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation. Located about 6 hours away from Manila, it is a worthy place to visit to please your thirst for beach waters and your desire to continue discovering secluded beautiful attractions of the Philippines.

How to go to Maniwaya Island?

Via General Luna Port

This is the easiest route with lesser vehicle transfers. Ride a bus from Manila bound to Lucena Grand Terminal (JAC Liner, JAM, A&B Liner etc.). From Lucena Grand Terminal, ride a van or bus bound to General Luna Port. From General Luna port, ride the public boat to Maniwaya Island or rent a boat that will take you directly to the island.

Via travel and tours

Since it’s pandemic and we were not sure about the availability of the public transportations, we opted to book a tour for our convenience. We directly contacted Wawie’s Beach Resort and they immediately arranged and assigned a travel coordinator for us. The tour already includes an overnight stay in the resort (tent accommodation) with three meals and all-in island tour to Ungab Rock Formation, Palad Sand Bar and a Snorkeling experience. Less hassle, all you have to do is to be there on the pickup points and enjoy the actual travel experience. You can also upgrade you accommodation into an actual room for additional fee.

You can contact Wawie’s Beach Resort directly on their Facebook Page here to assign you a coordinator or you can directly contact HAPPY FEET PH here if they have scheduled tour to Maniwaya on your desired date.

We were picked up at around 10:00 PM Friday night, had series of stop overs along the way and reached General Luna port at around 5:00 AM. We ride a boat going to Maniwaya Island at 5:30 AM and reached their barangay at about 7:00 AM to register our visit and checking of our vaccination cards.

Wawie’s Beach Resort

Wawie’s Beach Resort is one of the known resort on the island. It offers various accommodations from tent, native rooms, AC rooms and cabanas. The resort proffers taintless shores and blue waters. It was weekend when we went there and the resort is quite crowded. You’ll never imagine that at the middle of a somewhat secluded town, there is this tropical island everyone would enjoy. The resort is good, well-maintained, staffs and even the owner are very accommodating and friendly but comfort rooms should be improved (we even suggest it to the owner). Lining up to use the comfort room could take time especially during the weekend and holidays.

Ungab Rock Formation

Ungab rock formation is a natural rock formation in shape of an arc located on the Island of Mongpong. Better be careful taking photos on its rock formations as waves swashing fiercely on the area. We actually got some wounds on our knees and foot while trying to explore the vicinity. Overall, this distinct rock formation is worthy of our visit.

Palad Sandbar

A stunning sand bar with powdery white sand surrounded by turquoise clear waters. It only appears during low tide but don’t worry as the tour coordinators and boat operators are pretty much familiar of the low tide schedules on the area. On our case, we got to visit Palad Sand bar at around 10:30 AM.


There’s also a snorkeling area around the waters surrounding Maniwaya Island (no specific name). Here you can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, feeding fishes and see the rich marine life of Marinduque. Snorkeling gears can be rented on a very affordable price to truly enjoy the splendid aqua life seen below waters such as living corals and peculiar fishes.

Maniwaya Island Sample Itinerary

DAY 0:

11:00 pm     ETD from Assembly Location to Gen Luna Port


DAY 1:

08:00am      ETA in Maniwaya Island

09:30am      Relax time at Maniwaya Island

10:00am-1:00pm  Island hopping to Palad Sand Bar and Rockformation

01:00pm      Lunch 

02:00pm      Lots of chill time [swimming/volleyball/sun bathing/]

07:00pm      Dinner 

08:00pm      Socials

11:00pm      Lights Out


DAY 2:

6:00am        Breakfast 

7:00-10:00am   Free Time

11:00 pm     ETD FROM Maniwaya Island to Gen. Luna Port

12:30           Lunch

9-10pm       ETA manila

More photos of us in the island

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