Opinions, Travel, Uncategorized

Why You Must Experience Marinduque At Least Once In Your Lifetime

It’s rainy season yet I am unstoppable. Let me share how I spent my two precious days at the center of the Philippines archipelago frugally.

Me and my three friends planned to visit the heart-shaped island called Marinduque as long weekend approaches.

Its capital is Boac. Marinduque lies between Tayabas Bay to the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. It is located south and west of Quezon, east of Mindoro, and north of Romblon.

27 of August around 01:00pm, we departed from our home. It is anticipated that there were going to be at long queue on the Bus Terminals because of the upcoming holiday. 03:00pm when we finally got a ride at DLBT Co.on-board

Sharing you our personal itinerary:

Itinerary – Marinduque in Two Days
Mt. Malindig+Tres Reyes Island
Day 0
03:00 – 19:00 Travel from Buendia to Lucena Grand (there were buses going directly to  Dalahican Port, but due to very massive line, we took Lucena Grand Terminal route)
19:00-20:00 Dinner (Carinderia at the Grand Terminal, don’t forget to try their version of Goto. That’s perfectly amazing. )
20:00-20:45 Lucena Grand Terminal to Dalahican Port via Tricycle Ride (During daytime, there were Vans and Jeepneys on cheaper fare)
21:00 We supposed to leave via Montenegro Shipping Line but we decided to delay our trip so we can avail the promo fare of StarHorse Shipping
21:00-23:30 Waiting Time at Dalahican Port
23:30-02:30 Sailing time at Sibuyan Sea and Tayabas Bay to Balanacan Port at the town of Mogpog
Day 1
02:30-04:00 Jeep ride going to town of Gasan ( friend of my brother’s house that will serve as our accomodation)
04:00-04:30 Having coffee at Gasan while hearing beautiful sounds of waves
04:30 Bed time
09:00 Good Morning Marinduque
09:00-09:30 Breakfast (We have ginataang mustasa with inihaw na isda for breakfast. The Best.)
09:30-11:00 Preparation for our Island exploration (Market time and cooking)
11:00-11:45 Going to Pulo Island (Tres Reyes) via tricycle ride to Pinggan. From there, we took a boat ride for about 25 minutes.
S-W-I-M-M-I-N-G     P-I-C-T-U-R-E   T-A-K-I-N-G
12:45 Late lunch (Pancit, Fresh Grilled Fish, and Hot Dog. Perfect picnic time)
14:00-14:45 Pulo Island back to Gasan (Bangkero refused to bring us to the back part where two more Islands were located because of the Southwest Monson or commonly known as Habagat. Safety first, so we abide.
15:00-17:00 Gasan going to Lambingan Falls at Boac. The way there is a long bumpy road with mild to moderate assault. From the riverside, we took 15 minutes’ walk going to the falls.
19:00 Arrived at Gasan for Dinner and Night Socialization. The vegetables with fresh fish and fried fish was so appetizing.
M-A-K-I-N-G  S-O-M-E  N-O-I-S-E , H-A-V-I-N-G S-O-M-E   B-E-E-R
11:30 Lights Off
Day 2
5:00-06:00 Prepared for the hike. We watch the sunrise and enjoyed some beach walking.
06:00-06:20 Breakfast at Gasan ( Homemade Embotido, Hot Coffee, and Hot Lomi)
06:30-07:20 We traveled Gasan to Sihi, Buenavista
07:20-07:45 Registration and Preparation for the climbed
07:45-10:00 Jump-off to Campsite
10:00-10:45 Campsite to Mossy Forest (Summit)
10:45-11:15 Picture Taking while enjoying the feel of the low-temperature summit
11:15-12:45 Descent to the Jump-off point. We were really calculating every minute to ensure that we will able to make it to the last trip of the Roro at Balanacan.
13:00-14:00 Buenavista back to Gasan. Time management to the highest level in here.
14:00-15:00 Preparation going back to Manila
15:30-17:00 We traveled Gasan to Mogpog (Balanacan Port) via Jeepney
17:30-20:30 Sailing time at Sibuyan Sea and Tayabas Bay to Dalahican Port.
20:45-12:30 Dalahican Port to Manila
12:30 Arrived in Buendia, Pasay City

Budget per head:

P210 – Bus Fare from Buendia to Grand Terminal (If you’ll be taking trips straight to Dalahican port, the cost will be P260.00)

P50 – Tricycle Fare going to Dalahican Port from Grand Terminal

P30 – Terminal Fee

P50.00 -Promo fare of Starhorse Shipping Line Dalahican to Balanacan Port (regular prices will be P260 for Monte Negro Shipping Line, P130 for StarHorse Shipping).

P100.00 – Jeepney Fare from Mogpog to Gasan

All rates apply vice versa.

Note that if you were in a small group, you can rent a tricycle to bring you to your target destination. We were four so this is very much applicable to us.

P60 – Tricycle rent to Pinggan and vice versa

P700- Boat rent to Pulo Island (an additional P500 will be charged to you if you do Island hopping to two more Islands of Tres Reyes)

P250 – Tricycle from Gasan to Sihi Buenavista and vice versa (there were PUV but with limited trip schedules. You may also ride on a passenger tricycles P50 to Buenavista town proper and Jeepney from Buenavista to Gasan)

P45 – Barangay Permit going to Mt. Malindig(with Official Receipt). Barangay secretary says that since we were a small group, no need for us to pay the registration fee.

P500- Guide Fee. We have two guides, one is a barangay tanod and the other one is local resident. It doesn’t matter to them even if P500 pesos will be divided for the two of them. That’s how they appreciate earning money by just walking up and down the mountain compared to farming and copra processing.

We spent estimated P 1700 including the two days meals.

At the Island…..

About twenty minutes ride from Pinggan, we touched an island they call “Pulo”. Few fishermen’s family are residing in there as it was the nearest among the three. There was no electricity in the place. There were available cottages but none I think is commercial. There are sari-sari stores as well. The life was very simple yet the place is paradise in comparison. Mesmerized by the white sand shoreline mixed with white coral stones, I inhaled the smell the ocean breeze. The glimpse of the long sandbar is coming out, but I am afraid we would not be able to wait for its perfect appearance since it has to be low tide first. This will be going to be very late in the afternoon if we waited for it.

The unblemished sea is really inviting. I dove as if it’s not 01:00pm in the afternoon and the sun is not burning my body from top to toe. I will still not going to trade that experiences, though.

At the Lambingan Falls…

It’s so true that there is no perfect travel. I and my siblings venture to go to a place even if it was far and gone. At end of a very lengthy road trip and walk, we ended up to nonentity. Huge rocks with no water flowing down. What we had were just an abandoned cottages and baby water streams. A bit disappointed but anyway, since I used to catch positivism out of a mess, I started reflecting and I comprehended that it isn’t really a loss. We made an encounter with nature in different ways. Bonding while walking, appreciating kids, swimming naked in a swamp and they’re genuinely blissful. We trailed into a water-less river and we were able to witness the living of the people in this place. Life is a gift indeed.

At Mt. Malindig……

Buenavista, Marinduque
Jump-off point: Brgy. Sihi, Buenavista
LLA: 13.2413°N; 122.0136°E; 1157 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 4.5-5.5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-2

(Source: Pinoy Mountaineer Official website)

Generally, the trail is easy to moderate and can be hard for the beginners. The gradual remarkable assaults will be tolerable up to an hour and be challenging on the next couple of it. Mt. Malindig can become really muddy during rainy season like this while the summit will be even more slippery because it’s naturally a rainforest. The summit assault is always optional based on the weather condition and the ability of the hiker. It is also advised to wear long-sleeved shirts due to the “poisonous” plants which may damage the skin. I ignored this reminder and I regretted it. I had to elevate my hands to my shoulder while walking on a high cogon grasses. I had to be extra careful as we assaulted the summit.  There were parts that our guides need to trim the grasses and create the trail because meadows really grow so high that we can no longer find the trace. It’s good to have a guide even if it’s not mandatory to this mountain.

The foggy part fear me though because I assumed the rain is about to pour, but the guide told us that the condition is normal during the rainy season. We entered on a   zero visibility zone. It feels bizarre. It’s like we were walking in the cloud that when we look behind we could not be perceived each other. This was a sign that we were approaching on the campsite already.

There were stories before that some of the hikers were not allowed to go beyond the campsite. But the guide clarifies the issue to me. Kuya said that some AFP on duty do not want the climber to go beyond the barricade or near their area for security reason, but not to stop them from assaulting the summit except when no permit from the barangay hall and/or other current condition that might risk the mountaineer’s lives. Fair, however.

The way to the summit was like a march to true but yes true forest. The moss was visible everywhere and the green trees were so magnificently placed all over the area.

At the summit….

Unlike other mountains, the summit of Mt. Malindig has no views to offer.  Instead, the sensation of being in a humid jungle and the creepy mossy trees will make you realize that other senses did appreciate the beauty and not just the eyes.

Overall, this was another great experience for me.People are great, generous and hospitable. A traditional way of living and the rich culture of the locals will make you fell in love with this place. It was beautiful.  While simplicity is the most precious opportunity to those people who live with the complexity of the city, I will always go back to the truth that His creation when being appreciated and cared well, will always serve us our resting ground. And that is Why You Must Experience Marinduque At Least Once In Our Lifetime.

Now more than ever did I recognized that I will never be gratified with an inactive life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of the mountain, beaches, remote islands life and somewhere else. And I will most of the time respond with a “Yes”.

Me and my story…

Sunset at the heart of the archipelago. Perfect paint of nature. The Novice


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