Jomalig Island: Quezon’s Rugged And Untouched Beauty

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Situated in the southern tip of Quezon Province, Jomalig Island rests like an isolated refuge teeming with natural gifts and plenty of spectacular landscapes. The island’s characteristics astound travelers who brave the arduous sea journey to get there.

Jomalig’s rugged and untouched beauty is quickly gaining the attention of wanderers from all over but it’s not exactly a smooth sailing trip to get to the island. To help you with your travel plans, here are some important tips that’ll make your Jomalig Island getaway extra enjoyable.

What to do in Jomalig Island?

To those looking to do an outreach trip, Jomalig Island is in dire need of help when it comes to alleviating the prevailing problem of malnourishment in the island. A DSWD study made a few years ago listed Barangay Apad in Jomalig as the “most malnourished town in the Philippines.”

After volunteer organizations and like-minded travelers visited the island in the past, and with the efforts of the local government, the drive against malnourishment has made big strides. That said, further help from the visitors in bringing medicines and multivitamins for the kids can still go a long way.

Salibungot Beach, Jomalig Island

The stretch of Salibungot is covered with fine golden sands and towering pine trees perfect for camping out | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

Island hopping is the next best thing to do on the island. Swim, snorkel and beach bum your way around the island with wild merriment. Help the fishermen earn additional income by renting their fishing boats for the day and explore the surrounding islands and beaches such as Manlanat Island, Kanaway, Casuguran, and Salibungot Beach as well as nearby snorkeling sites.

Island Hopping, Jomalig Island

Island hopping around Jomalig Island can take the whole day or two depending if you wanna stay at each place longer | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

Inland of Jomalig are a number of hiking trails perfect for anyone looking for an elevated platform to view and photograph the landscape of the island. A sprawling lake and a 2-hectare mangrove also exists where visitors can explore through boat paddling.

Sunset Watching, Jomalig Island

Sunset watching is another must-do in the island | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

Cap your day off by sunset-watching at Salibungot beach and end the night by camping under the starry skies over tales of friendship, travels, and even ghost stories.

What to eat in Jomalig Island?

There are no established restaurants on the island yet–and for the sake of the island it is better for it to remain that way so visitors can fully savor the simple yet sumptuous local-cooked seafood.

Lobster, Jomalig Island

A lobster catch of the day | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

To also help other locals earn additional income, ask any of the housewives on the island where to buy fresh seafood from the early morning catch of their fishermen husbands, and afterwards you can also ask them to cook and prepare it for you for a very affordable price.

Fresh Seafood, Jomalig Island

Ask the locals where to buy fresh seafood. They are readily available in the island | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

Crabs, squids, tuna, lobster you name it–many types of seafood are caught daily on Jomalig Island.

Where to stay in Jomalig Island?

Three words: under the stars. That’s the best place to stay while in Jomalig Island. The pine-tree laden stretch of Salibungot Beach presents one of the best places to pitch a tent or tie a hammock. Witness the stunning gleam of its golden sands as it kisses the sun’s rays while enveloped in a lush set of greeneries.

As wonderful as camping on the island can be, a modest set of accommodation options now exist in Jomalig Island via the small inns and home stays set up by the locals.

According to recent Jomalig Island visitor Kara Santos, there are now two Tejada Resorts operating on the island. One is situated near the port while the other one is in Sitio Landing. The rate hovers from ₱300 for rooms with shared bathroom and ₱500 for one of the rooms inside a two-room house. (Contact person: Tatay Rudy at +63 907 537 5234)

Other travelers have experienced staying at some of the locals’ houses after some of the residents themselves offered them an option to sleep in their houses for a very small rate.

Electricity on the island is still limited from 5 PM to 1 AM, so make sure to be sound asleep by the time the clock hits 1 AM so you won’t notice the absence of a fan when brownout strikes the island.

When is the best time to visit Jomalig Island?

For safety purposes, please avoid the rainy months from June to October as the raging waters can cause you to be stranded on the island or even prevent the boat from leaving Real and Atimonan, Quezon. The best time to visit are the summer months of March, April and May with January and February being the second best season to go to Jomalig Island.

Island near Jomalig

Just one of the islands and beaches around Jomalig that is reachable by small boat | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

Contact Persons:

You may message the Jomalig Island’s Facebook Page or send a text message or call the Quezon Provincial Tourism Office via Kelly Bautista at +63 922 949 1145.

How to Get to Jomalig Island from Manila

The port of Real, Quezon is the ideal sail-off point to Jomalig Island. Here you’ll find passenger boats that sail to Polillo Island and Jomalig.

Boat Ride to Jomalig Island

Aboard the boat sailing to Jomalig Island | Photo credit: Nomadic Experiences

1. Manila – Real, Quezon – Jomalig Island

Proceed to the Legarda Terminal of Raymond Bus and take the bus going to Infanta, Quezon. Since Real Port is big and serves a lot of sea routes, simply tell the conductor that you are going to Jomalig Island or at “Ungos Port” so you will be dropped off at the exact place where the Jomalig-bound boats are docked. Bus fare ranges from ₱198 – ₱210 for air-conditioned buses. Buses leave Manila for Infanta at almost every hour during the day. The land trip takes about 4 to 5 hours.

Upon arriving at Real Port just ask for the small shed where passengers going to Jomalig Island wait for departing boats. Under stable sea condition, the boat trip going to Jomalig takes around 5-6 hours and costs around ₱200 -₱350 depending on which size and type of boat you board.

2. Van from Manila

Another option is to take a van going to Real Port. Passenger vans are readily available just across Raymond Bus Terminal but cost slightly higher at around ₱250.

3. Manila – Atimonan, Quezon – Jomalig Island

Another option going to Jomalig Island is via Atimonan, Quezon. While most travelers prefer Real Port, the travel conditions of the boats coming from Atimonan may be the most preferable as the boats here are more passenger-friendly when it comes to convenience and size.

To go to Atimonan, just take any Jam and JAC bus coming from Cubao or Kamias going to the Grand Central Terminal in Lucena City. From Lucena terminal, take another jeepney going to Atimonan, Quezon. This route is more time consuming though as you will need to take a 3rd ride, this time by boarding a tricycle to the port serving the boats sailing to Jomalig Island.

Boat Tip: It is best to arrive early so you can choose the best position in the boat as most don’t come with comfortable seats. Bring a raincoat in case the waves get stronger to avoid getting drenched. Don’t forget to bring snacks as well.
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About Author

Mark Go

Marky Ramone Go is a travel-junkie, writer, and photographer based in the Philippines. Aside from contributing articles to various publications and websites, he narrates his experiences wandering the tropical paradise of the Philippines, the culturally rich regions of South East Asia, Sri Lanka, and India on his travel blog Nomadic Experiences. After Asia, he is keen on exploring South America and eventually hoping to trace Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" trail in the United States to Mexico.