As I squint my eyes due to the bright midday sun and the strong gust of wind produced by the motion of the boat, I glanced back at the small, beautiful island I just left and thought about how fateful the last two days have been here in Marinduque.
Alluring and quiet
Marinduque is perfect for a first time (accidental) solo traveler like me. Its fantastic views and serene atmosphere are so relaxing it made me forget I don’t have any idea what I’m going to do. It has kissed away the fears I’ve always had about visiting an unknown place alone.
I am a much braver wanderer now.
I have always fantasized about going on a trip somewhere. But it has always been just that: a fantasy. I had too many concerns back then and they kept me from exploring the world outside the city. I’ve always known deep inside me was a guy with so much wanderlust. But I was too scared to get out of my comfort zone.
It all changed one day.
One unexpected hike to the mountains unleashed the hungry traveler in me. It was the start of a series of exciting adventures that satisfied my starving soul. And it led me to this breathtaking island in the heart of the Philippines.
Marinduque’s Maniwaya Island is paradise. Perfect for a first time solo trip.
Around this time a year ago, I was adjusting to a new work environment and needed a change of scenery. I decided to tag along a friend and some office mates to this province. Since I haven’t been in Marinduque I thought it was the perfect time to get some Vitamin Sea and meet new people. But the plan crumbled at the last minute so I ended up going alone.
I almost didn’t go but because I already have the bus ticket, I decided to take a chance and go–even when I have no idea what I was doing.
I’m glad I did because it became one of my most memorable trips.
If you’re thinking of going on a trip alone, this is one place I highly suggest because of the following reasons:
It’s easy to get to Marinduque. Just board a JAC Liner bus bound for the town of Sta. Cruz. If you depart at night, you’ll be in Sta.
Cruz in the morning. My travel time took about 12 hours but that’s only because there was a 3-hour delay at the RORO ferry. It wasn’t much of a hassle since I was dozing off most of the trip.
Even the least experienced traveler will find it easy to get to Maniwaya. Once you alight the bus, ride a trike that’ll take you to Buyabod port. Then board a boat from there.
Sceneries to die for
Marinduque is blessed with some of the most beautiful views. The water is so clear it doesn’t seem real. Its rich blue color is enchanting. The promontories are impressive and look like landscape portraits.
The boat ride is very relaxing. After the long trip by land, I was grateful for the cool breeze that ran through my face as the small boat chugged its way towards the beautiful patch of land ahead, sending foams of water on my limbs.
The beaches are no different. They can rival any of the popular tourist destinations like Boracay. The sand is immaculate–fine and white. The neat outline of the coconut trees on the shore made it look like a postcard image.
I am very in love with beaches, so imagine the huge smile on my face once I got to the island. It was way more than what I had pictured in mind.
Not crowded at all
One of the takeaways of travelling solo is having a genuine “me time” and that’s exactly what I got in Maniwaya. Yes, there were several groups when I got there but, for some reason, the island felt peaceful, devoid of any noise. No annoying crowds anywhere.
You can literally take a towel, lay it on the sand, and just lie down and relax.
You can take a walk along the beach while collecting your thoughts.
You can simply gaze out to the open sea.
Or just sit under the shade of one of the many coconut trees and watch as people pass by. You can also talk to the very polite and friendly locals.
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