There are a lot of undiscovered paradise in Quezon province, three of my favorites are Alibijaban, Jomalig and Borawan, these are the places where I will never get tired of re-visiting. Going to these islands is already an adventure, you will be travelling for about 8-10 hours if you’re coming from Manila (by land and by sea), but I can assure you that they are worth travelling for.
#1 Jomalig Island
The most cheapest paradise I have been is Jomalig Island, I love everything in this island–the history, the landscape and the locals.
How to get to Jomalig Island: The most common route to reach Jomalig island is via Real, Quezon. From Legarda Manila ride a bus to Infanta or Real, Quezon (fare Php200) tell the driver to drop you off at the docking station just before the Puerto Real port. Then ride a boat going to the island (Php400 including fisherman’s meal). The boat ride would take around 4 hours before reaching the island, I suggest be there before noon at least.
Where to stay: The usual accommodation you can find here are cottages which may cost around Php300/night, but as a bag packer, I brought my own tent and portable gas range. Island Bike Tour is the most popular activity in Jomalig, it costs Php600/person. You get to ride around the island for a day on a rented motorbike.
An island in San Andres Quezon with the population of less than 2,000 and is known for the mangrove tress and coral reefs is now one of the back packers destinations in the Philippines. Alibijaban has a fine white sand, clear beach and a protected fish sanctuary.
How to get to Alibijaban Island: You have to be as early as 3am when travelling from Manila. Ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal (fare Php280, 4 hours) then ride an ordinary bus going to San Andres (fare 250, 6 hours) then ride a pedicab to the port then a boat to the island (fare Php100, 30minutes), there’s a port free of Php140. Remind yourself to buy foods before going to the port.
One activity you can enjoy while in the island is the boat ride going to the sand bar, it costs Php400 per head but you can ask for a discount, I got for Php350. The boat ride will take you around the island and to the mangroves, you can do snorkeling and swimming or just enjoy the paradise while laying in your hammock.
Where to stay: A room costs around 500-700 per night, there’s a tent for rent for only 300/night, but again, as a bag packer, I brought my own tent so I could save Php900 from this travel, along with portable gas range and kitchenware (Food allowance is at Php400, good for three days for one person).
The name Borawan is a combined name of “Boracay” and “Palawan”, for me, this is the most thrilling island in Quezon Province because aside from the usual island activities, you can also do rock climbing and rappelling here.
I was lucky enough to visit Borawan back in 2007, when it was newly opened to the public, fast forward to today, after 10 long years, this island is now one of the most crowded island in Quezon Province during summer, but still, one of the most beautiful island in the province. The local government and the people are doing a great job keeping Borawan clean.
How to get to Borawan: Ride a bus from Manila to Lucena Grand Terminal (Php280, 4 hours), from grand terminal ride another bus to Unisan (Php40, 2 hours) and tell the driver to drop you off Padre Burgos, then ride a tricycle to the port or tell the driver you’re going to Borawan, then ride a boat to the island (Php200, 30 minutes).
There’s no available accommodation in the island, there are a few cottages there but I suggest you to bring your own tent. Mostly, people who visit the island planned to stay only until 5pm because there are no electricity, but for campers, it’s a perfect place to enjoy nature.
Things to consider before going:
- No toilet, you have to dig a hole if you’re doing number 2.
- They provide rain waters if you want to take a shower (Php20)
- Do not make tambay to the cottages because they cost around (Php800)
- Bring mosquito repellent lotion, flash lights and batteries.
- First-aid kit, there are jellyfish around the island during summer season, it’s better to be prepared
#4 Cagbalete Island (Bonus)
The famous Cagbalete is a huge island, getting to the spot where you can find the white sand you have to walk for about 20-30 minutes. Getting there is another adventure: From Manila you need to ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal (Php280, 4 hours), then from there you need to ride a van for another 2 hours (Php70). Then once you reach Mauban you have to ride a boat for 50 minutes (Php5,000 round trip 15-20 pax), then walk for about 20-30 minutes to get to the white sand.
Aside from the usual overnight cottages you can find some air-conditioned villas in Cagbalete island, about Php350/head for the cottages and Php1,400/head for the air-conditioned rooms, and of course, there’s always a room for your own tent. There are more activities you can do in Cagbalete compare to the other islands that I’ve been with in Quezon Province, you can do horseback riding, volleyball, kayaking, skim boarding and island hopping.
So, if your ipon (savings) didn’t make the cut to go to Boracay or Palawan, consider these islands, they don’t cost much but you’ll be surprise how much tranquility these islands have to offer and you might consider returning back to these island as your own first choice.