Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Polillo more info.

Quezon province stretches like a narrow belt along the eastern coast of Luzon. It borders the provinces of Aurora to the north, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur to the east, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas to the west and to the south, the province divides into two Tayabas which projects into the Bondoc Peninsula and the other end curves towards the Camarines provinces. It has a total land area of nearly 12,000 square kilometers, consisting of 40 towns with Lucena as the capital of the province.

Polillo group of islands is located in the northeast of Quezon Province. Polillo, Patnanungan and Jomalig are the three big islands facing the Pacific Ocean. These islands are not yet well-developed except for Polillo, the biggest of the three island, which also have a tourist hotel name Sea Horse.  For many non-adventurers, they only get to hear about the island when there is a typhoon coming because it is used as a reference point by the weather bureau. But among conservationist, whether local or foreign, Polillo is one haven worth exploring and preserving.

In recent years, environmental groups have tried to cultivate among the residents of the island the ecological benefit of protecting different species of birds, animals, fishes and faunas. The people  of the island responded overwhelmingly, thus, sanctuaries where provided to keep the irreplaceable species from extinction.

The quality of peace on Polillo is like a little prayer that you cast each dawn of the day.  It brings serenity and warmth that slowly elude major cities in the country. The people in Polillo value family, traditonal customs and friendship.

How to Get There

Before one can reach Polillo Island, you must go to Real, Quezon. There are three ways of getting Real, Quezon. First, from Shaw Boulevard, take a jeepney going to Cainta junction. From Cainta junction, take another jeepney  going to Siniloan, Laguna.

Second option is to take the scenic Sta. Cruz, Laguna route. You can take a Tritran bus at terminals at Buendia (tel. 8325231) and Cubao (tel. 9131525) or BLTB with terminals also at Buendia (tel. 8314700)  and Cubao. The travel time is around 2 hours. Then, from Sta. Cruz, take a jeepney going to Siniloan

From there, you can take a jeepney going to Infanta/Real. From Real, take a tricycle  going to its port. The travel time is around two hours and a half.

The third option is to go to Sta. Teresita st. Legarda and take either a bus or a van going directly to Real, Quezon. It is important that you arrive early at the port because the boats leave in the morning. there are only two boats that traverse Real-Polillo route and vice versa.

Where to Stay

There are only a few accommodations available for travelers. These are the Seahorse Hotel (tel. 6342859) which charges around P1,800.00 and Herrera Plaza Lodging House (tel. 042-3148411) which charges P150.00 per person. The difference would depend on its facility like having communal toilets and baths and a restaurant. These accommodations are walking distance from the port and are located along the main street.

What to See
It is difficult to exactly recall all the names of places that you can actually visit. All you  need is one good guide and you will remember the sceneries far more beautifully than you can utter their names. The island is blessed with warm individuals and cool places. It is therefore up to the traveler to discover the different wonders of the islands like falls, caves, forests, water shed area, and fish and bird sanctuaries. They have a lush green forest where you can see the different species of birds and animals, some of which are endemic to the island. They have a number of beautiful beaches as it is surrounded by water. In going to these places, it is important to go there early in the morning because some place entails walking or riding for four hours.

There are beige-sand beaches in the coastal areas with low-lying mountains in the background. A beach named  Bigyan has an impressive formaion of mangroves and corals

The San Francisco beach is about a kilometer hike from the Polillo Pier. It is ideal for travelers seeking fun under the sun, where fresh sea breeze never fails to blow and lovely cottages line the beach. Barangay Sabang is another promising tourist spot with its clean golden beaches, coconut plantations, and abundant fishing grounds.

Tamulaya Falls is believed to be enchanted and home to the dwarves and elementals. Another well known site is Minasawa, a bird sanctuary where several bird species can be found.

Past Polillo town is the town of Bordeous, a place which has a rich history. The place was originally called Visita, then changed to Bordeaux, and later Bordeous by the priest who presided the first-ever mass in the barrio. To date, people carry on with traditional customs of celebrating their fiesta, which they have observed since pre-Spanish times.

Bordeous is entry point to the smaller islands and islets. Here you will find wide beaches, timberlands, aquamarine waters, sandbars, bird sanctuaries and game refuge.

Another interesting destination is Jomalig, which originates from the word "humalik" meaning "to kiss." Jomalig is a solitude of beauty known for its blue coral beaches, wildlife and lots of seafoods including lobster that  can be obtained all year round. Its boundaries are Patnanungan Island in the northeast, mainland in the southwest, and the eastern side of the vast blue Pacific Ocean. A favorite among business executives, this island offers a wide variety of white beaches and islets.

Additional Information
When you are in the island, the modes of transportation are pedicabs and tricycle.

There is a shop that offers Internet access.

Alain R. Santos | The Green Traveler.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Pictures and story by LAKWATSERO

On the easternmost part of Polilio Group of Islands is an unknown and unspoiled paradise of Jomalig, an island municipality of Quezon Province.
Jomalig (pronounced as humalig) is a sixth class municipality, consisting of five barangays and with a population of 6,111 based on 2007 census. The locals, “Jomaligins”, being so kind, are the pride of the island more than its striking scenery

The town is surrounded by golden sand and turquoise water that is rich in marine life, where most locals get their livelihood. Their premier beach is situated in Salibungot (Sitio Burungawan), a long coastline of golden sand that is uniquely dotted with Agoho (Pine) trees and a sandbar on the other end during low tide.

The beauty of the island, the serenity of the place and its warm people are the charm of this lovely town. Experience Jomalig and fall in love in this golden paradise.

How to Get There

By Air

Jomalig has an airstrip, so it is possible to charter a plane to go to here.

By Land/Sea

Going to Jomalig is an adventurer’s treat especially if you go there by boat. There are three possible ways to get there by boats: via Real and Atimonan, Quezon; and Panganiban, Camarines Norte. These are not commercial boats but cargo vessels. Going there by boat is difficult from September to January due to huge waves.

Via Real

This  is the most common route since there are regular boats from Real that go to Jomalig. These boats ferry fish from Jomalig but  also allows passengers to board. The Jomalig bound boats are found in the docking station near the school (not in Puerto Real). They usually leave Real by noon for a five to six hour boat ride. Fare is at P200.00, that usually includes fisherman’s meal.

If you miss the boat to Jomalig, you may opt to catch a boat to its neighboring island of Patnanungan, and then charter a boat to Jomalig from there.

Going to Real via public transport, catch an Infanta bus bound in Legarda Manila. Raymond Bus Line has round-a-clock schedule for Infanta/Real for a four to five hour bus ride passing to Rizal Province, Siniloan and Famy, Laguna. Ordinary bus fare is at P165.00. Get off at the docking station near the school before the Puerto Real port.

Alternatively, there are vans located near Raymond Bus Terminal, fare is P180.00. Travel time is three to four hours.

Via Atimonan

Boats to Jomalig from Atimonan ferry copra, but unlike Real, the ferry services from this point are irregular and not on daily basis. Travel time from Atimonan to Jomalig takes six to seven hours.

From Manila, Atimonan is accessible by land transportation. Buses going to southern towns of Quezon and Bicol pass to Atimonan. Travel time is approximately four hours. Once in the town, take a tricycle to go to the port.

Via Panganiban

Like Atimonan, boats to Jomalig from Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte have irregular ferry schedules although this is the closest entry point to Jomalig from mainland Luzon. Travel time takes three to four hours.

Catch a bus going to Daet and get off at Talobatib Junction in Labo. From Talobatib Junction, you can ride a bus going to Panganiban, bus fare is less than P50.00. Travel time from Manila to Talobatib is approximately six to seven hours, and from Talobatib to Panganiban is around an hour to an hour-and-a-half.

Where to Stay

There are no hotels in the town, and the only place where tourists can rent a room is in Tejada’s Place in Sitio Landing. They have rooms for P500.00 per night (with toilet and bath) and P300.00 for rooms with common toilet and bath. It is owned by Tatay Rudy Tejada, a town councilor and his wife Nanay Aida Tejada, they are very warm, accommodating and very kind. Tejada’s Place is along the beach with a great view of sunset. Contact No: 09399027532

Camping along the beach is also allowed, but bring your own camping equipments.


Being there is a great escape from chaotic city living. Sit on the sand, see the sunset, enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the place, kill time, mingle with the people. Jomalig is a paradise, a golden paradise. Other activities to enjoy your stay in Jomalig are:

    Swimming and Beach Hopping (Sitio Burungawan is a must visit place)
    See the mangroves in Sitio Landing


Going to Jomalig is already an adventure, a worthy adventure. Boat ride can be rough at times and generally rough during the ‘ber’ months up to January. The boats are cargo vessels so don’t expect a designed passenger space. Try riding on top of the boat, it is a great experience. When the water gets rough, find your own place inside.

Meals aboard are fisherman’s meal and designed for cowboy people, otherwise prepare and pack your own meals.

Electricity on the island is up from 6 PM to 1 AM only. Globe and Smart have mobile signals.


Note: All pictures and story  by Roslyn Young Rosalia
Taken around the area of Isla polillo beach resort.

No, these aren’t up close, in your face portrait shots of birds. Our gears were somewhat limited for that, i.e. we didn’t have telephoto, bird photography lens that time… actually we have yet to purchase said lens. And you know how birds fly off at the slightest hint of human presence. Anyway, we made do with what we had.
Also just to note, this would be the last time I’d get geek-cited over the 10x optical zoom of my Canon Powershot. You see it got stolen the week immediately following the Polillo trip, but that’s another story.