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