Polillo Island: Malaguinoan Islands

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Munting Malaguinoan Island

 

On our third day in Polilio Island, we set out to explore more of the natural wonders recommended by Mercy, a self-confessed nature lover whom we met at Ikulong Island. We were so grateful for the information that she shared with us otherwise we would have just skipped the trip to Puting Bato Island and to the picturesque coconut-laden paradise of the Malaguinoan Islands. Our boatman had originally told us that Puting Bato wasn’t open for the public and that the other islands were too far from Burdeos. With a bit of prodding from her, and the right price, our boatman finally agreed to our itinerary when he came to pick us up from Ikulong Island where we had camped for the night.

 

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Approaching the small cove of Munting Malaguinoan Island

 

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After exploring the caves of Puting Bato Island, we were off to our first beach of the day. Munting Malaguinoan Island is my favorite among all the islands we visited in Burdeos. It is surrounded by clear, blue waters and covered with palm trees and lush vegetation perfect for swimming and beach camping. Approaching its shoreline reminded me of the beautiful cove of Puting Buhangin on Pagbilao Grande Island. It is also bounded by limestone rock formations on both ends and its cove is covered with powdery sand. The clear waters reveal beautiful coral reefs and other colorful aquatic life as you near its shores.

 

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One thing I like about this island is that you can easily access the beach on the other side of the island in just a few minutes walk (3 minutes or less). It’s like having two beaches in one place, a bit like Sabitang Laya in Caramoan (just smaller).  The next island, called Malaking Malaguinoan Island, is also just a few minutes boat ride from Munting Malaguinoan Island. It is about 40 hectares in area and it has several white-sand beaches located along its coast.

 

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Other side of Munting Malaguinoan Island with the view of Malaking Malaguinoan Island.

 

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As the beach is almost one hour’s boat ride from Puting Bato Island, I was sort of expecting to find a secluded and deserted tropical paradise. But the beach was packed with so many people when we got there. It was also disappointing to see some rubbish scattered around the area. Holy Week vacation is a time you should avoid if you want to have this beach all for yourself. On the way to the island, our boatman pointed out an image of the blessed Virgin Mary etched on a growing stone. He said hundreds flock the smaller Malaguinoan Island to pay homage to this sacred image which they believe possesses miraculous powers.

 

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Somewhere in this rock formation is the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary visited by the locals during Holy Week.

 

We would have chosen this place for beach camping have we known about it beforehand. It has lots of nice open, flat grassy areas amongst the coconut trees for pitching your tent. The owner of the island, Jose Manlimos lives in a small hut in the area and simply asks for a donation or whatever you can spare if you want to visit the island or camp on the beach. I wouldn’t have minded skipping all the island-hopping and just explored these two islands during our stay.

 

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HOW TO GET TO MALAGUINOAN ISLANDS

To get to the island, one can take a bus ride (approximately 3 hours) with Raymond Bus Company from Legarda, Manila bound for Real, Quezon. From Real, Quezon, here are some options:

1. From Burdeos – you may rent a boat from Sabang Pier and include these two islands in your island-hopping trip. (Please refer to this article for detailed instruction)

2. Alternatively it could be possible to rent a boat directly from Real to the island.

a. Ride a ferry boat from Real (Ungos Port) to Polillo, Quezon (about 3 hours) and then take a small fishing boat which can sit around ten to twelve (10-12) people to Malaguinoan Island which is about three (3) hours away or more.

b. Rent a private fishing boat (sitting 20 passengers) to ferry you directly from Real (Ungos Port) to Malaguinoan Island. The boat ride would last around four to five (4-5) hours or more depending on the weather condition.