For Cherrie Atilano, CEO and founding farmer of AGREA Agricultural Systems International Inc and Farm School in Marinduque, this heart-shaped island is “a one-stop shop” if you’re looking for mountains, beaches, and food when you travel. “The island’s ridge-to-reef wonder sets the island apart from other destinations,” says Cherrie.
Cherrie recommends six spots around the island for first-time visitors:
1. Mt. Malindig
If you’re up for a bit of a hike, this is one place you may want to add to your itinerary. Legend has it that Marinduque got its name from this mountain, which features the solfataric springs of Malbog. Be careful though: it’s classified as a potentially active volcano!
2. Poctoy White Beach
For beach bunnies, there’s Poctoy White Beach, where you can perfectly enjoy the sun, sand, and serene atmosphere. It’s perfect for families, barkadas, and even solo travelers, and even has a view of Mt. Malindig from the beach.
3. Balar Hotel and Spa
Looking for a place to stay on your visit? You’ll love the rustic charm of Balar Hotel and Spa’s architecture and design. And the staff’s warm, high-quality, and personalized service guarantees a relaxing and comfortable stay on the island.
4. Maniwaya Island
Here’s where you can catch the best sunrise and sunset views in Marinduque, and where you’ll find the picturesque “line where the sky meets the sea. Tourists who’ve visited the island also speak of the sparkling blue waters, snorkeling adventures, and amazing side trips to Palad Sandbar and Ungab Rock Formation on Mompong Island.
5. Bagumbungan Cave
For thrill-seekers, Cherrie suggests taking a trip to Bagumbungan Cave in Sta. Cruz, where you’ll find interesting rock formations and an actual waterfall inside the cave, which is home to bats, crabs, and even shrimps.
Bonus: AGREA Farm Estate
The farm estate located in Gasan is only 10 minutes away from the airport. You’ll get to see the largest coconut-turmeric intercrop farm in the Philippines. The place offers farm tours and farm school for budding farmers, food enthusiasts, agriculture advocates, and agriculture entrepreneurs. AGREA aims to make Marinduque the world’s first replicable one-island economy with zero hunger, zero waste, and zero insufficiency through agripreneurship, agritechnology, and farm tourism. AGREA is also currently working towards growing a female-led agriculture community in Mindanao’s Siargao island.
Cebu Pacific flies to Marinduque from Manila from April 1. cebupacificair.com
*As told to Maggie Adan