Jomalig Island is one island in a small archipelago in the Lamon Bay some 110 miles east of Manila. Situated in the extreme western regions of the Pacific Ocean which borders the Philippines, the island of Jomalig rests a few hours offshore at the province of Quezon. Jomalig is the last in the series of islands that jut out into the Pacific Ocean making the remote region a true adventure.
The name Jomalig is pronounced “hu-ma-lig” for the Visayan word meaning “to kiss”. The island legend for naming this great land mass is that the ancient tribal leader of Jomalig had a beautiful daughter. A young gentleman from the neighboring island asked for her hand in marriage. The tribal leader commanded the young man to a challenge to prove his honor. The tribal leader requested the young man to spear 3 fish from every pond on the entire island. The high spirited gentleman accepted the challenge but in the end was defeated. The young man was hopeless and before he departed he asked the young lady for a kiss. The people of the island shouted “Humalig”, “Humalig” and the beautiful girl kissed the young man. Today the variation of the word is due to the American occupation of the Philippines, thus changing the name to Jomalig.
A trip to Jomalig Island is only accessible by small boat or private aircraft due to the short length of the airstrip on the island. The seaport and airport of Jomalig are in the same proximity in the village of Talisoy, Jomalig’s only commercial aspect on the entire island. Talisoy offers a wet market where fresh catch of the day is offered along with vegetables, rice and other commodities for your stay.
The island of Jomalig and the village of Talisoy offer very little in room rentals or places to stay. With the oncoming advances by outsiders, Talisoy has had a few places lately that are being offered as overnight accommodations. As of this writing, the town Mayor himself has a small place for visitors to vacation and stay in Talisoy. Many vacationers to the island stay in tents on the beaches. Those that intend to use this method of overnight accommodations should advise the Mayor or the local police for safety reasons only. Jomalig is not a dangerous or pragmatic island and the only noted problems usually come from youths that live on the small land mass. In all, the island has approximately 10,000 inhabitants.
A ferry trip to Jomalig Island takes approximately 5 hours. One trip takes you to Patnanongan, a port village on an opposing island, and then onto Jomalig. A second option makes a boat transfer right in the middle of the ocean as the ferries cross paths; the second option is a time saver and can cut off at least two hours from the entire trip.
Kanaway and Salibungot are the two beach destinations on the island of Jomalig. Both beaches are equally as stunning but Kanaway has the unique feature of having naturally formed ripples which make for a beautiful picturesque stay for those into photography and the like. All of Jomalig beaches have a unique pink hue to them. This noted hue is from rare corals which rest in the sea beds offshore. This not only gives beauty to the shoreline but also for those who love to snorkel or scuba dive as the aquatic underwater life are as stunning as anywhere in the Philippines. The waters around Jomalig are mostly shallow, especially during low tide. This unique feature allows for vacationers and adventurers alike to walk across to the outlying islets and other islands which rest in the same region as Jomalig.
Jomalig Island offers some unique aspects and the entire island has friendly inhabitants who are happy to assist you on guided tours. Be sure to ask your guide to take you to Bigwangan Lake. This unique and beautiful lake is the jewel of Jomalig Island, be sure to bring your camera as the photo opportunities are endless. The entire bay of Lamon seamlessly dumps into the deep interior lake of Jomalig Island and distinguishes this island from all the rest in the surrounding area. The Government of the Philippines is positioning itself to build a turbine power plant on the waterway of Lake Bigwangan. Today the island only has power from 5pm to approximately 1am as the electricity is generated by diesel.
The islets around Jomalig and the extreme unpopulated borders of the island have some rare and unique migratory birds that nest there. Anyone looking for tranquility, beauty and solitude, then Jomalig Island is a great, easy going destination for you. Jomalig not only offers vacationers to the Philippines a look at a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean, but it also offers an island that has very little alteration with modern society. Though Jomalig Island is not for everyone, those that take the time to come to its shores are often speaking about their great times and unique time being on a rejuvenating vacation on a little known Semi-private Island just offshore of the Philippines.