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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Chillin in Malapascua Island, Logon-Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

Saturday, June 10, 2017 Posted by Vernon Go , , , , , , , , , No comments

I finally was able to visit Malapascua Island after failing to seize 3 opportunities in the past. Malapascua is accessible via the northern most town of Logon-DaanBantayan, at the tip of Cebu Island, Philippines. This laid back island is relatively known to foreign tourists especially divers and beach lovers due to it's rich marine sanctuary and slow-pace of life.

We arrived at this wonderful island paradise together with my workmates. Half of us stayed in a resort while the others (being cheapskates), decided to stay in a house owned by a relative of one of my workmates. To save on costs, we also brought our own food to cook! HAHAHAHA


The Lighthouse

About Malapascua Island:
The beaches are pristine and unspoiled, the people hospitable, happy yet determined. There used to be more resorts in the island but the locals as well as the island itself is still recovering slowly but surely from the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

At 2.5 kilometers in length and 1 kilometer in breadth, Malapascua is indeed a small island. Don’t let its size fool you because it is world-renowned for its coral gardens, submarine walls, and underwater shoals. Divers all over the world as well as locals visit Malapascua for a chance to see graceful thresher sharks and manta rays! And also, don't forget the beach line is nice too!




GETTING THERE!
  • Take a taxi from the airport to North Bus Terminal. Travel time: 20-30 minutes.
  • From Cebu City North Terminal, ride a Ceres bus bound to Maya Port in Daanbantayan. The bus trip will end in Maya Port. Travel time: 4-5 hours. Some are airconditioned but most buses are non-airconditioned so make sure to get a comfortable seat. First trip is at 3AM!
  • Ride a boat from Maya Port to Malapascua. First trip leaves at 7AM while last trip going back to Maya Port is at 2PM. In the late afternoon during low tide, smaller boats will pick you up both in Maya Port and Malapascua since bigger boats can’t get in. Travel time: 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Once in Malapascua, you can opt to walk for 15-20 minutes or ride a habal-habal to your resort.





THINGS TO DO!
But even for those who don’t snorkel/scuba/free dive, Malapascua has a myriad of exciting non-diving activities and picturesque destinations. There are plenty of diving shops offering trips t see wrecks, unspoiled reefs, and sharks around Malapascua as well!

  • Island Hopping - there's a sunset cruise that just hops around Malapascua, a party cruise, and the all-day distant island hopping (which goes to the islands or sandbars bear Leyte). Costs can be as low as Php700 or realistically Php1,500 up to Php5,000.
  • Beach Bumming - you can sun bathe, swim, some beach games or just taking the view in
  • EAT!! - if you are staying in a resort, you can eat there or other resort's restaurants; you can also try the local dishes by the locals in carenderias too! (Php60-80 while around Php100-250 for the resto)
  • Explore the island - plenty of things to see like: the light house, sunset and sunrise on different parts of the island, there are some cliffs where one can do cliff jumping (ask the locals for the spots and don't just pick a cliff and jump, that's not safe!)
  • Engage the People - you can start off 'People Watching' locals and foreigners alike or just grab a drink and talk to some of them at happy hour! (Local sari-sari stores close as early as 7 or 8PM, so if you are looking to drink, go to the resort resto-bars)
  • Other Activities: If you happen to arrive during a fiesta (May 11 and 12), you join a and bayle (local outdoor discos) at night! You can also do some stargazing, videoke/karaoke, 

Some places to visit

Happy Hour!

If you get tired of the beach, there are pools by resorts too - Slam's Resort

Sunset on Malapascua Island
The northern tip of Malapascua Island also offers a long stretch of white sand beach with a lesser crowd. The island is relatively small and can be roamed around by foot from north to south in an hour. However, you can choose to do it by habal-habal rides (Php50/trip - negotiate!).





TIPS
Bring enough cash. #1: There are no ATMs on the island. The nearest one is in Maya which is a boat ride away. #2 not all resorts accept credit card payments. Also, you may need a flashlight since being an almost isolated island, power is sporadic and there are times that black outs happen due to power shortage.

Peak season starts on September and lasts until the middle of May. Expect prices to hike up during these months. Off-season is on June to August.

Don't forget to also observe the LNT principle (Leave No Trace)! When snorkeling/diving, take care not to touch the corals. Corals are very fragile. Also, do not litter; place your garbage in a large bag to be taken back to the city for proper disposal. Do not take any rock, plant, sand, etc. that belongs to our beautiful paradise.

Here's a video I made, check it out!



*Note: The costs mentioned for food, transportation and the like may vary in the island. Note that these rates may change without prior notice.

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