Malapascua is a small island in the northernmost tip of Cebu. The place was just recently discovered in the 90's and is not as modernized and as touristy as Boracay or Panglao. It does not have 24 hours electricity, except for some resorts. However, do not get deceived. There are a lot of foreigners here - most of them American and European dive enthusiasts. Today, the area is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and diving spots (particularly Monad Shoal where Thresher Sharks are frequently sighted).
How to get there: From Cebu City, drive all the way to the North Bus Terminal and hop on a Ceres Bus to Maya. The trip will take you about 4-5 hours so be ready for the long drive. Bus tickets are sold at 166 PhP. The port of Maya is the bus's last stop. Once you get to there, you need to hop on an outrigger boat which will take you to the Island. Boatfare is 80 PhP per person. If you are on a hurry, you can request for a special trip @ 1200 PhP.
I've never been to Malapascua before which got me really excited - even if it was just an overnight stay. This was also a very special trip because our little Energy Ball was coming along too - her first ever backpacking trip. We were up for the challenge.
We actually woke up quite late. 7am to be exact. This put me in a real cranky mood. This meant that we would have to arrive in the island late in the afternoon and have very little time to do anything else. But still, there we were, at the side of the national highway, waiting for a bus to pass through. We stood there for about 30 minutes until a bus bound for Maya showed up. Luckily, buses are seldom packed during this time of the year so we got ourselves comfortable seats with enough space for our bags.
I was hoping to get some sleep on the bus but the Energy Ball wanted to stand up for the rest of the way. She loves the wind on her face so I had to scold her every now and then not to stick her head out of the window. She finally dozed of 2 hours into the ride and Janjan and I finally got to rest too.
We arrived at Maya at exactly 12 noon. We immediately got our tickets and hopped on the boat. The port of Maya (I would like to think) is still a work in progress. There are no formal passageways for passengers to board the boat. You literally need to walk through a plank to get on board. The ride will take you an average of 30 minutes, depending on the weather. You can actually see the island and the stretch of white sand from the port - which got me really excited.
The weather was perfect and in 30 minutes, we had the island's soft white sand between our toes. We actually booked our stay at the Hippocampus resort the night before. It was low season here so accommodations are very easy to get. The resort was located right in the middle of Bounty Beach where most of the restos and bars were located.
We got the standard aircon room for 1500 PhP. This included a private veranda, bath and shower, free WiFi, linens, towels and some toiletries. Although it was a bit pricey for my standards, I took it because it was a stone's throw away from the beach and it had free Internet connection (I needed to work during get-away's too).
So right after we settled, Janjan and the Energy Ball went around to explore the resort while I settled down, did a few articles and rested. After this, we headed out to the beach to swim. Right after that refreshing dip, we rested some more and decided to go exploring the other side of the island. We were hoping to get a glimpse of the sunset but we were too late. Anyways, the view was just as breathtaking.
|Guys, meet the Energy Ball - she loves bananas, sand, fish and chickens - live ones|
|SuperAngelina @ 435 Pesos; Chocolate Pana Cotta @160 Pesos. Pricey but def worth it!|
|The Pana Cotta left us smiling silly|
|Clockwise: A resto along Bounty Beach (forgot the name), Ocean Vida, Cocobana and Sunset Resort|
We decided to have breakfast at Ging-ging's, a local eatery a few meters away from Hippocapmpus. They serve good food but it takes quite a while to cook them. Fortunately, we were the first customers to arrive so it didn't take too long before we were served with our orders. We both got the Filipino breakfast. Tocino for Janjan and pork chop for me. Meals were at 80PhP each. We got banana pancakes for the Energy Ball, which unfortunately, she barely touched. She ended up gobbling 2 whole bananas we bought from a local fruit vendor instead.
|Filipino brekkie @ 80 Pesos each|
|She cracks me up every time =)|
|Feel the love....|