Thursday, May 13, 2010

Serene escape to Malapascua Island

Malapascua is an island off the northernmost part of Cebu. It lures vacationers to its white sand, clear waters, rich marine life and the sought-after tranquil environment. It is also home to the thresher sharks. But travel to this paradise is not without caution especially the raging sea condition for the most part of the year. Spaniards sought shelter from the storm (was it Christmas or Easter?) in this island, hence the name Malapascua.

But nothing's stopping this adventure-driven soul who braved so many big waves en route to Daddy's and my paternal relatives' haven on this earth (that's another topic worth a blog entry). 

So I joined the Heikkil√§s on a relaxing trip to this island. We went to the North Bus Terminal to catch the 4:00 am Ceres bus bound for Maya. However, we opted to take the airconditioned bus which leaves at 5:00 am since we had a kid in tow. At daybreak, the bus left the terminal. As we cruised down the north road, the sky was changing hues from purple to light blue with tinges of yellow and orange. I was enjoying the sight of verdant rolling hills oblivious to the very cold temperature inside the bus. Before I knew it, we were in Maya in less than three hours (should I say thanks to few bladder break stops and high-speed driving?) when it would normally take 3½ to 4 hours to get to this sleepy point in the north.

Early breakfast: Dunkin Donuts and a cup of hot chocolate

at Maya, take-off point to Malapascua

As we got off the bus, there were several guys offering their boats for a trip to the island. Later I realized that these were the canvassers being referred to in some websites ("Beware of canvassers/Canvassers not allowed inside the resort"). Getting to Malapascua on an ordinary trip would cost Php 50.00 plus another Php 10.00 for the small boat during low tide. However, the motorboats dock at the southwestern part of the island so lucky are those who booked resorts on this side. If you'll be staying in the middle part or eastern side of the coast, then you'll have to take another boat or ride a motorcycle to get to your destination. Since we'll be staying at the eastern end, we had our float arranged and the special trip costs Php 1,000.00. The owner and crew of Ledebie (the name of the motorboat which can comfortably accommodate 20 pax) arrived at around 8:30am. It took us 30 minutes to get to the Mike and Diose's Beach Cottage and Aabana Beach and Watersport Resort.

We were met by Ate Charito, the resort's caretaker, and she led us to the Casablanca cottage which was to be our home for the next three days. I just fell in love with the homey and spacious cottage. It has a porch, a bed, T & B and kitchenette on the ground floor, and four beds in the attic. It also has cable television, A/C, electric fans and LED lighting. The stay in this cottage is for Php 1,800/day with free breakfast. However, electricity comes with a price at Php 30.00/kwh with free 1 kwh every day.

The resort is located at the end of the eastern coast so there wasn't too much pedestrian traffic. It was quiet (that I love) save for the occasional carpentry sounds next door.

We had lunch at Ging-Ging's which was several hundred meters away from the resort. After filling ourselves, we immediately proceeded to the beachfront to enjoy the sun, the sand and the beach.

We had our dinner that night at the nearby Exotic Restaurant. And lunch and dinner for the succeeding days, too, since it was the closest to the resort.

Ranch burger

Fisherman's Net

Stuffed squid

However, there are several restaurants down the white strip. There's Italian and Filipino and one resto even has an eat-all-you-can buffet.

What to do in Malapascua?

For starters, one can wake up to the sound of the roosters crowing and watch the sunrise with the stray dogs that abound the coast.

You can also watch the fishermen bring their catch. If you're lucky, then you'll have fresh fish for breakfast. When we were there, the fishers didn't haul that much from the sea (they only had "bolinao") because it was a full moon.

If you want to stretch those muscles, then take a walk around the island.

And then of course, you can swim and snorkel all you want. If you're certified a diver or would want to enroll in diving classes, then there are several dive shops in Malapascua.

To cap the night, you can watch the moon and enjoy the sea breeze while listening to the waves.

Malapascua is no Boracay. It is way much better especially if you want some peace and quiet in your vacation. It is very laidback, time passes by so slow and don't expect the amenities that you would regularly find in popular island resorts.

It's best to bring your supplies (water, snacks, medicines, drinks, etc.), that is if it isn't much of a hassle because said items are sold at a higher price. They had to factor in the transport cost into the price.

And of course, bring enough Philippine notes and coins. There are no ATMs in the island and hardly any forex dealer.

So for your next vacation, make Malapascua your destination.

Just some sticky notes:

Bus fare from Cebu-Maya v.v.: Php 136.00 (aircon bus)
Php 100.00 (non-aircon bus)

Motorboat to Malapascua: Php 50.00 + Php 10.00 for the small boat during low tide

Special Trip: Php 1,000.00 - 1,200.00

Cottage at Mike & Diose's /Aabana Beach:
Php 1,800 for 2pax with free breakfast; Php 150.00 for extra pax with free breakfast
Electricity charge: free 1 kwh/day; in excess, Php 30.00/kwh.

1 comment:

cagayan de oro resorts said...

This is a really looks like a nice laid-back and calm island. I bet this is a perfect place to get some R&R, not too crowded, and I like it. Definitely will 6check this place out soon. Thanks for this article, you really inspired me to go there.

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