Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines
Malapascua Island is one of the places I was able to visit as part of my work 2 years ago in the Philippines. After staying in Bantayan Island, I headed to Malapascua Island to meet with Resort Managers and Owners.
Malapascua Island has its own charm perfect for island living – simple living. It is known as one of the famous diving spots in the Philippines where divers can swim and encounter Thresher Sharks. Once you reach the island, you will immediately feel that isolation from the city and the island vibes coming from the locals, local’s homes, resorts, travelers and divers..
Let me share to you some snippets from my visit to Malapascua Island and some travel tips and do it yourself itineraries.
If you are coming from Bantayan Island, here are the details on how you can transfer to Malapascua Island.
From Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, I rode a ferry back to Hagnaya Port. The ferry leaves every hour and it costs PhP170.00 plus a terminal fee of PhP5.00 for a ticket.
Once you have reached the Hagnaya Port, you can hire a tricycle to take you to Bogo Public Market. Tricycle ride will be around 20 minutes and will cost about PhP30.00. Inform the driver that you are heading to Malapascua Island.
From Bogo Public Market, there are jeeps or multicabs available to ride to Maya Port. Travel time would be around 1 1/2 hours and fare costs around PhP 60.00.
I arrived at the port little late but good thing I was able to catch the last boat to Malapascua. That was little past 4:00PM that time. It costs around PhP80 for a ride and roughly around 30 minutes to reach the island.
If you are coming from Cebu City, you can ride a taxi from the airport to Northern Bus Terminal and ride a bus going to Maya Bagay. First bus trip leaves at 5:00 in the morning and every hour thereafter. It will take around 4 hours to get to Maya and once you reach there, just take a boat to Malapascua Island. It will cost you PhP150.00 (van) or PhP190.00 Air-conditioned bus.
Finally, I reached Malapascua Island.
I felt so amazed seeing this view when I arrived. Just another island, only a few hours away from where I came from, but it totally gave me a different feeling and absolute paradise-like scenery even though at that time, the skies were a little heavy.
I came from a work-related travel from Bantayan Island so I really didn’t have time to search for a resort I can stay for one week so I immediately searched for places I can stay by asking locals. I get to talk to one local and he suggested a place which his cousin owns and offered me a room for only PhP 700.00 a night. Unfortunately, the place didn’t have a name at that time so what I can only tell you is that from Blue Corals Resort, walk to the first alley you see and after a few steps inside that alley is a 3-door property for rent on a short-term basis. Below are some of the pictures of my room:
The room has a double-sized bed, a sofabed, a TV, Air-conditioner and a restroom. A good deal for a PhP700.00. The room is just a few steps away from the beach front.
I spent the night strolling, familiarizing around and talking to locals in the area. I get to eat ISAW (sold along the alley), which is a famous street food in the Philippines. Isaw is a grilled chicken intestine which most of Filipinos love to eat.
For dinner, I found La Isla Bonita Restaurant along the way and tried one of their pastas. There are a lot of restaurants and eateries available for visitors like me. From super cheap meals to Italian, Spanish and American dishes.
After some walking and talking to locals, I headed back to my room and slept early for next day’s activity.
Below are some of the things you can do while on the island.
THINGS TO DO IN MALAPASCUA ISLAND, CEBU, PHILIPPINES
Island Hopping and Snorkeling
Habal Habal Ride
WHERE ELSE TO STAY IN MALAPASCUA ISLAND
Aside from Blue Corals Resort, you can try the following resorts located just in front of the beach:
This was the view that greeted me Good Morning the next day in Malapascua Island. Such a bright feeling it gave me to start the day. If you are the type of person that loves anything simple, you will really love the simplicity, authenticity, the peace that this place gives.
Here is a simple map to help you get around the island:
During the day, I get to talk to one of the boatmen on the island that offers boat tours. I asked how much is it for a Snorkeling tour and I was told to pay for PhP 300.00 as it will be costly for me to hire an entire boat for 1500 alone. He told me he can include me in his next boat tour with a group of foreign travelers.
The whole snorkeling/island tour took around 3 hours in total and my PhP300.00 was so worth it.
Below are some of the tours you can avail on the island from Blue Corals Resort:
Island Tour — 1200 to 1500 for minimum 2 to 5 person
Kalanggaman Tour — 7500 for 5 person
Bantayan Island trip — 3500 for 2 person
Scuba Diving — depends on tour provider
After the tour, I just had little rest and ordered moussaka and fresh mango juice for snack before working at Oscar’s Restaurant, rooftop bar and restaurant near where I am staying.
Finally finished the day with sunset watching, beach bumming and playing with dogs.
Some more sunset shots that day. What an incredible sunset that was. Made me feel so blessed and closer to God.
Finally, had my dinner at Ging Ging Restaurant which is quite famous for affordable meals and delicious food.
The next day, had my breakfast at Purple Snapper Dive Resort. The resort offers backpacker accommodation for an affordable rate. I get to be friend with the Manager who is also a chef. They offer wide variety of western and Italian dishes.
That day I also get to meet the owner of Blue Corals Resort and offered me to stay at their for the rest of my stay. Total of 3 nights and 4 days. See photos below:
I get to try the habal habal tour around the island, went to the lighthouse and planned of trying cliff diving. But, unfortunately, the weather and the water didn’t permit me from doing it. I was so into conquering my fear that time, but, it didn’t happen. Maybe I’ll try it some other time. Also, I was offered by the owner of Little Mermaid Dive Resort to work for them and stay in the island for sometime with Free Diving lessons and accommodation. It was so tempting but I refused. Now I am thinking, what if I took the opportunity and lived in the island?
All in all, my experience for a week in Malapascua Island has been amazing. The beach, the hills, the locals, travelers and the food all greatly contributed to the beauty of the island. I , for sure, will be visiting this island again, soon.
- Make sure you have enough cash before heading to the island as there are no ATM or banks there. It will take you an hour at least too go to Maya town to withdraw money.
- Make sure to reach Maya Port before 4:00PM. In case you missed the last boat to Malapascua Island. You can get score a room near Maya port for 400/night.