Malapascua Island is one of Cebu’s famous islands – perhaps known for its diving spots. But if you’re not a diver, would you still love this island? Read my adventure (together with my awesome friends) for more information!
Are you ready? … Great! Here we go..
So since it was a long weekend, the group decided to go to Malapascua Island on April 30th. We rode the 4am bus at the North Bus Terminal. We have chosen an air-conditioned bus as the trip was approximately 4 hours.
We initially planned to go to the island during their town fiesta (May 12th) but due to schedule conflicts, we have decided to choose April 30-May 1. Town fiesta would mean more crowds and delays than the usual.
We did not stay in a fancy resort but to a friend’s family friend’s house. They were very accommodating. The good thing about this sort of scenario is that you’ll be able to experience to live just like the locals. Staying in the resorts would mean convenience but then again you’ll miss the best part of blending with them and “living the island life”. Of course, who would not want to save money?
As I observed, there were two water resources in the island. There’s the deep well, which is salinated water (more seawater than fresh water) and then there’s fresh water, which I believed underwent de-salination (maybe provided by the local government).
- Go to North Bus Terminal
- Ride the bus that goes to “Maya/Bagay”
- Buses will stop at the Maya Port. Take note that there’s a new and old port. Based on our experience, My Cebu Autobus will stop at the old Maya port while Ceres buses will stop at the new port.
NOTE: There are also vans going to Maya/Bagay. The good thing about riding the van is that there will be no stopovers. Vans may require higher fees compared to buses.
200 pesos – bus fare (airconditioned) – Cebu North Bus terminal to Maya Port (Daanbantayan); one way
100 pesos – boat fare – from Maya port to Malapascua Island (estimated 20-30 minutes travel); one way
20 pesos – mini boat fare (for boats that won’t dock on the shore) (I know, I know, it’s supposed to be free but it’s not); we jokingly called this as roro LOL
1200 pesos – boat rental (good for 12); you can haggle with different boat men; rental depends on the size of the boat and your negotiation power. hehe
Total: 620 pesos (fare)
1. Explore Malapascua Island
… and visit/do the following:
- Snorkeling at sunken Japanese Ship
the remains of the World War II Japanese submarine chaser Mogami Maru, 52 meters underwater… (info src)
You can also see the Malapascua Lighthouse in the sunken Japanese ship area.
- Bantigue beach
Save the best part for last. In this beach, we were having our chitchats. Just chillin’, photoshoots. There’s a little cave with 3 little Sto. Niños. Be careful though as there were broken glasses around.
The tiny cave:
- Coral Garden
We didn’t have a stopover on this spot but we did see the corals along the way. I suggest if you have time, explore it. Certain entrance fees apply if the collector is around 🙂
- Tungkil (nice rock formations)
In Tungkit (not entirely sure if this is the name), you can see a sort of ripple in the water – the reason for this is that shallow and deep water converged or somehow met halfway. It’s not a huge whirlpool so it won’t really eat your boat entirely haha!
2. Resorts Hopping
There are plenty of resorts in Malapascua Island, diving resorts to be exact. Most of these are very close to each other. There are different restaurants to choose from. Scuba courses are also offered. Most of their students are foreigners. You can also have some massage on the beach, which costs about 500 pesos for an hour. For foreigners, it’s a good deal but for Filipinos, it might hurt a little on the pocket.
We had dinner at Oceanvida (near Sea Explorers). Prices may be a bit higher but almost of their meals include rice already. They also offer different cuisine – Asian, European, etc. Serving speed is okay except for the one I ordered (Fernando chicken with brandy sauce) since it needs to be baked. Sad to say, we weren’t informed that this might take too long to prepare. However, the owner was very accommodating enough and were always checking on us if we are having a great time.
I wasn’t really satisfied with my dinner perhaps of the slow serving time but I was somehow fulfilled when I ate the cheesecake gelato (70 pesos for 1 scoop). There are plenty of flavors to choose from including chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, etc.
Few reminder: Meals at Oceanvida range from 300 to 500 pesos (with rice; no drinks). There are also other resorts that sell barbeque, shabu2x, etc. Looking for bars? Yes, there are lots of bars in these resorts too.
It was really a warm Sunday night, which pushed us to sleep by the beach. Some of us setup tents while some laid mats. We were so blessed since there was no rain on that evening. We woke to the sound of the waves and crows of several roosters.
NOTE: There are resorts that offer island hopping that should take you to Kalanggaman Island. I have heard it’s about 600 pesos despite the number of heads. Other boats can also take you to Monad Shoal, Gato Island, and other diving spots near the island.
To sum up our Malapascua Island trip, see the video below:
Island Review: Malapascua is a pricey island for local travelers. It might be a perfect haven for divers but it would be too touristy and too expensive for local tourists especially if they’re on a budget.
please check my buddy’s entry too – https://thewanderingitinerant.com/2017/07/19/malapascua-island-a-relaxing-summer-getaway/