Malapascua is an island located at the northern tip of Cebu, and a barangay of Daan Bantayan with its local name ‘Logon’. The island of Malapascua is known for the crystal clear water beaches and white, powdery sand shoreline. Also, it’s been a diving spot for people who loves witnessing coral reefs and under the sea wonders. Malapascua is also known for the Thresher Sharks that are abundant in the surrounding waters of the island.
I still can never forget the first time I went there way back ten years ago: we had our struggle in going there but when we arrived at the beachfront; it awed me to my soul. The clear blue waters were at the most splendid and captivating. The memory stuck in my mind still.
Not until I went there ten years later.
THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT MALAPASCUA
Let’s start from how we travelled.
First, we (all people know) rode a Ceres Bus bound for Maya that has a sea port where numerous of transportation boats await. The ride was a painful 4 hour drive (not unless you have your own car or service). We started our trip from the North Bus Terminal by 7:00AM and arrived at Maya port by 11:30. It was long and torturous. But I let it pass and just enjoyed the annoying smoke and dirt that is visible in my face.
Next, when we arrived at Maya port, there were several boats parked in their port. So my partner told me that we should go to the ticketing office to pay the port fee and so on. But then, one local told us that they were not present any longer right after the great typhoon Yolanda. The ruins left by the typhoon are still visible in the port, actually. There were people (usually locals) barking at everyone who reaches the port and it feels like everyone new has no idea where to go. So, we asked one local on what to do and where to go and just pointed at one boat that will transport us from there to the island. But it was a wrong boat so we transferred to the right one.
We waited there for an hour or so because they have to fill 30 people in that boat. By the way, the fee for the boat is P80.00 per person. (If and only if the tide is low, there will be an inconvenient small boat or banka that will transport you from the port to the boat waiting afar that will cost you another P20.00)
After Yolanda, there was no organized direction on what to do and where to ride there at the port. We were frustrated about that fact and it was scorching hot.
Then we arrived at Malapascua after 20 minutes. Before we docked; we could see the beauty of the crystal clear water (you can see in the video below) as the boat rushes to the beachfront and it is magnificent.
And then we docked, unfortunately I was not impressed. What welcomed us shocked me, and you can see in the pictures below.
It is fitting that Yolanda struck the island so badly that it destroys most of the trees and nearby buildings/cottages but it’s unfathomable for the government not to take actions in any of these unfortunate circumstances when it’s already six months passed. And there were no governing rules upon littering in the seashore.
The part where we stopped 10 years ago in the island was now a place of garbage.
We hadn’t had our lunch so we ate at Mabuhay Restaurant or whatever it is called. We ordered many foods (ala cart kuno) because the waitress said it was good for 1 person only when in fact it’s good for 2, DUH. We waited for almost 2 hours before our meal arrived. It’s very, very annoying, although their food is OKAY. But still, it’s beyond frustrating.
At that time I felt like it was a wrong decision going there. It’s really dreadful.
THE PARADISE FIND IN MALAPASCUA (THANK GOD)
But then we were there because a friend of my brother invited us to come over the island for their fiesta, and so it’s good to know that there’s someone who could navigate us to somewhere different and clean.
I was not hoping to find one, but then when we went to his family’s house in Guimbitayan, located at the other side of the island; the beauty of the beach there was magnificent. I was in awe seeing the shore and the clear blue waters.
When I dipped, it was just perfect. I was then transported back 10 years ago, and reminisced the feeling of awe. It was almost deserted, and I can only see us playing around the very long sea shore.
The sunrise is just perfect for the PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot we did. It captured the island’s vibrancy to life.
My father and our friend’s grandmother built a tent for us to relax and feast our eyes to the beauty of the beach. It was really pleasing.
At night, the moon serves as your spotlight to go and take a dip without wondering where your companions are, even though it’s black dark there because the houses around don’t have electricity maybe due to Yolanda (again).
We just brought tents with us to stay for the night.
Nearby, the people build a campfire on the shore, which for me is not good at all; and the local children were playing around it. It was nice of sorts though.
THE ISLAND VIEW AND THE YOLANDA RUINS
Our friend told us to go to Bantigue cove which is just a walk away from where we were staying. And so, we realized how little we have seen from the island. And we reached the part where the sand is softer (on the shore and in the waters) and the view is nicer.
To reach Bantigue cove, we have to climb up the hill and it shocked me to see the back part of the island where there’s a soaring high lighthouse at the top.
It was stunning as you can see in the pictures.
But then when we reached the cove itself, there were ruins everywhere.
Our friend told us there was a resort built but destroyed by Yolanda (AGAIN AND AGAIN!). There were just ruins everywhere that entails a PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot.
The beach in Bantigue cove was not at all nice now, so we climbed back.
I realized that I should never just be mediocre, just because the beach front frustrates me doesn’t mean there’s no other part of a place that will ‘wow’ me. It’s very essential to everyone who loves to travel. Never Stop.
The island is full of garbage now, there are so many issues that I’ve found when I was there from Maya port to the island itself; and it’s for the government to take action and for the people also take initiative.
Malapascua is such a beauty! Reliving its potential means potential for a booming tourism. People just have to create ground rules and not just write it but to apply, organize and follow it, and with just that; the island will be perfect again.
COSTS AND FEES
Bus (back and forth) – P163.00 + P163.00
Boat (back and forth) – P80.00 + P80.00
Small Boat (if lowtide both to and from) – P20.00 + P20.00
Stay (At Moonlight Resort – for me not advisable) – P1,600.00 AC Room
Note: I cannot post all the costs, room availability and the food here because our friend’s family plus my parents paid for many things there.
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