The owner of Ging-Ging’s Restaurant, while waiting for our orders, asked us if we attended the local disco the other night. We recalled the events we had on our night in Malapascua and we answered her question with a “Yes” and a laugh.
Eighteen hours before that, we were scrambling like kids, as we boarded the 4:30AM Ceres bus heading to Maya Port located in the town of Daanbantayan, the northernmost municipality of Cebu. Not that we were too excited, but for most of us to get some sleep.
After a 4-hour butt-numbing bus ride and a stopover somewhere, we reached our destination, the gateway to Malapascua Island. Merciless heat of the sun started to nibble my skin as I searched for the booth to inquire for the boat trip to Malapascua Island.
A local approached us and told that he already negotiated the Koreans, who were on the same bus with us, to join us on the boat. The foreigners will pay Php800 out of the Php1500 boat rent and the rest will be shared amongst us. We agreed since we already wanted to set foot on the island known for thresher sharks.
The boat trip to the island was a swift. A smaller motorboat approached the vessel and the crew signaled us to transfer to the other boat that will lead us to the shore. It was one of those low tide moments when it was impossible to dock. Our group immediately made way to the smaller one, the Koreans followed.
Waves were also excited to welcome us that they really wanted to engulf us with the idea of capsizing the boat. Yes, just an inch of getting plunged into the cold and clear waters of Malapascua. It was a rough time by not properly on my seat because of the bulky bag of the Korean guy in-front of me. Luckily, the boat survived the waves. After paying Php20, we shrugged off the experience and left.
Malapascua has these licensed tour-guides/dive-guides/hotel/restaurant staff that will welcome you, will check your hotel/resort reservation, if any, and will help you find an affordable place to stay, if none. They led us to a beachfront accommodation, HPC Beach Resort, where we made a great deal.
The Php2000 room we got is good for four, but can actually accommodate up to 10 by just adding mattresses. Fan room, has its own balcony, and toilet and bath. After settling our things, all I see were people on their tired backs, eyes closed. I also decided to take a nap.
A guide set us up for an afternoon island hopping activity so we had our lunch around 12nn and prepared for the much awaited discovery of the shallow marine biodiversity of the island. Our first destination was Dakit-Dakit Island, followed by the Japanese Ship Wreck, and lastly on the coral garden.
We had our dinner at Mabuhay Restaurant where we had some hefty bowls of their meal, a bit pricey yet affordable and can be shared. A barbeque stall was available just outside the resort so we were able to continue the fun; munched the bags of chips, had some bottles for booze, and skewed our mallow for the S’mores party.
The people selling those skewers told us to check out the local disco. We followed the loud sound and were led to a fenced basketball court with everyone, foreigners, and locals, dancing to a hip music.A little bit tipsy, we found ourselves dancing and laughing out loud near the dance floor. We went back to our accommodation when the drizzles became rain.
I got up around 5AM for the sunrise but still, clouds hindered the goal. The group went on shore and decided to plunge for an early swim. It was cold, super cold. We were enjoying the clear waters of Malapascua as the sun started to peek from the horizon.
Brunch was served as Ging-Ging’s Restaurant with the owner chatting to us. She asked us if we joined the local disco and said that they usually have that during fiesta gets near. Ging-Ging’s offers budget meals compared to Mabuhay. They have the staple “silogs” and pancakes, and some seafood meals. We went back to the lodge and started to prepare for leaving. We boarded the boat, together with a Chinese couple, back to mainland Cebu. The trip, as expected, was not so good because rain poured so hard during the entire time.
The Malapascua weekend getaway was not that perfect, we had no spectacular sunset and sunrise, but we enjoyed the local disco. It wasn’t properly planned, we didn’t contact resorts for the accommodation, as well as guides for the activities done, yet it provided us the well-deserved short vacation we needed.
Here’s the breakdown of our Malapascua expenses if you’re interested:
Taxi to North Bus Terminal 30 Bus fare to Maya Port 180 Boat to Malapascua 120 Small Boat 20 Room Accommodation 335 Island Hopping 400 Lunch 90 Dinner + BBQ 265 Breakfast 125 Boat to Maya Port 100 Snacks (Stop Over) 60 Van to Cebu City 180 TOTAL 1905