Monday, February 5, 2007

A Malapascua weekend

Considering my self-deprecating image of myself as a guy that wastes away his free time on the internet, I've been quite the frequent traveller lately. My past 6 weekends have been spent at 5 different places. Bacolod, Cebu, Cebu again, Valencia, Moalboal... and last weekend I went with a large bunch of officemates on an outing to Malapascua Island, a tiny tiny island off the northern tip of Cebu.

It really is a minuscule island. Based on the Google Maps satellite image, I'd say it is about 1/10th the size of Boracay. It's a lot more remote too-- the dizzying boat ride going there took more than an hour. Standing on the beach in Malapascua, mainland Cebu is just barely visible on the horizon. They say the island could be eventually developed into another Boracay-like tourist destination in Central Visayas. It certainly is beautiful enough.

The place could benefit from more development though. The port at the northern tip of Cebu was quite primitive. Because of the shallow and rocky waters, the pump boat had to stay far from the shore. The passengers have to ride a much smaller boat to get there five at a time, then make a very dangerous transfer to the larger boat. Those Korean tourists must have been terrified.

There were some nice-looking resorts on the island, but we just rented a few relatively modest cottages (such lowly software engineers are we). Still, it was paradise compared to the sad shack I stayed in last week. The beach is beautiful and clean, with fine light-colored sand. Almost deceivingly clean, in fact-- the ocean floor was painfully peppered with spikey rocks and corals, at least at the area that we went swimming in. I think Malapascua is advertised more as a tourist site for diving rather than swimming anyway.

It takes half a day to get there from Cebu City and half a day to get back, so staying there for just one night (as we did) is not very practical. I had fun nonetheless, and I can now say I have been to 8 of our 7,107 islands.


  1. was paradise compared to the sad shack I stayed in last week.
    ...tsk, so sorry for the horrible experience.

  2. Ako 3 islands: Luzon, Mindoro (Puerto Galera), and Negros (Bacolod). :)

  3. My 8 visited islands, by the way: Luzon, Negros, Panay, Cebu, Mactan, Bantayan, Boracay, Malapascua.

  4. Hey Mike, this post of yours actually gave me the idea to do Lakbayan. I found the idea of coloring the islands as you visit them intriguing, then I switched to cities, provinces and parts of provinces (because highlighting Luzon is sort of, "duh" for most Filipinos).


  5. Oh cool... I actually got the idea from a friend of mine that went to Germany. He'd proudly declare "I'm from the Philippines, it's composed of 7,107 islands!" until somebody asked back "How many have you been to?" and he'd mumble in reply "Umm... three...". Haha..

    That Lakbayan of yours is a great idea, it deserves all the success and popularity it's getting. :D