When you’re in Cebu City, four hours is all you need in order to extend your weekend. I took the 5 am bus to Maya, the northernmost tip of Cebu mainland. At 9:30 the outrigger boat sailed to the island of Malapascua and after 30 minutes my long Saturday started.
When I first visited Malapascua in 2010, I promised to come back. Its beaches have an allure far different from those of other beaches in the Philippines. Boracay conjures up images of fine white sand and a vibrant night life. El Nido elicits grandeur; Camiguin, tourism; Calaguas (in 2010), remoteness and isolation; Pagudpud, mighty waves; and Puerto Galera, hookers and fat old Caucasians and the call center agents of Manila.
|@ Pilar's Place (2010)|
Malapascua, which is often unjustly dubbed as the Boracay of Cebu, stands out among all other islands in the Philippines for two reasons: serenity and island life.
|the port area|
I walked the whole island of Malapascua in 2010 and that’s what I felt. I didn’t even bother to take a dip because the island alone completed my vacation! Walking along the white shores of the island, I didn’t see tourists having ‘fun’! Many of the beaches and coves of the island were empty and quiet. In the scattered resorts, the travellers were either getting a tan or reading a book on reclining beach chairs or the sand.
Inside the island, people lived their usual lives. Walking through the narrow alleys of the island community, it was fun to share the traffic with little kids among dogs and chickens and smoky kitchens. The people didn't give me these obsequious smiles and greetings but they were not hostile either. They were just living the island life. And much to my satisfaction, there was surprisingly no blaring karaoke. It felt good to be in a place far removed from the influences of tourism.
This relaxing and rejuvenating aura of Malapascua made me come back last weekend.
This time, I didn't walk it. I saw its beaches on a boat. And it was equally fun!
|One of the edges of the island|
|The edge as seen on a boat|
|Interesting rock formations around Malapascua|
|the hazy afternoon sun|
|the clear blue water|
|one of the many coves of Malapascua|
|Below this floating cottage is a garden of colorful corals and fish|
|Malapascua Legend: Nice place, Amazing staff, Bad food|
|Beer tastes good on the beach|
|Malapascua Legend has the biggest pool in the island.|
|Malapascua is always a good place to come back to.|