Island life in the Philippines

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December 9th 2008
Published: December 19th 2008
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No cocktails or dolphins, but the boat trip to Malapascua Island was great! It definitely was worth the little extra money, for the comfort of leaving right from your front door / beach to the next beach. It took us about three and a half hours.

Upon arrival I found the guys of the dive shops a little pesky, so decided against all the accomodation they were trying to get me in. Too expensive and not my thing either to stay in one of them airconditioned concrete bunkers (brightly coloured of course) on the beach. After a little walk, not far into the interior, maybe 25 meters off the beach we found Be Be's, a collection of dirt cheap bungalows. We got one for 400 pesos, which was a bargain really. And for some reason, the nights on Malapascua seemed cooler than on Bantayan, so the lack of electricity to use a fan didn't bother me at all. (Only from 5 to 11 the island has electricity.)

Lunch was at Ging Ging's flower garden, the budget eatery on the island, and therefore a little busy at times. That first lunch Zhu didn't even receive his food at all, but the low prices made us come back anyway...
The beachfront is great for swimming so that's what we did with the remaining time of the day. It's not the kind of shallow beach on which you have to wade for half an hour to reach a swimmable depth, instead a nice little drop off makes for good swimming, just take care of the sea urgents!

The evening we spend talking to David and Sarah at a dive shop / English pub, after which we walked towards the loud music they were playing further along the beach, towards the end. A collection of bamboo huts, a bar and a couple of huge speakers made for a weekly Saturday night disco. And what a blast it was! Really young and old, and I'm talking 7 -70 years old was present, all bumpin' and grindin' to the beats. The moment we entered the 'dance floor', a group of kids joined, seemingly showing off all the moves they had learned from previous foreigners visiting Malapacua.
I don't know who visited, but the moves they made all seemed very uncoordinated, making it a fantastic show actually.
Really good fun, defintely worth arranging your visit to Malapascua on a weekend.

The next morning we rented a kayak and snorkel masks and set out on a trip around the island.
It started off quite calm and the many bays that surround the island are perfect for snorkling or just lazing about.
Only towards the northern tip of the island the wind started picking up a little, which was a bit of a problem for us.
Although we're both fine at swimming, we do share a fear of deep water and the general 'ocean'.
So Zhu decided it was getting a little too choppy for him, I on the other hand could muster telling myself it was a little adventure, which is good for the heart. So at the end of the island, basically a sliver of sand of about 10 meters wide and then a rocky headland at its absolute northern tip, I told him to get out and wait for me while I paddled my way around it.
Actually the headland was a bit bigger than I thought, and when I came back at the beach at the other side, Zhu had dissapeared! There was a little village, but after asking everybody, they hadn't seen anyone! After a while I started panicking, thinking all sorts of crazy things might've happened but luckily when I took a motorbike back to the village to see if he had started walking back down that side of the island, some people said they had seen him. Pff, what a big relief that was.
Of course it meant I had to paddle back to 'town' by myself, this wasn't exactly what I had been looking forward to.
Fortunately, that side of the island was down wind so the sea was like a mirror...

That night although the kids had told us about another disco, no loud music on the beach was heard, so we withdrew to a place that had some bamboo mats on the beach around a few low tables. Here we played some more cards with the British couple.
Although we would've loved to stay here longer, who knows, maybe we could've even tried a try-dive, we felt it was time to move to our next and final destination; Panglao island. To be fair, two weeks really is too short to see much of a country like the Philippines and it doesn't do it any credit either, but heho, such is the life of a working peasant..
Hopefully one day I'll have the chance to come back to Malapascua, so we can have another moonlit coconut oil masage on the beach, performed by the lovely chatty Malapascua women

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Loads of fishLoads of fish
Loads of fish

Look closely, and you'll see loads of yellow, black and white striped fish

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