Malapascua Island fine relaxation & fish fornication

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November 29th 2012
Published: December 3rd 2012
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Thresher Shark
We have been on the road exploring the world since August and quite frankly, we are tired. Mentally and sometimes physically we have extended ourselves for days on end, rarely staying in one spot longer than two or three nights. We did stay in Berlin six nights and truly enjoyed it. We do not seek sympathy, but only to provide a state of being as we begin the next segment of our adventure. It has been simply grand. All the fabulous things that we have seen and done sometimes surprise us. But it is now time for us to rest and relax before we re-enter the real world and go back to work, so after spending a few days in Manila with friends we headed to the islands to do nothing …….very slowly.

We want to slow our travels down and emulate taracloud, Slowfeet and nancic123 who seem to spend extensive time in an area and get to know it well. Always good to have role models.

A couple of things occurred while we were in Nepal that helped shape this portion of the trip. We had inferior Internet and when we were making an attempt to book accommodations in the Philippines we were unable to get the web pages to open before we grew years older. So we knew we needed to take a different route. Plus after our illnesses in Nepal and Bhutan we decided this portion of the trip needed to be dramatically upgraded. We were feeling old, bruised and battered at the time.

Fortunately for us we have the world’s best travel agent in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania so we sent her a quick email outlining what we were looking for. The words comfort and luxury appeared several times in our email. A few days later when we had Internet again we logged on to find her suggestions. We quickly checked them out and approved. Angeline and her husband John always, always find us just what we are looking for! If you need a good agent send us a private message and we will provide you contact information. With the health issues we have suffered on this trip we wanted to know we had a spot on the beach waiting for us. Angeline did not disappoint. We were off to Malapascua Island.

We selected Malapascua
Lovely sea horseLovely sea horseLovely sea horse

Very big! 7 or 8 inches
Island as it is not on the tourist circuit and it is a bit of an adventure to get there. We flew from Manila about an hour south to Cebu, then took a taxi ride three hours north through the countryside to a tiny boat dock where we boarded a ten-foot boat that took us to our 45-foot boat. Thirty minutes later we are walking up the beach with our bags. The Tepanee Resort was to be our home for the next five nights. The use of the word “resort” is a bit of a stretch, but the digs were clean and comfortable. We had our own little hut facing the beach. The beach view is obstructed a bit by the swaying palm fronds but who can complain about that, given the soft breezes that float through them.

There are no cars on this island and with the size of the island there is no need. A scattering off bicycles and motorbikes seem to be all the transportation necessary. In all likelihood, you could walk around the entire island in a few hours.

This is exactly what we needed!

We spent our first two days glued to a beach chair staring at the Visayan Sea. We had two small islands to stare at and an occasional dive boat and fishing boat. We were in heaven.

No schedule, no time line, no commitments.

We swam and floated in the sea for hours talking about past, present and future. We are water people. Our “resort” had eight beach chairs and umbrellas available for guest. They were rarely full so we felt like it was “our beach”. Other than a few construction noises, which were not bad, it was peaceful.

We’ve enjoyed talking to a variety of visitors to the island. We’ve made friends from Holland, Germany, Sweden, England and Australia. From our Australian friend we have learned that accommodations on the island go for 1,000 pesos to 7,000 pesos. This roughly equals $25 to $175 U.S. dollars. We met a couple of guys from England who have been on the island for a month. They leave tomorrow and are happy because they are a bit stir crazy.

We even got off our beach chairs long enough to do a little scuba
Mandarin FishMandarin FishMandarin Fish

look closely, there are two.
diving. The Thresher Dive Shark shop took good care of us. They run a good organization. They have a dive master for every four guests. The dive masters spend a lot of time pointing out all of the fish and corals under the sea, which is always appreciated. We have to be honest. We are tired so we only did two dives, the shark dive and the lighthouse. Both were very nice and you can take a look at the photos. Normally we would dive a whole lot more, but these two dives were quite nice.

We’re thinking we got your attention in the title discussing “fish fornication.” The Lighthouse is a shallow night dive with two main attractions. The Mandarin fish come out as dusk presents itself and if you watch long enough you will see a mating dance. We were voyeurs of the sea and enjoyed this ritual. The other big pull for this dive site are the sea horses. We’ve seen them in the Caribbean but certainly nothing like this. These sea horses are LARGE, seven to eight inches. They come in yellow, green and black. We must have seen close to ten. It was very exciting.

In the interest of full disclosure we did not take the underwater photos. They were taken by a gentleman from Denmark, Uwe Jacobs, who gave us permission to use them in any way we want. They are excellent photos so some of these will end up hanging on walls in our house….when we buy one of course.

Our favorite place is the “ Blue Coral Hotel Bar” for sunset. Happy hours are from 3pm to 7pm and the view is ……..well make up your own mind when you check out our sunset photos. San Miguel beer in bottles is only $1 during happy hours. This of course can make the view even better.

Seems every night is “happy hour” at the local watering holes. There is a floating party barge in the bay so we took a quick boat ride out there during happy hour. The music was loud and not really to our liking so Dave managed to get them to use songs from his Ipod and we listened to some Bob Marley. One quick drink was enough for us but when in Rome….check out the local scene. The barge was about 30 feet by 30 feet and not crowded at all.

We were fortunate to have an excellent Italian restaurant next door to where we are staying so we had some new taste treats while we were here. Real Italian cuisine. Nice departure from the food we have been eating. The quality of the food was quite good.

There are several dogs running free on the island but as animal lovers we are happy to report they look clean and well cared for and a couple of them have on flee collars.

Fortunately for us the roosters on the island are not near our hotel so they do not wake us. When we got up early for the shark dive (445am) we could hear them singing in the distance. Not sure why they were singing that early when the sun had not started to rise. Guess they just wanted an early start to the day.

We have read other favorite travel bloggers like Donna and Neil who have visited this island in years gone past and understand that it is more developed than when they were here. Since we didn’t see it in those days we can’t comment but will tell you we really enjoyed our time on this island. It gave us what we were looking for and we felt isolated. We were happy with the diving. Uwe did thirty dives while on the island this time and feels the diving on Malapascua is some of the best in the Philippines. We can’t attest to that as this is the only place we are diving but you may want to check it out.

If you are looking for peace and quiet this island should be consider.

Additional photos below
Photos: 50, Displayed: 27


Bay full of boatsBay full of boats
Bay full of boats

Locals earn a living on the water
Clown FishClown Fish
Clown Fish

not Nemo
Learn to diveLearn to dive
Learn to dive

you won't regret it
Thresher SharkThresher Shark
Thresher Shark

Malapascua Island
Compliments of Uwe JacobsCompliments of Uwe Jacobs
Compliments of Uwe Jacobs

Marine photographer
An amazing creatureAn amazing creature
An amazing creature

Sea horse, love these!

Mandarin fish

3rd December 2012
Subtle colors

So relaxing!
Must be nice sitting in one of those beach chairs waiting for sunrise or sunset.... What a life!
3rd December 2012
Subtle colors

Indeed a good life
...and a great country.
3rd December 2012

Dig your title! :))
Got to hand it to you to come up with an intriguing title like that. Now I'm not sure if I should share this with my very young blogger-friends in this country. Hahaha! Anyway, take care you two. I'm hoping the "super typhoon" would weaken while you're in the islands. If the rain and wind keep you indoors, just remember there's a good massage and a beer to be had ;-)
3rd December 2012

You should share it
They will laugh at the title. We enjoyed our time in Malapascua.
3rd December 2012
Diving with the sharks

there's that shark (>_<)
"we listened to some Bob Marley" --> good choice! nice to hear you're having a relaxing time. hope the next part of the trip will be even better. x
3rd December 2012
Diving with the sharks

We love the Philippines!
This country has fantastic people, amazing food and so much else to offer.
3rd December 2012

Definite changes!
Yes, it's definitely changed since our visits. Italian restaurant? hot water? wifi? air con? 24 hour electric? Luxury for definite! People in the UK always laugh at us when we say a room has hot water not realising how much of a luxury it is! Great underwater pics, you were very lucky to see the thresher as we have heard they aren't as common as they used to be...those tails are huge! Hope you got your plans sorted after we e-mailed. Stay safe! xx
3rd December 2012

Storms and such
Yes, in Asia hot water is considered a luxury! The guy who gave us the photos said he saw Thresher sharks on each of those shark dives so I think they are more abundant than a few years ago. We had 8 sightings. We really enjoyed the island. Leaving Bohol a day early to escape the storm path. Details in the next blog.
3rd December 2012

Hello from London
On a grey London morning, it's a delight to see such wonderful colourful photos. Keep sharing. Ian xxx
3rd December 2012

You need to run away and have a warm vacation!
Miss you. Chat soon.
3rd December 2012

Malapascua Island
So glad y'all slowed down, if even for a few days! It is restoring for the body and soul for sure. I'm a water person too so I really enjoyed all of these pictures. You must be planning on Ohio by Christmas? :-)
3rd December 2012

Arriving in Ohio on Dec. 21st
It will certainly be a shock to the system but we will grab a coat. Loving the beach and water time!
3rd December 2012

Love the underwater fotos and the sunsets. My son was in the Phillipines for work last year and used to escape the hustle and bustle to a little island - maybe it was your island.
3rd December 2012
Mango pancakes

Yes, please!! :o)
3rd December 2012
Mango pancakes

Seriously good pancakes
If you get to the island eat at the Thresher Shark Divers restaurant. YUM
3rd December 2012

naked on the beach
Wow you have seen and experienced so much- I am so glad you have been able to share your adventures through pictures. Wish I was running naked on that beach right now too (as the little boy did!)
3rd December 2012

That little boy ran naked every day.
He was so cute and really enjoying life. Always happy and smiling.
3rd December 2012

You'll have to ask him if it was Malapascua
It may have been the same island...although there is a lot of diving in the Philippines because of the numerous islands so who knows. Having a great time.
3rd December 2012

Malapascua Island
The island looks lovely but I'm a little worried about the typhoon headed in that direction. Has it changed your plans?
3rd December 2012

Yes, a change in plans
We are leaving the island we are currently on a day early. Heading to the mainland to let the storm move past the islands. Then we will decide if we go to the last island we had planned or go on to Hawaii early. We will be in a safe place by noon today.
3rd December 2012

Beautiful Photos
What a place! A lovely place to relax and excellent photos.
3rd December 2012

Slow and peaceful
Very small island with not much to do. Swim, relax, dive, read. Ah, the life on the road.
3rd December 2012

The love of doing nearly nothing....nearly...
Sorry, I haven't read all you latest to say....been a little on the road with bad connections too... Love your blog. Malapascua is high on my list...but that will be only..or should April 2014...Leslie has already 2 dives at 36 meters...not really for by the time, we should find a solution (disclosure....they are both obviously way above 15 years old)! I've got a new spot for you with 1usd beer...slight problem, the dives sits are one hour speed boat away...but closer to when you decide to hang the pics at home! We are thinking of a dive together with Cindy...would be fun to make it a TB one...we will even drag Ali and Michele!
3rd December 2012

Keep us posted on the diving
We'd love a travel blog trip but will need time to plan it. We are having a great time in the Philippines. So much to do.
4th December 2012

Hanging out in paradise
I love that shot of your beach chairs--looks like an ad for a tropical paradise! So glad you had a chance to hang and do lots of nothing--I highly approve. You two have shown incredible stamina over these months--I've been in awe of the amazing places you've been and your adventures--well done!
4th December 2012

Paradise it is!
Although the next adventure will tell you about Super typhoon Pablo that is due to hit peak in about 3 hours. Should be interesting. We are tired. Our stamina went out the window.
4th December 2012

What is life?
...if full of care we have not time to stand and stare. Love it. David and Janice
4th December 2012

Thanks for the words of wisdom
You'l be on the road soon and we will be following along with you.
4th December 2012

Ahhhhh Malapascua.....
We spent a few days on Malapascua a few years ago and it is seriously beautiful... Spent a fair amount of time diving too. Sadly we saw diddly squat on the dive to see the thresher sharks but visibility wasn't too great, but that tends to be our luck with these things. The dive the day earlier saw sharks AND a manta ray, the lucky sods... We did the dive with the Mandarin fish though which was pretty spectacular and managed to get some great photos of the fornication too, but then they do stop in between sessions for a quick break! :) Safe travelling guys...
4th December 2012

The visibility was lacking
We were surprised that the vis was not better. We dive a lot in the Caribbean and are used to clear waters. But, we had two nice dives and were lucky to see all we wanted to see. It was great to go diving again. We enjoyed the isolation of Malapascua.
4th December 2012

Great entry and inspring pictures!
Thanks for sharing your experience. I just find it strange that I've lived near the ocean almost all my life and have never learned to dive. You might just have inspired me to learn! Have a great trip ahead!
4th December 2012

You must learn to dive
The underwater world is an experience difficult to describe!
29th May 2014
Malapascua Sunset

i dont know why but looking at this is actually uncomfortable to my eyes as if i was staring directly at the sun. must be psychological but I do like the effect
29th May 2014
Malapascua Sunset

It makes your eyes dance. Nice effect.

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