2N3D Malapascua and Kalanggaman Island Travel Guide 2017. Do understand this is rather too short and rather cramped for a trip to the northernmost part of Cebu.
Malapascua, an island in northern Cebu, can be deceiving. During my first visit, I thought tourism made it too jaded for a backpacker. I was not at my best then to talk with locals. But I am willing to give islands especially the touristy ones a second chance. During my second visit, I experienced an entirely different Malapascua. I discoed and drank with the foreign tourists and locals. I shared island gossips and rumors with and from the island kids who sell accessories at Bounty Beach.
From the airport. The easiest and most expensive way to go to the island. Most drivers charge a hefty P5000 ($100-$120) for the ride.
From North Bus Terminal. From the airport, take a taxi to the north bus terminal. It usually costs around P150-P200. For an affordable option, SM Supermall now provides MyBus services from the airport to SM and SM Seaside. A MyBus ride costs Php25.00 from the airport to North Bus Terminal,
Bus rides to Maya, Daan Bantayan are available as early as three in the morning. The bus ride takes around four hours and costs around P160.00. I suggest you leave around four in the morning to make it to the the first ride to the island at eight in the morning. The passenger boats only costs P80, but sometimes they charge P100 depending on the numbers of the passengers.
Vans are also available at the terminal. They cost around P180.00-P200.00. The van ride takes around three hours. But I prefer long bus rides with open windows.
Depending on your budget, Malapascua has the right range of accommodation for you.
BB’s Lodging House charges P300 per person with a shared bathroom. It is located at the Village, a five-minute walk from Bounty Beach. Bigger rooms with personal toilet cost P600 a night. They have free WiFi too. I stayed here on my second night at Malapascua. They provide free hot water for their tenants for those who want to have coffee.
Villa Sandra is another cheap place to stay, but I have not experiencing staying there.
Blue Water Resort has four spacious P500 fan rooms located at Bounty Beach. I stayed here during my first visit on the island.
Ocean Vida, a luxurious beachfront resort, has elegant rooms at P4 500. I love this resort and its staff!
Gingging’s Restaurant, just beside BB’s lodging house, is the cheapest for travelers in Malapascua. I had breakfast (fish, scrambled egg, and rice) for P70. And I got a free buwad (a grilled dried fish that Cebuanos love) because I was craving for it.
Kokay’s Maldito, the yellow resort you can see from the passenger boats’ port, offers different types of food. I tried their stir-fried vegetable with seafood. This place can be costly.
Angelina’s Pizza is something to try. But I haven’t tried it yet.
Ocean Vida is my favorite. In afternoons, staff laid out huge bean bags on the beach where guests can eat or have a drink while looking at the expanse of the sea or waiting for the sunset. Their shakes start at P100.
WHAT TO DO:
I thought there was nothing else to do in Malapascua but scuba-dive. But I haven’t achieved that perpetual ache for the deep yet. Talking with the locals often leads you to a unique character of the island. So talk with them.
Snorkel and boat the whole island. It costs P800 if you boat alone, but you can ask the fixer to squeeze you in someone else’s snorkeling activity. You can call Jeramel on 09269909319. He always arranges my snorkeling activities whenever I am on the island. Just tell him, Jona recommended him to you.
Try cliff-jumping. From Dakit-dakit—the famous snorkeling site on the right of Bounty Beach—the boatman brings you to another snokerling site by the cliff. Try jumping from a 200-meter cliff.
Have a massage on the beach. I came to Malapascua with the thought of pampering myself, so I indulged in a P300 body massage.
Disco with the locals and foreign tourists at the Village. Ask the locals around if there is a disco at the village. Often there is one on Friday night or Saturday night.
Try witnessing a cockfight. On weekends, locals mostly men go to their church. This is an island culture or a Filipino culture worth observing or worth experiencing.
Talk with locals. This is one of my favorite pastime when I’m traveling. I love hearing island gossips and rumors.
Walk to the heart of the island. Often, the beach has a story of lavishness or relaxation, but the heart of every island has a different narrative to tell. If you want to experience or witness a real island living, walk to the heart of the island.
Squeeze a day trip to Kalanggaman Island. Ask the tourist guides by the beach about a day trip to Kalanggaman. It takes two hours by boat to reach this piece of land from Malapascua. Price ranges from Php800-Php1000.00
Your island insider,
Updated in September 2016