Saturday, March 20, 2010

Malapascua Island in Cebu: Day 1

On Nov. 28-30, 2009, Peter and I decided to spend the long weekend somewhere we've never been to before and Malapascua Island popped in my head. Though we've been to other parts of Cebu like Marigondon, Moalboal (this one's in the Southern part, near Badian), Mactan, Sogod & Bantayan (this one's going up north), and Cebu City itself, there are still many places in that region that we have yet to discover and Malapascua is one of them. To get to this place, please review my other posts on Malapascua:
The first thing I wished for that day was for Cebu to have a good weather. It's been drizzling on and off in Manila last November 2009 and I wanted this vacation to be perfect. It might be our only time alone together before that year's Christmas holiday begins to kick in and Peter will start sleeping again in the office (which actually happened last month). Anyway, my wish was granted because the moment we hit the road, all I saw and felt were blue skies and cold breeze. Whoopee!!!

From the airport, we took a cab going to Terminal I where buses going up north were stationed. I was shocked that the cab driver asked me for Php250.00 for our fare but I had no time nor patience to haggle/argue/look for other cabs. I just wanted our honeymoon to begin. ^_^ At the bus station, there were no available Maya-Bagay aircon buses so we had no choice but to ride the non-aircon ones. The fare for our four-hour scenic ride was only Php130 each. We chose to sit somewhere in the middle to be cushioned from bumpy rides (there were still roads up north that have not yet been cemented). It's also a good thing that I was wearing my jacket then... I was not only protected from the cold breeze but I was also protected from the dusty ride as we were nearing Maya port. ^_^
At Maya port, we had a choice to either ride the public boats that wait for passengers for only P20 each. Otherwise, we can rent one of the boats for P1000 so we can immediately head to the island which was an hour away from the port. As we were deciding what to do, I saw a group pf Korean tourists inquiring about the boats. I figured, if I can have them rent the boat with us, then we can all immediately head to Malapascua and it will only cost us Php100 each max. So that was what I did! In no time at all, we were off to the island. Yay!
After an hour (around 12:00 noon), we finally stepped on the white sands of Malapascua Island. I was so awed by its beauty. All I knew about Malapscua was that it's a haven for scuba divers. So I was expecting coral beaches... not this wide, fine, white sandy beaches. Woohoo!!! And there were only a few people to boot! I was starting to really love this vacation already!
If you read my last post on how to get here, I mentioned that I got us booked at HIPPOCAMPUS Beach Resort but it didn't hurt to look at other resorts too. As we were walking, I can't help comparing Malapascua to other beaches we've been to before. And I thought, if Bohol and Boracay will have a baby, Malapascua is it!
Malapascua island has Boracay's fine white sands and Bohol's serenity and peace. I loooove it! Oftentimes, when we travel to places like this, we seem to be the only Filipino tourists around. Most people who come here are Europeans and it was no different when we were there.
After looking at other resorts, we finally checked-in at HIPPOCAMPUS Beach Resort. For only Php1,450 per night, we had two single beds that they positioned side by side, toilet and bath, a balcony, towels, fan, mosquito net plus the service maids were really helpful and friendly. For an expensive place like Malapascua, that's already a great value for our money.
On our first afternoon, we walked the length of the beach. It was a cloudy one but at least it was hot and not raining.

The walk got us both so hungry. We checked out Sunsplash Music Bar, a German restaurant in one of the German resorts in the area and ordered a big plate of Chicken Schnitzel for Php250.00. The taste was okay but I'd like to believe that I can cook better than that. Hehehe. Actually, it tasted quite a bit bland for me. Or maybe I just like more flavourful Asian dishes than German ones. At least now I know. ^_^
The rest of our afternoon was spent just sunbathing and snorkeling. C'est la vie!
Since it was cloudy, we didn't catch the sunset but I think this shot is good enough to keep:
That night, we went to Magellan's, another bar that sells expensive drinks and dishes. For everything we ordered (a glass of Margarita, a bowl of Tom Yam Seafood and a plate of their Chicken Adobo with rice), we already spent a total of Php750.00. My gf Irene was right! A Malapascua vacation can be expensive. We better start looking for a place where we can buy more affordable food. ^_^
Our orders took quite long to pepare. Good thing that I bought my Sophie Kinsella book with me, Twenties Girl, I was able to finish reading it little by little during this vacation.
Oh, and did I tell you that it was full moon during this trip? We caught the moon in its glory. T'was so pretty.
For more photos on this trip, please click this link:
To be continued...

***For a complete list, here's an awesome guide on Cebu: Where to Go and What to Do 

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