Malapascua is a Philippine island located on the Northern Part of Cebu. In just 2.5 kilometers long, it is said that you can walk throughout the whole island in 3 hours. Malapascua is from Spanish words, mala and pascua meaning bad easter. According to wikipedia, "The name “Malapascua” is said to have been given by some Spaniards whose ship happened to get stranded in the island on Christmas Day, December 25, 1520, due to bad weather".
Where to stay in Malapascua?
Our Cebu City trip was totally unplanned. I didn't want to leave initially because of a family crisis but when everything sorta fell into place by the end of the year, I still couldn't decide where to go. Luke arrived on the 3rd of January and we booked our plain tickets the day before our Cebu flight. We even did our booking in Malapascua the day of our arrival. So back to the question, where to stay in Malapascua?
I had my eyes on Angelina's for ages. When I first sent them an e-mail, I was told that they were fully booked. Why won't they be, Angelina's only have 2 rooms and both have a balcony overlooking the beach. There are lots of places to stay in Malapascua but nothing matched Angelina's price with the room size. It was only 2,700PHP during high season and 2,400PHP for low. It was massive with a receiving area that doubles as a room, a very nice black tiled toilet and hot/cold shower bath and a bed fit for a couple. If I have complaints though, it has to be the lack of entertainment(TV), the signal dependent wi-fi which we only used on the first night, we stayed for 3 nights, the unkempt room where you had to ask one of the staffs to clean and the mouse that I found early in the morning. I thought it was a ghost but it turns out that it was a mouse peeking out of the garbage bin.
Where to eat at Malapascua?
To be honest, there are only a quite handful of restaurants in Malapascua. We tried most of the recommended places but only to our disappointment.
Did I say that we stayed right above Angelina's? I had high hopes about this restaurant. I only read good things about it and I can say that I wasn't disappointed. The serving was massive, the food was great and the staffs are very polite and accommodating. The seafood is amazing. It taste very fresh!
The Craic House:
Pronounced as crack, one of the reasons why I wanted to go. :) It is on tripadvisor's number 1 place to eat. It prides itself into serving "fresh" and it changes their menu everyday depending on the what's available and yet, we were disappointed. Luke and I went after lunch and were told that the food wasn't available until dinner. They asked us to either choose from the daily menu or wait for 40 minutes. I waited for 40. Enough to build the hype. When the food was served, I was disappointed. It didn't live up to my expectations and Luke and I promised not to go again.
Named after Oscar Wilde and situated right above the Thresher Shark Dive Shop. According to their website,it is not to be missed when in Malapascua. I beg to differ. I was terribly disappointed with their sizzling sisig and bicol express. Did we go again after this meal? Uhm, no.
What to do in Malapascua?
Malapascua is known mainly for thresher shark diving. So if you are a diver, then this place is for you. If you are like me who likes to be lazy during holidays, this place is okay too. They have white sand. But unlike Boracay, they don't maintain the place. Plus point though for being less congested. I felt like I'm in another country as I don't see any filo tourist. Only a handful of people with DSLR in their necks. If you've been to the Philippines on holiday, you'll know what I mean with DSLR. The people are polite. The kids always say hello. I read somewhere that if you want to go snorkelling, you can just ask one of the boatmen to take you.
How to get around Malapascua?
You can travel mainly by foot but there are also locals offering motorbikes. I don't know where you can use the motorbike though as they are not allowed in the beach area.
Where to do laundry in Malapascua?
I know, I know. You shouldn't be doing your laundry whilst on holidays but what happens when you run out of clothes? You look for a laundry place. Surprisingly, we found one located at the back of Magellan's bar. The place is called Markelen. It happens to be a sari-sari(variety) store too. It was 150PHP/kilo. I wouldn't recommend this place though. I asked them to do our laundry and after 2 days of waiting, we got our clothes back, WET and some with stain. I had to re-do it!!!!
Are there ATM's or cash machines in Malapascua?
No. Having cash is a must. Almost all restaurants and hotels are on a cash basis only. If you are staying longer, I suggest bringing loads of cash. I didn't see any money changer too.
How to go to Malapascua Island?
Ask the taxi driver to drop you to the North Terminal in Cebu City. We took the Ceres bus to Maya. The present fare is 185PHP for air-conditioned bus and 163PHP for ordinary. From Maya, take the boat to Malapascua. The boat fare was supposed to be 80PHP. We were asked to pay 150PHP to avoid waiting for other passengers that will fill out the seats. Don't worry about finding the boat terminal, it is the last bus stop.
It takes 4 hours by bus to Maya and 30 minutes or so depending on the weather to get to Malapascua Island. I suggest getting to Maya as early as possible as the waves get bigger in the afternoon.