Do you want to go somewhere else aside from boracay?
I can't honestly remember how and when I heard the name, Malapascua. I know at a time that it existed somewhere in Pilipinas. And it officially became the kick start of my yearly solo travel adventure.
It was my earnest desire to learn how to dive. The thought of seeing the underwater world is the top reason for this. You should know though, that I have a crazy love affair with water: I'm a water baby, Pisces being my star sign. I started swimming when I was way too young even kick my feet but never had "formal" training in swimming, which only came a bit later in sophomore college. When I was 12 years old, I nearly drowned while swimming ( like literally fighting for my L-I-F-E situation!) with a dear classmate and friend, Rolyn just after their town fiesta celebration. I never got to tell my parents about it, but it never stopped me from coming close to any form of water afterwards. Yes, I'm thankful that I'm still alive and breathing after that incident. Then again, my swimming 'abilities' is only moderate.
Note: Since I live in Iloilo, flying to Cebu is only 40 minutes. Local airlines such as Philippine Airline, Cebu Pacific, and Air Philippines fly daily to Cebu from anywhere in the country. Airline tickets cost from Php800- 1,600 for a single and round trip flights.
I landed in Cebu/ Mactan International Airport just before 8am. I took a metered-taxi from the airport to the North Bus Terminal in Mactan, Cebu. This cost Php 400.00
According to the blogs I've read, I have to take a bus going to Maya. So I did as I was told and it cost Php 163.00. Cebu City to Maya was approximately five hours and a half that includes two stops (for restroom break and eating).
After the loooong, heart-stopping, and life-and-death bus ride, I made it in one piece in Maya Port! I was starting to think to myself that I should just have listened to my Nanay. In Maya, I looked like a lost and wandering soul, as I was the only sole person who got off the Ceres bus. It was the last stop by the way. My purple luggage wasn't of great help either. Finally, minutes later, a man in his late thirties (I assume) approached me and asked me where I was bound to.
One word: Malapascua
His Word: Three thousand pesos.
I was dumbfounded! I only have a total cash of four thousand pesos (aside from the money for my diving course). So if I will spend most of it, will I live in the island for a thousand pesos?! How expensive/cheap is Malapascua anyway? I have no idea!!!
So this is where my shopper skill came in....bargain the price...at half the price. He laughed, I have no choice but to laugh with him too. Hahaha.
Thankfully, my instinct and other skill came in...ask questions who looks local. With my very little Bisaya, I managed to ask a lady where I can take a bangka to Malapascua. As if she was an angel sent from above, she said, "I live there and I will take that bangka (pointing to a big one). It will leave after 30 minutes." Relief was an understatement at that moment. haha
The thirty minutes almost turned into an hour, I've seen four more buses stopped in that port and more tourist looking people got off. Ahhh, second relief! To make the story short, I toom the bangka among other tourists for only Php 80.00/pax.
It took us thirty minutes to cross the mass of water just to get to our destination. And boy, the moment I saw the coconuts, the white sand, and the colorful bqngkas...I know I made the BEST choice for my me time. This is definitely my top beach destination. Sorry, but Boracay is way too touristy for my taste already. Every visit since my college days are disappointingly unbecoming.
For my home-away-from-home-accommodatipn, I stayed af Mike and Dioses's, owned by the friendliest German-Pinoy-at-heart owner, Mike who is very welcoming and helpful (and informative). The funny story was, I booked my room in advance for only Php 500.00/night. But Mike gave it away to a Finnish tourist, so he has to give me another room. Thankfully and out of luck, I was given the best new room. Ohhh, how I loved it!
Since I came to Malapascua to dive, I spent most of my time in the dive school just five minutes walk from Mike and Diose's. I was literally studying--- with books to read and videos to watch, because after the course, I'll be given a written exam!
So during my so-called-free-time, I took the opportunity to explore a little bit of the island with some lost wandering, trying out the local dishes, and swimming on my own.
Malapascua had me falling in love with her in no time.
Malapascua easily became a favorite because of the beautiful beach, the quiet surroundings, and its wonderful people.
It was the perfect place to mend my broken heart.
Of course, the nightly cheap massage by the beachside did the trick for me.