Malapascua Island – My Trip To An Island Paradise In Cebu, Philippines

Malapascua Island is situated off the coast of the town of Daanbantayan in the southern part of Cebu, Philippines. The tiny island can be reached via a four-hour public utility bus ride from the Cebu South Bus Terminal in Cebu City to Maya Port within the jurisdiction of the municipality of Daanbantayan, Cebu for a Php 165.00 fare and, afterwards, riding on a passenger boat for a 30-minute voyage to the island at a fare of PhP 80.00.

Malapascua Island

The 137.7-hectare Malapascua Island. Photo courtesy of gotomalapascua.com.

Malapascua Island – Why I Visited The Place

My eyes glowed with excitement when my brother, whom I fondly call “Ingko” Ben Sangco told me about the beauty of Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines. As he related the beautiful spots of the place, as told to him by his best friend, Emmanuel Manalili of the Malapascua Legend Water Sports and Resort, I told to my self… “now I know where to go to apply my newly acquired knowledge on basic photography.” It is worthy to mention that I had just graduated from the April 15-17, 2011 Cebu Basic Photography Workshop held in Cebu City and sponsored by the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation in cooperation with the Cebu Photo Works! Typical of a soldier who have had just finished the jungle warfare training, I wanted to go to the battlefield immediately to put into acid test my knowledge on the basic photography rule of FEWCD which stands for Focus, Exposure, White Balance, Composition and Decision. After packing my Nikon D 7000 camera, lap top and  few belongings into my backpack, I boarded a south-bound bus with MAYA signboard and embarked on a trip that started at exactly 6:48 in the morning of April 17, Monday. We were traveling on a paved road passing through various towns until we reached Bogo City Bus Terminal at exactly 9:40. An hour later, we reached the port of Maya…

Malapascua Island

The Maya Port

I chanced upon a cargo boat bearing the name Malapascua Legend Water Sports and Resort and I asked the operator if “Sir Maning” Manalili was in the island which he answered affirmatively. As I was about to walk towards the ticket booth, the operator invited me to ride on the cargo boat as they were leaving towards Malapascua Island. Without batting an eyelash, I jumped overboard and, after a few minutes travel I was breathing with excitement as the distant island came nearer to my eyes…

Malapascua Island

Distant view of Malapascua Island seen from the cargo boat

As we were moving a little bit slower, we arrived Malapascua Island exactly 45 minutes after we left the port and I almost shouted “Oh! it’s paradise…” when this beach front view of Malapascua Legend Watersports and Resort was caught by my watchful eyes. . .

Alluring beach front view of Malapascua Legend Watersports and Resort . . .

As I was walking towards the resort’s bunk house where the staff were taking lunch, I was fascinated with the resort’s swimming pool but chose to shot it at the appropriate time.

After exchanging pleasantries, Sir Maning Manalili instructed his aide Ricky Ducay to tour me at the resorts amenities and facilities. The amiable Ricky then showed me the way towards the Deluxe Rooms and was really fascinated to see these place capable of hosting members of the royal family . . .

Malapascua Island

A romantic scene at the De Luxe Room featuring the twin queen-size beds . . .

Malapascua Island

Another view of the De Luxe Room's twin queen-size beds. . .

Malapascua Island

The De Luxe Room featuring the partially-covered floor-to ceiling windows . . .

Malapascua Island

The De Luxe Room with fully exposed floor-to-ceiling windows. . .

I was then ushered to the Presidential Suites and was awe-inspired upon seeing these . . .

Malapascua Island

The Presidential Suite viewed from the door . . .

Malapascua Island

The Presidential Suite seen from another corner . . .

Malapascua Island

The floor-to-ceiling windows providing ample sunlight to the Presidential Suite . . .

Malapascua Island

The breath-taking view of the veranda, beach and water scenery as viewed from the Presidential Suite . . .

After taking a rest for a while, I embarked on the trip around Malapascua Island. And this was the sight that first struck me . . .

Malapascua Island

A European tourist sleeping soundly under the shade of a coconut tree enjoying the feel of the powdery-white sand on his back . . .

I was able to befriend a motorcycle driver who willingly toured me around the island. Our first stop was at the light house and I was so struck and awed upon viewing this . . .

Malapascua Island

Bird's Eye view of Sitio Guimbitayan Beach

Heading to our next destination, we passed by a building labelled “Pilar’s Residence Haven By Sea” . . .

Malapascua Island

The Malapascua Island residence of former Miss Philippine's Pilar Pilapil. . .

We then proceeded to Bamboo Resort and managed to take shots of alluring views . . .

Malapascua Island

Concrete rails on rocky coastlines . . .

Malapascua Island

The Bantay Dagat Guard House standing proud atop Lapus-Lapus Islet . . .

Malapascua Island

The other side of Malapascua Island - its rugged coastlines fronting the azure seas . . .

We rushed to Bantigue Beach to catch the Malapascua Island sunset . . .

Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island's Bantigue Beach . . .

My best shot so far on Malapascua Island sunset . . .  comments please from my co-basic photography workshop participants and professors.

Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island sunset viwed from Bantigue Resort . . .

It was already dark when I returned to Malapascua Legend Resort and this sight had caught my attention . . .

Malapascua Island

Malapascua Legend Water Sport & Resort at Night

After taking a sound sleep at the resort’s bunkhouse, I woke up early in the morning to shot this awe-inspiring view of the resort’s Swimming Pool, the only one of its kind in the island . . .

Malapascua Island

The turquoise waters of the swimming pool enticing guests to take a quick deep or engage in a languorous swim. . .

I then took time to shot the island’s sunrise . . .

Malapascua Island

Malapascua Island sunrise . . .

Afterwards, I bid good bye to the very accommodating resort staff. As I walked and headed towards the docking area in Barangay Logon proper, I chanced upon this view . . .

Malapascua Island

One of Malapascua Island's best beaches situated just a few meters from the wharf with two lovely European ladies enjoying the sun and sand. . .

I then boarded on the passenger boat and headed back to Maya port for my travel back to Cebu City. . .

Malapascua Island

Sailing away from Malapascua Island on board a passenger boat

Malapascua Island – Final Thoughts

While the Spanish sailors, who were stranded in the island on a Christmas day more than three centuries ago, had cursed the place as they were spending a “bad Christmas” without potable waters available, hence, the name “malapascua,” but my visit to the island was one of the most fulfilling trips in my life. Lots of sea, food, sun, sand and fun in great resorts are the most acceptable ingredients for a very great vacation. In Malapascua  you can find all these attributes in one paradise setting. Vowing to return with my family and spend our island vacations thereat, I strongly encourage visiting Malapascua Island and savoring its beauty yourself.

9 comments

  1. Very interesting historical tidbit at the end. I’ve always wondered why the island was named as such. Thanks for sharing the info! Haven’t read any article or blog post that bothered to explain it. 🙂

    Wonderful photos as well. I can only hope this doesn’t get over-developed like Boracay.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t sleep under a coconut tree like that white guy. I don’t wanna be struck dead my a coconut! Haha!
    AJ recently posted..Filipino GothicMy Profile

    • Likewise, I am also concerned that it might also follow the path of Boracay considering that commercial resorts are already sprouting in the area. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the serenity of the night in the place nowadays as there are no evening beach parties unlike what has been done in Boracay beaches.

  2. i also heard from my friend that Malapascua is worth a visit. and probably i will, in time.. the pictures you’ve taken really shows the beauty of the island.. me thinks will go there sooner.. >_<

  3. Looks amazing! Do you know if there are boats that will go to Leyte Island from there?

  4. ill be going to malapascua island…do u want to meet me?

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