Malapasqua literally means Bad Christmas … which got its name by the Spanish explorers who discovered the island in the 1500’s. Local legend has it a typhoon hit on Christmas day causing them to name this idyllic island Malapasqua. Situated in the Visayan Sea, across a shallow strait approximately 8 km from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island. Malapasqua is a small island about 2.5 kilometers long and 1 km wide, and has eight hamlets…with less than 5k citizens, it has so far retained it’s charm and simplicity and is a must see for the diver or island explorer who wants a sample of paradise the way things used to be!
As a diving destination, Malapascua was “discovered” fairly recently, only in the early 90s. The island was first known for its wide white sand beach, known as Bounty Beach; it has also become known for its beautiful coral gardens and excellent local dive spots, as well as further-out sites including Gato Island, Monad Shoal, and Kemod Shoal. Monad Shoal is an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta rays can be sighted on a regular basis. You can arrange diving tours from its many dive shops or hire the locals to explore and snorkel in and around Malapasqua Island.
Most of the islanders derive their livelihood from tourism, while some still rely on subsistence fishing and farming. If you have traveled at all in the Philippines you will soon be familar with the term “pump boat” which looks like an outrigger, combination fishing boat relic, from the southseas. A group of us left Santa Fe, Bantayan Island from the beach in front of Yooneek Inn aboard a colorful native pumpboat! The trip took two and one half hours going over the bright blue seas! As we dipped into the waves the passengers in the front of the pump boat got seasprayed and received a pleasant automatic cooling effect under the hot sun!
Our overnight excursion ended in our group fending for themselves. A few brought tents, some rented small cottages for the night, for as low as 600 pesos with breakfast included, to a high of approximately 2700 pesos at the Exotic Dive Resort…. and some simply hung out on the beach!
For a quick impromtu overnight trip with approximately 20 people plus crew ….this is AS GOOD AS IT GETS! Folks took turns strumming on the guitar around the moonlight night as we swizzled cold drinks and ate shisch kabob. One person commented this place is so laid back: “Jimmy Buffet wouldn’t come here”… as we sang another verse of “Margaritaville!”
No trip would be complete to Malapaqqua Island without a walking tour around the island. I headed past the Exotic Dive Resort along the sandy beaches with the local fishing boats bobbing in the wind. Rows of fish drying and fisherman mending their nets were part of the vista.
The next time you have a restaurant fish dinner it may cause you to reflect and think how hard these fisherman actually work and what they go through to bring you their catch. I then cut across the island onto a dirt trail heading toward the lighthouse. As I neared the lighthouse their was an scenic restaurant bar, combination sleeping quarters… pitched directly overlooking the sea. I stopped for a cool drink and headed to the southern most tip where I passed a series of small nipa huts, fisherman working on their boats, and just incredible scenery with back bays for swimming and exploring!
Getting a repupation as the next Borocay it is never to late to visit this quaint island… complete with friendly staff, smiling natives, and a place to remember in the sun under the swayiing coconut trees. So if you are searching for an island off the beaten path that has white sandy beaches, diving and photo opportunities …. then why not book yourself into Malapasqua Island…. I know you will like this one which could end up being your own personal nirvana! For the record I have only visited approximately 9 Phillipino islands so far and have almost 7000 more to explore!
QUOTE: We could say that meditation doesn’t have a reason or doesn’t have a purpose. In this respect it’s unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we don’t do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. Alan Watts
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Chasing a chicken through town naked used to be the punishment for Frenchwomen who had committed adultery.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Islands…they make good stopping off points for birds, travelers and such!
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:If you can’t be an island onto yourself then travel to an island …..either virtually or for real!
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
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