White Malapascua Island is a famous tiny island in the Visayan Sea of Central Philippines. Malapascua lies at the northernmost part of Cebu Island, Daanbantayan Municipality, Cebu Province, the Philippines.
It has been claimed that it is discovered relatively just recently as a diving location.
Just like a lot of islands in the Visayas, Malapascua has incredible white sand covering its pristine beaches.
It is just about 2.5 kilometers long and a kilometer-wide in diameter. You can walk the island to fully circumnavigate it. You can ride a bike, a motorcycle, or take a boat to see it from a distance.
When I visited this attractive island in August 2013, I hired a motorbike to see the very best locations I wanted to see, such as the Bantigue Cove location. I ought to walk around the island to fully experience and enjoy the whole area.
Thresher sharks, as well as lovely reefs gardens, made this tiny island very famous. Scuba diving is almost identified with this fantastic island and its environment.
You will notice that there are a variety of excellent services that dive centers provide you to experience the underwater world of white Malapascua Island.
Scuba diving is the top activity among international divers who are making their second homes on the island by teaching interested individuals to scuba dive, among other underwater activities.
Many dive centers on Malapascua provide formal lessons and also on spot classes on diving. These are primarily offered in the English language since many students are coming from various countries who are fluent in this language.
Of course, they have complete PADI learning lessons and diving devices you can avail depending upon your package or advanced arrangements.
Bounty Beach Resort Area
Bounty Beach area is the top and most famous white Malapascua Island beach location. It is where a lot of the premium and prominent hotels and dive shops and centers are established.
I don't exactly know the story behind the name of this beach area. However, I presume that it is called by such a name because it is your "bounty" (like a bounty hunter) or reward after your long trip from Cebu City or somewhere.
What I really mean is that you will be awarded with this beach's charm-- white sand, blue sea, bird's-eye view of the horizon, to name a few things you cannot adequately describe in words.
Due to the destructive exotic typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in late 2013, you can see some marks of destruction. However, you will now find new life sprouting again, such as now trees, plants, and growing coconut trees all around the island.
However, the beach remains the same, and most resorts and also travel facility suppliers are back to business as usual.
Fantastic coral reefs yards & dive sites
Being an island much from the main island of Cebu, you can envision Malapascua like a gem in the middle of heaven sea.
Being as such, you can find exceptional dive sites fecund lively reefs and everything that symbiotically live with them...
Angelfish, mantis shrimp, ladyfish, anthias, giant frogfish, painted frogfish, sweetlips, cuttlefish, lionfish, sweet crabs, zebra crabs, serpents eels, moray eels, juvenile batfish, coverings and cowries, mackerel, soft and sturdy reefs, and all colored sea animals.
Nearby the white Malapascua Island, resorts and dive centers supply services that bring guests to their preferred island and dream dive sites. Such locations include...
Monad Shoal, Kemod Shoal, Deep Rock, Lapus Lapus, Lapus II, Calanggaman Island, Lighthouse, Nunez Shoal, Gato Island, Dona Marilyn Sunken Ship, Maria's Factor, Delicious chocolate Island, Bantigue, Deel Slope, Maripipi, Sambawan, Dakit among many places.
In Monad Shoal, you can discover an undersea plateau where bigger (and also scarier) creatures regularly wander-- the renowned thresher sharks and the manta rays of white Malapascua Island.
Numerous threshers, as well as manta enthusiast, would undoubtedly go that much to get what they are seeking and would return home pleased and loaded with happy memories!
Okay, extra information or narratives regarding this island might be helpful ...
Scuba Diving Activity
If you are a diving fanatic--a serious one, you are at the perfect place. However, if you are just learning the ropes of scuba diving, you can likewise take pleasure in diving at its basic level since Malapascua has its centers and resorts that offer diving lessons with their specialist and professional trainers.
Can you snorkel? That's an excellent beginning then. If you get on this island, Monad Shoal is your place to become a specialist scuba diver. It is just about 20 minutes from the island by pump watercraft.
This is where you can find thresher sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, manta rays, and also hammerheads.
But know at the back of your head, that at times you can miss the right time to see them up close and personal. So, please don't get disappointed as spotting them happens only seasonally.
The thresher sharks, however, are regular creatures that appear every early morning from the deep waters to the top of Monad Shoal-- an underwater plateau.
It is where these early morning-risers satisfy the cleaner fish to rid of their bloodsuckers and dead skins (somewhat similar to the health facility or massage treatment).
It is said to be the only couple of places worldwide where you can discover these stunning sharks practically appearing almost every day.
Dive specialists claim or classified Monad Shoal as an intermediate dive. Yet, most dive centers on Malapascua require scuba divers to have certifications with an advanced open water diving lessons.
If you haven't gotten such a certificate yet, you can get it from any of the dive shops and centers on the island itself. The most famous ones include Thresher Shark Divers, Sea Explorers, Exotic Resort, to name a few flocks around the Bounty Beach area.
Preparing Yourself to Dive In
Indeed, you have to be armed with gears for scuba diving when you are on the island, especially when you are determined to dive into its waters and explore its attractive sea creatures.
You have lots of options for dive centers on the island that can supply whatever you need for your diving lessons. The majority of these dive establishments are being managed by both international and also local diving enthusiasts.
The dive centers provide various services and equipment, including accommodation, food, and drinks, boat trips, diving gears, dive lessons, on-line introductory lessons, island excursions, to name a few.
In terms of holiday accommodation, you can have numerous selections, which always depends on your available time.
For example, diving students, in some resorts, stay separately in a home where they have their very own personal privacy as well as can prepare their own food to save more.
Nonetheless, you may likewise choose simply to have whatever is best for you and stick with your group in dormitory-style holiday accommodation.
When you sign up for the lesson, the majority of dive centers include everything as a bundle-- equipment, boat trips, lessons, and so on. Obviously, the price and additions in your plan rely entirely on the level of lessons you want to pursue.
After your official academic lessons inside the dive facility's designated spaces, you will regularly be brought into the open sea in a specialized diving watercraft for the actual application of the lessons and concepts you have just acquired.
Most dive centers typically use training courses in English, but others additionally offer them in other languages, such as French, Dutch, German, or regional language.
If you prefer to learn scuba diving lessons in a particular language not available on Malapascua Island, you might have an opportunity to learn in other centers located somewhere in Cebu, including...
Concerning food as well as beverages, at dive learning centers, they supply numerous selections of food from both regional and also international origins. Meats, fishes, veggies, and fruits are offered.
But the rates could be higher if compared to other areas in Cebu as the island need to bring in products not readily available or produced locally.
Besides the dive shops and centers, you can likewise eat out at different restaurants close by that specialize pizza, spaghetti, fish, or another menu.
Beverages, as well as various boozes, are additionally available at bars in some resorts as well as dive centers that offer global well-known alcohol items.
The name 'Malapascua' can be literally equated from Spanish to mean 'bad' (mal) and 'Easter' (Pascua).
Legend has it that when the Spaniards took a trip in the Visayas, they got stranded on the island on Christmas Day because of poor weather on December 25, 1520. They got stuck there for numerous months with dwindling provisions and sick sailors.
As a result of that bad experience, the voyagers called the island 'Malapascua.' Although the island is commonly named as such, locals would prefer to call it 'Logon,' the local name that residents use.
Whether the anecdote of the island is true or not, no person understands exactly its origin as nobody can verify it. Nevertheless, stories might not always tell what exactly took place.
Also called Barangay Logon, the white Malapascua Island has been influenced by Christian religious beliefs, much like almost all parts of Cebu Province.
Know that even before the evangelization, various indigenous Filipinos had their very own conventional religious beliefs. They believe in spirits that reside in nature, such as the spirits (or gods) of the hills, rivers, seas, trees, or forests.
This traditional belief has actually made the residents quite receptive to the Christian belief being spread by Christian missionaries (Spanish Catholic missionaries) in the 15th century.
The belief of spirits that live in nature made it much easier for locals to believe in images (or statues) that represent spirits or gods that have power over nature and individuals.
It is not unusual to hear beautiful stories in lots of parts of the province (or country). Malapascua is not exempt from it. In Barangay Logon, it is believed to be the location where Virgin Mary had a miracle sometime in 1890.
The island had just a couple of households when the 'miraculous' Virgin, called the Virgen de los Desamparados, as an image made of wood appeared to be not scorched despite the fire that burnt the house that kept it.
According to Wikipedia, the Our Lady of the Deserted (Virgen de los Desamparados), likewise called Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados, is a Catholic apparition of Virgin Mary that first occurred in Valencia, Spain.
The Virgin made as patroness of Valencia. The image appears to be holding a lily in one hand and also holds the infant Jesus.
In Valencia, her image (statue) is housed in the 'Basilica de la Virgen de los Desamparados.' Due to the Virgin's a little turning ahead stance, she is passionately known as the hunchback (' geperudeta') of Valencia.
The parish clergyman of Daanbantayan (previously called Kandaya) in 1907 blessed the image as requested by the locals. Stories by far have it that the size of the miraculous image is not its original size, and it seems to be growing.
As a result of such belief, worshipers from various parts of the country as well as abroad pertained to praise, particularly throughout the Virgin's feast days on May 11 and 12.
The church that houses the Virgin's image was built initially with coconut tree materials yet is currently made from concrete, steel, and durable galvanized iron roof covering.
This is done, besides safeguarding it from natural elements, to protect it from being stolen or desecrated from other harmful elements-- such as fanatics, thieves, and anti-believers.
Island, Islets, and Points Around Malapascua
You can stay on Malapascua Island as your base during your travels and adventures. Now, if you really want to explore and see more of the island's surroundings, you can visit beautiful and white sand islets via boat trip package, which is usually offered as a day-trip event.
Lapus Lapus Island
For divers, the waters of Lapus Island is an easy dive for beginners. Discover the soft corals and hard corals, lionfish, colorful nudibranchs, and other exciting sea creatures in their pristine condition.
It is basically a place for scuba diving located on the northwestern side of Malapascua.
It is a beautiful island with some vegetation, but above all, it has an amazingly beautiful long stretch of white sand beach.
It is popular among island day-trip enthusiasts to enjoy a day picnicking, sunbathing, snorkeling and swimming. Scuba divers can also explore the island's wall, which is bedecked with corals, interesting Pygmy seahorse, and all sorts of fishes and marine life.
It is an island reachable by boat within 45 minutes from Malapascua. It is famous among divers and frequented by dive shops to have their students practice diving and observe sea snakes, whitetip reef sharks, and other life forms.
Gato Island is also famous for its small caves, rock formations, and tunnels where scuba divers enjoy exploring the underwater world.
From Cebu to Malapascua Island, you may choose from the following transports available to get to Maya Port, where you have to get the pump boat (outrigger boat) to Malapascua Island where you can find Bounty Beach Resort.
Riding the Bus
Take a bus (aircon or non-aircon) from North Bus Terminal in Cebu (around 7 kilometers from Mactan International Airport T2).
Any of the two popular bus companies, Ceres and Rough Riders, can take you to Maya Port in about 4 hours. Relax, because you would surely enjoy your ride, just as I did since the highway is just by the seaside.
These buses run every 30 minutes and would usually make stops in various places and especially at their bus stations where you can take a few minutes of break to go to the washroom, buy something refreshing or just stretch your legs down.
The aircon bus cost about PhP190 and lesser for the non-aircon one. The aircon bus has video shows (usually action movies), and some even have WiFI service.
If you don't have a luxury of time, you can hire a taxi to Maya. Make sure you have some ideas of the fare and try to deal with the driver before taking off.
The taxi/private care fare would be around PhP2500 from Cebu, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, or hotel to Maya on one way basis. Getting to Maya taking a taxi or private car could take 3 hours or less.
If you booked a resort on Malapascua, there's a high possibility that your resort will welcome you with their service car, if you prefer to.
However, you need to pay an additional charge for that service, which is cheaper than taking a taxi. The advantage of accepting this offer is your comfortable transfer from the airport or anywhere in Cebu. Maybe, a lot safer too.
Basically, it is easy to get there. For a more detailed guide, you may click this link on how to Getting To Malapascua Island.
Cash and Credit Card. Both methods are possible on Malapascua Island, but it depends on to whom or what you are paying to.
It merely means that you can pay in cash to all transactions you make but not always with credit cards. Particularly, you can use credit cards in most dive shops and such businesses frequented by foreign guests, or activities being managed by ex-pats on the island.
In most cases, such as when purchasing small things at stores, paying at local restaurants, or renting motorbikes, only cash payment works since small business people do not or can not afford to acquire such service.
Moving On or Around the Island
Many travelers prefer to explore every corner of the island, walk, and interact with locals. It only takes about 2 to 3 hours to go from end to end of the island.
However, if you want to explore faster and with less energy input, you can always rent scooters or motorbikes being rented by locals.
Alternately, you can hire a driver to take you around the island or to any place you wish to see in particular.
Another interesting method to explore the island is through taking a Bangka (motorboat) and circle the island to see it from a different perspective.
This service is being offered by local boat operators, and you would not miss them since they will approach you directly and provide their service.
If you are interested in taking that opportunity, make sure you know how to bargain with the boat operator. Don't forget your camera!
Keep your belongings safe at all times as you do at every place you go. The islanders are friendly and hospitable, and they are always willing to point directions.
They are native Cebuano language speakers; however, many of them can also speak basic English while some are fluent at it.
Aside from travel activities, the locals also organize several communitarian fun events. One of these is the religious festivities, especially those on the church's patron saint day's celebration.
When it is the high season, a disco is being held every Saturday night. Another exciting activity or past times among locals is rooster-fighting.
Please, let us know if you need further information about getting to Malapascua and finding Bounty Beach. Most of the resorts listed below are close to the Bounty Beach resort itself.
The following are white Malapascua Island beach resorts in Daanbantayan and Logon. You have a plethora of choices depending on your purpose, facilities, and services you prefer ...
Bantigue Cove Beach Resort.
Blue Corals Beach Resort.
Blue Water Malapascua Beach Resort.
Cocobana Beach Resort.
Dano Beach Resort.
Evolution (resort and dive center).
Ging Gings Flower Garden Rooms.
Hiltey's Hideout Homes Malapascua.
Hippocampus Beach Resort.
Kokay's Maldito Dive Resort.
K 4 (K5) Bamboo Cottages.
La Isla Bonita Cottages.
Logon Beach Resort.
Malapascua Exotic Island Dive and Beach Resort.
Malapascua Legend Resort.
Malapascua Garden Resort.
Mangrove Oriental Resort.
Aabana/ Mike & Diose's Beach Cottage.
Moonlight Resort Bar and Restaurant.
Mr Kwiiz Lodging House.
Ocean Vida Beach & Dive Resort.
Purple Snapper Dive Resort (KUAN BA).
Slam's Garden Diving Resort Malapascua.
Sunsplash Resort Malapascua.
Sunset Beach Resort Malapascua.
Tepanee Beach Resort (Wifi).
White Sand Bungalows Malapascua.
Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope that you find Malapascua Island Beach Resorts page useful to your search.
Keep safe and enjoy your holidays!