The weather seemed uncooperative. Thick, gray clouds shrouded the horizon. It blocked the sunburst from hitting the surface.
Below it was another stratocomulus layer hovering to the northeast—the direction of the southwest monsoon. Beyond it was a draping downpour, a harbinger of a miry adventure.
The Visayan sea was rather chaotic that moment. Unpatterned ripples collided with each other—creating riptides—and repeatedly smashed the hull of the outrigger banca.
The boat’s troubled buoyancy hardly kept us afloat. I could see how the worries gushed, whenever the forward bow alternately plummeted and scaled. Some of us were not confident swimmers though.
We drifted to Malapascua at a poky speed, thus enduring the apathetic ride and the agony of the “seasicked”.
Malapascua Budget Inn
After 30 minutes, we were safely docked at the western end of Bounty Beach. The staff of Malapascua Budget Inn fetched and guided us to the hostel.
JR, our host and the owner of the hostel, welcomed us with utmost enthusiasm. He showed us our rooms for two days. Since we are a big group, we were split in two. The bigger group occupied the 14-bed dorm room while the rest were housed in a family room. Both have A/C, an en suite toilet and bath, and back up electric fans.
I’d been to several hostels with bunk bed setup, so I tend to compare. I was quite surprised when the beds they have in Malapascua Budget Inn do not shake at all. The sturdy construction diminishes the annoying wobbles from pesky guests. A sound sleep that is.
Also, curtains were installed for privacy.
After settling our stuff, we were called for breakfast. Dining is socializing in Malapascua Budget Inn. The food were arrayed on a long table. Round, leather pillow pads served as seats. We dined like one big family. And, along with the awesome munch were interesting stories shared.
Laughters proliferated over the air lanes; strengthening connections, reinforcing acquaintances.
After the noteworthy breakfast, JR toured us around the hostel and introduced us to the type of rooms available. Aside from the three dormitory-type rooms, Malapascua Budget Inn also offers four private rooms (good for two), a family room (can accommodate four), and a double twin bed room (good for four).
Kitchen use is free for all guests, by the way.
Island Hopping Tour
After the hostel tour, we rested for an hour or two and headed to the next item on our checklist.
Regular Island hopping route includes a stop at Dakit-dakit Island and coral reef, Lapus lapus Cliff, Langub beach, Coral Garden, and Japanese shipwreck.
During our tour, we skipped Dakit-dakit and Japanese shipwreck. However, it did not make the trip less amusing and less memorable. We hiked to the edge of the steepest cliff of Lapus lapus. We even attempted to cliff-dive. However, the rough sea below it did not make it suitable for the jump.
We also explored the nearby Los Bamboos Island Garden Resort. It was destroyed when Typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas in November 2013 and was abandoned since then. Surrounding the property are amazing rock formations. Southeast of it is the stunning Guimbitayan Beach.
We snorkeled around the Coral Garden next. It is a protected underwater marine community nestled just 200-500 meters east of the island. It was good to see the reef thrived despite some challenges. Thanks to the protectors of the deep who survey the area day and night.
I actually saw some improvements since my last visit.
Lunch was served picnic style at the eastern end of the gorgeous Langub beach. The grilled golden trevally was a stand out on that meal. I did not mind the other dish though.
The Langub Beach, by the way, is one of the most pristine beaches of Malapascua. Its significant distance from the famed Bounty Beach made Langub slightly inaccessible to some tourists. Only few travellers found their way to north beach.
Malapascua Sunset Cruise
The sunset cruise was one of the highlights of our Malapascua sojourn. A wide outrigger boat equipped with quality sound system brought us to the north of the island to witness the sunset. Beers, tea, light snacks, and fruits were served onboard.
Unfortunately, the weather was stubborn. The waves got rougher and the sky got dimmer as we killed time. Hence, we beached teary-eyed and a bit disappointed for not seeing the sunset. Of course, the blame was not on the organizer.
Malapascua Sunset Cruise is offered only every Saturday. To book a slot, signup at Hippocampus Beach Resort at least 24 hours before the trip. The trip cost ₱1,000 per individual. However, you can enjoy a significant slash on your bill if you book with a group. A group of 10-15 folks can enjoy 15% discount. A group of 15-20 are given 20% off. Lastly, a group of 20-30 can save as much as 25%.
Malapascua Budget Inn Contacts and Rates
If you are planning to visit Malapascua, book your stay at Malapascua Budget Inn, TripAdvisor’s number hotel in the island, here are the rates:
Peak season rates (September through May)
Private A/C room with ensuite toilet and bath for 2 persons – ₱2,000
Family A/C room with ensuite toilet and bath for 4 persons – ₱2,500
Double Twin Bed A/C room with common toilet and bath for 4 persons – ₱2,000
Bed in a either 4-, 10-, or 14-bed dorm room with common toilet and bath – ₱400
Discounts are also available during low season (June to August). You may contact the hostel directly for the updated rates.
Rates of Other Services
Van pickup from Cebu City to New Maya port – ₱3,500
Car pickup from Cebu City to New Maya port – ₱3,000
Private outrigger boat from New Maya Port to Malapascua – ₱1,500 to – ₱2,500 (depending on the capacity)
Island hopping with free use of snorkel – ₱300/head
Trip to Kalanggaman with lunch – ₱800/head (exclusive of the ₱150 entrance for locals or ₱500 for foreigners).