My Fortunate Birthday at Malapascua Island

UPDATE (April 10, 2014):  Kuya Jevie, the boatman’s new contact number is 0926-516-7712
Malapascua was dubbed as “boracay two decades ago”. While I cannot attest to its comparison to the 2012 World’s Best Island by Travel + Leisure, I know for a fact that Malapascua sure has its share of pristine beaches, majestic view of sunrise and sunset and clear waters teeming with rich marine life.

Mating starfishes scatter along the shores of Barrio Logon, Malapascua Island
Mating starfishes scatter along the shores of Barrio Logon, Malapascua Island

Malapascua island is located at the northern tip of Cebu, accessible via four-hours land travel and a forty-five minutes boat ride.  It is popular with foreign tourists, mostly westerners, because of monad shoal where thresher sharks are a common site during early morning.  As a matter of fact, Filipino visitors were ginormously outnumbered by Western tourists during our visit to the island.

The Island was named Malapascua (meaning “Bad Easter or Unfortunate Christmas”) by the Spaniards whose ship was stranded on the island on 1520 Christmas due to bad weather.  But our 2D1N stay in the island for my birthday celebration is anything but unfortunate.  It sure is exhausting to get there but the island itself is an unexpected gift that welcomes wary but strong-willed travellers.

Rainbow and sunset collide in Barrio Logon
Rainbow and sunset collide in Barrio Logon

A trip to Malapascua may include the following activities:

1.    Early morning dive at Monad Shoal.  Monad shoal is world-famous because of year-round common sight of thresher sharks and manta rays.  However, we didn’t try this one since I do not know how to swim and dive.

2.    Snorkelling trip to four sites. – This one’s for non-divers like me who want to experience Malapascua’s rich marine life.  You may rent a boat that will take you to four snorkelling sites – coral garden, cliff-diving site, WWII shipwreck fronting the lighthouse, and Dakit-dakit island.

3.    50-ft cliff diving.  Adrenaline junkies may opt to try the 50ft cliff-jumping in one of snorkelling sites. 

4.    A day trip to Kalanggaman island.  A two-hour boat trip from Malapascua island will bring you to an islet with long stretch of white sand and clear waters mirroring the blue sky above.  Kalanggaman Island is technically part of Leyte province but its proximity to Malapascua made it a daily offering of boatmen to the island visitors.

Beach Bumming at secluded Bantigue Cove
Beach Bumming at secluded Bantigue Cove

5.    Sun bathing /swimming in Malapascua’s white sand beaches.  When you have tried all the activities above, you can just doze on the sand.  Malapascua boasts of a number of white sand stretches and clear waters to choose from.  There is the Bounty beach where most accommodation options are situated, and Bario Logon beach fronting the local residents’ houses.  Other shores of Malapascua include Los bamboos beach and Bantigue cove.   

6.    Chasing the sun.  From sunrise to sunset, Malapascua Island displays the sun’s power in the morning and modesty in the afternoon.

Sunset at Bounty Beach
Sunset at Bounty Beach


1.    Mike and Diose.  The inexpensive beach cottages of Mike and Diose’s are our first choice of accommodation in Bounty beach but they were already fully booked when we called them for reservation.  For 600.00 Php, you can have a beach front fan room for two with breakfast (common bathroom).  Contact Information:   +63905-263-2914, 0917-523-4105

2.    Bluewater Beach Resort.  We reserved our room in Bluewater Beach Resort via email.  We availed the air-conditioned standard room with two queen size beds, with its own bathroom and a terrace overlooking the beach.  Free breakfast and welcome drinks are included in the room rates.  We got ours for 2,500.00 Php.  They also have rooms for 1,500.00 Php to 5,500.00 Php.

Bluewater Beach Resort
Bluewater Beach Resort

Everything went smoothly well upon our arrival in the resort until we noticed that they do not have water coming out of the faucet and  shower and they cannot assure us that they can fix it.  Also, they cannot give us towels because all towels are still unwashed.  That’s when we decided to look for other resorts along Bounty Beach.

2.    Cocobana Beach Resort.  Just beside Bluewater Beach Resort is the first resort in Malapascua, Cocobana Beach Resort.  We immediately fell in love with their air-conditioned bungalows whose nice porch looks across the garden and straight to Bounty Beach.  Inside, there is one single and one queen-sized bed.  Given our bathroom experience in Bluewater Beach Resort, we checked the water facility first and was glad to know it was working.  We had the bungalow for 3,200.00 Php.

For more accommodation options, click here for details.

Cocobana Beach Resort
Cocobana Beach Resort


1.    Ging-ging’s Garden Restaurant.  During our stay in Malapascua, we only ate at Ging-ging’s garden restaurant.  The quality of the food was just okay but the price is cheap.  The orders are freshly cooked but you have to patiently wait for them.  In fact, we noticed that the regular visitors of Ging-ging’s brought something to read while waiting for their orders.

Other resorts like Ocean Vida Resort and the Craic House have their own restaurant.

Ging-Ging's Garden Restaurant
Ging-Ging’s Garden Restaurant


1.    You first have to reach Cebu City, Philippines.  Wherever you are in the country or abroad, you first have to reach Cebu City.  Domestic Air Carriers like Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, AirPhil Express, Seair and Zestair  offers daily trip to Mactan Cebu International Airport from almost all other airports of the Philippines.  International Air lines like Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and Qatar Airways also has direct flight to Mactan, Cebu.

2.    Hire a cab / Commute from Mactan Cebu International Airport to North Bus Terminal.  Coupon taxis with fixed rates and yellow metered taxis with 70.00 Php flag down rate are lined at the arrival area of the airport.  For a cheaper flag down rate at 45.00 Php, walk your way to the departure are of the airport where white metered taxis drop departing passengers.  White taxi fare ranges from 180Php to 200 Php. 

Alternatively, you may reach North Bus Terminal by riding a multicab and jeepneys.

  • At the leftmost portion of the departure gates, yellow multicabs with  that will take you to Marina Mall are available.  Pay the 8.00 Php fare and alight at Starbucks and/or Island Souvenirs.
  • From there, ride a jeepney with “Highway” signage and tell the driver to drop you off Mandaue Coliseum.  Jeepney fare is 9.00 Php.
  • InMandaue Coliseum,jeepneys with signage, “North Bus” or “Makro” will bring you to North Bus Terminal for 8.00. Php

    Ceres bus going to Maya Port
    Ceres bus going to Maya Port

3.    In North Bus Terminal, there are three bus lines that may take you to Maya-Daanbantayan – Ceres, Cebu AutoBus and Rough Riders.  Maya is in the northernmost tip of Cebu mainland and travel time is approximately 4-4.5 hours with 3-4 bus stops along the way.  Bus fare is 170.00 Php for aircon buses.  These buses will stop directly at Maya port where outrigger boats may be rented to go to Malapascua.

4.    45-minute boat ride to Malapascua Island.  There is no fixed schedule of public boats that will take you from Maya port to Malapascua Island because they usually wait until the boat is full before they head to Malapascua.  During low tide, outrigger boats cannot dock in the shore so you still have to rent small paddle boats to reach the public boats.  The same goes for Malapascua shores.  Boat fares are as follows:

  • Paddle boat to Outrigger public boats in Maya Port – 20.00 Php
  • Outrigger boats from Maya port to Malapascua Island – 80.00 Php
  • Paddle boat from the boat to Malapascua shores – 20.00 Php .  These boats will bring you to Bario Logon.  Walk to the right of Bario Logon shores to reach Bounty Beach where most resorts and accommodation options are situated.
  • You may also charter private boat trips or communicate with your resort to fetch you in Maya Port and dock directly in front of the resort.

DATE OF TRAVEL:   March 10 – 11, 2013

Bounty Beach
Bounty Beach

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11 thoughts on “My Fortunate Birthday at Malapascua Island

  1. Hi! I’m also planning on spending my birthday at Malapascua. Have you tried renting a motorbike or bicycles at Malapascua? I would like to tour the whole island without any tourist guide.

    P.S. Thank you for providing the contact information of Kuya Jevie. I hope he is still using that number 🙂

  2. Hi, just like to ask how much for the boat trip cost from Malapascua to Kalanggaman?. Thank you sp much for the very useful info 🙂

    1. Hi anonymous!, hehe
      I cannot remember the rate that Kuya Jevie, our boatman, proposed to us for Kalanggaman trip but you may ask him directly at his updated number: +639-26-516-7712. Thanks for visiting the site and please do let me know about your travel to Malapascua! Have a happy trip! 🙂

  3. Hi, I went to Malapascua last March 29-31. Kuya Jevie didn’t answer my text, and it’s only now that I got his updated number. haha.

    Anyway, for Anonymous..I haven’t tried the Kalanggaman trip from Malapascua..but when I went there last month (March2014), people are offering us Php800/person to Kalanggaman Island. This rate is for the whole day (not the whole 24 hours, of course) , with meal (I 80% think), and with other people, since the boat (they said) that you’ll be using is a big boat.

    *I think I need to start blogging about my Malapascua trip, though I’m still torn on which platform to use: Tumblr, Blogger or WordPress. =))

      1. hi stunninglyschoonhead im jeramil ygot same with jv companies and im stay in malapascua island, im working in resort but we can arrange also the all trip here in malapascua such as snorkling,calangaman island and land tour these is my#09368428150 thanks and more power,.,,

    1. hi anonymous im jeramil ygot and im stay in malapascua island,im working in resort but we can arrange the all activities like calangaman and snorkelling with barbecue can you help me to promote my #09368428150 tyhanks and more power

      1. hi anonymous this is Jeramil Ygotfrom Malapascua Island my last#09368428150 kusa po itong nawala na snaych kasi cp ko anyway ito na po new cp# ko 09269909388 or 09975895966 for any info. and any trips you want i can help you anytime thanks and more power.,.,.

  4. our price to calangaman island 8OO PER PERSON include lunch barbecue boat and there are one tour guide to assist,snorkeling around malapascua price;350 per person with drinks and guide is free as well thanks maaam and we can pick up also from maya to malapascua.,.,,.

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