Since the first day of the year, I was itching to book a flight to another country for the Holy Week break. Time passed in a surprisingly fast pace, amidst the endless taping days that gave me my humungous eye bags and countless pimples. A couple of weeks before Holy Week, I found myself planning a trip to either Batanes or Cebu alone. I cannot believe that I was actually ready to do a solo trip. But as the days pass, my nerves are eating my insides in a dying fashion. I was constantly in communication with Vhik and Shiela if they want to do a trip to Malapascua but no one responded affirmative.
I was ready to take on this journey. After this, it could be added to my ever growing arsenal. Until… “Ha? Sa Cebu ka rin?“–in the middle of a dinner break in one of my tapings, a colleague said he wanted to go to his hometown. So after a few talk, we agreed to go to Cebu, BUT, no definite plans after that.
7 days before the trip, I found myself swiping my new credit card to book return tickets to Cebu. I was pretty bummed that in a matter of minutes, I actually paid my hotel, flight, and other things I saw on the internet (which I’m not really that proud of! Hehe).
March 28th came, my last day of work before the Holy Week break. I was ecstatic about my trip since 1) I will basically be on my own (or be the one in charge), 2) Shiela or any of my TF friends won’t be waiting in the airport for me, 3) It is domestic for heaven’s sake (yeah I love the Philippines, but I usually go on an international trip whenever I can because not everyday I can have the liberty to not go to work).
I was gearing up on my “Maldives trip” (hahaha, I told everyone I know that I will be going to Maldives). News about the typhoon and the traffic jams came flooding my news feed. I asked myself why is that whenever I go on a trip, there will always be a typhoon. When I say always, I mean always (walang pumapalya). I was having second thoughts that time but I said to myself “naipagkalat mo na e tapos uurong ka pa?“. So that was the deciding factor (kahihiyan).
April 1st drew near and things were unclear. I was excited but at the same time not yet ready. It was the first time that I didn’t have anything planned. It was a risk I asked myself if I was willing to take. After a lot of thinking and composing myself, I found my butt in the plane at 4:00 in the morning. The moment the plane took off, I closed my eyes to sleep, after a second, my plane landed in Mactan Airport (I am not kidding, I thought the captain was joking when he said “cabin crew, prepare for landing“, I was like “wait what? I just closed my eyes“). So as easy as that, I was at the Queen City of the South.
I have travelled through a number of countries before but this is not different, as I walk along the hallways of Mactan Airport, people speak a language so foreign it drives me mad. I felt a bit awkward the I am Filipino but I can’t understand them. People kept on talking to me in “bisaya” and I can see the disappointment on their faces whenever I say “Sorry po di po ako nakakaintindi ng bisaya“. Sometimes I think if there was a proper way to tell them but there’s none.
I hopped in a cab and felt paranoid–the driver was driving in an unexpected speed and about 5 minutes after I went in, the cab driver didn’t turn on his meter so I had to tell him that. After a few minutes, I arrived at the North Bus Terminal. I waited for Fjell–a colleague who planned to go to Cebu as well, so we decided to stick together. Buses to and from Maya and Hagnaya Port are always available–though air conditioned buses are rare. So when Fjell arrived, we decided to just take the ordinary bus for 163PHP to Maya Port (take bus to Hagnaya if you plan to go to Bantayan Island).
The bus ride from Cebu to Maya Port took roughly 5 hours with one stop-over. One can easily pass out with the heat. Add to that the road with unbelievable sharp bends, it was truly an experience in itself. After probably more than 50 stops to pick up and unload passengers, we reached Maya Port. I was busy looking for the boat to Malapascua but the water just kept my mouth open in total awe. We hurriedly jumped to the boat and then we’re off. I am not really a beach person but at that moment, I felt something different–like I was such a jerk to not think that there is a place like this in the Philippines. I felt guilty not making my own country a priority when I travel.
After half an hour, there it was, a very small island sandwiched by the blue sky and crystal clear water. A motorbike driver approached us but I was busy staring at the powdery stretch of white sand beach. I could not actually believe I am still in the Philippines. The drivers were getting into my nerves so we gave in, we asked them to drive us to Thresher Cove Resort.
Thresher Cove is located on the eastern seaboard of the island. If you like a pool then you should definitely check-in there because it is the only resort that has a pool (more infos about our stay in Thresher Cove on my review).
For three days, we explored the entire island–looking for the best restaurant, navigating point to point, snorkeling, canoeing, scuba diving, and just chilling out while having the best gelato on the island. The best thing about the island would probably be the secluded and unspoiled beaches. But the downside is that the food are expensive (at least to the Philippine standards, and also very slow to be served).
Malapascua is just a tiny island located at the northernmost tip of Cebu. While not very easy to get into, Malapascua will surely make you forget the road trip and will embrace you with open arms if you want to reset, relax, and chill. It was a piece of heaven on Earth.