Going back to the island after 20 long years, i was looking forward to see a vibrant place teeming with resorts and establishments catering to the touristy crowds and diving enthusiasts.
This photoblogger together with 3 college students from the University of San Carlos went on a sem-break trip to the island of Malapascua. Our primary objective is to follow-up on the asset mapping they did on August this year. This time, we will do research and based on the needs of the locals, hopefully come up with a social enterprise that is doable, sustainable and uplift the livelihood of the local community.
The trip from Maya was uneventful with the sea so calm you’d think you are gliding through a desert sand on a safari..
Arriving on the shores of Malapascua is exactly as it was when i first came. There is no wharf to dock boats to, so the captain just thrust the boat directly into the sand. The keel of the boat slicing through the sand makes a grating noise as if the boat
is complaining about making contact with the sand, when it is used to battle waves..
Travelers get no welcome arches to greet them upon reaching the island. Disembark on the beach and head directly to a resort or to simple accommodations sprouting all over.
Snaking narrow street connects you to every nook and cranny, with motorcycle as the only mode of transportation around.
It is such a small island that you can also walk going everywhere.
An audience with the Barangay Captain started our day. His insights on the current state of Malapascua is an eye-opener for our group. He discussed how the island is coping after the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda. As this island is primarily sandy, limited crops and trees can grow. Breadfruit tree which is prevalent here had lost 90% of its trees during Typhoon Yolanda. Coconut trees which abound in the island also suffered. A problem shared by various fishing community – a dwindling supply of fish catch, is also felt here.
A visit to the Barangay hall to ask for some documents.
A group shot at the local health center together with some health workers on duty.
We also attended a meeting with local organizations.
Local kids playing along the beach caught our attention.
And then it was time to hit the island’s scenic places. A 3-hour boat trip will take you to exciting areas around Malapascua.
First stop is Dakit-Dakit islet. Here you can glimpse Malapascua a hundred meters from shore. Clown fishes (Nemo) abound in this tiny islets.
Then we’re off to a Japanese warship wreck. Beneath these waters, about 25 meters from shore lies a sunken Japanese warship. A snorkel is all you need to take a glimpse of this wartime wonder. A Lighthouse stand guard a few meters above.
Rounding the tip on the northside of the island, we disembarked on Bantigue beach. Here you can savor the majesty of Malapascua sunset. Although we did not wait for the sun to set, we could just imagine the beauty we missed.
Then we went to the fish sanctuary. A place teeming with corals and different kinds of fishes. Sadly the site is not well maintained. We can see fishermen on the site catching fishes with utter disregard of the sanctuary. Boats also drop anchors anywhere without respect to the corals below.
Malapascua Island is a Philippine island situated in the Visayan Sea, 6.8 kilometres (4.2 mi) across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu Island. Administratively, it is part of the insular barangay of Logon, Daanbantayan, Cebu. Malapascua is a small island, only about 2.5 by 1 kilometre (1.55 by 0.62 mi), and has eight hamlets. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malapascua_Island