Malapascua – A Sad Goodbye

For an island that has so much to offer there’s one thing that Malapascua doesn’t have and that’s an ATM machine. In the interest of our budget and seeing the rest of the Philippines it was good that we had to leave but it made it no less easy to do so. Without access to more money we had no choice. We gave our last of our free pesos to the boat crew and our divemaster, Khen, in gratitude for the myriad of things they showed us in 12 of dives. We’d be hard-pressed to recall another six day span when we saw so many hard-to-find creatures.

On day one we watched Mandarin Fish mate. Day two Thresher Sharks glided past us. Day three we marveled at a pregnant Ornate Ghost Pipe fish. Day four we were dazzled by a swimming Nudibranch that made us question whether a very fun substance had been slipped into our mango shakes. Day five Candy Crabs and Frogfish stole the show. And on our last day seven Thresher sharks put on a spectacular and private grand finale.

The question is not whether we’ll come back but when. This is one of the best places we’ve ever been.

Traveller Information: Getting to Malapascua is very straightforward from Cebu City. Boats between Maya and Malapascua go roughly every 40 minutes until 4 or 5pm and cost 80 pesos each way. Accommodation ranges from 400 pesos at BB’s to 7000 pesos on the beach, if you want cheap get off the beach. Food is cheapest from small stalls along the interior roads or in the village (10 – 60p). Restaurant mains start at 60p at Ging Ging’s and Kiwi (Gemmas). We dived with Dan’s Dives which was the best value of any shop we talked to (1,000p per dive if doing 10 or more dives, not including fees), their divemaster is phenomenal, they have a max group size of 5, and their boat is great, highly recommended.

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Scott Dusek is a writer and photography originally from Seattle, Washingon.

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