So, I’ve been lagging long enough. Hopefully you’re still interested in learning about what happened in my Malapascua adventure.
I woke up bright and early the next morning to catch the first bus out of Mandaue headed for Maya Port. Leope’s front desk said none of the jeepneys passing by the hotel could take me to the Cebu North Bus Station, so the door man hailed me a cab. I guess I didn’t do a good enough job of looking like a local, what with my conspicuously huge backpack in full view, because the driver immediately asked what tour I was headed to next. The moment I said “Malapascua,” he immediately offered to take me to the port on his cab. For Php3,000. Holy shit. I politely declined and mentally willed the cab ride to be over.
At the bus station, I asked around and was pointed to the buses going to the port. I was one of the first passengers, so I bought breakfast at one of the many stores at the station and waited. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long; with hardly any passengers on board, we left at 6:30am. After several stops (bathroom breaks, passenger pick-ups, etc.) we got to Maya at about 11am.
At the port, I paid for my seat in a 30-passenger boat. Another group of tourists arrived, but not enough to fill an entire trip, so one of the boatmen approached us and said that if we wanted to leave right away, we’d have to pay for the empty seats. We didn’t really mind since it was a small fee and we weren’t expecting more tourists (it was a Sunday; most tourists were headed back to the city), so we paid and were escorted to the awaiting vessel. (By the way, it would be better for you to wear shorts and flip-flops at this point since you’ll be wading in knee-deep water to board. I had to fold up my pants and take off my shoes.)
I never got to ask if there was a storm during the trip because I was too busy hanging on as the boat navigated the incredibly choppy waters. The captain of the boat said this was normal, but unfortunately, only the Filipino passengers—I think there were three of us—understood. One of the women in a group of foreign nationals was crying during the worst parts of the ride, but calmed down soon before we reached Bounty Beach.
On the shore were local tour guides ready to assist you to your hotel. Good thing, too, because as one of them led me to my lodging Celtis Resort, we took so many twists and turns, I knew it would take me a while if I had done it alone. On the way he explained that there would be a Kalanggaman Island tour the next day which I could join. I accepted so, before he dropped me off at Celtis, he said he would be back for me early tomorrow.
After checking in, I went out for some lunch then took a little walk. I actually ended up on a different part of the island than the one we arrived at because I just consulted Google Maps. There were a lot of paths not plotted on the map, so I had to take detours to get to the beach.
Still, I was relieved that I had the map on hand because I did have trouble finding my way back to the hotel. It was already dark when I got back, so I just had some dinner before turning in.
I’ll try not to make you wait too long for the next update.
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