CEBU | Discovering Malapascua Island
Cebu is a wonderful place, as such that it is also near to some of the most charming islands I have ever visited. It's not a secret that when I travel to some of the best known destination in the Philippines, I seek the one's with beautiful beaches, and those with opportunity for snorkeling adventure. I'm such a sucker for underwater fun ever since I learned to snorkel without wearing vest or flippers. That feeling of buoyancy while in water, the freedom to move freely without inhibitions, that moment when I hold my breath and dive down to get a closer look at some of the best coral reefs that we are proud of, these are just some of the junks I seek out. Bringing my own snorkeling gear, and the investment I made with an underwater camera over 6 months ago, I have become a witness to how pristine and fragile is our own backyard of underwater world.
Signing up for snorkeling activity while in Malapascua Island is a good past time other than lounging in it's sandy white sand beaches and watching lots of foreign back packers enjoy this laid back beach. I can't compare it to any other locations, it has a charm more on its own, I'm just taken aback by the realization that more foreign tourist would have known the historic island of Malapascua than the local one's like myself. The snorkeling activity is about 3 hours, hopping on 3 locations surrounding the island. At the end, you'd have made a full circle tour of the place with the finale at a place they call Marine Sanctuary. A sanctuary that is, about 20 feet deep and laden with some of the riches and most diverse coral gardens I've ever seen.
These shots here are a lot more closer to shore, as the white sand creates a startling contrast against the colorful marine life. Snorkeling here is a standard rate of Php 1,500 as I am with 2 other friends, that makes it 500 for each of us. However, I got a discount of Php 150 because I'm using my own snorkeling gear. As part of the fees, the boatman rents the gear for the same amount. So if you have the intention of visiting Malapascua island off the coast of Cebu, better bring your own gear, saves you money and more so about the hygiene, one can't tell about who was that last person who had used that gear.
This photo above is shot in the final location, the Marine Sanctuary. It proved to be challenge for me, as Habagat is raging all across the Philippines, here I was, braving strong currents to enjoy this beautiful site.
I have heard of Malapascua, aside from fellow travel bloggers who had been here, but more to the publicity it garnered being synonymous to divers as haven for Thresher sharks.
It's best to visit the island, when you are with many friends tangling along. As is, the fee I paid for the snorkeling is already overpriced at Php 350 considering that we've only visited 3 sites.
More of discovering Malapascua in my upcoming post, How to get there, What to do and the accommodations. Remember that you don't have to spend much in here, the island is a back packers haven, very friendly to a Pinoy working class like myself.
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