How I fell in love in Malapascua Philippines – 17 day experience
When I started planning my trip to the Philippines, I only knew I did not want to hop from one island to another every second day as I did on my first visit back in 2011. It’s more interesting to see many different places, don’t get me wrong, but on the other hand packing and carrying the baggage around all the time is not fun, nor wasting time to get from A to B is. It’s very exhausting to be honest.
So this time when I was talking to a friend who I was supposed to meet for 6 days in the Philippines after attending TBEX blogger conference in Manila and exploring Coron islands, I told him I wanted to spend the whole time on one island only. For some reason he asked me about Malapascua and straight away I said yes. Deal. Malapascua Philippines, here I come!
Why Malapascua out of 7,107 islands?
I’ve heard about Malapascua already in 2011 as some filipino friends recommended it to me. And I also so loved the exotic name of the island. I quickly booked Slam’s Garden hotel with the biggest swimming pool on the island and started looking forward to our trip.
I also decided to stay on the island for another 11 days on my own even before arriving to the Philippines. Why? I simply listened to my intuition telling me so. And let me tell you, my 6th sense was so right, once again.
How to get to Malapascua Philippines
Well, it was a bit of pain in the ass to get to the island.
The whole trip took me 11.5 hours.
I left my Manila hotel at 6 am and got to our Malapascua hotel at 5.30 pm.
I had to:
- take a flight from Manila to Cebu (80 minutes)
- then a Grab taxi from the airport to the North Bus Terminal (half an hour depending on traffic)
- I hopped on a yellow bus with random wifi to Maya town (approx. 5 hours)
- then finally a boat to Malapascua (30-minutes).
The first days on Malapascua we were recording loads of videos with Milan and taking photos of each other. We both got sick of only selfies on the road so used the chance to get some photos of one another from different angles.
As Milan had already spent 4 days on the island on his own before my arrival, he showed me his favorite places around and presented me to some locals.
It was so funny and heart-melting to walk along the beach with local kids shouting ”hello Alex”. I was very amazed to find out they remembered my name from their previous conversation with Milan.
Already the first day on Malapascua this little gesture made me feel like at home. And it was only getting better day by day.
Frankly, the people on the island thought Milan and I were a couple and it amused us each time we heard someone saying that. No, we have never been a couple!
Love in Malapascua Philippines
However, while on Malapascua, I did fall in love.
Malapascua island took my breath away very quickly.
I fell in love with my sunrise meditations and quiet morning beach walks.
I fell in love with teenagers screaming ”you so beautiful” from behind the hotel fence when observing me swimming in the pool.
I fell in love with massages under palm trees and sunset beach strolls.
I fell in love with locals waving hello at me and all the local kids smiling into my camera.
I fell in love with all the motorbike riders passing around me through narrow streets.
I fell in love with walking barefoot 100% of the time.
I fell in love with not having to care about my clothes. A bikini and a salty sarong were fancy enough.
I fell in love with fresh fruit – mango, pineapple, bananas and occasional young coconuts (called buko juice in the Philippines.)
I fell in love with more people saying hi to me than in my home town because that’s how nice Filipinos are.
I fell in love with the chill vibe of the island.
I fell in love with having a swimming pool just by my room door where I could keep fit.
I fell in love with not having to prepare my own meals even though they were more unhealthy than if I made my own meals.
I fell in love with my cheat meal fried bananas.
I fell in love with all the hotel staff telling me hello with a big smile each time they saw me. And I mean like 50 times a day.
I even fell in love with the very slow, mostly non-existent wifi which made me work less and relax more.
I simply fell in love with life again.
Thank you Malapascua 🙂
What did I do on Malapascua for 17 days?
As I said, the first 6 days we tried to get to know the island, record videos and think of more business possibilities with Milan.
Then once he left, I would wake up between 5.30 to 6.30 am, stroll along tbe beach and do my morning meditation under a palm tree. Then when no low tide, I’d jump into the sea.
Back at the hotel, I’d go for a swim. Every single day there I would swim at least 60 pool laps which was 1.6 km. Usually I divided it into two or three so it was not so exhausting. In the meantime I’d sunbathe, update social media channels, observe the only dragon fly flying around the pool and also a small spider living by my sunbed.
Then usually a local fruit seller would come with a basket full of fruit so I could get some breakfast from him. Usually a pineapple, few mangoes or small bananas. Then I would work from my laptop for 1 to 3 hours under the sun umbrella.
Afterwards, I’d swim some more and then a walk around the village to buy more fruit and have a late lunch.
Then after 3 pm, depending on weather, I would walk along the beach again, get an hour massage under a tree, do some yoga stretching and go for a swim in the sea. Usually there were some local kids coming to me so we would play or talk with other tourists. I would also watch sunset on the beach and then make my way back to the hotel when it was getting dark around 5.30 pm.
Afterwards, I’d have an early dinner between 6 to 8 pm right at the hotel or at a different restaurant close-by. Somewhere, where I could get a vegan meal. After another short walk and some online work time again I was ready for bed by 11 pm.
Sometimes I needed to readjust my plans due to heavy rain.
Those close to me know that I am not a morning person and back home I tend to stay up late and wake up between 8 to 9.30 am. But in a tropical place like Malapascua where it gets dark too early, I do go to bed earlier and wake up at sunrise. It just feels more natural this way.
To sum up my 17 days on Malapascua:
- 17 days of walking barefoot
- 17 days of no make-up
- 17 days of swimming every single day
- I swam 31.08 km altogether in the pool (plus extra swimming in the sea)
- I got 11 hours of massages
- I ate 7 pineapples
- I ate 15 mangoes
- I drank and then ate 9 young coconuts
TIP 1: If you pass through Cebu, here is at least 20 things you should do there 🙂