August 1, 2017

3D Outreach Activities

MALAPASCUA ISLAND

Cebu has many places to visit and many tourist spots to see. Also there are many delicious food for you to experience in any different kinds of restaurant.

but if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, i will advise you to go to north part of Cebu and visit one of the most beautiful islands – The MALAPASCUA ISLAND.

Malapascua Island is basically just a heap of sand and rocks in the middle of the Visayan Sea. It is a charming island where foreigners mix seamlessly with the locals and you can get a real slice of Filipino life if you venture outside your resort.

The island has been called the “Next Boracay” but we don’t think it will ever be like that. Even during busy season, it feel like there is hardly anyone else here, the pace of life is slow and you will be sure to have a relaxing vacation.

As you probably know the reason most people come to Malapascua Island is for the diving . Malapascua is beginning to get a worldwide reputation for in the credible diving experience which means now is a great time to come, before it gets too famous. It is the only place in the world where you can reliably see thresher sharks. It is possibly the best place in the Philippines for big fish encounters.

It is still a quiet island and the resorts, restaurants and dive shops are nestled amongst the palm trees along the main beach. There are not so many of them and so it does not feel at all crowded.

Malapascua is a developing island without basic infrastructure. It does not have a many of the things we often take for granted in our homes. This means you need to come with an open mind and be ready for things that may make you a little uncomfortable such as salty water, electricity blackouts during the day etc. But you are on holiday, relax, it’s not a problem.

The weather on Malapascua is usually excellent. Typhoon season in the Philippines is from May to December, but Malapascua is rarely affected. The typhoons usually pass to the north and because there are no mountains nearby it avoids a lot of the rain that tends to fall on Leyte or Cebu. Occasional a typhoon will hit but it happens maybe a couple of times a year. Most people do not realize this and come between January and April. If you want a quieter holiday, come during ‘typhoon’ season. The diving is better at that time as well.

Outside of diving and snorkeling there is not a lot of things to do. It is a great place to chill out. So if you are not diving, get ready for a relaxing trip.

 

Other things you can do on the island:

Snorkeling and swimming. There are some great snorkeling spots around the island. You can take your mask and fins (or rent some) and go from almost any beach you find. Near to the lighthouse is a shallow wreck that you can easily skin dive down to.

Massage. Massage ladies on the beach charge only around PHP 300 for a great massage. You will pay a little more in some of the resorts.

Go around the island. You can easily walk round the island in 2 hours. Or you can hire a motorbike. You could also hire a driver to take you to all the best places on the island.

Island hopping. Various places can organize trip to some of the nearby islands. There is also a day trip to Biliran Island where you can see rice terraces, volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls. You will need a group for this – Cocobana or Thresher Divers can arrange this for you.

Diving -is what brings in most of the tourists. The diving here is truly world class. In Asian Diver magazine, Monad Shoal was named number 11 in the top 101 dive sites in the world. And since it has become even better with daily manta sightings.

Malapascua is of course famous for its daily thresher shark sightings. Thresher sharks are a deep water shark and are very rarely seen by divers. Malapascua is the only place in the world they can be seen every day. They are very distinctive with their long tail, which is about half of their body length.

Many people do not realize it, but Malapascua has many other things to offer scuba divers . Malapascua is probably the best place in the Philippines for big fish encounters. There are regular sightings of giant manta rays. These are huge! At up to 6 meters across, they sometimes come so close you could almost touch them. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to see them on the same dive as a thresher shark. What heaven for a diver! Whitetip sharks also grow very large and close encounters are almost guaranteed at Gato. Hammerhead sharks are around from December to April although these are less common. Also get devil rays and marble rays. Other very occasional visitors include turtles, whale sharks and once there was even a tiger shark!

Gato Island is another very famous Malapascua dive site. Gato has a great variety of creatures – seas snakes, cuttlefish, seahorses (large and pygmy), frogfish, many nudibranchs, loads of macro and good soft coral.

Malapascua is also very well known for incredible macro at all its dive sites. You can see many types of shrimps and crabs, including harlequin shrimp, ghost shrimp and xeno crabs. Pipefish are all around including several types of ghost pipefish. The night dive is spectacular, with mandarin fish mating all over the place, seahorses, bobtail squid, sea hares, and huge crabs and sea stars. Mimic and blue ring octopus can be seen as well as the occasional stargazer and hairy frogfish. Some have said the muck diving rivals Lembeh Straits.

There are several wrecks  at various depths for all levels of divers from beginner snorkelers to technical divers including a couple from WWII.

The list of wonderful creatures goes on and on. For more about the diving, the informative Thresher shark Divers  web site has a very comprehensive page on the marine life.

Note: If you are looking for millions of fish and endless visibility, Malapascua may not be for you. Average vis is around 20m, and like many places in Asia, many of the reef fish have sadly been over-fished at some of the dive sites. But most people find that the pelagics along with the profusion of rare macro more than make up for that.

How to choose a dive shop

This advice goes for dive shops anywhere, all around the world, and does not reflect on any of the operators on Malapascua.

Price is of course important but it should NEVER be your main reason for choosing a dive shop. Remember that when you go diving you are using life support equipment in an alien environment so you need to make sure everything is up to scratch. It has to be functioning and well maintained. Some dive shops take that responsibility seriously and some do not.

As well as asking the price, ask to see their equipment and their clean air certificate. Do they carry oxygen on their boats? Do they used certified divemasters? If not what is their level of experience? Do the guides know Malapascua well or have they not been here long. Some of the dive shops have guides (usually locals) who have done thousands of dives here – those are the DMs you want!

Does the dive shop ask to see your certification card or ask your level of experience? If they don’t care about your certification or your experience level, how can they care about your safety or make sure you go to dive sites within your level of experience?

In general do they seem like a professional dive operation or not?

Remember you are also there to have fun, so have a chat with the staff and see if you think will enjoy your time with them. If you are on your own, perhaps they have some social facilities to help you meet other people, or do they just shut at 5pm and leave you to your own devices?If you want to take a diving course, ask to speak to your instructor. Do you get a good feeling from him or her? This is especially important if you are learning to dive.

resort

Cocobana Resort has been here the longest and they are probably the biggest resort on Malapascua Island. They are located right in the middle of the main beach. There are a range of rooms for all budgets including beachfront – some nice big new AC rooms, some older AC and fan bungalows some cheaper rooms just back from the beach. They also have hot water in the AC rooms. The super deluxe rooms are amazing. They are so big, you need to use the phone to talk to someone on the other side of the room. They also have a pool. It is very popular and are almost fully booked year round, so be sure to book well in advance.

Tepanee is a new resort that is getting a very good reputation. It is Italian owned and run and on its own private spit, higher up overlooking the sea. Rooms are all AC with hot water showers and a balcony with a view. Also managed by the same people is Logon, an adjacent resort on its own private beach with 5 basic fan bungalows and stunning views.

Blue Coral is also on the main beach. It is built on the rocks, high up on the end of the beach. They have newly refurbished fan and air-con rooms. The air-con rooms are very big. The view from the rooms is spectacular. Some rooms also come with a balcony.

Slam’s is just off the beach behind Thresher Shark Divers and has rooms with AC and hot water.

Ocean Vida is on the main beach about 2 minutes walk past Thresher Shark Divers and Cocobana. They have very nice beachfront and garden view rooms.

Legend Resort is the most expensive on the island. Its Superdeluxe rooms are poolside and Presidential rooms are beachfront.

 

 

 

restaurant and bars

Most islands with a limited infrastructure like Malapascua’s offer very limited menus in their restaurants. But on Malapascua we are incredibly lucky and have some great restaurants that have set a very high standard.

Oscar’s

Oscar’s is the premier dining experience on Malapascua and has without a doubt the fastest service. It serves a mix of international dishes and there is almost always something on the menu that you will love. The menu changes every day, to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. It is beautifully located on the beachfront in an open air location, high up amongst the palm fronds above Thresher Shark Divers. It is especially popular at sunset.

Although they serve international cuisine, the bar and restaurant is British owned so look out for those British specials including weekly Sunday Roast Dinner, Full English Breakfast, Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash and the British national dish of Chicken Tikka Masala and other assorted curries including their signature dish – the Paratha Curry Roll. Possible the only place in the Philippines you can get a Cheddar and Branston Pickle sandwich.

The Pub Upstairs

The Pub Upstairs is adjacent to Oscar’s Restaurant and serves great cocktails and bar food. Note of warning: Be wary of the shot bell. Once the bell starts ringing and the rounds of shots are poured, it barely stops for the rest of the night!

Angelina’s Italian Restaurant

Angelina’s is simply great Italian food. It is owned and run by Angela and Ricardo, who both overflow with the Italians’ love of good food. Another beautiful location, perfect for watching the sun go down and whiling away the evening. The menu includes homemade pizza Italian style, and freshly made pastas. The ingredients include many meats and other items imported directly from Italy.

Isla Bonita

Fresh, well prepared food at reasonable prices. The menu includes a mix of European and Filipino specialties, all prepared with loving care.

Malditos

Malditos serves excellent international food and has a popular bar that is usually open late. It has TVs and often shows major sports. Ask anyone if it is open when you are there

Ging-Ging’s

Ging-Ging’s is known for its cheap and cheerful food. The menu is fairly basic and the portions small, but it is inexpensive and a great place to eat if you on a budget. Very popular with backpackers

But before you go, Many people turn up and things are not as expected, so BE PREPARED! Remember, this is a small developing island, so don’t expect a full range of western facilities and services.

dont forget to bring your money because there is no ATM there. Budget. There is something on Malapascua to suit every budget. Rooms can be found from P300-P7,000 per night. Noise. Because the resorts are nestled amongst the villages, it can be quite noisy. 

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See you there GUYS!!!

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