We left not so spooky Siquijor and after two half days of travelling by boat and bus, we arrived in Maya. The north point of the island of Cebu.
Our boat journey from Maya to the little island of Malapascua was consistent with our travels so far in the Philippines. As we went from one island to another, and absence of any sheltering land, the waves were big and ferocious bashing into us from the side. With every splash and every rock of the boat a local lady next to us screamed hysterically. What initially started as quite comical quickly turned to utter annoyance. Her panic was inciting the other local passengers and together with the constant crash of waves and pendulum like rocking of the boat, you could clearly see the panic visible on everyone’s face. We were fine, considering our recent journeys and it was a 15 year old driving. Fine until the crew started looking anxious and deciding to hand out life jackets to everyone. These were local residents, not tourists. They were crying and praying. Natalie and I just looked at one another, slightly bemused. But under these circumstances things tend to go through your head! Damn I haven’t backed up my pictures, and I’m not leaving my bag if it goes down, and will people miss my blog? 😉
What was funny was that as we sat there silently, it got to a point where Natalie and I just looked at each other with a look of relief. We had both simultaneously reached the same conclusion, even if it did go down, it was swimmable!! We knew it was only a kilometre or so…
Our journey to Malapascua was initially primarily to dive. We had been told about the opportunity to dive with thresher sharks and the chance of seeing them was very high. Great, we thought! Except, that’s not what we did. We spent a morning enquiring about the options available to us but with funds now limited, and time running out, we felt our money would be better spent on other things. This is the honeyear after-all and next month we celebrate our first year of marriage and that, to us, was more important and worthy of a big blow out!
As you’re no doubt familiar, diving is very expensive. To dive with the thresher sharks, the dive shops wanted us to pay additional to do a ‘deep dive’ course, which was even more expensive. We had just done a deep dive the week before at Ticao and regularly dive to deep depths in Cayman absent of this course. Rightly or wrongly. The thresher dive was a cleaning station much like the dive we had just done. We therefore decided to wait and see how we felt after a few days and just let intrigue take its natural course.
After a few days on the island, we decided to just stay, relax and indulge in the rustic charms of island life without diving. We got a great routine going too. Breakfast, the beach, lunch followed by some planning and skyping, afternoon coffee and baked goods from the bakery (8 cent coffees and 8 cent doughnuts). In the evening, we would head to one (or four) of the various happy hours to enjoy a cocktail on the beach followed by some delicious BBQ food. All of this would also revolve arround my strict schedule of moisturising after getting burnt not once, but twice!
On our last evening whilst enjoying some evening cocktails, we looked out to the horizon to witness one of the prettiest skies we have ever seen. The sky was amazing. So spectacular!
The island has no roads therefore no cars, limited electricity and has a real island feel. We stayed in the village amongst the locals then ventured to the nicer beaches and bars at night. The people were hospitable and as always extremely friendly. Every person knows each other and by the second day people were addressing us by our names in the street. As our last post stated, island life suits us and it’s instantly calming. We feel at home.
Nothing spectacular to mention in this post but so many fond memories. A great place to get lost and/or stuck. The people here were just so amazing and it was dirt cheap. To sleep, eat copious amounts of BBQ and drinks until you’re vomiting cost pittance. A week here was half our regular budget which is why I wasn’t so upset when Natalie wasted her expensive cocktails by throwing them up into the toilet bowl.
We returned to Cebu City for two nights before flying. I wasn’t going to but I’ll do a short post of Cebu separately and lasting impressions of the Philippines itself. My emotions and feelings between Malapascua and Cebu city are a stark contrast, to put it lightly. You’ve been warned!
A few photos on Flickr: