Malapascua Island – “The Little Boracay”

Malapascua is a tiny island, only about 2.5 kilometers long and 1km wide, at the northernmost tip of Cebu island province, a barangay of the municipality of Daan Bantayan.

Malapascua, now known as the “Little Boracay,” was “discovered” fairly recently, only in the early 90s. It has become known for its beautiful white sandy beaches with coral gardens and excellent dive spots nearby where thresher sharks and manta rays can be sighted on a regular basis. Diving experts and enthusiasts claim that, to date, this is the only place in the world where divers can reliably sight thresher sharks. Thresher sharks are 6-meter pelagic fish with long, whip-like tails.

My family had been to the island more than 5 years ago. Our route getting there from Tacloban City was via Villaba, Leyte, where we took a commercial pumpboat and crossed the Visayan (or is it Camotes Sea?) to the young City of Bogo, Cebu. From Bogo, we took a one-hour jeep ride to the town of Maya, the jump-off point to Malapascua. That was a long trip.

This time, we took off from Tabango, Leyte upon invitation by the municipal government led by Mayor Bernard Remandaban, on a 7-island familiarization tour  which is one of the tourism thrusts being promoted by the municipality. Malapascua forms part of this island tour package being pushed by Tabango.

The trip was a 2-hour boat-ride direct to Malapascua Island. Leaving Tabango a little past 10 in the morning, we reached the pristine, crystal clear waters of Malapascua around noontime, just in time for lunch.

Done with the hearty lunch, I surveyed the area around and could no longer find the place or cottage “resort” where we stayed in during our first time in the island years ago. Malapascua was hit badly by recent Typhoon Frank, the damage still visible in the dead palm leaves of coconut trees and unrepaired roofs of some of the beach huts and cottages. Minus these photographer’s “eye sores,” the beach scene at Malapscua, nevertheless, remains postcard-perfect.

View more photos at the full gallery (38 photos)

Getting there from Cebu City involves motoring to the town of Maya, the jump-off point, which is about 145 kms from the city. A bus or van ride would normally take between 4 to 4.5 hours via narrow and winding roads with scenic landscapes along the way.

One passes thru Mandaue City, Consolacion, Liloan, Danao City and other towns and on to Bogo City till you reach the Maya pantalan (wharf). The journey continues, this time by pumpboat – a 30-minute ride across the 8-km shallow strait to Malapascua Island.

~ by gerryruiz on 21 August 2008.

23 Responses to “Malapascua Island – “The Little Boracay””

  1. nice series, i can feel the white sand & sunny weather!

  2. Great pictures…Gerry… are there any boracay-like islands just near Leyte? We have 7,000 plus islands, wala bang naligaw sa Leyte na white fine sand beach?…pls explore and rediscover Leyte more…and capture those beautiful sexy spots…and share it with us….More power to you…

  3. I hope it remains just the ‘little Boracay’ for much longer….
    Thanks for the beautiful pictures!!!

  4. Edmond, in Leyte/So. Leyte areas, we recommend San Pedro & San Pablo Islands in Hinunangan; the Quatro Islas in Inopacan; Higatangan & Dalutan Islands in Biliran. Some of them have already been featured here in my earlier posts. A quick search within the blog will lead you to them. 😉

  5. been to canigao island, white sands, just 15 minutes pump boat ride from matalom. though it was a cloudy day, the water was clear bluegreen.

  6. beautiful!

  7. I’m amazed at the abundance of beautiful world-class beaches in the region and nearby…thanks to you, I don’t really feel the need now to go and see Bora-bora and the like.

  8. nice

  9. Sounds and looks beautiful..heading over that way soon, and think i will have this on the itinery..how busy is the nightlife at this time of year>>
    Cheers and happy trails

  10. i’ve heard many good things about this island and thought what’s in it. now i know.

    my officemates and i actually planned to go to malapascua before. so sad it was canceled. but we might visit the place soon. i think it would only take us few hours to get there.

  11. it’s so very beautiful a place… i’d love to have a vacation here… hmmmmm i love the beach… wow, it’s so amazing… totally cool…

  12. i love our place; i miss my place so much.

  13. been there before..nice place! better than boracay!:D

  14. good day mr gerry. my friends and i will be going to tacloban soon and we are planning to go either to malapascua or canigao. but we don’t have any idea how to go about it, how much and what to prepare, where to stay, etc. or would you have other suggestions? thank you.

  15. hi mr gerry. thanks, i’m still waiting for the reply of the travel agency 🙂 my colleague from tacloban offered to bring us to tabango. is there any place in tabango where we can stay overnight? the 7-island tour seems interesting, is that open for everyone? many thanks.

  16. may malapascua remain clean and beautiful

  17. Hi Gerry,

    I recommend Malapascua Island to all…. Nice place..

  18. oooohhh so very nice place, like paradise, love it….

  19. i like it so much… r u teaching? i want to learn how u do it… pics r so nice

  20. wow!!! what a nice place…
    a little paradise.
    hope i can go there as soon as possible…

    but how???

  21. Wow, what a beautiful place! Looks like a paradise.
    I hope I can go there someday.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tanya Gemarin

  22. Excited na for this summer..

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