MALAPASCUA ISLAND, Daanbantayan — Summer is here.
And going to the beach is always on top of our to do list during this time of year.
What are you waiting for?
Bring out those swimwear and bring your family to Malapascua Island that is located off mainland Daanbantayan in northern Cebu.
This small island is like paradise with its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. It also has several dive spots nearby.
Although businesses in the area have not yet fully recovered from the lockdown that was implemented last year, most of the resorts here are now starting to resume operations.
For first time travelers, head to the Maya Port in Daanbantayan town that is located about 129 kilometers north of Cebu City.
Pump boat rides to Malapascua Island are available at the newly completed ro-ro port.
And don’t forget to pass by the town’s tourism office that is located at the port area to register and undergo thermal scanning.
A second form to be filled up, the boat manifest, will also be provided to passengers prior to boarding.
Travel time normally takes 30 minutes under normal sea conditions and up to 50 minutes on rough seas, says Rey Villamor, the boat captain of Juan Juana, a wooden pump boat that transports passengers from the Maya Port to the island and vice versa.
Boat fare is P150 per head.
With more than 20 pump boats serving the route, Villamor says, that the first trip starts at 7 a.m. while the last trip is at 5:30 p.m.
Pump boats leave at 30 minutes interval.
Villamor says that a P150 fee is also charged for motorcycles or bicycles that passengers may want to transport to the island.
An option is to arrange a special trip to the island, he says.
And since the island is small, only about 2.5 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, it has a limited road network so tourists will have to walk in exploring the island.
Motorcycle or bicycle rides can be done in areas with existing roads.
Villamor says that the island’s road network has been improved through the years.
“Cementado na ang mga dalan karon maong maka agi na ang mga motor,” he says.
(We now have cemented roads that motorcycles can use.)
But for those who wanted to explore, walking around the island is still the best way to go.
Villamor says that the safety of tourists is never a concern because island residents are friendly and respectful.
Fisherman Guillermo Baman says that three policemen are also assigned on the island for a period of one month per shift since the pandemic started last year to especially make sure that residents and visitors comply with health protocols.
And if you are looking for something to eat, you could either visit restaurants located on resorts and order from their plated meals or go to the island’s interior where homes and some stores are located.
And of course, do not forget to bring your cameras or cellphones to make sure that you take as much photos as you can of your memorable visit.
So, start planning your trip and never forget to always observe health protocols.