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An island known by two names: Malapascua to tourists, Logon to locals

Malapascua Island. One of the white sand beaches on the northern side of Malapascua Island.

One of the white sand beaches on the northern side of Malapascua Island. | Doris C. Bongcac

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – Malapascua Island is a popular diving destination in Cebu that is now famous among local and foreign tourists.

And while tourists refer to the island as Malapascua, locals continue to call their home, Logon.

Don’t be confused. The two names refer to the same island-barangay.

Logon is located within the political jurisdiction of Daanbantaan town in Cebu’s northern tip and is among the 20 barangays belonging to this first class municipality.

It also forms part of the seven islands that are within Daanbantayan town’s jurisdiction.  The six others are Isla de Gato, Chocolate Island (Padji),  Carnaza, Manok Manok, Lapus Lapus and Dakitdakit.

Malapascua Island dive spots

A map of the island’s different dive spots.

This island-barangay is especially popular for its dive spots that offer close encounter with the thresher sharks, among others, in their natural habitat.

According to Barangay Captain Lemuel Daño, Logon’s name was derived from the Cebuano word “ilogon.”

It was coined from the native’s fear of losing their lands to cunning individuals.

Malapascua to tourists, Logon to locals.

Residents prepare their “kitang” (fishing line with many hooks). | Doris C. Bongcac

Even before the Spaniards came, their place was already referred to as Logon by its occupants.

“Sa unang panahon ang mga yuta diri gi baliwala ra.  Ang uban pailisan lang og cuaco.  Mao nga naay kahadlok nga basin ilogon ang ilang yuta. Mao nang Logon,” Daño said.

(In the past our land here was taken for granted. Others will trade it with just a pipe. That is why there is a fear here that someone might forcefully take our land. That is why it is Logon.)

Logon, which has a land area of 174. 28 hectares, has population of 6,257 based on the 2022 census.  It also currently has 1,670 households that are occupied by 1,750 families.

The white sand beach on the southern side of the island. | Doris C. Bongcac

On the other hand, the name Malapascua was given by the Spaniards.

Daño said that according to stories that were passed on from their forefathers, a Spanish ship got stuck on their waters after it was hit by a typhoon.

Their misfortune that happened on Christmas Day led the Spaniards to refer to the island as “Mala Pascua” which means “bad Christmas.”

“From then on, the Spaniards and the non-locals would refer to the island as Malapascua, while the local residents insist their place to be called as Logon,” a written document on the brief history of the barangay states.

Daño said that the name Malapascua had been spread by word of mouth, especially among the foreign tourists, who took interest in their place because of its beautiful dive sites.


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TAGS: beaches, Daanbantayan, destinations, Malapascua Island, ship, Spanish, tourists
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