Four hour happy hour, Nice People and a bus named Sweetheart – Malapascua Island, Philipinnes
Malapascau Island. Where sunsets are spectacular, beaches sparkle and the water is clear and clean.
Where bronze limbed local children play joyfully in the sea, girls called salvation and charity sell shell jewellery on the beach after school and thresher sharks swim in the deeps surrounding this exotic atoll.
Where happy hour runs from 3.00 – 7.00pm, the menu at the Craic House never fails to tantalize the taste buds (yes I am a craic addict!) and a double storey stand alone bungalow complete with wi-fi, sat TV, air con, lockable safe, patio and garden (inc breakfast) at Mike and Dionese cost us 1,800 – 2000 pesos a night for two.
Where the clear night skies glitter with a multitude of stars, forked and sheet lightning flashes across the water over the mainland and the only pair of eyes observing were mine.
Where dawn wakes the islands population at 5.00am with a vibrant palette of colours accompanied by the resident cockerels.
Where there are no cars, ATMs, nightclubs, sand flies, backpackers en mass, seven elevens or karaoke bars, or fast food restaurants.
To access this tropical gem one has to disembark at Cebu airport, travel by bus or taxi for a number of hours along a half repaired road then catch a ferry from Maya for the 1/2 – 3/4 hour sea trip to the island.
Make sure that you visit an ATM before setting out as the nearest town with this type of facility is a 6 hour round trip from the island.
We were caught unawares as the ATM’s at the airport would only dispense 9.000 in one go (unlike the 22,000 that our travel book informed us that we could take out) and because of the mad dash to catch the last ferry boat at 4.00pm we were unable to rectify the situation.
However, the subsequent trip to the mainland to acquire more muller was well worth the effort as our bus, called sweetheart, took us through lush countryside and colourful villages.
It can only be a matter of time before this relatively unspoilt backwater becomes a main tourist destination. Visit before it happens!