My first ever solo backpacking trip was in Cebu specifically in Malapascua Island which is located in the Northern part of the province. I completed this trip with a budget of P 6,000 for 3 days, all-in!
I booked my round trip airfare through Cebu Pacific for P 1,185 in a seat-sale last May 2015. I’m grateful to my co-worker who encouraged me to do a solo backpacking and for recommending Cebu.
I chose Malapascua Island not because it’s famous nor it’s an island. It was because of Thresher Cove Resort’s mixed-dorm for only P 289/night. I got the 2 nights for P 596.
After that I researched for itineraries and directions to Malapascua Island that will suit my remaining budget of P 5,000. It took me two weeks to finish everything and all I need to do is to wait for five months.
The day when I finally learned to spread my wings and travel alone. I was so excited and nervous at the same time, since it will only be me, myself and I. My mom still doesn’t know that I went to Cebu alone. Sssshhhhh!
Yours truly at the airport.
Like a boss!
Maayong Buntag Cebu!
I arrived in Cebu at 7:05 AM and took a taxi going to Mactan Shrine since it’s farther than the other tourist attraction which in Cebu City.
Kuya Nestor who gave me a tour in Mactan Shrine.
The spot where Ferdinand Magellan was killed.
After wandering in Mactan Shrine, I took a taxi going to Basilica del Sto. Niño, Magellan’s Cross, Cebu Provincial Capitol Building and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. I was rushing since I need catch the bus to Maya Port before 10AM.
Basilica del Sto. Niño still under-construction.
Cebu Provincial Capitol Building
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
After exploring the churches, I went to the North Bus Terminal by multi-cab. I missed the aircon bus and got no choice but to take the non-aircon bus.
I took the Rough Riders bus.
After the exhausting 6-hour bus ride. I arrived at the Maya port around 3:30PM and took the public boat to Malapascua Island for P140.
They live in Malapascua Island and will spend their sembreak back home.
That’s the island!
I took the habal-habal ride to the resort which is a 10-minute ride from the main beach. I also met this couple who became my travel buddies.
Jen and John, my Malapascua travel buddies.
A little hike to this hill to go to the resort.
Upon arrival at the front desk, we filled out some forms. I asked the couple what their plans are and if I can join them to minimize the expenses.
They agreed and the resort’s staff offered to arrange the boat rent. We got the island hopping tour for P 1,200 and the Kalanggaman Island tour for P 3,500. Alright!
After that, I met my roommates who are all solo backpackers. They were getting their next level certification in scuba diving.
Poppie, Joe, Arno and yours truly.
Dinner with my roommates.
We had our dinner at the main beach in a small eatery. After dinner, I watched them play some drinking game in our room. I was so tired and slept at 9PM.
Sunrise in Malapascua
I woke up at 5AM the next day, took some photos around the resort then swam in the pool while waiting for breakfast.
We left the island at 8AM for our Kalanggaman Island tour which is a 2-hour boat ride.
Kalanggaman Island travel buddies.
Kalanggaman Island from afar.
Definitely a paradise.
We spent the entire day taking pictures, snorkeling and enjoying the beach.
When low tide you’ll see a long sand bar here.
I also learned how to snorkel properly and without a life vest. I know how to swim a little but I don’t trust my lungs. It was a another achievement!
Going back was not an easy ride because the wind was against us and the waves were big. It’s was a real Vikings or Anchor’s away ride. Thank God because we arrived safely even if it was already dark.
We had 2 new roommates and I convinced them to join our island hopping the next day. Hohohoho! My other roommates were packing for their Boracay trip the next day. Their flight to Boracay’s at 6:45PM while mine’s at 6:50PM to Manila. They warned me that I might miss my flight. Let’s see!
We had dinner at the resort and hang out at the lounge area until 11PM.
I woke up around 5:30AM for our island hopping at 6AM till 9AM. The price for the Island hopping went from P 1,200 to P 1,400 for the additional people. We went to Coral Garden, Small Island, Japanese shipwreck and cliff jumping site.
Lighthouse in Malapascua Island
We were stung by some jellyfishes at the Japanese shipwreck but don’t worry it wasn’t fatal.
Cliff jumping site
We didn’t do the cliff jumping because we were afraid that we might hit the corals since it was also low-tide. We spent the remaining time at the Small Island.
Sun-bathing at the Small Island.
Yours truly with Jen, John, Maria and Katia who’s taking a nap near the boat driver.
We went back around 10AM and I was in a hurry. I need to be at the airport before 6:50PM. I showered and packed my things as fast as I can.
My awesome island hopping buddies.
I left the resort at 11:30AM which was way behind my schedule. I waited for the public boat and left the island at 12:15 PM.
Ticket to Maya Port
My ride to Maya Port.
Fortunately, there was already an aircon bus waiting at the port going to Cebu City and we left at 1PM. As I check the flights status online, the flights before mine were all delayed for an hour, however, the joke was on me because my flight was rescheduled earlier. It was scheduled for 6:40PM. Whyyyyy?
Flight’s in blue are all delayed, mine’s earlier.
Fast forward, I dropped off at Mandaue City at 6PM, took a habal-habal and arrived at the airport at 6:20PM.
The odds were in my favor because the staffs allowed me to board since I made a web-check in. The ground attendant and I had a marathon to Gate 5. I even heard my name being called out as the last passenger. My roommates told me they were laughing when they heard it.
When I arrived at the boarding area, the station loaders were greeting and smiling at me. I thanked everyone for waiting. I was glad that no one was mad since our flight was earlier than scheduled.
We took off at 6:32PM. Although I was exhausted I felt too lucky and blessed. I learned a lesson anyway, to never ever gamble with time.
I had a big smile behind the boarding pass.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Cebu trip and Malapascua Adventure. I’ll definitely go back to Cebu next year!