AdVIENtures in Cebu + Malapascua and Kalanggaman Island

December 22, 2015

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.

ticket to cebu

Boarding pass

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

 Like a boss!
cebu from plane
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 of mactan shrine

Kuya Nestor who gave me a tour in Mactan Shrine.

mactan shrine

Mactan Shrine

where mactan was killed

The spot where Ferdinand Magellan was killed.

lapu-lapu monument

Lapu-Lapu Monument

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

Basilica del Sto. Niño still under-construction.

Cebu City Hall

Cebu Provincial Capitol Building


Magallen Cross

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

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.

non-aircon bus ride

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.

boat ride o malapascua island

They live in Malapascua Island and will spend their sembreak back home.

can you see the island

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.

habla-habal to the resort

Jen and John, my Malapascua travel buddies.

habal-habal ride

Yours truly
the hill to thresher cove
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

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.


morning in malapascua

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.  


Morning Dip

Thresher Cove Resort 00011

We left the island at 8AM for our Kalanggaman Island tour which is a 2-hour boat ride.

island hopping buddies

 Kalanggaman Island travel buddies.

amazing view

Kalanggaman Island from afar.

kalanggaman 00005

Definitely a paradise.

We spent the entire day taking pictures, snorkeling and enjoying the beach.

side bar at kalanggaman

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!

happy kid in kalanggaman island

Happy kid

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

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

Sun-bathing at the Small Island.

Island hopping in Malapascua

Yours truly with Jen, John, Maria and Katia who’s taking a nap near the boat driver.

Malapascua Island

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.

Katia, Maria, John and Jen

My awesome island hopping buddies.

Good thing, I ate my packed breakfast at the boat. After I settled my bills, I took photos inside the deluxe room and at the front desk with the resort’s staff.

Thresher Cove Resort 00018

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

Ticket to Maya Port

going back 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.

yours truly

I had a big smile behind the boarding pass.

touchdown manila

Touchdown Manila!

I hope you enjoyed reading my Cebu trip and Malapascua Adventure. I’ll definitely go back to Cebu next year!

Tips and Itinerary to Cebu and Malapascua Island.
Here’s how to get to Malapascua Island.
How does Thresher Cove Resort look like.
Check out my Kalanggaman Island trip.