Malapascua Island 2014
I revisited Malapascua in April of this year, around 5 months after typhoon Yolanda had hit. Like with Bantayan Island which I visited a week later, the place was hit hard by the typhoon. Malapascua is a tiny island just off the tip of northern Cebu in the central part of the Philippines know as the Visayas. I have written and posted videos about the island in previous posts. Check out my other blog here, I’m sure it will give you a better understanding of how this island looked before Yolanda.
Video update of Malapascua Island and how the island is recovering from Yolanda. Includes update on the resorts in Malapascua in 2014.
I’ve been to the island many times so I know pretty much know how it looked like before. As the boat approached Malapascua’s most popular beach; Bounty Beach it was an amazing transformation. My first impression was OMG! The beach looked so barren something like in a war zone. Most of the beautiful palm trees that lined Bounty Beach had either been completely destroyed (gone), broken or snapped in half. Certainly an eye opener! You can see some greenery growing back in the trees that are still there. But to get back to its former beauty, Bounty Beach is just going to take years.
A walk around the island you can just see how much this place was devastated by the typhoon, even 5 months after the storm the locals are still reeling from it. Charity groups are still in the area helping rebuild the community. One of the days I was there, they were handing out water containers. A couple of the locals wished they were handing out more stuff like rice. One family of people came out to greet me when I passed thinking I was from the Red Cross bringing some relief goods!
The Resorts in Malapascua Update
Overall most of the resorts in Malapascua Island are running back to normal. The few exceptions (while I was there in April) was Dano Beach Resort which still had around half its cottages out of action. Much repair work was still ongoing while I was there – so expect as you read this more of them to be open again. K5 Cottages only had a couple of cottages open. Ging Ging’s rooms where completely destroyed although these were not that popular as they were pretty basic. Ging Gings Restaurant was open and running as normal except under a make shift tarpaulin (see picture below). Bantigue Cove Resort on the northern part of the island had sustained major damage, with its 4 cottages totally guttered; only parts of their bathrooms remained. The duplex rooms were also badly damaged. The resort at present was closed and I feel won’t open for a long time yet. Cocobana just had its rooftop restaurant/bar damaged, but rooms and cottages were all running as normal.
The rest of the resorts were pretty much status quo, in fact a few resorts had either extended or added rooms from my last visit in 2012. Malapascua Legend Resort had a new building with more budget friendly rooms. Exotic Island Dive and Beach Resort had some new rooms with beach views (replacing the older fan cottages). Cocobana Resort had a new swimming pool which by sheer bad luck opened the day before the typhoon hit! The pool is back to normal now. Evolution Resort Malapascua had a new building at the back with some nice modern rooms, a lot nicer than their beach front cottages. Resorts like Hippocampus, Malapascua Garden and Ocean Video Resort were running as normal. First night I stayed at Mangrove Oriental Resort, which had a few of its rooms damaged but by far most were running as normal. The beach front area of the resort looked a bit bare (see photo above). The following night I stayed at Little Mermaid Dive Resort which was pretty much the same when I stayed a few years ago although back then it was called Sunsplashed Resort. On my third night i stayed at Cocobana and my last night at Tepanee Beach Resort, which looked as gorgeous as ever. It has a wonderful private beach area. I also had time to check out the new resort of Thresher Cove Dive Centre which looks pretty nice and aimed for a more upmarket resort, it also has a nice swimming pool. More rooms were being built while I was there so it should only get nicer.
Island Hopping from Malapascua
While I’m not a diver, there are plenty of other things to do around Malapascua and that includes island hopping to the nearby islands of Kalanggman, La Manok (La Manoc)and the beautiful Carnassa Island. Kalanggman was a little barer (vegetation) than my previous visit and the white sandbank had changed a little. Overall the island still looked gorgeous. La Manok Island had changed slightly as well with the sand changing in the centre of its two islands. The fishermen cottages had been pretty much destroyed as they were just basic huts. All the islands still looked amazingly beautiful and well worth the trips to see as you can tell by the photos below.
The Future of Malapascua Island
The island relies on tourism for its main source of income. While I was there in April, tourist numbers were noticeably down. The best way to help is just to go to Malapascua for a holiday, tourist dollars will help the island get back on its feet. The beaches are still amazingly beautiful and it is surrounded by its tropical aqua clear waters that you see in postcards. While it will take time for the vegetation to grow back to its former days, there is no denying what a wonderful tropical island it really is. It still has some fantastic diving, including its famous thresher sharks. Time heals all wounds and that is happening here, you can see the new green shoots forming back in the trees. Malapascua is still a tropical paradise no matter what storm hits it. I truly think it’s still a fantastic place to check out.