Summer was just around the corner and I, as an islander born here in Cebu, where the ocean meets the sky, was given the opportunity to again discover something good in our humanity. For those who know me, I am an enthusiast of the outdoors, both the verdant mountains and the azul oceans. I am fond of facing the ocean to relieve stress and migraine ever since I was a kid.
My story starts one day as I was invited to join an island hopping trip to Malapascua, a divers’ haven and underwater photographer’s playground. I am no stranger to this, in fact, with a few diving experience back in Kontiki Marine in Maribago, I have been in awe (though still terrified and dead scared on swimming and on things I do not understand underwater), I still needed that #VitaminSea to my already ailing self-esteem and that certain yearning for some salt.
I have been always an advocate of the seas, where sometimes, it is misconstrued as something for a show and just for the heck of joining the bandwagon. I really cannot please everyone, and I really do not intend of pleasing everyone. I do what I believe is right and what should be consciously done. During my recent Malapascua trip with the management and friends of Delsands Resorts Inc., I observed the following during my trip:
- The resort owners are very much aware of the ocean debris we have and are doing conscious efforts to remind guests to be mindful of their cigarette butts and appointed one area where you can smoke.
- Most of the dive resorts in Malapascua organize a Debris FREE Thursday that encourages the guests to do one hour clean up, and as a gift, earns you a bottle of BEER! That’s a good way to start educating the guests on the effects of plastic pollution. In my entire life as a advocate of cleaner seas, very few establishment practice/offer these so it is heart warming to see the effort being placed by everyone.
- Sharks are friends, not food, and definitely, not something to be scared. This is what I realized when I was educated on the important role being played by Sharks on our ecosystem. These top predators of the ocean are just as important as you and me. In Malapascua, they are urging the guests especially divers to do a record of their shark sightings. It will definitely help us understand our sharks and on ways how to conserve and preserve them. It is our duty to act as humans.
- The essence of being in a team is collaboration, TEAMWORK and most of all, having FUN! I regained my lost faith to humanity when I started working with these guys, who, from the very start, accepted me as one of their own kind. We are a collective of brilliant and skilled individuals, each having our kind of flair and we carry on our own weather. We shine out individually, yet we are stellar and solid when we work as one.
At the end of the day, we get to reward ourselves with the affirmation that whatever happens, we have each other’s back and we might be specks in this wide universe, but truthfulness and being honest to our fellowmen is something you cannot just fake overnight.
And we deserve this, one heaping plate of seafood and rice. Let’s dig in!
Sample Itinerary and Budgetary:
Maya New Port to Malapascua:
8AM – ETA at Maya New Port from Golden Sands Destination Resorts (5 minutes away) – Budget: 20 pesos per head motorcycle ride
8:30 AM – ETD to Malapascua
** PHP 50.00 Terminal Fee per head
**PHP 4500 for the boat good for 40 pax
09AM – ETA at Malapascua Island
** PHP 10 or 20.00 boatee ride per head to the shore (lowtide)
Boodle Fight Lunch:
Fresh Seafood and Rice – around PHP 2,500.00 all in
Drinks and ice – PHP 300.00