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Trip report to Malapascua- Philippines

I usually don’t post anything, but I had a fantastic holiday in the Philippines and thought it would not do it justice if I didn’t write a trip report. I travelled alone, to a remote area, and frankly it’s not that hard. I highly recommend anyone thinking about cutting off from the blackberry, work and daily commitments to travel to Malapascua.

First of all I would like to thank YD for putting me in contact with the following members: Matt (lumpi) for arranging everything before my departure from Glasgow and Jim (Mr.GrumpyGills) for all the information that he gave me.

Malapascua is a small island in the North of Cebu Island. You can fly directly into Cebu City from abroad or fly into Manila (the capital) transfer to the domestic airport then fly Manila-Cebu City.

I arrived at Cebu City airport where a private car and driver was waiting for me. I believe Matt can arrange this- I used my own resources. The drive is about 4 hours, or about 5 hours if you take the bus. The bus is cheaper but longer- and only available during certain times. Destination is Maya terminal, where you take a boat to make it to Malapascua Island.

I had booked a room with Matt (lumpi) from Evolution scuba dive philippines | dive resort philippines | thresher sharks They can cater for all levels of accommodation- I went for the cheap option- which was what I was looking for: a clean bed, shower and toilet. Others had hot water and air cond- I wanted to spend my cash on the diving.

Evolution is the best dive centre on the island- that I’ve seen. They can do recreational diving as well as technical stuff if needed. Matt is highly knowledgeable and is very accommodating with the type of diving you want to do. He can dive using his rebreather or twin set/stage or simple tanks. Evolution sits overlooking the white sand and sea, has a very relaxed atmosphere and is always staffed should you require anything. Russell Green is an instructor there, always available as he answered all my questions- including the one about the pygmy whale sharks. He was an instructor in the red sea before moving to Malapascua with his wife. Special thanks to Russell for making me feel very welcome. There are also 2 dive guides working out of evolution- very relaxed, yet highly competent and always finding the best wildlife to show.

I did 16 dives, all guided and all excellent. You simply write your name on a white board and show up at the allocated time. There are two types of diving that can be done- Macro (little stuff) and the Thresher sharks dives in Monad Shoal.
I did all the Thresher sharks dives (5) and was really impressed with the site, sharks/rays and dive guides. I shot a great video of a shark jumping out of the water from underneath. I believe it is the only one in existence- haven’t seen any other ones on you tube. Only thing it’s an old camera and not HD- wondering if anyone knows how to increase the quality of the video? As soon as I’ll have figured it out, I’ll post a link here.

The rest of the dives where for the small stuff- saw pygmy seahorses, frog fish, mandarin fish mating, cuttlefish, crabs, shrimps and so on. These can be done on night or day dives- there is so much life it’s hard to know where to look.
You can also go to Gato Island, where you will see a combination of both the bigger stuff and the smaller things. I saw whitetip sharks and the usual smaller suspects.

Overall a great holiday- great diving, great people.
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