It has been a while since I have blogged, but I have been very busy adventuring. Also side note, my “p” button is broken so I will be trying to use words that avoid that letter. Anyways, since Moalboal I have traveled to Cebu and then MalaPascua. So Tuesday the 20th I was still In Moalboal, and during thr day I hung out with Naomi, a really good gal I met at my hostel. I went to breakfast at a cute little café near the beach, then returned to the hostel to organize my belongings to get ready to leave. It was raining heavily which was unfortunate, but we hung out and talked and then I signed to do one last Moalboal scuba dive. At around 1:00 I went out on the boat and it was just me and one other diver (who was very very goodlooking lol) and we looked at the wildlife hanging on a gorgeous coral wall. There were tons of fan coral and really cool looking fish. We also saw several turtles! After the dive I showered and got packed and ready to go. Naomi and I got rides from our hostel into town on motorbikes from some locals. It was so much fun! I loved the thrill of the wind in my hair as we explored some back roads and took the long way to town. I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling like a little girl. It just felt so untamed and wild, and a little bit dangerous, making it exhilarating. (But not that dangerous because they knew what they were doing). We all had a quick bite to eat, and Naomi and I caught a bus to Cebu City. Naomi had to catch a flight to Malaysia and I had to travel North to get a little closer to Malapascua so we traveled together. The public bus transportation was very easy, cheap, and convenient. You stand on the side of the road and just flag the bus down and they stop. We tossed our backpacks on the bottom of the bus. The buses themselves were like coach buses with AC and some even have wifi and movie screens! The cost from Moalboal to Cebu was only 120 pesos (a little more than $2 USD) and it was a three hour trip. Our bus was pretty empty, and the worker was very sweet and kind to us. Chatting with us many times during the long ride. The locals I have come across are all so sweet and friendly. Almost everyone can speak English, so communication isn’t an issue at all. I haven’t felt uncomfortable or scared at all, which is saying a lot of a solo female traveler. Every time I look lost there are always so many helpful locals nearby to help explain things or guide me to my next destination.
The bus ride was filled with great conversation, a few new Filipino snacks, and a nap. We finally arrived to Cebu around 9:30, Naomi and I got a taxi together, and I was dropped off at my hostel on her way to the airport. As soon as I entered the hostel I was handed a beer, upon check in I was offered yet another drink, and after check in some other backpackers invited me to a game of flipcup. I put my belongings in my room and headed back for some drinking games. It was a pretty rowdy group of around 17 travelers. But it was really fun to talk and hangout with fellow adventurers. After midnight my exhaustion hit me and I headed back u to my bunk. This hostel was a little bit nicer than my last one. My room was air conditioned, and the showers had hot water! I fell asleep right away, and when I woke up the next morning I packed up again and checked out of the room by 7:00. I grabbed a taxi on the main road, and headed to the North Bus Terminal. A 20 minute ride which came out to about $2. My driver was an adorable older man, who didn’t know much English but we both sang along to the taylor swift song that came on the radio, and we both got a kick out of that.
Once at the north bus terminal I grabbed a little breakfast (some sort of delicious pastry that set me back 5 pesos or like 10 cents. The aircon Ceres bus I was taking to Maya port was lined u so I hopped right in, paid my 200 pesos/ $4 and got settled for my five hour bus ride up north. For the first few hours I had a really adorable little boy sitting behind me. Who kept giggling and making monster noises at me. We entertained eachother for a good 2 hours and then him and his grandma got off to go to the market. The trip was very beautiful and along the coast, so I got to appreciate some gorgeous views of the ocean, along with lush mountains covered in palm trees. Eventually, thee cute Filipino ladies came and sat next to me. We started talking and they were very interested to know about what life is like in America. We talked for a while and then I napped for a bit. On this bus system there are occasional bus stops where peole get out and buy things from the market or vendors come inside the bus selling their goods. It is really quite interesting to watch. From newspapers to fresh roasted peanuts, all kinds of things are sold. The ladies next to me bought something new at each stop and had me try new filipino foods. The first stop I tried some fruits. I wish I remembered the names, but I am not gonna lie it wasn’t something I would eat again. They were small grape shaed fruits on a stem, but tasted more like lychee but with more pits inside. I was so greatful for these women to share their culture with me, so I didn’t care what they handed me I tried everything. The next stop I was handed what I think they called pork rinds. Now I am not a huge fan of meat, but Ill try just about anything once. It wasn’t so bad, so I had a few (they gave me a whole freakin bag full). But it definitely upset my stomach and made me a little ill. Oh well I think its worth the experience of trying new things. The last sto was my favorite, they got peanuts and some sort of pastry/doughtnut type food. So yummy!
I arrived at Maya port about 5 hours later, around 1:00 pm, and the bus driver dropped me and a few other backpackers off where the boats were loading up. I was hay to be right behind a Filipino speaking women, because I was able to pay the price she paid, and thi port was known to charge more for visitors and raising the price. I ended up paying 100 pesos, or $2, not bad. It was a half hour ride to Malapascua Island, and so beautiful. When I arrived on the island I was very disoriented and had no idea where I was going. I really didn’t want to take a motorbike to my hostel, as I was determined to find it on my own and get a lay of the land. The island takes a little while to get used to. There are no real roads, but rather several paths going around houses and shops. The beach the boat dropped us off at was so beautiful with a nice white sand beach, and severals bars/restaurants and hotels. I used my maps a to try to figure out where my hostel was. Me and my huge backpack trekked around for a bit, I must have asked 50 locals for directions. Some had no idea where it was, and others were kind and guided me. The island is very undeveloped, as a horrible typhoon came through a few years back, comletly destroying the homes, hotels, and even trees. It effected tourism and caused hardship to the island. It is not seeing a lot of ecotourism, due to their thresher sharks. It is the only dive site in the world dedicated to seeing thresher sharks, which is very cool. Due to the income caused by tourism, all of the fishermen have transitioned into boat guides or scuba instructors. They are working hard to build back the reefs and increase biodiversity. They implemented a few Marine protected areas, which are designated snorkel sights.
Anyways, I eventually found my hostel, situated in the village. I paid my 900 pesos, less than $20 for three nights, and unpacked and changed into my bikini. I grabbed my snorkel and headed back to the beach, this time the walk only taking 10 minutes. Once at the beach, I walked around different dive shops (theres more than 20 on this island) to try to find the best price for a dive. After a few stops I was feeling those pork rinds and had to lay down for a bit. I found the shade of a palm tree, and relaxed until my stomach settled. After a few minutes I decided to go into the ocean, because theres not much that a dip in the sea cant fix. I put on my snorkel, and quickly collected a bag full of shells. My collections getting a little insane, but I adore sending my quality time in/near the ocean to find theme amazingly beautiful treasures. Before I knew it three hours passed by, and it was time for me to shower and go to dinner. I appreciated my refreshing shower (aka not heated), which cooled me down quite a bit. I talked to a few locals about their favorite low-cost lace to eat, and they guided me to a sot called Ging GIngs, where I ended up eating a lot of meals. I paid 5 pesos/ 10 cents to log onto their wifi (which was quite good). I got some sort of pasta and shrimp dish for around $2, and hungout and enjoyed the island atmosphere. Its good to be alive.