On the road again

Cebu Travel Blog

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It was inevitable; I knew I had to continue on north. I still wasn't sure though whether I'd go to Maya or Hagnaya, both gateways to Malapascua and Bantayan Island respectively. Breakfast was at the hotel which Tita Lita insisted that she'd pay for.  She'd hoped I'd stay on for lunch, which her nephew was hosting, but I had to make sure I was to make the boat to Malapascua before 5 p.m., the farthest island.  Whichever island I'd go to, I needed to take the same route.  So I went to the North Bus Terminal to find a Rough Riders Bus.  I'd decide on the way if getting to Maya was too late, and just stop for Bantayan. 

At the terminal, the touts were already saying that the bus was full and to take other transpo instead.

  I'd been warned so I didn't believe them.  I sat down on a monobloc chair and waited for Rough Riders, the bus that got as far as Maya pier.  The bus finally arrived, empty, so I got myself a seat in front and right next to the driver.  I thought that if I was going to endure another 4.5 hours sitting on a bus, I might as well have something to look at. 

There I had a pretty much unobstructed view of the road, which certainly had its own hazards.  I jumped out of my skin at least twice while the bus managed to avoid running down two dogs.  At one time, I thought I felt that the driver speeded up slightly!

Just before Bogo, the road went into the hills, and the skies darkened ominously with threat of rain.

  I imagined having a tempestous crossing to the island.  Something I'd pray, I'd avoid.  Just then we passed a village where a Flores da Mayo ceremony was being held.  The little church was full of children dressed in angel's wings.  At the end of a side road, I spied a little girl in a white dress and angel wings, standing very still and holding a cross in her hands.  If ever there was a good omen, that would be it.

The road was busy with two-wheelers.  We were passed so many times by fleets of bicycle and motorbike-riders wearing team colors that I wondered if there was a Tour of Visayas going on. There were also fleets of habal-habals with usually 1 or 2 passengers.  A fiesta was being held at Bogo, and the streets were overflowing with people, that we had to take a detour onto a dirt road at one point.

Towards Maya, where I finally decided would be the end of the road for me that day, the passengers on the bus had dwindled to me and another girl.  When we got to Maya, I was the only one left at the bus, which justified somewhat why people thought Malapascua was remote.

Entering Maya was simply a matter of crossing a little wooden bridge.  We passed the small town, where a mass was still being held at a church. We ended up at the tiny makeshift pier where 2 Ceres buses waited idly for passengers.  There a passenger boat prepared to cast off, and they waited for me as I made my way gingerly through the rubbly and rocky shore to get to the boat. 

We were finally off.  The sky was a sullen gray, but the waters were eerily calm, with hardly a wave disturbing the boat as it made its sluggishly slow way towards the island.

Bogo traffic jam.
  At a distance, Malapascual looked flat as a pancake, except for a slight promontory where Blue Corals resort was located and the Globe tower stood out.  I had the morbid thought that the island could very easily be swallowed by the sea. 

The boat was filled with locals, with most of their baggage of goods and produce.  Only one other tourist with a backpack was there, but upon reaching shore, she disappeared right after and I never knew where she'd gone.  We docked at the slightly windblown Bounty Beach right in front of Cocobana Resort.  Right next to it was Blue Waters, where I'd meant to stay upon reading the guidebook.  But I decided to give Cocobana a try.

They had rooms, but were way out of my price range even with a discount, and I was prepared to leave when they'd nego-ed it down to 60% off.

Flat as a pancake.
   I still had to check the room though.  It was on the 2nd row of cottages that had limited sea view, and looked quite comfy. I finally agreed at the rate.

After getting rid of the bags I made my way down the beach.  Clumps of seagrass were again visible in the water from the shore, because it was the season for it.  I walked all the way to Malapascua Exotic and passed few tourists on the way, as it was the beginning of the low season. There were many locals, mostly kids.  And so many dogs, which I was wary of after a recent visit to the doctor.  At Tagbilaran I had gone to the dermatologist because of a persistent rash, which was supposed have been caused by allergy from insect bites, which may have been caused by animals on the beach.

Blue Corals Resort and the Globe Tower stand out.
  I counted 11 dogs at one stretch, and there were also a few cats. I was looking for internet at Exotic, only to be told that there was one right behind my own resort and at a cheaper price.  Now I had internet, what more could I ask for?

That night the wind and rain blew through the island, and I went out to the deserted beach gazing apprehensively at the dark horizon.  I wondered whether I should stay on.

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Bogo traffic jam.
Bogo traffic jam.
Flat as a pancake.
Flat as a pancake.
Blue Corals Resort and the Globe T…
Blue Corals Resort and the Globe …
photo by: TravellinChic