After three years and despite my misgivings due to some horrible experience from some people, I decided to go back to Malapascua Island in the northernmost tip of the island of Cebu.
Note that this horrible experience has nothing to do with the people of the island or the island itself, but still, I was hesitant to go back.
And I found Maya and the island itself relatively unchanged, still peaceful, still beautiful, and ready to give me some beautiful memories to replace the bad ones I had before.
Getting to Maya pier/wharf in Daanbantayan, Cebu:
1. At the Cebu International Airport, walk past the Arrival area, cross the street, and walk up the ramp to the Departure area where there are taxis that will take you in and charge you by the meter, instead of a fixed rate of Php450 (if I remember correctly). Ask to be taken to the Cebu Northern Bus Terminal. My own taxi meter was about Php150.
2. At the Northern Bus Terminal, you can get off outside of the gate and walk inside. If not, you will pay a Php10 vehicle entrance fee for the taxi.
3. There are three options. One: Take the yellow Ceres bus. Two: Take the red Rough Riders bus. Three: Take a van. Fare is the same for all. Php180. I took the van because the Ceres bus had just left when I arrived and the Rough Riders bus was still empty. Buses to Maya supposedly operate 24 hours, leaving every 20 minutes.
4. Travel time from the bus terminal to Maya pier takes 3-4 hours. The van I took left the terminal at 7:30am, dropped off some passengers with cargo at the Hagnaya port bound for Bantayan Island, before proceeding to Maya, arriving there at 11am.
Except for the boat transfer being more organized and more expensive at Php80, than its previous Php40/pax in 2010, the Maya wharf has not changed much.
This tree, of course, has grown bigger. The photo above was taken in 2013 while photo below was taken in 2010.
I took a few photos of the sights while waiting to board the boat transfer from Maya to Malapascua Island.
Going to Malapascua Island from Maya pier:
1. Get a ticket at the booth to get on a public boat bound for Malapascua for Php80 each. If it is low tide, the small boats that will ferry you charge Php10 for each person, and Php10 for each bag that weighs as heavy as a person. (Haha!) The boats are scheduled to leave every 30 minutes or less, if the boat is full.
2. If you want a private boat, price supposedly depends on time of day and range from Php1,000-1,500.
3. The boat trip from Maya to Malapascua takes about 30 minutes.