Malalison Island

It takes several months of planning this summer trip. It’s been in my mind since last year when I saw pictures of Malalison from Facebook friends who went there. Last January, my friends and I decided to choose it as our get-to summer destination during the Holy Week break.

Days before the Holy Week break, my hometown has experienced rains due to tropical depression. But luckily, on April 19, the day we are going to Malalison, the weather is sunny.

The island is 15 minutes boat ride from Culasi, Antique. It is an hour’s driver from my hometown to Culasi. There are no resorts in Malalison, so we bring along our packed lunch and water. From afar, the island looks like a brownish mass of land, because of the summer heat. The sea is azure blue because of the sky reflection. We were charge P700 for the banca ride, or P100/person back and forth. Not bad, already.

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Before arriving in the island, you can already see the clear greenish waters and the reef underneath it. The sand is off-white. All visitors must log in the tourism office in the island and pay an entrance fee of P10/head. Yes, that cheap.

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If you wish, they can provide you a tent along the beach for a fee (P150) so that you can put all your stuff there while you explore the island, and swim in the beach.

Malalison Island is a sight to behold. Its hills are reminiscent of Mt Pulag and Chocolate Hills, while the beaches are not crowded. When I was at the top of these hills, the view of the Sulu Sea is so gorgeous! I never realized before that Malalison Island had this beautiful view. I will just let the pictures I took speak for itself.

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It was one beautiful, summer trip I had ever experience. My province, Antique, has so many beautiful spots that are yet to be discovered and explore.

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96 Hours of Summer

DAY 1

I wasn’t able to go home in Antique for two years. Work and prior commitments constrained me from doing so. So when I find out that there will be a two-day break due to 2010 National Election, I decided to bought roundtrip ticket online. I left work on Friday morning, in time for my flight home at 1.00pm. I imagine how will my father react knowing that we haven’t seen each other for two years. Would he still recognize me?

Lounging at the airport terminal is fun. You got the chance to see so many waiting passengers, in different forms and sizes. Some wearing summer clothers; others, in beanies and jacket as if transported quickly from a cold country. Some goodlooking, some ugly. I was pre-occupied with ogling not knowing that our flight is already boarding! Talk about giving my 100% in a thing I love doing.

I arrived Kalibo one hour after. The weather is scorching hot, but the air is clean and pure. It made you realize that you are already in the province—no pollution, less traffic, and breezy. After I claim my baggage at the arrival area, I hop off to a ready van going to Caticlan. All I need is to flag down at Nabas junction and make a short ride home.

It was actually my nephew’s 8month birthday that day. There’s a little party at the house to celebrate his natal day. I arrived on time, while everybody is busy preparing for food. Nice, nice time to go home! I also invited some of my close friends to come over, so we can catch up on things. It was a worthwhile day, just sharing stories, laughs and memories the whole night. Even relatives from my mother side came over for the occasion. My aunts whom I haven’t seen also in ages showed up. Hugs and kisses to share.

DAY 2

One of my objective during this short trip is to run every morning, in preparation for the Nature Valley Fun Run at the end of May 2010. I made it a point to pack running shorts in my bag, and squeeze in a pair of running shoes. The following morning, I set the alarm of my mobile phone to 5.30am so I can have the time to run in the morning. The weather is absolutely fine, the run path is the national highway in our town. Yes, the national highway but the traffic is close to nil at early morning so vehicular accident is not an issue. I love running especially because trees lined up the highway on both sides. It makes it exciting and I end running more than my target of 5km.

I sweat a lot. And my cheeks are getting warmer. It’s an indication that I hit my cardio rate, and that my heart pumps oxygenated blood to the whole of my body. Nice feeling, and lots of endorphins there.

My second day consisted of soaking and tanning. My skin has been pale for a long time, and I need all the sun I can get. So I invited my friends to come to Phaidon, a beach resort within our town.

Everytime I went home, I made it a point to go there with friends. We were there when the sun is about to set, so it won’t be too hot to swim. The first time my feet touch the sea water, I felt like a kid wanting to jump for joy. After a very long time, I got the chance to swim in salt water! I just hope time froze for hours! I wish that that feeling won’t end.

We got home around 7pm.

DAY 3

I run from 5.15am to 6.00am. This time, I run longer. It’s a nice feeling to start your day with a run. It perks you up, way better than a glass of coffee. Then, I took a bath and hear a Sunday Mass.

Then, off to Boracay for a short stay—lunch and shopping and swimming!  The lunch at Yellow Cab is so nice because while you eat a slice of pizza and gulp a cold Coke you also got the view of the azure waters of Boracay. And you put your feet deep into the sand! Really nice, relaxing moment.

Surprisingly, Boracay is not crowded when I got there. Maybe tourists were all there last Holy Week break and summer escapades last April that only a few of them remained this May.

I don’t feel tired of going to Boracay for several times simply because there are a thousand and one ways to do there. So every visit you can find new things to enjoy. New restaurant to eat, and new gimmicks to try. Who knows, you might end up bumping into a celebrity whom you are dying to see in Manila but just don’t have the chance; or friends and acquaintances whom you haven’t seen in ages but you were seatmates on the pumpboat on the way to the island. You know, so many chances.

We have to leave Boracay right away because it’s the eve of national election, and all bars observed liquor ban.

DAY 4

It’s election day. A very historic and momentous election because this is the first electronic, computerized election counting. Like many Filipinos, I joined the long line in my assigned precint. I exercise my right of suffrage, a fundamental component in a democracy.

After this, I have to wrap up my vacation and prepare my things in time for my flight back to Manila at 6.00pm on the same day. I bought some pasalubong for my officemates and staffs.

Before I head for the airport, I sidetrip to Gaisano Mall in Kalibo. Reason? To eat La Paz Batchoy at Ted’s.

It was a short vacation but I enjoyed it very much. You know they say that moments are priceless. It is really true because everytime you are with your loved ones and close friends, regardless of what you are doing, the bonding alone gives you that positive energy. It makes you happy. It makes you jump for joy. It makes you smile. It makes you remember.

Yeah, I will remember this 96 hours of summer!