Located on the northern tip of Cebu island, Daanbantayan is one of the first-class municipalities in the province of Cebu, Philippines.
The name Daanbantayan was derived from two words: the word “Daan” (which means “old” in the Cebuano language, and the word “Bantayan” which refers to a place that served as a “look-out-station” for Moro raiders before the Spaniards obtained control of the Philippines.
Daanbantayan is now known for its pristine, white powder-like sandy beaches – one of which is Malapascua Island. As a tourist destination, Daanbantayan stages the Haladaya Festival every year as an added attraction to local vacationists, holidaymakers, Filipino expatriates, and foreign tourists from as far as North America, South America, and Europe.
Malapascua island, locally known as Logon is an island situated across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of Cebu. This tiny island was known first for its wide white sand beach. It has also become known as a diving destination because of its beautiful coral gardens and excellent local dive spots.
Contrary to the Spanish term, Mal A Pascua which means “A bad Easter”, the island has been a favorite getaway for locals and tourists during Easter and in most holidays. March to May is the driest time of the year, a perfect time to get the most out of the island’s highlights.
The island’s extraordinary shape and its long white Bounty beach are popular with tourists who love swimming and snorkeling. The other side of the island has a more rocky coastline and is an elegant alternative to the ever-popular white beach.
This beautiful, sleepy island, filled with green palm trees, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear blue waters will define your Pacific Island Dream.
A premier dive destination in the Philippines and also a familiar site among the international dive society. Divers all over the world travel to Malapascua to meet the huge but friendly Thresher shark. These sharks grow up to 6 meters long and live in very deep waters but show up daily at Monad Shoal to be cleaned by cleaner fish.
With its vast and rich marine resources, it hosts a long string of dive sites offering unique marine life and beauty. We have listed more than 20 pre-identified dive sites in Malapascua and its surrounding islands. See for yourself here.
Livelihood and Recreation
Fishing is the main livelihood in Malapascua, for which a few undeveloped places are used as boat docking stations by local fishermen. With the booming tourism brought about by resorts and diving facilities on the island, locals enjoy handcrafting souvenir gifts, some are paid as boat and dive guides, while others are employed by resort owners as staff and crews.
Basketball and billiards are the sports that everyone on the island enjoys the most. At night time, you can catch them singing songs while playing the guitar along the shore. Locals also enjoy betting on a cockfight, mostly on Sundays.
Every 11th and 12th of May of each year, the town celebrates the annual festival for Nuestra Señora Virgen de Los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken). A catholic apparition attributed to the Virgin Mary who has been the patron saint of the locals since 1907. A ten-day novena is offered and a fluvial parade around Malapascua island on the feast day is observed. Some fun nightly activities are also organized to promote camaraderie among the people.
Read more about the story of Nuestra Señora Virgen de Los Desamparados as told by Aquirina Monteclar Duarte, a local of Malapascua Island here…
The locals ( Logonian or Malapascuahanon) are very friendly and hospitable, they may even invite you to come to their home for dinner or join the crowd playing the guitar while singing songs on a lovely night. Get to know them and they’ll surely help out along the way.