If you want to see a glorious sunrise you go to Mt. Pulag or any high altitude summit, but if sunset is what you want then try the sunset view of Malalison island. Malalison (pronounced as Mararison by the locals), is an island 15-minute boat ride away from the Culasi proper. The island boasts its clear waters with a long stretch of white sands. Also, one must not miss trying their fresh seafood and, of course, their signature sunset.
Arrived in Culasi by 7PM, we headed to Anna Sophie Hostel where we got our fan room for a cheap deal. They also have accommodations in Malalison island and they also arrange trips going to the island and back. We got their services to prevent hassle and so that we can just relax the entire night. There are several cheap eateries nearby the streets.
The next day, we woke up and had our breakfast before we departed and headed to the island. On the island, there are households that offer home stay for around 250-500php per person. The houses and accommodations on the islands are mostly of native huts. Though there are indications that some part of the islands will be transformed into resorts, which I wishfully pray that the government and the locals will reject. Have the island stay as it is. Let its natural beauty stay and not be towered by stone walls and buildings of the resorts.
The island does have electricity running from 6PM to 10PM only. The electricity came from generators fed with gas. Power banks are recommended. Cellular data is weak on the island except on the far end of the sand stretch where I got an LTE connection on my Globe cellular. Sleeping on the huts needs no air-conditioning due to natural ventilation. Also, they don’t have fresh potable water. You have to bring fresh water for drinking from Culasi, but you can buy bottled water in small stores on the island. They use deep well waters for showers and rinsing.
By late afternoon, we started our trek towards the top of the mountain where we witnessed the magnificent sunset of Malalison. Local government office does not permit trekking without a guide. Each guide has a rate of 200php and it is up to you if you pay beyond the minimum rate out of courtesy. Lucky enough, our guide knows Cebuano dialect. From him I learned some Karay-a words and their Cebuano meaning. The trek took about an hour for we cannot miss taking photos of the scenic views we passed on the trail. The mountains are mostly covered with grass, thus nothing will block your view while watching as the sun sets. We descended late and I lost my scarf on our way back.
We departed the island early morning of the following day and took our breakfast in Culasi proper and prepared ourselves for our next destination.
- Night stay in Anna Sophie Hostel (600php fan room good for 4)
- Arranged Anna Sophie accommodation on the island for 1Kphp good for 4
- 10:00 ETD to Malalison island via arranged boat (750php back and forth)
- 10:15 ETA in Malalison island (30php entrance fee)
- Enjoyed the entire day on the island
- Mingled with the locals
- Learned some karay-a dialect words
- Witnessed the malalison children’s choir perform for the visitors
- Tasted their freshly caught fishes (namit!)
- Do not miss the sunset at the top of the mountain
- Star gazing by night at the sand bar while enjoying friends company