The Philippines archipelago comprises 7,107 islands. Most are small and uninhabited. If good things come in small packages, Malapacao Island is indeed a gem, perhaps one of the remaining "hidden" treasure.
To get here, you will need to take a one-hour flight from Manila into the town of El Nido, Palawan in a prop plane like from SeaAir.
A banca awaits you to be ferried for 45 minutes to the island. This boat trip alone is a worthy treat as you view the grand vista of the many islands along the way.
One is asked only to bring essential luggage, so pack lightly.
There is no electricity and telephones. No, cell phones don't work here.
Besides a few pieces of clothing, all you need is an adventurous body, a pure spirit and an open mind.
One of the smaller islands right off the northwest portion of Palawan, Malapacao is part of the El Nido marine sanctuary - a World Heritage Foundation site. It's near pristine beauty is magical.
Malapacao Island Retreat (MIRA) is an eco-health and spiritual spa-resort. An evolving Garden of Eden project by LeeAnn, the owner and proprietor, this rare gem continue to transform into the owner's vision of her paradise. It is a small but very enchanting and romantic private hideout complete with spectacular open skies, sea and landscapes; a lover's paradise. It is quite downscaled, un-commercialized, private, vegetarian and nature focused. Evening lights on your hut is a mere light buld powered by solar cells and from the stars above.
What to do in Malapacao:
swim and snorkel
naked if you prefer = ; )
work on your tan
observe a variety of colorful fishes and vibrant coral reef life
explore nearby island caves
climb rocky peaks
admire the flora and fauna
listen to the surround sounds of nature
paddle around using wooden canoes or a kayak
observe thousands of bats exit a cave around sunset
observe raindrops around as they hit the water surface
shower in the rain
eat healthy vegetarian dishes
or the day's catch from the sea
help prepare the food at the kitchen
dine on the beach
trek to the local village at the other side of the island
learn Chi Gong or Tai Chi
read a book
write your novel
paint the sceneries
contemplate your thoughts
or don't think at all
"veg" in a hammock
get a massage underneath the stars
get a whole body mud bake
and rinse in the pristine ocean
meet and play with new friends
or just be with the one you love
or... just veg out by yourself
assimilate with nature
be one with earth and the universe
beccme a child again
find your soul
recharge your spirit
regain your senses
rejuvenate your self
Malapacao... El Nido... Palawan: definitely an enchanting and special place.
Malapacao Island Retreat is a very special place and should remain that way.
Do not come here unless you can respect the place and comply with the rules.
Come if you want to be in paradise.
PLEASE tell about this place only to the best of friends.
Much thanks to...
Lee Ann Cruz for sharing her paradise for six days.
And to her excellent staff who tended to us, in particular:
Lito (banca skipper),
Chat (MIRA travel contact in Puerto Princesa)
Please visit MIRA's official website at:
"The rat race guarantees a return to this place."
Copyright ©2005 Tommy Bombon. All rights reserved.
Revised: 14 Oct 2009 06:58:37 -0000.
(all photos on this page were taken using a Sony Digital Hi8 camera. Video taken either by Catherine or me)