Make sure you are insured if you do any diving. If you have a normal travel insurance, you are most likely covered through that. If not, we recommend getting insured through DAN (Divert Alert Network, link opens in a new window)

Bring Cash. There are no ATMs on Malapascua! For further information about money check out the Practical Information page.

Respect local modesty. Wearing skimpy bikinis off the beach and into the village is considered vulgar and insensitive by most locals, even if they will never say it. Sunbathing topless is of course a big no-no.

Minimise your environmental impact. Garbage collection and disposal is a big problem on Malapascua, and most plastic litter unfortunately end up getting burnt. Please refill your water bottles instead of buying new ones all the time. It’s cheaper for you and infinitely better for the island. You can refill your bottles at Oscar’s, Blue Water, Sea Explorers and other places. When diving, observe sane diving practices - don’t leave anything behind, and don’t take anything with you.


Loose your temper in front of the locals. Even though Philippinos at a superficial glance are more western in their demeanor than other Asians, keeping calm and not loosing face is important. Loosing your temper is unlikely to accomplish anything on Malapascua. If you have a legitimate gripe calmly explain what you see as the problem.

Give money to beggars. Fortunately there are no real beggars on Malapascua, as the locals have a strong sense of family and community and support each other. However, every now and then cheeky beach kids will utter the ubiquitous phrase “give me money!” Needless to say, if tourists start giving them anything, they’ll grow up as beggars. Ignore them.

Buy seashells or corals. Import and export of such trinkets may well be illegal in your country. Additionally the collection of shells and corals is having a serious detrimental effect on the marine environment. The economic future of Malapascua and the surrounding region lies in its marine environment, so selling it piecemeal is tragically short sighted. Politely refuse to buy and encourage vendors to sell bracelets, t-shirts, wooden souvenirs, to braid hair or do anything else.

Copyright 2010 -

no unauthorised reproduction

Travelling in the Philippines is generally very easy. However please take a minute to familiarise yourself with these do’s and don’ts to get the most out of your holiday on Malapascua.

A word on tipping

Tipping is not generally expected but very much appreciated. if you are happy with

the service, consider leaving a tip. Waitresses, dive guides and other people you come into contact with are generally paid a very low salary - many don’t even meet the required minimum salary of the Philippines. Don’t be extravagant - An average daily salary is around 200 pesos, so leaving

twenty pesos for a waitress or tipping your dive guide five hundred pesos

for a week of diving is considered a fair tip.

Do drugs. Recreational drugs have not really reached Malapascua, and the locals are happy to keep it that way. There is absolutely no drug scene. If you want to get wasted Tanduay (local rum) is a much better bet. However, as always when there’s a need, someone will try to make money - if you really persist, someone will eventually offer something. Just remember you have no idea what you’re getting, and the guy selling it certainly won’t tell you it’s poultry medicine or growth hormones for pigs.