It’s been a long hard road for us on Malapascua. Living on a heap of sand in the middle of the Pacific (as my mother puts it) is all well and good, but it tends to lack those creature comforts.
Looks beautiful, right? And it is. But this tiny island, only 2 km long, is so isolated that the things I previously took for granted, like electric cables, phone lines or a sanitized water supply, were seriously lacking when I first arrived 7 years ago.
When you turn on a light switch, you expect a light to come on, right?
Not necessarily on Malapascua.
When you turn on the shower you expect clean, hot water, right?
Not in my house.
And most importantly it seems for many of our visitors, when you go online, you expect to be able to surf the internet at lightning fast speeds and not have to wait 30 minutes for facebook to load.
Ha ha, not here
As I told one of my old schoolfriends with whom I recently reconnected (thank you facebook), “I live in the Philippines on a tiny wee island, where cold water is de rigueur and electric is optional.” And don’t even talk to me about how many hours it took to send that facebook message on my snail connection.
But NOT ANY MORE!!!!
In the same month, we were blessed with not one, not two, but all three of these modern necessities!!!
Up until now “Island Electric” ran from 6pm-11pm, was notoriously unreliable, of variable voltage and incredibly expensive – 8 times the price of mainland power. Most business ran their own generators which is also expensive, wasteful, hard to maintain and terrible for the environment.
But finally, after many years in the making, we have 24 hour power. This is great for the businesses but more importantly it is has changed the life on the locals who are being plugged in gratis in an effort by the government to electrify the outback.
Although most of the resorts now have hot water, it had, up until now, evaded me at home. But after finally finding a decent plumber I can now have steaming hot showers any time of the day or night.
It’s sad to say, but I am actually more excited by the advent of wifi that I am of electric. It means I can now spend all day writing these blogs!
With no landlines or any other traditional means of getting a strong internet signal, and after 5 months of messing around with the wi-fi company, we finally have super fast wi-fi in the dive shop!!! It is the fastest internet connection on the island and is currently free of charge for all our customers.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Added to this, we have just had a stonking satellite system installed, specifically to show the World Cup. So if you fancy spending June diving during the day and watching the football in the evenings, then Malapascua is your place!
Life is now perfect in paradise!