That elusive photo chasing a sardine run, that priced selfie with a marine testudine, and that noteworthy beach camp gracing the sunset where just few of the expectations listed on every Moalboal goer.
Moalboal, a once sleepy town seating 90 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, offers a laid-back vibe. Stunning white strips adorn its edges where clear and calm ripples regularly wash off the shore.
Beneath are unassuming underwater wonders. Sea turtles frequently seen feeding on seaweeds, not minding the snorkelers hovering over as they search for nutrition.
A bit further is a conglomeration of coral blooms, resembling an underwater meadow. Surrounding these stationary creatures are fishes of different colors, vividness, and stripes. And just sneaking around are invertebrates of different shapes and sizes.
For daredevil swimmers who are unafraid of the blue, a plethora of marine swimmers might greet you. A sardine run regularly graces near the edge of the abyss.
How to Get There
Via Cebu City
From any point of the Philippines, take a flight to Cebu [CEB] and then a cab or any means of public transport to Cebu South Terminal.
MyBus operates from Mactan Cebu International Airport to SM City Cebu every hour from 07:00AM to 09:00PM and the fare is ₱20. From SM City Cebu, take a jeepney to Labangon [12J] and get off at Caltex Gas Station fronting Cebu South Terminal (fare is ₱7.00).
From Cebu South Terminal, hop on a Ceres Bus to Bato via Barili and get off at Moalboal bus stop. Note that there are two bus routes to Bato, one is via Oslob which takes the East Arterial Road and one is via Barili which passes along the West Arterial Road or Moalboal. Make sure you take the via Barili route. Travel time is 2-3 hours depending on traffic conditions.
From Moalboal bus stop, trikes and motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) will bring you to either Panagsama (Basdiot) or Basdaku Whitebeach for only ₱150 per way. Trikes can carry up to 5 passengers while the habal-habal can carry two.
Via Dumaguete (Sibulan-Liloan)
From Manila or Cebu, you may take a flight to Dumaguete [DGT]. Take a Sibulan-bound multicab from the highway just outside the airport. Walk towards Sibulan Ferry Terminal and board a fast craft to Liloan (fare ₱62).
From Liloan, hop on a trike or habal-habal to Bato Terminal (fare ₱25). From Bato Terminal, board a Ceres Bus to Cebu via Barili and get off at Moalboal bus stop.
Via Dumaguete (Tampi-Bato)
From Manila or Cebu, you may take a flight to Dumaguete [DGT]. Take a any Northbound-bus from the highway just outside the airport and get off at Tampi Port. You can hop on any bus to Mabinay, Tanjay, Bais, Manjuyod, or Canlaon.
Take a Ro-Ro boat or Ferry to Bato. Walk towards to Bato Terminal from Bato Port and board a bus to Moalboal.
Take a bus to Bato Terminal and then transfer to a Cebu-bound bus with via Barili route.
Where to stay
A beach camp along Basdaku white beach is perfectly great. Sleeping on the sand with easy access to the beach is something every backpacker dreamed of. However, access to fresh water is a bit of a challenge.
If the beach camp is not among your options, you may choose from the list below.
Places to stay in Basdiot (where Panagsama Beach is located)
Turtle Bay Dive Resort – Turtle Bay Dive Resort is a premium accommodation near Panagsama Beach. Its location is quite isolated thus giving the resort guests an exclusive feel. A short strip of beach fronting it are used by resort guests only. Turtle Bay is also manned with PADI-certified instructors for your diving needs. The well-landscaped resort also houses a nice pool.
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/TurtleBay (click to view latest rates)
Quo Vadis Dive Resort – Quo Vadis is located along Panagsama beach and is pretty accessible to restaurants and PADI-Certified dive centers in Moalboal.
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/QuoVadis (click to view latest rates)
Marcosas Cottages Resort – Marcosas offers rooms and suites equipped with amenities for guests’ comfort. Being located along Panagsama Beach, the resort has easy access to food and entertainments spots. It has a nice pool too.
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/Marcosas (click to view latest rates)
Dacozy Beach Resort – Dacozy Beach Resort features a pool, furnished rooms, and easy access to Panagsama beach. Food spots and dive centers are also walking-distance away.
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/Dacozy (click to view latest rates)
Places to stay in Basdaku
HK Beach Resort – HK resort offers a stunning beach front and rooms equipped with LCD TV and other basic amenities. A restaurant is also open to serve guests with delectable meals.
- Cottages ₱600/day
- Tables ₱500/day
- A/C Room for two – ₱2,500/night
- A/C Room for four – ₱3,500/night
- Family Room (good for eight) – ₱5,000/night
Asian Belgian Resort – Asian Belgian Resort sits on a rock cliff with stunning view of the ocean and easy access to the underwater wonders below it.
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/AsianBelgianResort (click to view latest rates)
Things to Do in Moalboal
Snorkeling – Witness the wonders below the water of Moalboal. Corals are protected and so with the other marine life which depend on it. Make sure you do your part in protecting them as well. No touching and stepping on the corals.
Chasing a Sardine Run at Pescador Island – With just a short boat ride away, you can play with the amazing swimmers around Pescador Island. Boat rentals to Pescador Island starts at ₱3,000.
Beach Bumming – You can simply go swimming in the shallow waters or just feel the sand and the heat along Panagsama Beach in Basdiot or Whitebeach in Basdaku.
Gracing the Sunset – Moalboal is one of Philippine beach fronts that faces the sunset. See how the sky bursts in colors as the sun disappears from the horizon.
Important Tips, Notes, and Reminders
- Cellphone signal is stable in Panagsama Beach but is intermittent in Basdaku. Getting a data could be worrisome sometimes.
- ATM’s are available in the town proper.
- Transportation within Moalboal is only serviced only by habal-habal and tricycles.
- To save on your Pescador Island trip, travel as a group or merge with smaller groups so you could divide the boat rentals.
- If you camp at Basdaku Whitebeach, make sure you collect and dispose your garbage properly. Don’t make someone do it for you, and never throw any of your waste to the sea. Be a RESPONSIBLE camper.