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MOALBOAL TRAVEL GUIDE | Things to Do in Moalboal, Where to Stay in Moalboal, Where to Eat in Moalboal

Photo from Nelson's Dive Shop

This Moalboal Travel Guide curates all the essentials you need: things to do in Moalboal, where to stay in Moalboal, and where to stay in Moalboal.

CHECK FLIGHTS TO CEBU, PHILIPPINES

There is that place you frequent for many reasons. It is near, affordable, and has everything you need for a quick saltwater fix. Or simply you like the island vibe so much you want to live there. Siquijor [SIQUIJOR TRAVEL GUIDE], Siargao [SIARGAO TRAVEL GUIDE], and Malapascua [MALAPASCUA TRAVEL GUIDE] used to be that place for me. 

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MY COMPLETE SOUTH CEBU TRAVEL GUIDE

Moalboal is that place for me. It is that convenient that early this year, I signed a piece of paper detailing the square meter of small land under my name. Yes, I got a tiny piece of land under my name, 5 minutes away from a nice beach. Yes, I can see myself living in Moalboal. Alone? Perhaps. With cats, dogs, books, garden, cameras, mask and fins, bikinis? Definitely.

I came here, normally alone. But this time around, I was with someone dear to show him my once midweek destination when I still lived in Cebu.  

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE PHILIPPINES? HERE IS AN HONEST PHILIPPINE TRAVEL GUIDE

“Blue means drunk in German.”

“Blue is the color of sadness, in English,” I said, looking at the very blueness I bragged about some days ago. I never thought of it as something as sad. “Ah, the color of melancholia. Is it melancholia in English?” “Yeah, can be melancholy too. It is the color of distance,” I said, a Rebecca Solnit line forever engraved in my mind.

When I was in my 20s, I fell in love with the romance, sadness, and melancholia of blue according to Andre Aciman and Rebecca Solnit. I religiously followed their train of words. 

Moalboal has some of the extravagant blooms of one of my favorite flowers

Now in my 30s, living in one of the grayest cities in Southeast Asia—-too gray I sometimes I forget blue sky exist—-blue is the color of longing, of something, of someone that perhaps doesn’t exist. But it indeed is the color of distance, of something too far, too out of reach.

But here I am in Moalboal, the very place that has witnessed the breaking, the healing, the happy in-betweens way too many times back then. 

Too many shades of blue that there is nothing much to do about it but embrace it with one’s eyes. At 33, I’m happy to report that blue is the color of home. Not of distance. Not of longing. Not of melancholia.

HOW TO GET TO MOALBOAL 

FROM CEBU CITY BY BUS | TRAVEL TIME 3-4 HOURS

Moalboal is located in southern Cebu, and takes at least 3 hours by bus. Depending on the traffic situation, 3 hours can be stretched up to 5 hours. You have to go to South Bus Terminal, located at N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu. You can simply put South Bus Terminal on Google Maps or Grab. If you’re not a local and have no idea how our jeepney route works, it is best, that you use Grab. Heck, I use it a lot to save some time.  Time is more valuable, I would say. 

AIRCONDITIONED BUS (MORE LEGROOM) = PHP90.00
NON-AC/ORDINARY BUS (CRAMPED) = PHP110.

FROM CEBU CITY BY PRIVATE CAR | TRAVEL TIME 2 HOURS

If you’re traveling with a group or you simply want to save a lot of time from going to the bus station, waiting for the bus, enduring the commute time, I highly recommend you book a private car. For as low as Php2290.00 and with up to 12 seats, you can have a comfortable and convenient ride to Moalboal. Yes, the driver is going to pick you up in your hotel in the city, either in Cebu, Mandaue, or Mactan. Perhaps you can also negotiate to pick you up at the airport and go right straight to Moalboal. Drop by at Carcar Public Market for some of the most delicious lechon in Cebu. 

BOOK YOUR RELIABLE CAR HERE

FROM CEBU CITY BY SHARED VAN | TRAVEL TIME 2 HOURS 

If you want to save an hour and your legs are not abnormally long, then shared van is the way to go. I have to emphasize the legroom. Normally vans can only accommodate 9 at the back and 2 beside the driver’s seat. But drivers have perhaps 10 mouths to feed that 11-12 seats can accommodate 15 people. 

TICKET PRICE = PHP100.00

HOW MUCH IS IT FROM MOALBOAL TOWN TO PANAGSAMA OR BAS DAKU

Depending on your haggling skills, the price can vary. A semi-local, I usually pay Php30.00 for a motorbike ride, otherwise called habal-habal. For a private tricycle ride, it can be Php100-Php150.00 for two people. It greatly depends on the driver and your grit.

It costs Php30.00 for a shared tricycle ride to Bas Daku, otherwise called as White Beach.

ARE THERE ATMS IN MOALBOAL? 

Yes, there are three. And they all with internationally issued cards such as Mastercard and Visa. You have to bear in mind though that Moalboal is a country at heart despite its tourist volume. On some days, especially weekends, ATMs run out of cash. Better take extra precaution by withdrawing money from the city.

  • PNB ATM is located in the lobby of Eve’s Kiosk at  Panagsama Beach, otherwise called as Bas Diot. 
  • METROBANK ATM is located inside 360 Pharmacy in the center of Moalboal town. 
  • Another PNB and METROBANK ATMs are located inside Gaisano Grand. 

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MOALBOAL, CEBU, PHILIPPINES 

Well, being in the tropical country, any day is a good day. It is sunny most times of the year. Rainy season starts in June and ends in November. But it does not mean it rains 24/7. It simply means days are punctuated with rain shower. More often than not, it is very sunny, and the waters are calm, perfect for snorkeling, island-hopping, and diving. 

WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL

PESCADORES SEAVIEW SUITES

For the service, the facilities, and the view, this place has everything. With my ten years of traveling, I haven’t experienced sheets so soft and well-chosen. I had to ask the staff where they bought their sheets, but they did not know. I have to ask the owner himself. Pescadores Seaview Suites is located in the far end of Panagsama, which makes a peaceful place to bunk for the night. 

It has its own entertainment room overlooking the sea. It is equipped with fun games such as billiards, football board game, retro games for the kids and kid’s at heart. It also has a playground for kids, perfect for families traveling with the little ones. 

It has a nice swimming pool overlooking the sea. 

TIP: Have a photo shoot come sunset time or early morning before anyone wakes up and uses the pool. 

The house reef (refers to the drop in front of the resort) is some of the most vivid I’ve seen as well. Pescadores Seaview Suites provides snorkeling gear for free. This is a must! You can even borrow an underwater camera. You only need to deposit Php2000.00 and you can bring the camera for your action-packed activities. 

CHECK PESCADORES SEAVIEW SUITES RATES HERE

Photo from Nelson’s Dive Shop

TIP: Wanna see turtles? Snorkel in the morning, around 7 to 8 am in the house reef.  

Another unique character of Pescadores Seaview Suites is how the staff gather in the morning in the breakfast nook and synchronically greet everyone good morning. They then introduce themselves and assure the dining guests they are there in case they need anything. That’s sweet and thoughtful start of the day.   

OTHER MIDRANGE ACCOMMODATIONS

MOALBOAL TRAVEL GUIDE | THINGS TO DO IN MOALBOAL FOR NON-DIVERS 

Most of Moalboal’s visitors are actually non-divers. Seeing the resident turtles and sardine run and the remaining lively corals make Moalboal appealing to sea lovers.

SNORKEL 

Photo from Nelson’s Dive Shop
  • Talisay Point 
    It is right in front of Andi’s Talisay. This area has beautiful coral reefs and colorful fishes.
  • Sardine Run
    The swirls of sardines can be found right in front of Cora’s Palm Court and Pizzeria Marina. It is better that you snorkel earlier as to avoid the throng of tourists struggling in their life vest.
  • Turtle Sanctuary
    Turtles in Moalboal are not as friendly as the ones in Apo Island. [APO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE]. The house reef is a marine sanctuary. I highly recommend you go snorkeling in the morning. You have more chances of seeing turtles.

ISLAND-HOP

Hmm, island-hopping in Moalboal only involves one island that is Pescador Island. A boat costs Php2000.00, it is a bit cheaper if you can join with a group. Island-hopping in Moalboal includes the following.

  • Pescador Island 
  • Sardine Run
  • Turtle-spotting

BOOK A ISLAND-HOPPING DAY TRIP TO MOALBOAL FROM CEBU CITY

BEACH-BUM 

  • Bas Diot 
  • Bas Daku / White Beach

MOALBOAL TRAVEL GUIDE | DIVE SPOTS IN MOALBOAL 

The main reason we were in Moalboal was to dive. Finally! Despite coming here countless of times, I have never attempted to dive its waters. I was more than contented with snorkeling and free-diving up to five meters (haha). But this time around, I dove twice: once in the house reef and the second was in Pescador Island.

  • Moalboal House Reef
  • Pescador Island
  • Ronda Marine Sanctuary
  • Airplane Wreck
  • White Beach
  • Lo-oc
  • Tuble Marine Sanctuary
  • Kasai Reef
  • Ludo
  • Oscar’s Cave
  • Savedra House Reef / Panagsama Beach
  • Mandarin Fish Observation Point
  • Talisay Wall
  • Tongo Marine Sanctuary
  • Sampanguita Reef

MOALBOAL TRAVEL GUIDE | WHERE TO EAT IN MOALBOAL

ISLAND WOK

If you’re up for some Chinese-Filipino fusion food, Pescadores Seaview Suites’ Island Wok answers your cravings.

VENZ KITCHEN 

One of the best places to dine in Moalboal. Expansive menu. The people who run it love food and love cooking. You can tell it from the menu itself. Can be really packed. And at times, you have to wait. 

ARISTA SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 

Best place for a semi-fancy dinner in an elegant setting with ambient lights and wooden furniture. Arista Seafood Restaurant is always packed, so you better call in advance. 

LITTLE CORNER RESTAURANT 

The most affordable beachfront restaurant in Panagsama stretch. They serve everything, everything that the locals or foreigners like. Expect their version of pasta or pizza, anything non-local disappointing.

CEBUANO CAFÉ

Their coffee is good. They also serve mango float, a typical Filipino dessert. It is the perfect girlfriend for black coffee. There is nothing special about their food. A bit pricy. 

CHILLI BAR 

Best spot for some drinks. Not a huge fan of their food. 

SHAKA

Oh well, Shaka does not look like too chaka. Haven’t tried it, but judging from their smoothie bowls photos, they have Instagram and the Instagram audience in mind. I’ve heard though their smoothies look and taste yum. 

PIZZERIA MARINA

Haven’t tried this place. I keep on passing by this place. Nice romantic vibe in the evening. I should try it one of these days. 

THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE RESTOBAR

Good coffee and croissant. I love the perverse, almost hedonistic, visuals on the wall. Perfect place for European breakfast. 

LANTAW

Just across Chilli Bar. Not quite popular, but it is a good spot for some quite time overlooking the sea. Try their Filipino dishes.

ANDI’S TALISAY

Best spot to have some drinks while watching sunset. 

MOALBOAL TRAVEL GUIDE | POSSIBLE DAY TRIPS FROM MOALBOAL

SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS IN OSLOB

KAWASAN CANYONEERING IN BADIAN

IDLING AT LAMBUG BEACH IN BADIAN

WATERFALL CHASING IN SAMBOAN

SNORKELING WITH THE TURTLES IN APO ISLAND

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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