After our fulfilling Kawasan canyoneering experience, we rented a multicab that would take us to Moalboal. This small town in Cebu’s southwest part is deemed a world-class divers’ paradise because of its abundant marine life. While it’s only my first time in Cebu, I can affirm that there are magnificent diving spots all over the region.
Moalboal is less than an hour from Kawasan, but our bodies were already sore making it difficult to locate a place to stay in. Moalboal is home of the renowned Pescador Island and Panagsama Beach. This fact makes the lively town a favorite destination of locals and foreigners alike and hence, hotels and lodging houses near the beach are oftentimes fully booked.
One lodging house even rejected us for a seemingly absurd reason. The manager said through the receptionist that they wouldn’t accept us because Filipinos loved to bathe. Grabe. We were fully aware that there was a water shortage and we were more than ready to do our part in conserving the house’s resources, but the manager did not even talk to us. I can’t imagine why you’d turn your back to your helpless countrymen when you could’ve easily oriented them about the situation (Okay, I’m being dramatic but we really felt unwanted. Haha!) We only needed a place to rest for that night, Mr. Manager. :'( The receptionist was kind and comforting though. You could sense the disappointment in her tone while she delivered the news.
The Silver Lining
We decided that we’d go to another town after soothing our hunger pangs. Food should be least of your worries because the place has many cafes, restaurants, and bars. We went to the Pleasure Principle Resto-bar – Trip Advisor's #1 ranked restaurant in Moalboal. Don’t leave the town without visiting this place! The food is wonderful and the complimentary appetizer and wine were thoughtful touches. The owner, Steve, is a wonderful host who takes time to interact with the diners.
One staff member (I don’t know her name but she’s reminiscent of a beauty queen) even helped us find a place to stay in and it was right in front of the restaurant! It was called Bungalows de Savedra. It’s perfect for groups because the bungalows are spacious, comfortable, and each comes with a terrace that offers a spectacular view of the ocean. Our bungalow was way more beautiful than the one whose management snubbed us! Haha.
The morning after, we met our boatmen (we booked via Savedra for P2,000) who took us to Pescador Island. On our way to Pescador, we were treated to an unbelievable sight – pods of dolphins! At first, only one dolphin showed up. We were already happy with him but after a few minutes, twenty or thirty of the ocean’s most adorable mammals started jumping out of the water. Moments like that really leave you grateful for how amazing His hands are.
Upon reaching Pescador, our boatmen tied our boat to a floating buoy since they're prohibited to use anchors that could damage the reef. The waves are large but your guides will toss a rope should you find it difficult to swim back to your boat. We then proceeded to a spot that had sea turtles. My calf cramps, however, impeded my swimming that I only saw one turtle.
Our final stop was back at Panagsama Beach where it was time to meet schools of sardines. It’s a different world underneath! You can try touching the sardines but your effort will be futile because they immediately break their formation upon sensing a stranger.
Panagsama Beach has many internationally-accredited dive centers. People walking around in their wet suits armed with scuba gears are common sights. I promised that our next Cebu trip would mainly consist of diving there.