On National Heroes Day which fell on a weekend, a breath of fresh salty air was much needed, so we decided to travel not-so-far from the city and spend the holiday on the beach. Being only two to three hours away from the city, Moalboal is a perfect weekend beach getaway when in Cebu.
On top of having fun on the beach with a lovely view of distant mountains of Negros Island, you also get to witness rich corals, millions of sardines, a multitude of clownfish and other colorful reef fishes, a couple of sea turtles and a family of bottlenose dolphins!
How to get to Moalboal
To get to Moalboal, we went to CitiLink which is around 7-min walk from Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT). We took a van-for-hire going to Moalboal town proper.
Alternatively, you can take a bus for ~Php120 at CSBT but with its many passenger drops, it may take a little longer to reach the beach town compared to taking a van-for-hire. With the v-hire’s continuous travel, you can get to Moalboal around 2.5 hours, while taking the bus might take almost an hour longer with its many passenger drops.
After arriving in poblacion (town proper), we took an early lunch at an ordinary eatery thinking we can save than eating at the beach area. We’re also already hungry that time.
Soon, we headed to Panagsama Beach via tricycle ride that took around 20 minutes. Upon arriving we were greeted by Rose, the caretaker of Mayas Native Garden, with iced tea as welcome drinks and a warm smile. 🙂
Moalboal Accommodation : Mayas Native Garden
We booked through Agoda at Mayas Native Garden for ~Php1,500 and it’s a good budget stay in Panagsama beach with comfortable small cottage rooms with free wi-fi. Every cottage has its own bathroom and sink, veranda and a safety deposit box. Check in time is 1pm but you can come early if the room is ready. Check out time is 12 noon. If you’re going here on a weekend, make sure to reserve a room because they only have 5 cottages available.
Their restaurant serves delicious Mexican food and opens as early as 7am until 10 in the evening. For dinner, we tried their mini pizza, Aglio Olio pasta and Chili con carne, and we love it! They also serve one of the best burritos in town.
Panagsama Beach: Coral Rich with Dolphins, Turtles and Sardine Run
The beach is only about 2-3 minutes walk from our cottage. Although not with powdery sands like in Bas Dako, it is however perfect for snorkeling or diving. Just a few meters from the shoreline, you’ll enjoy rich corals with a multitude of little reef fishes and you’ll get to marvel such amazing sardine run. It was mind-blowing to see millions of sardines in a protected sanctuary just a couple of minutes swim.
Panagsama is popular for shallow diving but we didn’t try scuba that time (~Php2,000 budget). I admired a young mother who went with her kid scuba diving from the shore, rather than from a boat. If you’re lucky enough, you can swim with turtles in the shallows. You can also do island hopping to Pescador Island and also witness playful bottlenose dolphins on a half-day tour for Php2,500++ small-sized boat rental.
If you walk around a little more, there are restaurants and lodgings found nearby. The next day, we had a hearty breakfast and brewed coffee in a floating beachfront restaurant because we’d like to smell the salty air early morning.
Basdaku White Beach : Powdery Sands
The next day, we rented a tricycle and went to Basdaku to enjoy the nice waters with light beige sands.
There’s an entrance fee at a guard house to the road entering the beach and then another fee to enter HK Beach Resort.
Since it was a holiday, the beach was crowded so we searched for a good spot with few swimming around.
Noon came, we’re back at the poblacion to find something good to eat. A little past 1pm, we rode a non-aircon bus and arrived back in the city around 4pm.
We had a splendid time together at the beach, enjoying every bit of the weekend. As much as possible, we’d like to spend the weekends to unplug from the day-to-day. Hope to have more weekends like this.
Note: Prices may have changed a bit now.
- Island Hopping: ~P2,300 small-sized boat
- Scuba Diving: ~P2,000 fun dive session
• Citi Link Terminal to Moalboal Poblacion: P120/person
• Moalboal Poblacion to Mayas Native Garden: P150/tricycle ride
• Meal budget in an eatery in poblacion: P60/person
• Maya’s Native Garden Aircon Cottage Rate: P1,500/room
• Dinner budget in Mayas Restaurant: P250/person
• Seaside Restaurant breakfast meal: P150/person
• Tricycle ride from Panagsama Beach to Bas Dako (To HK Beach Resort): P350/tricycle ride (We realized that this was higher than normal, taking the habal-habal will cost P50 one way/person so that should only be around P200 for two.
• Entrance fee to Bas Dako: P5/each
• Entrance fee to HK Beach Resort: P10/each
• Bath/Washing Fee: P20/gallon
• Lunch Budget at a poblacion eatery: P60
• Moalboal to South Bus Terminal Bus Fare: P107/person