Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Moalboal is a gem on an already idillic island. Located on the opposite coast and a two hour bus ride from Cebu City is the small, friendly town known for scuba-diving, snorkelling and nearby waterfalls. Those were the reasons we put Moalboal on our travel list, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover a charming town with a relaxed beach atmosphere we hadn’t yet found in the Philippines. There are two parts to the town: the main strip where the bus drops off and Panasagma Beach. In many ways, Panasagma reminded me of an off-street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, or a quaint town in the south of France with it’s narrow streets, quaint restaurants and festoons.
Snorkels on, we spent hours swimming in the shallow water. With the possible exception of Thailand, I have never had a cooler snorkelling experience. We swam with huge turtles, electric blue starfish, puffer fish and best of all, the massive wall of sardines Moalboal is famous for. Imagine a pike-way packed full of sardines - 7 metres wide by 7 metres deep that stretches as far as you can see. It was hard to get Chris out of the water - I think he must be part-fish. I’m surprised we managed to leave Moalboal at all.
We ate BBQed Liempo (my favourite Filipino dish), chicken liver and chicken feet at a nameless outdoor restaurant. I didn’t know not to eat the bones in the chicken feet, so it was a very shrapnel-ey experience I hope not to repeat. We played crib and pool while drinking giant mojitos at Chilli Bar, and spent $16 on a 2-hour Swedish massage by Jenna Lee at Heavenly Sauna Paradise that truly was a heavenly.
The day before leaving, we rented a motorbike and rode to the popular Kawasan Falls. Fresh corn and cold coconut in hand, we explored the aqua pools (the colour of the water in the Philippines is astonishing) and many waterfalls. I am always trepidatious when it comes to swimming in deep water, but eventually stripped down to my bikini and jumped in the cool water. Kawasan Falls is a sight worth seeing - the 50 peso entrance fee is a steal-of-a-deal.