There are no direct flights to Moalboal, so if you are coming from Manila, you can fly via any local airline to Cebu first. Air travel between both cities usually takes about one hour. Alternatively, you can also fly from Manila to Dumaguete, which will take about an hour and a half.
You can also get to Cebu or Dumaguete via local shipping lines like 2GO Travel. Sea travel from Manila to Cebu City usually lasts for about 22 hours. From Manila to Dumaguete, sea travel is about about 26 hours.
Once you’ve arrived in Cebu, you need to take a three-hour bus ride towards Moalboal. From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport or the Port of Cebu, find your way to the South Bus Terminal where Barili or Bato-bound buses are located.
There are passenger vans that also ply the Cebu City-Moalboal route. These are stationed at One Citilink Terminal, with travel time lasting for about two hours.
On the other hand, if you chose the Dumaguete route, find your way to the Sibulan Port from the Sibulan Airport where ferries going to Bato in Cebu are docked. Once you get to Bato, ride the north-bound buses that will take you to Moalboal.
How to Get Around
Once you arrive in Moalboal, you can get around town via tricycle or habal-habal.
What to See
As you get off at the Moalboal Bus Terminal, you may notice a distinct structure right in front of the station and the Moalboal Public Market. It is no other than the ruins of the San Juan Nepomuceno Church. The ruins are what remains of a Spanish colonial church that was built in 1852 in honor of St. John of Nepomuk of the Czech Republic. It suffered deterioration due to the number of natural calamities that hit the area.
Still, the church retains the façade of the old structure where intricate designs typical of any Spanish colonial structures are etched, showing everyone the traces of the grandeur it once had. Peek through the gates and you’ll see what remains of its interiors: tiled floorings and a crucifix that hangs on what used to be its grand altar.
A Rizal Monument is also erected near the church, which pays homage to the life and heroism of the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The monument is also situated in front of the city hall of Moalboal.
Natural Attractions and Activities to Try
Ask anyone who has been to Moalboal and they will recommend snorkeling or diving for sure. After all, the town has amazing marine life that has been attracting underwater enthusiasts not just from the Philippines but from all over the world.
A visit to Moalboal is never complete without dropping by Panagsama Beach. Previously known as Basdiot Beach, Panagsama Beach is home to a number of diving schools which offers various diving activities and gear in the popular dive spots such as the Pescadores Island, Sunken Island, and the house reef to name a few. Make sure to watch out for the breathtaking sardine run where a large school of sardines put on a magnificent show by swimming in unison. If you’re lucky, you might be treated with rare appearances of thresher and tiger sharks while there. But if diving is too extreme for you, then snorkeling would be just right.
Aside from diving and snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing are also recommended while on the charming shores of Panagsama Beach. It is also the site of various resorts, restaurants, and bars where you can dine and experience the kind of nightlife that you can only find in Moalboal.
White Beach, also called as Basdaku Beach, on the other hand, is where you can enjoy long walks on the beach and a refreshing dip in its azure waters. Its fine white sand seems to stretch infinitely where you can enjoy bathing in the sun or simply laze around while watching people and the time pass by.
If time permits, take on a side trip to Kawasan Falls, which is located about 18 kilometers south of Moalboal. The tranquil surroundings and the cool, aquamarine waters that fall to the river is an amazing sight to behold. However, if you feel like going for something more thrilling, why not try canyoneering? Planet Action Adventure offers guided canyoneering tours both in Kawasan Falls and Tison Falls.
Cave Busay is another natural attraction that offers yet another memorable experience for those traveling to Moalboal. It has a 650-feet tunnel that passes through a cave that guests can explore. While inside, you will marvel at the various stalactites and stalagmites that have formed inside the cave throughout the years. There is also a small pool inside where you can swim in its refreshing and cool water.
If Cave Busay has cold waters, the hot springs at Mainit Springs, located 32 kilometers south of Moalboal, provides a different experience. It is believed that soaking in the warm waters of the springs has healing effects that can cure skin infections and certain diseases.
Aside from diving, snorkeling, canyoneering, or spelunking, you can also play golf in Badian. You can also rent a motorcycle and go on a bike tour to explore the rest of the sights and sounds of Moalboal. You can enlist the help of a local tour guide to show you around. You can also join one of the yoga classes held in the town. Kick it up a notch by inquiring about the paddleboard yoga sessions that the town also offers.
Events and Festivals
Try visiting Moalboal on the 15th and 16th of May when the locals celebrate the Kagasangan Festival. The feast provides an opportunity to enjoy Moalboal’s attractions while learning a thing or two about the culture, history, and traditions of the locals.
Where to Eat
Fast Food Chains
The Gaisano Grand mall is located right in the heart of downtown Moalboal and is home to a number of dining places for you to try. It has the usual fast food chains that Filipinos love like McDonald’s and Goldilocks.
Restaurants and Bars
As mentioned earlier, Panagsama Beach is home to a number of restaurants and bars, so this is where you can find some of the best food choices in Moalboal. Last Filling Station is already considered an institution in Panagsama Beach, having been around since 1993. This great restaurant offers an array of delicious meals, but they are most notable for their satisfying breakfast menu and mouth-watering pizza. But if you are craving for fresh seafood for lunch or dinner, then Little Corner is the place for you. You can also check out BB’s Seaview for other great food choices.
If you’re craving for Indian or Thai food, then try Lantaw Restaurant. Their highly-recommended Green Chicken Curry is very flavorful, and best eaten while enjoying a nice view of the Pescador Island in the horizon. For a place where you can relax, be sure to visit Café Cebuano and have a cup or two of their freshly brewed coffee. Another cafe to check out is French Coffee Shop which also serves crepes and fresh bread that go well with their coffee concoctions.
Come nighttime, drop by Chili Bar where you can enjoy chili con carne, its “world-class” pizza, and best of all, their ice cold beer. Andy’s Talisay is another favorite spot for drinking. Be sure to drop by every Saturday and enjoy great music courtesy of their live performers.
Fare: PHP 2,000.00 to PHP 8,000.00
Airfare from Manila to Cebu starts at PHP 2,000.00 and could go as much as PHP 8,000.00 or more depending on the season and availability of promo fares. Sea fares, on the other hand, average at around PHP 1,500.00. Meanwhile, bus fares from Cebu City to Moalboal is around PHP 100.00 to PHP 150.00. Tricycle fares in Moalboal start PHP 50.00 and will vary depending on the destination.
Food: PHP 100.00++
The food served in Moalboal, especially in the more popular restos and bars, are generally good and delectable. The service is remarkable and the prices are very pocket-friendly. You can already have a satisfying meal for only PHP 100.00. In most restaurants, a budget of PHP 500.00 is already more than enough.
Shopping: PHP 300.00++
Although there are malls available in town, there is little shopping to be done in Moalboal, except for souvenirs and trinkets that you can take home. Spending PHP 300.00 on souvenirs is already good enough.
Accommodations: PHP 500.00 to PHP 2,000.00
There are various budget hotels available in Moalboal, which will definitely fit the budget of even the most economical traveler. Even the best accommodations in town are valued at only PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 2,000.00.
Activities: PHP 100.00 to PHP 2,000.00
Some attractions don’t require entrance fees but others do. But don’t fret: entrance fees are still affordable at an average price of PHP 50.00. Some activities, like canyoneering and diving, however, are pricier, starting at about PHP 1,600.00.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00++
Most restaurants usually already include the service charge in your bill whenever you dine. However, if you want to leave a little tip, then PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 wouldn’t be too bad.