I was thinking of the next topic I would write about and then I was being reminded that I haven’t written about my place yet. At that reminder, it dawned on me like a loud knock on the door, at the same time, the reality that Moalboal has been overly commercialized that it doesn’t need any writing at all.
It is a popular tourist destination for snorkeling, diving and the beach which have made Moalboal weekends bustling with tourists from Filipinos to other nationalities. However, though, if I don’t write about my place, I got a feeling that I am betraying my own town. That’s why I am writing this.
So, what am I going to write about my place aside from diving and the beach that you haven’t known, seen or done so much yet? I doubt if there’s still a place here that you don’t know yet so I decided to share the things I like doing and staying in Moalboal.
Moalboal is a 3-hour ride from the Cebu City if you take the bus in South Bus Terminal or Librando Trans. You may also take a v-hire (van hire) in Junquera St. which is 30 minutes or 1 hour faster than the bus. Take your pick whatever suits you.
Bus fare – 115 php
V-hire fare – 100 php
When you step outside the bus or v-hire, drivers are going to surprise you with different ways of wooing you to get you to choose them as your ride which can be irritating.
Here’s a tip, get inside the market first and ask a local (vendor, etc.) about the regular fare before choosing a ride. That’s when you can only choose a ride and never ask the driver about the fare because they will normally ask more from tourists.
Note that habal-habal and tricycles are most popular modes of transportation.
One thing you have to consider coming here is the place you stay. An advantage of choosing Moalboal to visit is, surely, you will not have a problem finding accommodation as this is a tourist destination and there are a lot of places to stay.
However, being a tourist destination can also have a drawback. Rooms rates here are pretty high because of the influx of tourists. And one thing, the rates could be confusing as there are no fixed rates to some hostels, backpackers and inns. For walk-in travelers, sometimes rates may vary depending on how you look. I know this is a bit disappointing.
As a local, I advise you to book your accommodation ahead of time and be very good at haggling with these people. If you want a more trusted accommodation though that follows fixed pricing, go to hotels and resorts in best quality I can assure which are also a lot in Moalboal but with higher pricing also. You can search them all in the web.
Back in my freshman year in high school, my friends and I from Moalboal would wonder why our classmates from Badian say “dalagan” for “dagan” and “kalamay” for “kamay”. It used to be a point of argument between Moalboal and Badian students in our class. As a language student, this definitely fascinates me that Moalboalanon’s dialect may only be bisaya with mostly no “L” in the far south excluding Barili and Carcar. You may go elsewhere in the far south, you will surely hear words with “L”.
How did this happen? Personally, I think it’s also because of our tourism. Go to Basdaku beach on the weekends, you will see that the people who are there are from the urban areas of Cebu whose bisaya also omits “L”. I guess the influence started from there.
Just a point of clarification, I’m not saying that we don’t use “L” and that our bisaya is better than others’. I believe there’s no such thing as that. Also, there are some Moalboalanos who use “L” just like “balas” for “bas”.
Thouhgn not all, we actually have an accent too but I lost mine when I studied and worked in the city.
Places to Visit
You like to jog and bike with clean air and less vehicle? Bugho is definitely for you. It is upper part of Moalboal still close to the town center and is a great place for biking and jogging. It’s a bit steeply but just enough for your sweat to come out. A bonus in going here is the great view of sunset in the west, showing different shades of the sun which I like to view that’s why I start jogging at 5.
At first, when you get there, you might probably wonder why I included it because what you will only see is a bridge. As your eyes start to wander, you will begin to see the natural beauty surrounding tulay with picture perfect sky, seascape and landscape. Each side of tulay is the sea which Moalboalanons, though only very few now, plunge under the sun.
In the east, is the green mountains of Moalboal and its neighboring towns, looking so near you feel like you could touch them.
Sunsets are one of the things I like to photograph, so sometimes when I bike I go there to see the mixture of red, orange and yellow sun in the west.
There’s more than the sunsets in Tulay. At night, if you’re lucky that the weather is fine, your eyes will be in awe because above you is the sea of stars, twinkling brilliantly. And if you stay longer and you’re luckier, fallings stars are the next thing your eyes will capture.
With your friends, you’re there to sit and enjoy the view that Tulay offers to you.
If restaurants are what your taste buds are craving for being away from the city, Moalboal has a lot to offer majorly located at Basdiot, a barangay in Moalboal 3 km away from the town center. Restaurants offer wide array of choices when it comes to food. Most common are pizza, pasta, pancakes, coffee, shakes etc.
Here’s my pick in restaurants:
Last Filling Station (best tasting food) (no photo)
Veranda (if you want to relax with soothing music)
Chili Bar (if you want to socialize)
3 Crowns (best banana shake in Moalboal)
Pizzeria Michelangelo (foreigners’ pizza place)
Gador (most foreigners’ pizza place) (no photo)
Budlot Spring Resort
If you want recluse, Budlot Spring is definitely for you. It’s far from the hustle and bustle of crowded tourists in the beach and diving area. By bike or by car, you will get there and experience the alone time you like. Since it is a resort, be reminded though, that the spring is mixed with disinfectants.
The spring looks like a swimming pool and not really that big of a pool though in pictures you may look at it as one. The resort also has got cottages for your overnight stay. There’s also like a mini restaurant inside where you can order some food and refreshment. But still, it is still advisable to buy food from the town center to quench your thirst for food.
If you want fresh spring though, you may walk down from the resort and you will find a natural cold spring, cold as ice. Near the vicinity of the resort, you will also see flowing water.
Busay Spring & Cave
Busay is a pretty bigger cave compared to other caves in Cebu. At the entrance is the clear cold spring which you can take a dip and have a swim with the locals. Also, the spring is our major source of water in Moalboal. I know what you’re thinking, drinking water and swimming in one? Don’t worry there’s particular big tubes that separate our drinking water from the swimming area.
Walking beyond the swimming area is completely dark so your phone’s flashlight app can definitely help. While inside, you will hear hundreds of squeaking bats. It takes more or less than 10 minutes to get to the endpoint of the cave but despite its shortness, it is definitely wide inside.
Entrance fee – 20 php
Motor ride – 50 php
A day visit in Moalboal or any place is never enough if you really want to know and understand the place. As much as possible, I make it a point to have at least an overnight stay.
Why not enough? I don’t travel to places just to take a photo of the most famous landmark or to say that I was there. That’s why when I visited Kuala Lumpur, I got dissatisfied for I stayed only for a few hours.
I travel to talk to locals, to eat at the market, to swim in the falls and beaches, to ride a bike, to jump over the cliff, to marvel at the plants and trees, to sit and watch a beautiful scenery not minding what time it is, and to take pictures.
Once I learn, I get to share this to people around the world and create a network of information so that we could, somehow, bridge the gap amongst peoples. Who knows? This information might just come in handy. And, I guess that’s what’s travelling is about – learning and sharing.
Next time, it won’t hurt if you take an overnight stay. Just plan your itinerary ahead.