Moalboal Travel Guide: Staycation in the New Normal (July 2021)

Beautiful view of Panagsama Beach

The pandemic has really changed a lot of us and for more than a year, most of us were all stuck in our homes. It doesn’t look like we’re going back to our old lives anytime soon and the best way we can deal with this new normal is to embrace it.

Now that a lot of tourist destinations are opening up their doors for local tourists, it seems like a staycation once in a while is very much needed. I’m glad we chose Moalboal this time because it was a staycation that I would love to do over and over again.

How to get to Moalboal from Cebu City?

Cebu City to Moalboal by bus

Traveling to Moalboal by bus is the cheapest option. With the pandemic, Ceres buses have installed barriers in every seat to make sure passengers don’t have direct contact with each other. Before boarding the bus, passengers are required to have a facemask and face shield.

As of July 2021, buses to Moalboal leave every 3 hours. The first trip is at 6 AM.

Where to take the bus from Cebu City to Moalboal?

Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal to board the bus to Moalboal. It is located in N. Bacalso, Cebu City near Elizabeth Mall (E Mall).

How much is the bus fare from Cebu City to Moalboal?

Bus tickets from Cebu City to Moalboal costs between PHP 100 to PHP 150.

Cebu City to Moalboal by v-hire

There are also vans to Moalboal. The same minimum health protocols are followed when boarding the van.

Where to take the van from Cebu City to Moalboal?

The terminal is located on Junquera Street.

How much is the v-hire fare from Cebu City to Moalboal?

One way v-hire ride from Cebu City to Moalboal costs PHP 180.

Cebu City to Moalboal by private transpo

Still the best option for me. You can also take a few stops on your way to Moalboal and visit some tourist spots. If traveling in a group, you can also rent a car or van.

Where is Moalboal located?

Moalboal is located in the Southern part of Cebu right before Badian and Alegria. The travel time from Cebu City to Moalboal is approximately 2 hours. There are two beach spots you can stay in Moalboal, the Panagsama Beach and White Beach.

Panagsama Beach or White Beach?

The beautiful horizon in Panagsama Beach as seen just in front of the resort we stayed in

I was also confused before when people ask me where I’m going to stay in Moalboal. Panagsama Beach or White Beach? I’ve only been to Moalboal thrice and during those times I only went to White Beach. I didn’t know Panagsama Beach existed. HAHA.

A stroll along White Beach on a hot sunny day

During this trip, we stayed in Panagsama and I finally understood the difference between these two.

If you want to enjoy a long stretch of white sand beach, you should stay near White Beach. It is usually where beach-goers stay in Moalboal. On the other hand, if you want to do more underwater activities like snorkeling and diving, staying in Panagsama Beach will bring you closer to these activities. You will find a lot of dive resorts along Panagsama.

Things to do upon arrival: Moalboal Tourism Center

Upon arriving in Moalboal, you need to register first in the tourism center to secure your pass slip. Here is the information you need to provide to get a pass slip:

  • Traveler’s name
  • Date/s of stay
  • Accommodation
  • PHP 25 per head
  • Valid ID

There are checkpoints before entering Panagsama Beach and White Beach so be sure to prepare your pass slip upon entry.

Where to stay in Moalboal?

The main purpose of our trip was just to unwind and stay out of the city so we stayed at Pescadores Seaview Suites.

The view from our room

Internet Connection

They have amazing amenities but what really made me want to come back is their A+ internet connection. Aside from the regular wifi code they give out to guests, you can also request a separate connection for your WFH needs so we were able to work while in the resort. It is indeed perfect for every staycation.

Free snorkel and life vest, free kayak

Aside from that, they also have a free snorkel and life vest, and free 15-minutes of their transparent kayak. Unfortunately, we were not able to avail of the free kayak due to strong winds at that time.

**Snorkels and life vests must be returned before 5 PM since they still have to sanitize them.

Infinity pool

Flexing our temporary tattoos.

The infinity pool is beautiful. It overlooks Panagsama Beach. They also have tables and chairs nearby perfect to just sit and enjoy the view.

Excellent food and restaurant (Free breakfast available)

Handmade ocean necklace from my small shop: Pour and Cure Handicraft in FB and IG

If you don’t want to eat your breakfast in the restaurant, they can also serve your food in your room. Just be sure to inform them at least a day before or in our case, we had a lot of last-minute changes in our plans so, we informed the front desk one hour before breakfast.

ATMs available nearby

For emergency needs, you can also withdraw nearby. I noticed that there are a lot of ATMs in Moalboal (not just in our resort) so you’ll be fine if you run out of cash.

What to do in Moalboal?

We didn’t really plan to do a lot of activities since we only wanted to relax during this trip. However, here are some exciting and relaxing activities you can enjoy on the island.

Turtle and Sardine watching

We were approached by Kuya Eric while we were hanging out by the poolside and offered us a turtle and sardine watching activity for the following day. And it instantly became the highlight of our trip. It was just a two-minute walk from our resort to get to the jump-off point.

I said to myself that the next time I’ll come, I’ll be able to dive already and take photos with the sardines.

How much is the Turtle and Sardine watching? PHP 300 per head

Beach therapy

You can never go wrong by spending a day at the beach. You can stay in Panagsama Beach or in White Beach (highly recommended because there are spaces you can rent by the beach). In White Beach, there are a lot of food vendors too. I enjoyed a couple of penoy under the scorching heat and a good chat with the girl vendor.

How much is the entrance fee to White Beach? PHP 10

Staycation

I enjoyed swimming in our resort in the morning and watching movies in the evening. You too can also find a lot of seaside resorts with amazing pool and room amenities in Moalboal that you don’t need to go out a lot. Take advantage of the Work from home setup and enjoy a workday in paradise.

Freediving

If you want to explore the beauty of Moalboal deep under, the best place to stay is in Panagsama. You can find corals, different fish species, turtles, and sardines in the water of Panagsama. You can also easily go to Pescadores Island from here.

Archery

Relive Katniss Everdeen for a day and shoot arrows in Archery-Asia. It was too late for us to learn about this so we’ll surely come back for it.

See full details on their website: http://www.archery-asia.com/

Chef Marquin’s Burger House

On our last day, we went to Chef Marquin’s to have lunch. It was just located near the bus terminal so going there before leaving Moalboal is a must.

Not gonna lie, it is on the pricey side though. I wanted to try their Velvet Revolver which has a triple premium beef patty, a flaming hot Cheetos, and a shrimp topping but it costs PHP 800. In the end, we just ordered their classic Satriani which only costs PHP 250. Their burgers can also be shared with a group so maybe next time, I’ll be able to try the Velvet Revolver with my friends.

Enjoy the nightlife

Nightlife on the island is the BEST! However, when we went there, a lot of bars are still closed. We were able to enjoy an hour of nightlife in Panagsama though because we found a bar a few minutes drive from our resort. It was the loudest in the area so it is very impossible to miss it.

Inside, people were dancing and drinking. They didn’t wear any masks but I assumed they were a group of friends or tourists who have been staying in Moalboal much longer. We found a spot around the corner. The fun didn’t last long though because Moalboal has a curfew until 12 midnight so around 11 PM, people were already preparing to leave.

Travel tips when going to Moalboal

  • Rent a bike or motorcycle to save on transportation costs most especially when you have to make several trips to the town proper or to White Beach/Panagsama and vice versa.
  • Bring grocery items most especially if you are on a budget. You can buy stuff in Gaisano Moalboal before heading to your resort. In our case, we bought snacks, water, and some canned goods.
  • Bring your own snorkel/diving gears. Although you can also rent these from your resort or guide, it is sanitary to bring your own if you have one.
  • Travel responsibly. Most especially we are nowhere near the end of the pandemic, we must still follow basic protocols and sanitize all the time. This also includes bringing your trashes with you and disposing of them properly.

Essential Moalboal trip expenses (per head)

V-hire (Cebu City to MoalboalPHP 180
Environmental fee, PASS SLIP
(to be paid at the tourism center)
PHP 25
Trike from tourism center to resortPHP 150
Turtle and Sardines watchingPHP 300
Motorcycle rental (one day)PHP 350
Motorcycle gasPHP 100
V-hire (Moalboal to Cebu City)PHP 180

3 days and 2 nights went by in a snap of a finger. I wanted to stay longer knowing that the internet connection in our resort can let us work conveniently. It feels so nice to be away from the city hustle. After all, I definitely need this diversion for my mental health.

PIN THIS checklist!

Have you been to Moalboal? What are your favorite activities? Feel free to share more in the comments if I happen to miss some exciting adventures in Moalboal.

author avatar

I am a 20-something Software Engineer who loves to travel, explore places, experience different culture and chase dreams. Apart from my 6 to 9 job, I dance ballet as a hobby. Born, raised and currently living in the beautiful Philippines but will soon travel the world.. one baby step at a time.

One Comment

  1. I’m happy to see you do what you love. Very proud of you. Hope to read and learn more from your travels…

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