July 10-18, 2017
Location: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines
With its dive wall reaching depths of 300m just meters from the beach, Moalboal is an ideal place for freediving. On my own, sometimes with a buddy, I was gung-ho to see how I do freediving within safe limits with no rope, no instructor and no support.
What I find fascinating about freediving here is the fact I was practically hugging the coral wall as I was sinking down, my chest not too far from the reef. I was feasting my eyes on whatever visual spectacle was parading in front of me on my descent.
I always do my freedive with a mild yoga warm-up first to stretch the required muscles, do pranayama to prime the lungs and meditate to stay completely relaxed and focused.
Ferd, my high school snorkeling buddy, came along for most of the snorkeling. With a buddy, I felt a little more confident pushing the boundaries - but not too deep as he cannot reach my depth for a possible rescue. With him around, we were high school kids all over again.
2-Kilometer Drift Snorkeling/Freediving
I've done this years back with Ferd and some Cebu yogis doing a drift snorkeling from the marine sanctuary to Hale Manna - a 3km stretch. Now, Ferd and I were joined by Leon, a traveler I met in Anda, Bohol. We started at Sumisid Lodge and planned on going all the way to Hale Manna in White Beach - a 5-km stretch! However, there was no current that day. We had to manually fin and after 2 kms, we bailed at the jetty by Kasai Village.
Unique to Moalboal, the sardine bowl just off Sumisid Lodge in Panagsama Beach offers a special kind of freediving - piercing through the bowl as the sardines open up like a zipper parting as you pass along.
I've done serious freediving in Apo Island and Panglao. I will have to say Moalboal is best. The depths are just meters away from the beach with corals to animate the scenery.
Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines
Travel Tips about Moalboal
- money changer - there are 2 money changes here in Panagsama Beach - Saavedra Cottages and the small store in front of Cora's Cottages. They both offer dismal rates. Best exchange rate is at Gaisano Moalboal town center (bring an ID!!!) followed by M. Lhuillier, then Palawan
- weather - even though it might be raining cats-and-dogs in Cebu City or in Negros Oriental, the sun is likely to be out in Moalboal. It only rains there if there is an actual monsoon. So don't let that rain scare you off from your dive trip.
- tricycle - rides could end up pricey if you don't plan for it. Best to get a price established with a tricycle or motorcycle driver as you arrive (usually P50/pax for single motorcycle ride and P100/trip for a tricycle) to White Beach. Then arrange for a date/time pick-up from your resort at that same price rate (otherwise you will end up paying for a round trip)
- folding bike - if you really want to save up on tricycle fare (which could seriously add up if you keep going back and forth from Panagsama - White Beach), bring a folding bike with you. A folding bike fits in the under-belly of a Ceres bus
- Town Center to Panagsama Beach - if you want to pay the local rate (not tourist rate) of P10/pax from Town Center to Panagsama Beach, take the tricycle behind Three Sixty Pharmacy. The tricycle will wait until its full before taking off. Tell the driver you're going to "Baybay". On the way back, from Panagsama Beach to Town Center, walk a bit here and board the local tricycle. It will wait again to fill up before taking off. Best to pay the tricycle driver while awaiting for other passengers. That way, he can't charge you tourist fare when you alight.
- Town Center to White Beach - local tricycle rate is P25/pax beside Three Sixty Pharmacy. You should see tricycles with painted signboard, "White Beach". Tell the driver you're going to "Basdaku"
How to get to Moalboal from Dumaguete:
- From Dumaguete, take a bus or jeep going north and ask to be dropped-off at the Sibulan Town Proper (~P10, 10 mins). Take the short walk to the pier.
- Take either the pumpboat or fastcraft to Liloan, Cebu (~P50, 30 mins)
- From the Liloan port, take a tricycle to the Bato Bus Terminal (~P20 if shared, 10 mins)
- From the terminal, take the Cebu City bus via Barili and ask to dropped-off to Moalboal Town Proper (P70, ~2 hours)
How to get to Moalboal from Cebu City:
- take a Ceres Bus at the South Bus Terminal going to Bato (make sure its via Barili) and get off at the Moalboal Town Center - 3 hours, P130 (aircon)
- From Town Center, take a tricycle to your resort. Town Center to Panagsama Beach (~P50 if no other passenger, 10 mins).
Moalboal Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Goodbye Moalboal Sep 2, 2017
- Fitness on the Jetty Aug 18, 2017
- Freediving Pescador Island with Seaquest Dive Center Aug 13, 2017
- Life in Moalboal Aug 7, 2017
- Pranayama in Moalboal Aug 3, 2017
- Settling-in at Moalboal Poblacion July 23, 2017
- Freediving with Jean Pol Francois of Freediving-Planet July 22, 2017
- Freediving Moalboal July 10-18, 2017
- Scuba Diving through the Sardine Bowl July 17, 2017
- Bitcoin Transaction at 7 Sins Bar, Moalboal July 12, 2017
- Scuba Diving Tongo Point with SeaQuest Dive Center July 10, 2017
- Revisiting Moalboal July 10-16, 2017
- Freediving in Moalboal at Asian Belgian Resort Sep 6-7, 2015
- Beach Life and Free-Diving in Moalboal, Cebu Sep 13-23, 2012
More Information about Cebu City
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