Sep 6-7, 2015
Freediving in Moalboal at Asian Belgian Resort
GPS waypoint: 9°58'51.5"N 123°22'12.9"E
Location: Moalboal, about 200m south of White Beach
When mountaineer, yogini and freediver, Ronet invited me with other peeps from the yoga community to go freediving over the weekend in Moalboal, I automatically conjured images of sardine-runs and drift snorkeling along its famous wall. I penciled it in and prepped up for some deep plunges into the abyss. Altogether, Metz (another yogini and scuba diver) and myself made it with Ronet.
Asian Belgian Resort
We stayed at the comfortable Asian Belgian Resort - a PADI certified dive center and resort lodging. It's nestled in a quiet area near White Beach, but still a short ride away from the hustle-and-bustle of Panagsama Beach. They have a house reef that drops 70m down! Food was a little pricey but the serving was generous and best of all, everything we ordered tasted great! The resto/bar overlooked the sea and they had beach barca-loungers in an open chillout section where the sea breeze gently blows into your face as you doze-off. The owner is a hands-on manager with interesting stories about his many adventures.
Ronet took us to Panagsama to meet her freediving friends (Christine and Mikey) at Freediving Planet. After gearing up, we took the big plunge into their house reef where the sardines were milling around. Moalboal is better known for its sardine-balls - you dive right through the school and they open up like the parting of the Red Sea. It was a rare spectacle and experience! The wall plunges down for that deep vertical descent!
Freedive and Drift Dive
Back at Asian Belgian Resort, Metz and I (Ronet was still in Panagsama) went to their house reef and took a few turns on scaling the wall. At 70m deep, I could not even see the bottom - but the wall itself offered a muraled seascape that stretched along the coast for 11 dizzying kilometers. We proceeded to snorkel along the drop-off all the way to Hale Manna Resort - about 2 kilometers away. Along the way, we were met by choppy waters, promenading sea turtles (we saw 4 altogether) and a sea snake. We even beached ourselves in White Beach for coffee/water break before heading back into the waters.
Since it was low tide, the pressing challenge was how to exit on shallow water without hitting rocks, corals and sea urchins. With poor visibility on the shallows and the choppy water, it wasn't easy but we finally managed. The entire dive was a rush and yes, exhausting!
3 days and 2 nights - hardly enough to satiate yourself to what Moalboal has to offer. It's a good thing Moalboal is only 3 hours away from Cebu City - a very doable weekend getaway. Until the next time!
Thank you Ronet for tagging us along for the great dive!!!
Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines
Sardine Bowl - millions of sardines milled around in front of Panagsama Beach
Pescador Island - short boat ride, famous dive spots
Panagsama Beach - sardine bowl, white sand beaches and the hub of tourism/expat activity in Moalboal
Basdaku White Beach - stretch of long white sand beach in Basdaku
Scuba, Freediving and Snorkeling - the entire Moalboal peninsula is a massive coral reef with depths reaching 300m
- Editha's Southsea Holiday Houses - quiet, detached houses, beachfront location, mature community, long-term tenants
Tongo Point Rd, Moalboal, 6032 Cebu
- Sumisid Lodge - beachfront resort, diveshop, sardine-location, near local transport
Panagsama Beach, Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines
- Rosita's Cottages - 2 locations, kitchen, wifi, cable tv, motorcycle rental
Panagsama Beach, Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu
- Eskapo Verde - team-building accommodation, restaurant, water sports, function room
Badian, Cebu (6kms south of Moalboal)
- 7 Sins Bar - accepts bitcoin, pool table
Panagsama Beach, Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines
- 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"
- 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)
- 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).
- 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
(Sep 11, 2015) Thank you Gigit and Ronet for introducing me to the world of challenging but equally fun freediving!
(Sep 11, 2015) Sooo happy to spend the weekend with you guys!
(Sep 11, 2015) tara letssss ulit !!!!
Sep 6-7, 2015
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