Moalboal, Cebu (Pescador Island & Sardines Spot)

Moalboal is a 4th municipal income class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 31,130. In the 2016 electoral roll, it had 19,821 registered voters. Extending as a peninsula on the south-western tip of Cebu, Moalboal is bordered to the west by the Tañon Strait. Negros Island can be seen from the western shoreline. Moalboal is between the towns of Alcantara and Badian, located 89 kilometers from Cebu City, about 2½ hours by bus. Pescador Island, a popular tourist attraction, is part of the municipality. Wikipedia

Moalboal is a small town on the South-West side of Cebu islandPhilippines. It's mostly used as an entry point to Panagsama Beach, where most of the resorts, restaurants, bars and dive schools are.


Sea view of Panagsama Beach
At first glance it may seem like there is not much to do for a tourist in Moalboal itself, but it serves as an excellent basecamp for diving and exploring the surrounding area. The many diveshops in Panagsama beach are mixed with a lot of bars and restaurants, and you can find both luxury and budget friendly accommodation to return to after your excursions. Moalboal is mostly known for the diving its coastline's multiple reefs provide, but if you look a bit further there are many more natural wonders to explore. The mountains inland offer spectacular vistas and the area is covered by dense tropical rain forests divided by rivers and canyons.

Get in[edit]

The easiest way to reach Moalboal is from Cebu City. The road is in good condition, even in the second part in the mountains and is about 80 km.

By van[edit]

Most of the resorts/dive shops in Moalboal propose to hire a van from Cebu airport to Moalboal. Be ready to pay around ₱3000 for this 3 hr trip.
Van can be also hired in front of the Cebu Airport. You will be "attacked" by guys offering this option when you step out of the airport. The first offer was around 4500 pesos. We didn't take it, because we went by bus so no idea if the price can be negotiated...

By taxi[edit]

Taxis can be hired at Cebu Airport for ₱3,000 (fixed rate as of January 2012). Many of the hotels and guest houses in Panagsama Beach will send a car or van for pickup for about ₱3,000.
Another option is to arrange your taxi ride in advance. There are several private operators driving legitimate taxi's. Both Noel (+639286634991) and Danny (+639061534659) are reliable drivers with whom you can negotiate a price between 1700 and 2200 pesos. (Oct 2014).
When we took the white metered taxi from the airport to the south bus terminal in Cebu city, the driver asked us wher we will go afterward. We said that we will take the bus to Moalboal and he said that he can take us there for 2500 pesos.(Mar 2016)

By bus[edit]

Watch out for problematic ticket collectors
Before boarding the bus, make sure you know the price you have to pay for the ticket. You can also read it off the ticket you get from the ticket collector (who will be on the bus during the whole journey). Do not pay more, this is the final price. It is also a good idea to pay the exact amount since the ticket collectors walk away with your money and tend to forget about the change. Some are very good at ignoring you. Also do as the locals do and pay your ticket as soon as possible and not shortly before you get off. This avoids discussion under time pressure.

As usual, the cheapest method is a local bus (2.5 to 4 hours). From Cebu airport, take a white metered taxi and ask to go to the south bus terminal (the airport is in Mactan, quite far from Cebu city, so be ready to pay around ₱200 for this). The yellow airport taxis are more expensive - expect to pay around ₱300. Both white and yellow taxis can be found to the right of the departure entrance of the airport. If you exit the airport at arrival exit, you need to go right and walk around 50m. There will be some white cars parked in front of the arrival airport exit. They are not white taxis and they will rip you off. White and yellow taxis have a taxi sign on the roof. Talk only with taxi driver. There will be a lot of other guys around trying to sell you different tickets/options... (mar 2016)
Then take the bus here (the main company is the yellow color buses of Ceres Liner). Be sure to use an already almost full bus to avoid waiting. The no-aircon (most are like this) travel will cost you ₱107 (Jan 2013) + ₱10 of terminal fee if you don't pay directly in the bus. Air-con with free WiFi (yellow Ceres) buses are ₱130 (Mar 2017). The bus will drop you off in Moalboal town which is 4km from Pangsama and 9km from White beach. The tricycle ride to Pangsama should cost less than ₱30 per person (locals pay ₱7), but expect that driver will ask 100+ pesos at first...

Other options[edit]

Coming from Dumaguete, it is possible to take the ferry boat between Sibulan (ca ₱100 by tricycle from the city center, or P10 in a jeepney) and cross to Lilo-An on Cebu island. There, take another tricycle (around ₱50) to the nearby bus station in Bato (San Sebastian). Another option from Dumaguete is taking a jeepney to Tampi (take a jeepney going to Amlan, P20), and there a RORO ferry directly to Bato for P70. Ceres buses headed for Cebu City stop there regularly, and some of them go via Moalboal (ask the driver). The bus fare is ₱70 (non aircon, Nov 2015).
Note: There is one ATM in Panagsama, inside Eve's Kiosk (go to where the car park is just inside of Panagsama, it is the resort at the back of the car park on the left), but it does not always work. There is an ATM in the 360 pharmacy in MoalBoal town (about 4km from the beach, reachable by tricycle) aswell as one at Gaisano Mall. Please be aware that all of the ATM's are temperamental; have cash with you before you arrive and make sure you have small denominations as some tricycle drivers and restaurants will flat out refuse or not give you change for a 500PHP or 1000PHP note. (Oct 2016)

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Anonymous said...

The lifestyle community there is very simple, clean and disciplined. The cost of goods are still cheap and affordable. Recommended destination for tourists.