I’ve had heard a lot of rave about the sardines run in Moalboal this year. Being a huge fan of the ocean, I have said to myself that this will surely be included on my bucket list. Little did I know that it would happen on the last weekend of May 2017.
Me, together with two friends, decided to go to Panagsama Beach, the other side of the famous White Beach in Moalboal. White Beach in Basdaku is where you can see a long stretch of white sand beach. Famous for its other name “tent city of Cebu” … why? lots of tourists here camp by the beach to save money on accommodation. It’s perfect for the usual beach swimming but it’s filled with lots of locals and tourists especially during holidays and weekends.
On the other hand, Panagsama is the opposite – rocky but is a home to lots of sea creatures, perfect for snorkeling and diving. Panagsama also hosts the famous sardines, sea turtles, and lots of sea creatures. You can also see dolphins in the Pescador Island area.
So back to our story ….
We decided to stay in Bonita Oasis Resort, which we booked via Agoda.
Bonita Oasis Resort Review
Customer Service: very accommodating
Serving Speed: depends on the food being served; I observed that they were able to serve breakfast meals faster. However, when we had dinner, it took about 40 minutes for them to prepare the food we ordered: squid adobo, chicken adobo, and nilagang shrimp.
Price – full meal starts at 180 pesos up.
Food – Serves a mix of cuisine, mostly Asian. The food they serve tasted good.
By the way, if you book a room, they provide free breakfast.
All in all, we had a great stay at Bonita Oasis. I think it’s perfect for family getaway. It’s a bit pricey but it is well maintained and the staff are very accommodating.
Itinerary – Activities & Fees:
Island hopping – 1, 800 pesos (booked via the resort); good for 3 persons, including life vest and snorkeling gears
Motorcycle Rental – 550 pesos (scooter)
Archery (small package) – 350 pesos for 4 levels of archery; we were given 50 pesos discount.
Bus fare – 115 pesos for non aircon bus from Cebu City to Moalboal (one way); 3-4 hours travel
Tricycle fare – 150 pesos (whole tricyle, not per person); can accommodate 4-6 passengers; about 15 minutes from the bus stop to Panagsama. I talked to the driver, it’s also the same price if you decide to go the White Beach in Basdaku.
… let me discuss a little more about the following activities since it served as highlight during our travel:
Sea Turtles & Sardines Run
I was totally surprised that the sea turtles and sardines can be found near the shore of Panagsama. You can just actually rent a vest and snorkeling gear to get to them. However, for a better exploration of the area, you can opt to rent a boat to go to Pescador Island.
During our visit, we were only able to see one sea turtle, a huge one. Our boatman said that there are quite a few of them in early morning. By the way, we started our island hopping at 2 in the afternoon.
As for the sardines, I was totally in awe because there are thousands of them swimming together. They are quite sensitive to any movement, so they move around if they see people swimming. Sardines run, as it is being called. Be careful in swimming for we had notice current in the area. I feel like these sardines are having workouts haha!
Pescador Island is a tiny island in Moalboal. It’s about 10-20 minutes boat ride from Panagsama Beach. It hosts lots of different varieties of fishes and corals. You can also perform cliff jumping here for an extreme adventure.
You can bring bread to feed the fishes. In our case, we let them eat bibingka haha!
When we were on our way to the sardines from Pescador Island, we had sightings of 4-6 dolphins. Sad to say, I wasn’t able to capture these gentle creatures because they were quite far from from our boat. But the moment I saw them, I just said wow!
Archery at Archery Asia
Location: Barangay Tuble, Moalboal, Cebu
On our second day, we decided trying archery at Archery Asia. We rented a scooter for 550 pesos (good for 24 hours use) since we want to get there as quick as we can to be able to catch the 2 or 3pm bus going back to the city. Apart from that, we just wanted to ride a scooter haha!
Archery Asia is about 2km away from Bonita Oasis. While waiting for the instructor, we had fun playing darts. The personnel were really accommodating. We were given the archery gear and they were generous enough to give us bonus shots.
- take down bow (14 lbs and 20 lbs)
- carbon arrows
- arm guard
- shooting glove
… so yes, I was really feeling Katniss at that moment. haha!
Archery Levels for small package
- Level 1 – bullseye target
- Level 2 – huge spider and boar
- Level 3 – 2 ducks
- Level 4 – same area with Level 1 but the target is a moving tenis ball.
Elsie was a great instructor. She was able to get along with us pretty easy. Saba kaayo gyud ko so sakay lang sad sya sa mga kabuang. haha! Let me translate that: I was very loud and making jokes when I had my shots and my friends’ (not a sort of distraction but just to have a fun experience). My friends and I are noobs to this sport but she makes it to a point that we are enjoying it and not to be too competitive. hahaha!
Note: no time limit; I think there were 10 arrows for each set.
Big packages are also available – which means more levels.
The wilderness of the area makes the archery experience more awesome. So I was feeling like Katniss shooting animals for food. haha!
By the way, Archery Asia has unique rooms (they called bamboo huts) for guests who would like to stay the night. Just to let you know, their area is quite a distance to the beach, so if you want to have a night swim or early morning swim at the beach, you might travel about 2km to go to Panagsama beach area.
After a very memorable and funny experience at Archery Asia, we drove to White Beach, which was 15-minutes ride. Given that it was Sunday, there were lots of people in the beach. We had lunch at HK resort (same food price as with Bonita Oasis; full meal price at 100 pesos up). What’s fun is that I won a dare in the archery game! So, yes, my friend bought us an icecream! yum! it was initially halo2x but since it was nowhere in sight, so icecream it is!
… and that’s a wrap for a very memorable weekend in Moalboal.
To sum up everything, here’s our travel video: Moalboal Episode
Boat rental – 09324114911
Motorbike rental – 09169205618 / 032-474-3530; firstname.lastname@example.org (Rosita’s Cottages)
Got questions? Let me know! I hope you could visit Moalboal too!