Diving in Moalboal, Cebu


The Moalboal underwater scene attracts scuba diving enthusiasts because of its well-kept corals and huge variety of marine life. (Photo by Sergio Forti, sourced by Marlen Limpag)

If there is one thing the more than 20 diving shops in Moalboal agree on, it's that this Cebu town is a scuba diver's paradise.

The town counts among its visitors underwater fanatics from around the Philippines, European and other countries, and photography enthusiasts.

What sets Moalboal apart from other diving sites?

Italian Sergio Forti said the characteristics of the Moalboal underwater ecosystem, where the corals are in good condition and there is a big variety of marine life, make it interesting especially for underwater photographers.

Forti, an avid diver, said he came to Moalboal 20 years ago and this visit prompted him to build "from the ground up" the Sampaguita Resort, which he opened in 2003.

His resort offers training on open water diving for US$250. Experienced divers may avail of his US$55 package for one dive that comes with guide, boat, and equipment. For inquiries about resort rates, visit Forti's website at www.sampaguitaresort.com.

School of sardines

An additional attraction in the Moalboal underwater scene is the thousands of sardines that came to stay at Pescador island two and a half years ago. Pescador is a 10-minute ride by boat from the mainland and a popular destination of divers.

The sardines are attracting bigger fish like barracudas, mackerel, tuna, and tresher sharks to the island, according to the Savedra Dive Center.

Also abundant at Pescador are reef fish like lion and bat fish, sea cucumbers, and turtles.

Savedra, which is located at Moalboal's Panagsama Beach, is among the big dive shops in the town. It offers PADI, SSI, and technical diving courses.

It also arranges activities like fun diving, dive packages, and dive safaris and can provide diving gears and equipment as well as nitrox filling for a fee. Check out www.savedra.com for more information on its diving courses and rates.

Dive sites

Including Pescador island, there are at least  14 dive sites in Moalboal, said Nelson V. Abenido, owner of dive center Ocean Safari Philippines.

Abenido, who is also the town's vice mayor, said his establishment is the only one of the 22 dive centers in Moalboal that is owned by a local. Abenido charges P17,000 for a 3- to 4-day open water diving course and P1,100 per dive complete with boat and equipment. For bookings of inquiries, get in touch with Abenido at oceansafariphilippines@hotmail.com.

Forti said the whole Moalboal peninsula is conducive to diving and Abenido agrees with him.

Abenido said these dive sites that line the town's coast include the: Marine Sanctuary, Airplane Wreck, White Beach, Basdako Point, Dolphin House, Tuble Point, Kasai Wall, White House, Oscar Cave, House Reef, Talisay Point, Tongo Point, and Sampaguita.

On the other hand, Pescador island, counted as a single dive spot, is worth at least four dives, according to the Savedra Dive Center.

Slopes, depths

Turtle Bay Dive Resort, which operates a PADI-registered dive center, considers Moalboal among the best diving sites in the Philippines and the world.

Posted on the walls at its dive shop are printouts containing data of the different diving sites, including slopes, depths, and the marine resources present there.

This information is also available at its website www.turtlebaydiveresort.com.

Leticia Redoble of the Seaquest Dive Center said among their diving clientele are Dutch, German, Russian, and Chinese nationals. They would usually ask about the well-preserved corals and the thousands of sardines that have made Pescador island their home.

Seaquest charges P1,350 for a single dive inclusive of the sanctuary fee and boat but without the equipment. If with equipment, the cost is at P1,650.

The center's open water diving course is P18,450 and this includes nine dive lessons in the pool and sea.

How to get there

There is no shortage of places to stay in Moalboal. Its growing popularity as a diving destination has resulted in the opening of several resorts in the town.

Most of the dive shops and a few resorts are located at Panagsama Beach, which is five kilometers from the town center.

White Beach, because of its long strip of white sand, hosts many resorts but fewer dive centers. The beach is around eight kilometers away from Moalboal's municipal hall and public market.

The town, which is around 90 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, is three hours by bus from the South Bus Terminal.

Ceres buses leave the terminal every 30 minutes for southern towns including Moalboal. There are also vans-for-hire bound for Moalboal from the South Bus Terminal, which is 15 to 20 minutes by cab from the Cebu City uptown areas.

From the bus stop in the town, board any of the numerous tricycles to Panagsama Beach or White Beach.

Residents are used to foreigners staying in the town for its diving attractions and are friendly and helpful to tourists.

  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

  • Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …
    Bad news for Samsung: 85% of people in Philippines willing to buy homegrown …

    Smartphone growth is being fueled not by big names like Samsung but by the increasing demand of homegrown smartphone brands in the country. …

  • Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback
    Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Step aside, Sea of Blood Opera. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's favorite guitar-slinging, miniskirt-sporting girl group, the Moranbong Band, is back. And these ladies know how to shimmy. …

  • Eruption now engaged to GF
    Eruption now engaged to GF

    [caption id="attachment_131583" align="alignright" width="240"] Newly engaged couple Eric Tai and Rona Samson; (inset) Samson’s engagement ring (Instagram)[/caption] Eric “Eruption” Tai has already proposed to his non-showbiz girlfriend Rona Samson. The “It’s Showtime” mainstay offered Samson the ring near Mayon Volcano, Albay over the Holy week break. Tai shared during Monday’s episode of “It’s Showtime,” how he asked Samson the big question. “Umakyat kami, siyempre Eruption at Mayon Volcano. …

  • Jodie Foster marries girlfriend
    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster has reportedly tied the knot with Alexandra Hedison, who she has been dating for less than a year. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    AFP News - Thu, Apr 24, 2014
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

  • Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback

    Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback

    Associated Press - 23 hours ago
    Pyongyang's pop queens stage comeback

    PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Step aside, Sea of Blood Opera. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's favorite guitar-slinging, miniskirt-sporting girl group, the Moranbong Band, is back. And these ladies know how to shimmy. …

  • 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text

    'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text

    LiveScience.com - 16 hours ago
    'Gospel of Jesus's Wife': Doubts Raised About Ancient Text

    Now, new information uncovered by Live Science raises doubts about the origins of the scrap of papyrus. The gospel, written in the ancient Egyptian language Coptic, has made headlines ever since Harvard University professor Karen King announced its discovery. The business-card-size fragment contains the translated line "Jesus said to them, 'My wife …'" and also refers to a "Mary," possibly Mary Magdalene. If authentic, the papyrus suggests that some people believed in ancient times that …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options