Marine Wonderland of Cebu: Panagsama, Moalboal

For underwater adventurers and part time mermaids, one place that you must visit when you’re traveling to Southern Cebu is Moalboal. Moalboal’s marine life is rich.. and it’s definitely a wonderland.

How to get there?
– Ride a Ceres bus in South Bus Terminal with the signboard of ‘Bato via Barili’. Tell the bus conductor to drop you off that the bus terminal of Moalboal. The bus fare is Php116.00/person.

Where we stayed?
I have chosen to stay in Moalboal Backpackers Lodge in Panagsama. The place was almost 4 kilometers away from the Bus stop. To reach the Lodge, you may ride a habal-habal from the highways for Php30.00 each. We have chosen the Blue Dragon room which has two-storeys, one bed and a chill-out hammock for only Php750.00 per night. They also have dorm type rooms which is cheaper. You may check their rates here: Moalboal Backpackers Lodge Rates

Our home for two nights, Moalboal Backpackers Lodge

Our home for two nights, Moalboal Backpackers Lodge

Stairway to the dormitory type rooms.

Stairway to the dormitory type rooms.



I loved the hammock and mosquito net. It reminds me of my childhood. Once we settled into our rooms, I immediately laid into the hammock and enjoying the provincial vibes in Moalboal. The place was clean and the staffs were accommodating. They also provided us towels, water and coffee. Every night I can feel the strong winds and hear geckos which entertained me a lot (Yes, I communicate with them). The only thing that bothered us were the cockroaches. I think we saw three of them but luckily, I never saw them fly! Ha-ha!

Blue Gecko: Bed and Tables

Blue Gecko: Bed and Tables

Blue Gecko: Second Floor. Rae comfortably laying on the hammock.

Blue Gecko: Second Floor. Rae comfortably laying on the hammock.

What to do?
1. Scuba Diving and Snorkelling
Panagsama is very popular to foreign tourists because on of it’s marine life. If you want to pursue your PADI license, Panagsama is one place to do it. There are lot of scuba diving shops around and different places to dive and snorkel.

Deep blue sea

Deep blue sea

Rae and I went to Pescador Island – Turtle Sanctuary – Sardine Run for Php1,800 including the snorkelling device and life vest. I have read from other bloggers that you may also ask other divers/snorkellers to join them for more cheaper rates.

Pescador Island is located more than a kilometer boat ride to Panagsama. It was my first time snorkelling at a place so deep. When I jumped on the boat and tried to peak under the sea, I saw nothing but the endless deep blue sea and realized that I am floating on top of a really deep ocean. Once I approached the island itself, the water was shallower which allowed us to explore different kinds of corals and different species of fishes – including a blue starfish and a sea snake!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

The Sardine Run is located just near the shore of Panagsama. At first, you’ll just notice a dark section of the ocean, and if you look closely, they move in a synchronized manner and will react to every movement they detect. They were amazing! I remembered the Sardine Run in Finding Nemo! This is preserved in Moalboal ever since it became one of the tourist attractions. Fishing is allowed but only by the use of fishing rods, however, usage of fishing nets is prohibited.

Yes, they're all sardines!

Yes, they’re all sardines!

2. Night Life
You may also explore the night life in Panagsama. We saw lots of bars and billiard places around, and also restaurants with a great view of the seashore. They serve different kinds of fresh fishes and shrimps. I wasn’t the drinking type so I didn’t explore that much.

3. Stargazing
The night sky in Moalboal is great, but unfortunately, the sky was cloudy that time. Rae and I spent our last night in Moalboal next to the shore while listening to the waves of the ocean. We talked to the local kids and watched them perform their song and dance numbers which was really entertaining.

My fail shot of the night sky.

My fail shot of the night sky.

4. Food Tripping
The restaurants around Panagsama were expensive but delicious. The prices of the food ranges from Php100 – Php300 per meal. Rae and I ate our breakfast at a restaurant beside the Lounge here and the food was worth it. There are lots of restos with different kinds of gimmicks.

Food at Oishi's.

Food at Oishi’s.

If you are on a tight budget, you may try going near the Moalboal proper where the food ranges from Php70 – Php100. They also have different delicacies to try on.

Next time I’ll be going back to Moalboal, I shall be diving! No more crying due to jellyfish stings!

Have you visited Moalboal? How was your experience?

Check out more of my Cebu Trip:
Cebu: Itinerary, Tips and Tricks
Chasing Waterfalls in Southern Cebu
The First Cat Cafe in PH: Cat Cafe Philippines
 Roaming Around Cebu City


10 thoughts on “Marine Wonderland of Cebu: Panagsama, Moalboal

  1. Richel V. says:

    I’ve been reading so much about Moalboal, Cebu lately. I’m so excited to visit! Once I learn how to swim (I’m terrified of doing any diving/any water activities because of that), I’m definitely putting that next on my list. Love your photos!


    • ayelouise says:

      Thank you Richel! This was my first time using mg action cam so I’m adjusting. 🙂

      Me too! I am planning on taking swimming classes just to be sure. There are lot’s of millennial swimming lessons for us 20s 🙂


  2. Chasing Potatoes says:

    I totally agree with your intro that Moalboal is a wonderland with a rich marine life. The first time I went there I was mesmerized with the underwater beauty of the garden corals and diverse marine creatures. I have been to Moalboal four times already and I am still hooked to it…hehe! Anyway thanks for sharing your awesome adventure. 😉

    Love, Gly


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