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South of Cebu DIY (Day 1 and 2): Kawasan Falls, Moalboal, and Pescador Island

Updated on June 16, 2012

Day 1: Manila to Cebu

Before the trip I was giddy with excitement to see the majestic whale sharks once more – the first time I saw them at Donsol, I had a natural high. I was happy for almost three months just thinking about the experience. This time we were off to Oslob, a bus ride away from Cebu to see the whale sharks locally called there as ‘Tuki’. But before my meet up with the Tuki’s our plan was to do a side trip to the Kawasan Falls at Badian also South of Cebu then dive at Moalboal’s Pescador Island the following day. The last day was to be a rest day at the luxurious Mactan Shangri-la. Sounds interesting, eh?

Even if we had to wake up at 3am to go to the airport I was still full of energy as we waited for our flight. But alas, after almost two hours, we were still waiting at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Our flight was delayed due to maintenance. By the time we got to Cebu I was tired, although still had a bit of spirit to go through with the plan.

We took the multicab from the airport to Mandaue. When we reached Mandaue, we could not see our next ride to the Southern Bus Terminal to Moalboal, so instead we just hailed a cab.

Cabs waiting outside the Southern Bus Terminal or One Citilink Terminal
Cabs waiting outside the Southern Bus Terminal or One Citilink Terminal | Source

Trip Tip

  • Terminal Fee at the Ninoy Aquino Airport is 200, Mactan Airport terminal fee is also 200P per person.
  • The Multicab is at the end of the International Airport. From the Domestic Airport cross across to the walkway and walk towards the end; the multicab is just a couple of steps from the exit.
  • The correct way of commuting going to the South Bus terminal from the airport according to the cab driver was to – STEPS: 1) ride a multicab from the Mactan Airport to Mandaue, 2) ride any jeepney going to highway, go down at SM, 3) ride a 10K from the jeepney terminals at the mall going to South Terminal. Well, another easier way is to hail a cab like what we did. You can also call them; I was able to get the number of Holiday Taxi -> 3451622. They do not ask for additional charge for pick-ups.

'Tinolang Isda' or Soup-Based Fish - the meal served at the South Bus Terminal. Tinola is normally served with chicken in most parts of the Philippines
'Tinolang Isda' or Soup-Based Fish - the meal served at the South Bus Terminal. Tinola is normally served with chicken in most parts of the Philippines | Source
Parked trigger boat/ Filipino term 'bangka' by Panagsama Beach
Parked trigger boat/ Filipino term 'bangka' by Panagsama Beach | Source
Hut at Maya's Native Garden
Hut at Maya's Native Garden | Source

Day 1: Moalboal

Moalboal lies in the Southwest Coast of Cebu and is well known for their dive spots and beaches. From the South Bus Terminal of Cebu City it was easy to get a ride to Moalboal. It had several vans and buses going to Cebu’s tourist spots like the Bee Farm at Toledo City, Carcar for their famous crispy pork, Moalboal, and others. I first had lunch of of Tinolang Isda (Soup-based fish) at a small eatery just beside the station while hubby had his fill of Dunkin Donuts. I enjoyed my meal, but left most of the rice since the serving was too big for me. Afterwards the van to Moalboal took 2 hours plus an additional waiting time for passengers to fill-up the van for at least an hour.

Upon arriving at Moalboal, we were welcomed by a swarm of tricycle drivers offering a trip to Panagsama Beach where the dive shop and the place we were staying in was. I was already very groggy from the trip. We rode the first tricycle we saw and no longer asked for the price – bad move! When we got off the tricycle at Maya's Native Garden which was less than 10minutes from the main road, we were asked for 100P for the trip which is expensive for the distance. Anyway, we had no choice but to pay him since we also had to ride his tricycle back to the main road to go to Kawasan Falls. I just bargained our way back to 70P.

Upon arriving at Moalboal, we were welcomed by a swarm of tricycle drivers offering a trip to Panagsama Beach where the dive shop and the place we were staying in was. I was already very groggy from the trip. We rode the first tricycle we saw and no longer asked for the price – bad move! When we got off the tricycle at Maya's Native Garden which was less than 10minutes from the main road, we were asked for 100P for the trip which is expensive for the distance. Anyway, we had no choice but to pay him since we also had to ride his tricycle back to the main road to go to Kawasan Falls. I just bargained our way back to 70P.

TRIP TIP:
I inquired for the normal tricycle cost for a special trip at the pharmacy by the main road and according to the cashier, a special trip good for 5 people is70P. If you bargain well; it could go down to 60P one way. The most expensive it could get is 80P. So ours was overkill

Instead of the waterfalls, this was the only thing we saw.
Instead of the waterfalls, this was the only thing we saw. | Source

Day 1: Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Waterfalls is one of the popular tourist destinations in Cebu. It is composed of three waterfalls with the largest one reachable via raft for a waterfall massage.

I wanted to go there during our last trip to Cebu, but we only had enough time for a city tour. We rode a bus going to Badian from the main highway of Moalboal.

It took us about an hour to reach the falls and voila, yet another disappointment... the falls had been closed since early April and there were no information in their website indicating the closure. I tried to plead to the ladies guarding the entrance informing them that we came all the way from Manila and we just want to take pictures but they did not budge. They said the governor did not want anybody to see the place which was getting a construction of the picnic area. They instead pointed us towards the public beach in front of the entrance. We tried to look at the beach but it was not worth the dip, instead of sand there were small rocks. I've had it for the day and cried for a minute out of frustration - I was tired, duped by a tricycle driver, and the worst thing was, the day was almost at an end and we haven't seen anything worth it in our trip.

Masses are no longer held in the 18th century church, instead they built a new one just beside it
Masses are no longer held in the 18th century church, instead they built a new one just beside it | Source

Day 1: 18th Century San Juan Nepomuceno Church

With nothing else to do we rode the bus back to Moalboal. We chanced upon San Juan Nepomuceno church which was established 1852. It was just a couple of steps before the bus waiting shed and decided to have the anticipated mass. There was no information online regarding Catholic Churches and Mass times at Moalboal, it was a good thing we saw the church. Unfortunately there was no English mass schedule. So we attended a Visayan Mass all the while reading the Catholic Mass in English at my husband's Iphone. After mass we had a filling dinner at Food Trip Express just beside the church.

TRIP TIP:

  • From Moalboal to Kawasan Falls, ride the regular Ceres Bus going to Badian for 20P per person one way (hopefully it would be open soon)
  • English Mass at San Juan Nepomuceno only occurs every Second Sunday of the month
  • Food Trip Express was a good eat since they serve filling and cheap meals. Finally I was able to try 'puso' at 5P per piece which is actually rice wrapped in banana leaves. The puso can be eaten by hand just by unwrapping the leaves. It is well packed that the rice would not fall off. There was also this interesting viand called 'Ngohiong' which is fried coconut heart in lumpia wrapper. It was yummy and just cost us 5P each as well. Their chicken meal was at 35P with gravy and rice.

Small store at Seafood Grill. Cute kid could not reach the counter
Small store at Seafood Grill. Cute kid could not reach the counter | Source
I kiddingly told my husband not to leave me because of this message by the inn in-front of Sea food Grill :))
I kiddingly told my husband not to leave me because of this message by the inn in-front of Sea food Grill :)) | Source
Our overloaded diving outrigger boat at Cebu Diver's
Our overloaded diving outrigger boat at Cebu Diver's | Source
Pescador Island
Pescador Island | Source

Day 2: Pescador Island

The next day we woke up early for our dive at Pescador Island. We quickly had breakfast at Seafood grill which we passed by on our way to Cebu Diver's, the dive shop we chose for the Pescador trip.

Pescador Island became well known to the scuba diving world when there was a sardine run phenomenon. A large number of sardine school were together just below the island. Unfortunately, the sardines of Pescador left early 2012 so our expectation was rather set low. We arrived early and showed our license to the owner and dive master of Cebu Diver's, a nice French guy named Geom. We rented almost all the gears except for the wetsuit. After a few minutes the other divers arrived. The boat going to the island was full and I had to sit on a bamboo with the gears just a few inches away from my foot. Far from the neat boat we had during our dive in Panglao.

Although there were lots of small colorful fish at around 15ft, thank goodness we did not expect that much from the dive, because other than a flutemouth fish, a surgeonfish, and around 10 sardines in a school, we no longer saw anything of interest. After that dive we no longer went for a second dive.

We were back at Maya's Native Garden just in time for our check-out.

TRIP TIP:

  • Contact Cebu Divers at (+63)919.455.5928, email info@cebudivecentre.com. Total cost is 1150P inclusive of weights, air, guide, marine fee at 100 and optional gear set at 300 (50% off if you bring your own mask, bootie, and wetsuit).
  • Maya's Nativa Garden Contact: +639154809610, email: info@mayasnativegarden.com. We were required to give P840 deposit. The cottage with a fan, wifi, and hot shower is 800P per night. Although I would not recommend their rooms since they were old, their tex-mex dishes was one of the best I've had here in the Philippines. We loved their make your own burrito and their Enchilada.
  • According to an office-mate of mine who went to Pescador Island June 2012, there were turtles, dolphins and a lone whale shark just a bit pass where we dove - I guess our dive was not lucky.


That ends our first and second day at the South of Cebu. I will continue with the third (Oslob) and fourth day (Mactan) at a different hub. Total Expenses for the Moalboal-Pescador Trip is 2347 Philippine Pesos Per Person, breakdown below :)

Under the sea at Pescador Island
Under the sea at Pescador Island | Source

Breakdown of Budget

Day
Time
Activity
PerPerson
1
640AM
Cebu Pac 5J-561 to Cebu
966.16
 
9:30AM
Arrive At Mactan Cebu Airport
200.00
 
10AM
Multicab to Mandaue from the airport
7.00
 
10:15AM
Taxi to Southern Bus Terminal/One Citilink Terminal
80.00
 
10:45AM
Breakfast at Carinderia & Dunkin Donuts
100.00
 
11:30AM
Van to Moalboal
100.00
 
2:30PM
Tricycle to Maya's Native Garden
85.00
 
2:35PM
CheckIn at Maya's Native Garden
400.00
 
2:45PM
Bus to Kawasan Falls
20.00
 
3:30PM
Kawasan Falls (closed)
-
 
3:40PM
Bus back to Moalboal
20.00
 
4PM
Lunch-Dinner at Food Trip Express
 
 
530PM
Mass at San Juan Nepomuceno, Moalboal
100.00
 
7PM
Tricycle back to Panagsama Beach
35.00
 
 
Back at inn, Sleep Early
-
2
630AM
WakeUp, Breakfast at Sea food grill
65.00
 
8AM
Go to Cebu Dive Center
900.00
 
9AM
Diving at Pescador Island
250.00
 
1PM
CheckOut, Lunch at Maya's Native Garden
150.00
 
1:05PM
Tricycle from Panagsama to highway
35.00
 
 
Total Moalboal:
2,347.00
Price Per Person in Philippine Peso as of May 2012. Total amount does not include the airfare from Manila to Cebu (966.16P per person seat sale price) and the 200P Terminal Fee at the Airport.

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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      How's the traffic in Cebu. I hope it's not as bad as I remember it. Well, it was Cebu city but this is a different place. :)

    • munchwaffle profile image
      Author

      munchwaffle 4 years ago from Philippines

      Only heavy traffic we encountered was when we were almost already in Cebu City from Oslob - but it's still far better than Manila on a weekday! ;)

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