There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, each with its own significant beauty. It would be impossible to ever see even a quarter of the islands. But if you do get the chance to go, make sure to take a trip to Cebu.
Unlike other parts of South East Asia, the Philippines is extremely vast and it takes days to travel around. So, if you’re planning to go, make sure you have plenty of time, you’ll lose around 5 days in travelling.
When I got the country, I landed in Manila. Big mistake. Pay the extra cash and head straight to Cebu airport. But, if you do what I did- it only costs £30 from Manila to Cebu.
Now, when you get to Cebu, you need to get to the south bus terminal. I hadn’t done my research and thought this would be a ten minute drive, it’s an hour long drive. I paid 500 pesos, which is around £7.
From there, the bus to Moalboal runs every hour. Just my luck I got on the bus at around 12:05pm. Now, you’re on a local bus, which takes around 3 hours to get to your destination. The bus cost 158 pesos, which is around £2.30. Literally, nothing. The driver will let you know when you’re at your stop and they all speak excellent English so you’re always safe.
Next…at the Moalboal bus terminal you then want to take a tricycle to your hostel, which will take about 15 minutes. This cost me 100 pesos, so just over a pound. Now, you see how you need a full day to travel?
What to do and see:
I stayed at Cheif Mau hostel and I’d highly recommend it. It’s a two minute walk to the beach and very social. The one thing I do advise is to stay in the 8 bed dorm, not the six. The two rooms could’ve been two completely different hostels. The six bed; resembled something of a dungeon with one miserable toilet and a shower that dribbled water down the wall. The eight bed; brand new suite, with several hot waterfall showers, separate toilet rooms and the comfiest beds.
As a solo travel, I decided to sit in the communal area and talk to the people there. After a few red horses and San Miguel’s, we made our way to the local bbq (which also serves veggie food!!) and then, karaoke. After seeing one of the tour guides perform screamo music, me and a friend looked at each other across the room and agreed, it’s time for bed.
The hostel was also very good, because you could book canyoneering and the whale shark tour through them.
For the whale sharks, you had to leave at 4am to Oslob and it cost 2,500 pesos, about £40. But, it’s worth it. The van picked us up around 4:15am and we were there by 5:25am and watched the sunrise. It was perfect. In the end, you only get 30 minutes in the water, but the animals are so mesmerising, it’s worth every second and penny. The trip ends by 9am back at the hostel.
You can get a local bus there and then pay 1000 pesos for a guide when you arrive. But, for me it was easier to know everything was organised. It’s worth noting, you can’t even enter the beach without a tour guide.
That night we partied at Chilli Bar. And I saw things I’ll never forget. A middle aged philippino man throwing his body across the floor, moves I’d never seen in my life. A group of Japanese teachers sat with us and wanted selfies with me every second. After many group pictures with our new friends, my eyes set upon a lady boy and a young Japanese boy across the dance floor.
A trip to Moalboal wouldn’t be complete without canyoneering. It costs 1500 php. You start at 9am from the hostel and finish around 5pm. I wouldn’t do this if you have an injury; a Mexican man had to just walk the whole way due to back pain.
On this trip, you literally take nothing, you have to leave everything. I had my waterproof camera, but there was really no point because they record everything on their go pro and then send it you through WhatsApp. I also took some money. When you get there you can do a 45 minute walk to Kasawan Falls or pay 500 php to zip wire in.
The trip is very adventurous, you are basically jumping off rocks for 5 hours. The last one is 12 metres, which you don’t have to do. I did it, and 3 weeks on I still can’t sit down due to a coxyx injury. The jumps start at 5 metres and there are smaller jumps too.
Moalboal is a must visit. But, don’t stay in Oslob, besides the whale sharks there was literally nothing and no body around.