Southern Invasion: Exploring the Natural Gems of Four South Cebu Towns

Fourth Stop: Swimming and Snorkeling in the Awesome Water Kingdom of Moalboal


          At last, I can finally express in writing my thoughts and experiences in the fourth and last stop of our Southern Invasion trip in the four towns of Cebu. This adventure took place in  my birthday month (October 2015). This may be the best birthday gift that I gave to myself because I got the chance to immerse in the hot and cold springs in Malabuyoc, chase a new waterfall, the Cambais Falls in Alegria, visit the magnificent Kawasan Falls in Badian, and now, swim and snorkel in the awesome water kigndom of Moalboal..

         After sightseeing the magnificent Kawasan Falls in Badian, we took a  habal-habal for Php 200.00 in going to Moalboal.

        The picture below is our habal-habal ride. Motor vehicles called Habal-habal are plenty near Kawasan Falls. Since we had limited time and had to minimize our fees, the three of us, Niña, Rowena and I decided to ride in one motorbike. The four of us, including the driver, shared one motorbike. The  funny thing was, as the motorbike started to hit off the road, the engine’s sound produced the vibration that gave our feet a tingling sensation. Haha! 😀 We endured this tickle for 30 minutes. We just laughed in the first ten minutes until we got annoyed and irritated by the prolonged agony,lol. But on top of that, this was one of my memorable habal-habal rides, as such we took selfie and did the pabebe wave. Hihi! 😉

Moalboal 1

  • Tip No. 1 In reality, what we did we did was very risky and unsafe. So if you want to ride a habal habal,   you should consider that one  or two passengers is enough for one bike. But  if you really want to save money and you have enough time, just wait for the bus that may pass along the highway. The fare may be Php 20.00 more or less.

          Upon arriving in Moalboal, we ate lunch at Mcdo. Since the terminal for tricycles was jut located outside Mcdo, we hired a tricycle in going to Panagsama Beach for Php 150.00 right after lunch.

       We arrived at the dive centre where we could supposedly rent snorkeling gears but the rental fee was out of our budget. We were dismayed and disappointed and would have cancelled the snorkeling activity if it weren’t for the tricycle driver. Fortunately he noted our disappointment and then he told and enlightened us that he knew a place for a cheaper rental of snorkeling gears. We followed him. He brought us in a Blue Star Resort where the people were very hospitable and accommodating.

         YEY, finally we had our snorkeling gears for just Php 100.00,fifty for the mask and fifty for the snorkel.

        So it was now the moment to venture into the underwater kingdom of Moalboal. Apparently it was low tide,nevertheless we could still swim because the place was like a cliff and the water was still deep due to the ledge, although the water near the shore had subsided.

         Upon walking towards the shore we saw some kids gathering sea shells and other marine wildlife that have inhabited the sand or rocks. The sight only showed that Moalboal is bountiful of natural resources. I hope that these kids as they grow up they will not abuse but rather take good care these unstinted God’s creations.

Moalboal 2

  • Tip No. 2 Wear proper footwear like booties to prevent injury from stepping on thorny rocks and on some venomous animals like the stone fish. Be extra vigilant and mindful by avoiding to walk on corals. Corals are very  fragile and once destroyed it will take years for them to grow again.

        We finally found the perfect spot to dip ourselves in the water. My friends who were not fully comfortable and confident with water equipped themselves with life vests.

  • Tip No. 3 If you are not comfortable swimming in the deep sea make sure you equip yourself with life vest for safety purposes. Life vest will control your buoyancy to avoid  encumbering.

Moalboal 3

         We started swimming and snorkeling and, as I always did, I observe the stunning corals reefs of different structures and designs and the diverse and vibrant marine creatures of Moalboal. These never ceased to mesmerize and enthrall me. I was spell bounded with the charm of the underwater world of Moalboal even though the visibility was not ver clear due to winds and waves that occurred weeks ago.

Moalboal 4

       As we kept on swimming, I spotted two cuttlefish but failed to capture them in my camera because they kept on distancing from us as we swam towards them. It was my first time to see those cute and squishy creatures and I was really thrilled in watching them. Hehe!

Moalboal 6

       Finally, the school of sardines appeared before us. They swam with style like rushing and dancing in a party making different amazing formations. What a sight! Here are pictures that serve us souvenirs of my friends that the had finally met and greeted the famous sardines in Moalboal. They said the bucketlist had been finally checked with swimming with the sardines!

Moalboal 9

       But don’t be deceived with all these fascination and wonders in underwater, there’s always danger lurking in every side. Just like in this photo. I didn’t know what made my arm itchy and covered with red spots. It felt warm and painful so I scratched it. I didn’t know what the culprit was. When I finally scanned my photos, I discovered the suspect. I had been victimized by a loose tentacle of a jelly fish. Rowena, the woman in the in the photo, was lucky. She wasn’t stung by the tentacle. After a few minutes the pain faded away but I got a wound. HUHU! 😥

Moalboal 7

  • Tip No. 4  As much as possible wear proper swimming attire such as leggings and rash guard to defend yourself from hazardous beings attack or may harm your skin you while swimming.

       When we were almost done in our swimming and snorkeling in Moalboal waters, my friend suddenly had muscle cramp in her legs. Oh well, good thing she knew how to loosen up and relax her muscles to impede the cramp.

Moalboal 8

  • Tip No. 6 Before swimming have a warm up exercise and drink a lot of water to avoid muscle cramp and dehydration.
  • Tip No. 7 Underwater world is such a wonder that’s why it must be only for our sight and nothing more. Never tease and collect marine wildlife. Respect Mother Nature. Do no feed the animals. Let them be in the wild and natural habitat.  Leave the place in the same or in a better state than when you arrive.

        I was happy with the knowledge that my friends, too, had fun. They told me that it was their first time to snorkel and they were bedazzled and impressed with the splendour of the underwater world.


        And as we surfaced it was the perfect moment for the sun to set in the horizon. We were expecting that great colours would splash its gorgeous hues into the sky, but we were frustrated because of the effect of the smaze (smoke and haze) that invaded Cebu, sigh! 😦

       Sorry if I edited my sunset photo here in my blog. I just wanted to saturate the colours to change the mood of my pictures. Anyway the smaze had gone off totally now. So if ever you’ll visit and watch sunset in Moalboal expect that grand show of a setting sun.

Moalboal 5

       Before I end this blog I  would like to thank the hospitable and kind-hearted people who welcomed and let us stay in their awesome place just a little bit of time in this awesome place, the Blue Star Resort.Thank you awesome people. 😀 🙂

Moalboal 10

         This might be my third time in Moalboal but my experiences were never the same, no similar jaunts and ventures and every feat was different that never ceases to fascinate me. The beauty of Moalboal’s underwater always entices me to go back that’s why I strongly recommend Moaboal  to be part of your South Invasion trip if ever you plan to go to Cebu.

        Please share your thoughts about your adventure in Moalboal, I would love to hear from you! 🙂

How to get there

1. If by bus, go to South Bus Terminal. Ride a bus bound for Badian. The fare going to Badian for non-air conditioned bus is Php 107.00 The fare for air-conditionned bus is Php 116.00.
2. Ride a tricycle to Panagsama Beach  for Php 150.00.(Pakyaw system)

3. Rent snorkeling gears for Php 100.00.

Plan to take your bus trip early to avoid heavy traffic, save time and have a chance to maximize your trip.

4. If by taxi, negotiate the fare. It is usually a “Pakyaw” system if by taxi. In our case our fare was Php 1,200.00 (one way).

Suggested Itinerary for the South Invasion in Cebu





03:00AM– (via bus) meet up at the South Bus Terminal, ride bus and depart for Malabuyoc

07:00AM– arrive at Malabuyoc,

07:10AM– ride habal- habal

07:15AM arrive at Mainit Spring, register, change swimming attire

07:30AM immersing at the hot spring, trekking to Montaneza Falls

08:30AM ride habal habal to Alegria

09:00AM arrive at Alegria police station/park, inquire

09:20AM breakfast, pack up

09:40AM– ride habal habal to Cambais Falls

10:20AM– arrive cambais meet uide

10:30AM– register, trek to the falls, swim at Cambais Falls

12:00AM– pack up, ride habal habal to Badian

12:45PM– arrive at Badian, trek to kawasan

01:00PM– sightseeing, picture taking at Kawasan Falls

01:30PM hire habal habal to Moalboal

01:50PM lunch at MCDO

02:00PM hire tricycle to Panagsama Beach

02:15 PM snorkel/swim with the sardines

03:00PM hire tricycle to Moalboal highyway

03:15PMwait for the bus

04:00PM depart from Moalboal

08:00PMarrive in CEBU

Estimated Expenses for the South Invasion in Cebu

Php 151.00/pax – fare for the ordinary bus to Malabuyoc

Php 20.00/pax – fare for the habal habal to Mainit Spring

Php 20.00/pax – environmental fee in Mainit Spring

Php 240.00/pax – fare for habal habal (alegria and badian) *subject to haggling

Php 30.00/pax – entrance fee in Cambais Falls

Php 100.00/pax – guide fee in Cambais Falls

Php 20.00 /pax– entrance fee to Kawasan Falls

Php 66.00/pax – fare for the habal habal to Moalboal *(Php 200 /3) subject to haggling

Php 50.00/pax fare for the tricycle from Moalboal Town to Panagsama Beach *(Php 150.00/3) subject to haggling

Php 100.00/pax rental fee for snorkeling gears

Php 50.00/pax – fare for the tricycle from Panagsama Beach to Moalboal Town*(Php 150.00/3) subject to haggling

Php 107.00/pax – fare for the ordinary bus from Moalboal to Cebu

A total of Php 954.00 per pax

*food, souvenirs, tour guide tips and miscellaneous fees are not included


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Chasing Potatoes

Why Chasing Potatoes? I’m Chasing Potatoes. I chase time and opportunities because just like round potatoes they roll and get lost. I chase them to store memories to last a lifetime. I make haste, running after them, fearful that they might be gone. That’s why I go places on land or in water.My story tells about the journey of chasing time and saying yes to wonderful opportunities.

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