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Comments on Moalboal

Here you can see what people have said about Moalboal.
Please note that while I believe that the below comments were made in good faith, I can take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or misrepresentations.


It's been a while since I've been to Moalboal, but it's a place I defenately want to see again even though I've been there three times already. Great diving and even greater people. Accomodation, food and drinks are very reasonable. Jessica at Mollie's Place has always made me and my buddys feel welcome and right at home. Sitting at Chief Mao's, talking about diving over a few beers while listening to music is heaven if you ask me. Spending a week or two in Panagsama Beach is highly recommended. One thing to remember if you're planning on going there...there isn't any banks or ATM's near by, so stock cash for at least a week. Changeing travellers checks or dollars at hotels is quite expensive. If your looking for a relaxing vacation among friendly, smiling and helpful people, Panagsama is the place to go. :)

nothing to add. I agree completely (though I understand that there is now a real moneychanger in Moalboal as well as a few other facilities that weren't there when GM was). Thanks.

Great place. My fiancé (a Filipina) and I arrived there for a 3-day stay in August 2000. It was a great place to do nothing . . . just relax and enjoy the break from car horns and crowds that you find everywhere else. The bus trip was a bit hair-raising a few times. I'd recommend a V-Hire or an Air-Con bus to anyone else. The accommodation was VERY reasonably priced, considering its good quality. The eating houses weren't quite so reasonably priced, sorry to say. Maybe someone else could suggest some cheap eateries? The place is very safe. The people are friendly, and don't stare and point at westerners as some will do. The atmosphere was peaceful and a great opportunity to have a break from the noise and crowds, even for us non-divers.

there are several Filipino eateries around the Beach (P20-40 for a meal with a drink); the two opposite Chief Mau's are good and there are several more on the road to White Beach before you leave Panagsama. Sorry that you didn't find them Jeff. Thanks for your comments anyway.

awesome pics . . . . it's been a while since i've been home (cebu) and your pics have succeeded in making me homesick. the moalboal i saw tonite is so different from the last time i was there . . . in 1985?! yikes . . . i went there with a preconceived notion that the gringos trashed and tainted the local scene. i came home with a different opinion . . . i loved that place. i now live and dive in south florida where i go to the keys for my thrill but i still miss home . . . send some more pics, ok?

We have been to Moallboal 2 times and the place, life, diving and wonederful people will always have a big place in our hearts. IT IS A MAGNIFICENT place. Last time we went to Panagsama we went on a diving safari with Neptune and it's highly recommended!!! But it is also fantastic diving just there... You don't have the beach-burners there but you have a wonderful beach nearby which is also good for barbeque parties . . . . Don't hesitate, just go there. I guarantee you will miss it.

thanks for the positive plug. You're not the only people to rave about Neptune's safaris - unfortunately the others haven't written to me :-(

G-r-e-a-t place for diving & the surroundings was very nice. Not so much for a party-animal but still enough for some late-night beers :-) Quo Vadis Resort is highly recommended!

there are several places where the beers run freely most evening. From extensive personal experience Neptune Divers almost always has a crate of beers outside the dive shop when the days work is done, Savedra frequently has a BBQ and beers at the dive shop and of course there is always Chief Mau's later on . . . :-) Anyway, glad you enjoyed your trip and hope that you do make it back. Summer (May/June) is I think the best time to enjoy the diving (even though the town is usually very quiet then) because the seas are calm and the visibility generally excellent.

The diving was excellent! I went to twelve different sites in 5 days. Pescador as always was excellent. We were lucky enough to see 5 young white tips under some table coral, everyday! Frogfish, Napoleon, you name it! The accomodations are slim but at excellent budget prices. If you wander around, you can find some really good cheap food as well. Nothing really to do topside. Chief Mau's or Lloyds has pool tables and music. The disco only opens twice a week, and that's just a room full of young kids and loud music. Go for the diving and not the topside so-called attractions.

I agree completely with Chris; Moalboal is not Boracay or Puerto Galera and hopefully never will be. However . . . if you're not a hard core diver, there are quite a few ways of passing the time apart from diving. Have a look at our Excursions page for some ideas.

It's better you go to moalboal and after then you bring your website in the correct form. Moalboal terrible now. Jan. 20. 2002

I tried to follow this comment up with Mario but he didn't reply to two e-mails from me. I am however including his comment for the sake of completeness but I have no other information about his stay. Bear this in mind when considering how accurate his comment is. Obviously not everyone enjoys their visit to Moalboal . . . but I would *really* like to know what went wrong for him - I lived in Moalboal for six years between 1992 & 2000, so I have written this site from my experience, not just people's reports or advertising.

I visited Moalboal about 4 years ago and it is my favorite vacation. We stayed at the Sumisid Lodge and to this day I can not think of any complaints. I just visited your web site to remind me of what paradise was like.

thanks for this Kyle, I'm happy that you enjoy the site and very happy that you had a good time in Moalboal. Most people seem to.

Hi Simon: I don't think you would recognize Panagsama if you went back. I get to spend about half the year there now. Believe it or not your site is still the most useful although very inaccurate these days. The visitors have matured. Not many back packers anymore. Some of your recommendations look strange these days. I think Pacitas only has aircon now. But they do have the Saturday night disco. Marcosas is the deal for accommodation, Mollies for charm, Eve's for organization and Quo Vadis for Germans. The season has contracted but it is still not 'commercial'. Slowly, repeat visitors have built their own places (me included) so the scene has hollowed out. The resorts, Quo Vadis et al try to keep their punters on property, but this is actually good because only worthwhile people seem to be out at night. One glaring omission is Jac's Joint. Andy from Portsmouth and Jac his Pinoy wife are situated in town opposite the fish market. Two pool tables great sea view, prices aimed at the locals. Great ambiance with a smattering of local colour. Auzzie Steve bought the place next to SubMaldive and has slowly but surely turned it into a building site. Great potential though. This time of year some old and new places are reopening. I'll be back for Christmas as always. I rebuilt the old Pescador Café in front of Jespers [Neptune Diving] last year and my girlfriend Niza takes care of it while I'm away.

thanks Bob. Indeed I am sorry about omissions and inaccuracies but living half a world away it's not easy to keep the site updated. Telepathy was never my strong suite!! I will add in listings for Jac's Place in the next day or two - maybe you could ask Andy to get in touch? As you know I'm happy to add/change info if I have it to change! When you get back, maybe you could send over some photos? I'd like to put up a 2003/4 photo tour so people can see how things have changed since the last one you did in 2000!

Dear Ones: Hi, I spent my holidays with my family in Badian (a town after Moalboal), however I spent most of my relaxing moments in Moalboal. Majority of the restaurants were great. They had affordable & exquisite foods. The lodging places were affordable, safe, quiet & clean. The people were accomodating & friendly. Their dive sites were awesome because the shape of the Pescador island is unique when seen under the water. After a long day of diving & having fun, you can get a massage as well & you'll never regret it. If anyone like to have a quiet, private, secluded, affordable, & safe "spot" for a get away diving place or vacation then Moalboal is the best place for you.

Thanks for your comments My, I'm pleased that you enjoyed your visit. I've heard of Fitzgerald's place before but not met anyone who's stayed there. Good to hear that you had an enjoyable stay, hopefully it won't be too long before your next visit!

My first diving trip to Moalboal was in September 2002 where Nelson did an excellent job putting me through the basic PADI course in a few days. A year later I was able to return for another week of diving and his cousins proved to be excellent divemasters. For me, Moalboal is paradise - the diving is fantastic, the hotels are comfortable and reasonably priced and the food and drink is good and cheap. I already have flight reservations for a month in Cebu this coming fall and I plan on spending a week in Moalboal. My Cebuano wife and I will spend most of the rest of the time with her family and starting our retirement planning to move to Cebu in the not too distant future.

Thanks for your fulsome praise Steve, it's always good to hear when people enjoy their visit enough to plan a return. I can't really say whether Moalboal is a good place to retire to - there is a thriving year-round expat community - but being 3-4 hours from the big bad city can make things more difficult. However I firmly attribute my current lack of grey hairs to my time in Moalboal, so it may work for you as well and you find that you don't need the City after all!

Just found this site. I went to Moalboal for a side trip when I went with my Brother Bill, his wife Annie and my New Nephew to Cebu (Bogo). I always wanted to learn to dive so I found Savedra and decided to give them a try. I can't say enough about the Savedra Dive Center if you do any diving. I went there a complete Novice and in 4 days completed the Padi Advanced Open Water Dive Certifications. Everything was top notch and a lot cheaper than the US and the diving is WONDERFUL! I did a lot of prep before going there, I bought and studied the Padi DVD training disks and brought my own shorty Wet Suit, Mask, Fins. They supplied the buoyancy vest, weights, tanks, octopus, etc. If you want to visit the folks at Savedra the owner is a German Expat named Karl. He's a great guy and they're very pleasant and professional. Karl actually made all my reservations at the Cabana Resort personally and didn't even ask for a centavo up front! Even if you don't dive they have boat trips, caving, hiking and other recreation that they can arrange. Karl will also arrange your car travel. It's about $40-$45 US from Mactan to Moal Boal one way.

Very glad to hear that you enjoyed your holiday Tom and hope Moalboal will be seeing you again. I hope that you also use your new-found qualification to experience some of the other good diving in the Philippines in general and Cebu in particular.

Dan has just shared some stories from a visit to Moalboal in 2004 on the discussion forum: Thanks a bunch Dan, glad that you both had a good time and I'm sure that Mark will be around for some time to come! Have you got any photos that I can put up? :)

Had a blast at Moalboal. Nelson's taught me how to dive and now I have gone back there several times, and also to Balicasag (Bohol). Alberto and Bejam are very good divers and kaibigans. The coral and sealife from the mainland out to Pescador is stunning, beautiful, abundant, and very close. And Kawasan Falls was a pleasant surprise, too. CGE!

Thanks very much Warren. Very happy that you have enjoyed your visits, I wish you many more!

I am ambivalent about Moalboal. The prices are MUCH higher than the books and websites say; here in low season, all the resorts "offer" only the fully airconed rooms starting at P1,000 per night. The food is a little pricier than indicated on the website as well, meals over P100, not to mention the fact that you have to buy all your own drinking water. All day, local canvassers bother me with sing-song faux-friendly sales pitches: "Hellooooooo!!! Massage today?? What's your name? Where are you going? Okayyy. Maybe tomorrow. Remember me tomorrow for a massage." Insert T-shirt, neckalace, manicure, moped ride, boat ride. I went on a boat ride with Nelson's as a snorkeler and was apalled at how unprofessional and unsafe the whole thing was. For example, the gas cylinders were not secured and were rolling around the deck, the instructor's were flirting with the female scuba students and, after their dive, threw the girls into the water with no fins and no regulator but with the All the rooms in the resorts we stayed at were moldy and gave us congestion so we couldn't dive. On the other hand, the reef and fish are amazing.

Thanks for the comments Ruby. I sent a longer personal mail to you; suffice it to say that Moalboal is not for everyone and, yes, things do change. I'm sorry that you didn't particularly enjoy your visit. Moalboal isn't perfect and it's imperfections are (for me) a part of the charm. Having said that, mouldy rooms aren't very charming!!

I have been to Moalboal many times since 1995 and each time it was as exciting as the first time. Some of the friendliest dive shops in the Philippines can be found along this stretch of beach. If you are not certified yet, this would be the place to do it for a fraction of the cost one would pay elsewhere outside of the PI.

One of the great things about Moalboal is the number of people who come back regularly; it was lovely to greet returnees each year afresh. Globetrotterone also stayed in Gabunilas' Cottages which was where I lived very happily for several years whilst working at Visaya Divers. And I would also say that even if you can find cheaper places to learn to dive, you will be *very* pushed to find anywhere with the combination of diving quality, friendly faces and reasonable prices that you will find in the Philippines in general and Moalboal in particular. Thanks for taking the time to write.

I love Moalboal but I don't like what's going on in there right now. As far as I'm concerned, the natural charm and beauty of the place is gone forever. Panagsama and Bas-dako used to be a magical place for me, so serene and relaxing. Now it's too crowded, too commercialized and foreigners are bringing prostitutes to the place. I feel unsafe going to the waters especially with the diseases that these people might bring.

I haven't lived in Moalboal since 2000 and I know that things have changed a lot since then and there is no real comparison with the village that I first visited in 1990. It's now a semi-sophisticated resort area with and the advantages this brings but also the problems of a concentration of relative wealth in what is still a very poor area of Cebu. There are still beautiful parts of Moalboal away from the crowds and development but it isn't the same place that I (or vic2 and thousands of others) found in the '80's and '90's. For better or worse, that's the way it is - it suits some people but not everyone. Thank you for your thoughts, they echo some of my feelings. If you are willing to discuss this further, perhaps we could move to the forum?