Three times. Three times I’ve been to Cebu. You know how many of those trips were spent at the beach? One, and for just a couple of hours. This is why I wanted to go back, to rectify this mistake, especially since Cebu’s beaches are pretty famous. For a person who enjoys swishing her toes in white sand and cool salt water, this little time spent along a shore—any shore—is unacceptable, so this time around, I was dead-set on beaching the shit out of this trip.
I wasn’t really planning on spending six days in Cebu (I do have a job to take care of; good thing my boss is quite forgiving), but being the bargain flight hunter that I am, these were the only low-cost dates available. I knew immediately I wanted to go to Moalboal because that single time I went to the beach in Cebu was there, and that was back in 2009. I didn’t really get to explore much, so this was my chance.
I left Manila at 8:25 and landed at 9:45. I knew beforehand that my arrival time would make scheduling an early tour impossible, so I could take my time getting to my first destination, Moalboal. From a budget traveling perspective, the airport is kind of far from the Cebu South Bus Station, so traveling solo in a cab was out of the question. I wanted to do this without spending too much, so I looked up ahead of the trip how to travel from the airport to the station using other means. (The driver of a yellow airport cab said going to Gaisano Mactan alone would cost Php250. I consulted Grab and learned that a regular taxi would charge between Php190 and Php300 going to the bus station. Fuck that.)
I found this helpful site that detailed just that, and I’m proud to say, despite getting a bit lost a few times, I did get to the station. From the airport, I took a yellow multicab (they’re parked at the airport’s departure area) to Gaisano Mactan Mall. From the mall entrance, I walked to an area behind the mall, where vans going different routes are parked, and found the ones going to SM Cebu. At SM, I walked to the area of the parking lot where jeepneys are lined up and asked which one passes by the Cebu South Bus Station. If you ask the jeepney driver to drop you off at E-Mall or Elizabeth Mall, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from there (I actually got off a bit far from the station; still walking distance, though). Total fare: Php43. Not bad, right?
(I overlooked the fact that there is something called a “MyBus” which has a route from the airport to SM Cebu. You might want to opt for this if you’re feeling less adventurous and your luggage is bigger than a multicab.)
I got to the bus station at about 1PM (traffic was a bitch), where I had two options: take the non-air-conditioned bus leaving right away, or board the air conditioned one and wait for more passengers. It was a hot afternoon, and travel would take up to 3 hours (with bathroom stops) so I went for door number 2. At least I could sleep peacefully until I reach my destination.
I reached Moalboal at about 4PM, where I took a tricycle to where I would be staying in the municipality. The tricycle asked if I had already scheduled any tours. I hadn’t yet, so he made an offer of a solo tour of three attractions—Sardine Run, Turtle Sanctuary, and Pescador Island—for Php1,800. I wasn’t really aware of other options so I accepted. When I got to the lodging and the tricycle left, the person in charge of the place (who apparently overheard the deal) told me the guy’s offer was too expensive. She told me if I was interested, she could contact her cousin, a local tour guide, who can give me a better deal, and I agreed.
She led me to my room (the review will come soon), where I settled down for a bit. Then she brought over her tour guide cousin, Jarel, and we settled on a schedule, destinations, and price: he would take me via habal-habal to Osmeña Peak, Kawasan Falls, and Lambug Beach, turtle sighting, and swimming with sardines for Php2,500. I thought it was a good deal so we shook hands on it and he left, reminding me to be ready by 6AM.
After unpacking a bit, I went out to explore for a while to look for a beach for some sight-seeing. I ended up at the shoreline full of private resorts, so I couldn’t really walk by the beach. I headed back towards my inn, but not before picking up some dinner. After a long day of mostly being in transit, sleep was almost immediate.
Up next: my great Moalboal adventure begins
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