Now, I know I left you hanging after my brief encounter with Crush and his pals, but here’s the next part of that adventure.
A few minutes after leaving the turtles behind, we were pulling into Panagsama Beach, where the sardine run supposedly takes place. At this point, it was a little after four and I was worried that we would have missed the sardines by now. But I strapped on my snorkel gear, thinking that even if we don’t see the sardines, there will at least be some corals and fish to look at. I got into the water and followed Jarel.
Turns out my worries were for nothing. As soon as I dunked my head into the water, I saw them: silvery sardines swimming in formation. Creating walls, drifting in a thick line like they were waiting their turn at the bank, there had to be at least a thousand of them. Jarel had taken me to an area of the beach where people go scuba diving, so it was pretty deep, but the darkness down below didn’t matter; I was too busy marveling at how the sun bounced off these shiny fish. I barely even looked at the corals and the creatures in them. I was completely enveloped in sardines—they swam below me and above me—and Jarel captured it all on his camera.
As it was getting dark, we got out of the water and made our way back to shore. I thought we would leave immediately, but Jarel said we couldn’t leave without witnessing the sunset, and we were at the perfect spot for it.
Afterwards, Jarel and I went back to the inn. I took back my SD, paid him for the trip, and we parted ways. Inside, I took a hot shower, went out to buy dinner, came back and spend the rest of the night with the TV on low as I packed up my bag.
Early the next morning, still a bit tired from yesterday’s adventure, I checked out of Mangoes Place and took a tricycle back to the main road. About five minutes of waiting at the shed, an air-conditioned bus bound for Cebu City arrived and I hopped on. The trip to the city took less than three hours, including bathroom stops.
In Cebu City, the driver dropped us off just outside the station. I walked over to a 7/11, where I Grabbed a ride to Leope Hotel. I arrived at about 10:30AM, but the hotel let me check in early. Leope isn’t close to any restaurants (although there is a 7/11 across the street and a Metrobank next door), and it was nearing lunchtime, so after dropping off my stuff and a quick search on Google Maps, I took a jeep to nearby Parkmall.
Here, after years of waiting, I finally got to feast on Cebu lechon again. Then, after a quick look around the mall and a stop at the grocery for some items, I took a cab back to the hotel (I wasn’t sure how to take a jeepney back to Leope).
At Leope, I showered, watched TV, bought dinner at 7/11, and turned in early. I had to since, in a few hours, I was embarking on the next part of my trip: Malapascua.
Now, as irked as I briefly was at what happened at the turtle beach, the Moalboal tour as a whole was a great experience, and Jarel is to be credited for it. If you ever find yourself wanting to tour Moalboal solo or as a group, be sure to contact him at 09068603469. Keep in mind that if you’re going alone, you’ll be spending the better part of 12 hours on his bike. Also, as mentioned earlier, don’t expect him to take you to Oslob for the whale sharks.
And here is where I have to tell you the most regretful part of the trip. The reason why I have no videos and photos of the sardines and just the one turtle clip is that Jarel’s camera was not compatible with my SD. It appeared to have recorded all of it, but the files were nowhere to be found.
Now, if you’re wondering, “Maybe they’re in there; you just need to tinker with it.” Trust me, nothing would make me happier than to take it to some guy who can do that. But as luck would have it, my brother-in-law, who had been looking at it, left it unattended, and one of their dogs made a chew toy out of it. Yep. It’s like there’s something in there that the world’s not supposed to see.
Disappointing, I know. I wish I was able to share the experience, but alas, all I have are the memories of those sardines. Now I’m even more determined to go back. Next time, I’ll be armed with a fully charged GoPro.
But wait, my trip’s not over yet. Check back soon for my visit to Malapascua.
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