Discovering a New World Under


If you are headed to Cebu or if you live nearby and have no clue on where to go or what to do on your free day, consider a three-hour trip to the charming town of Moalboal, south west of Cebu. Be sure to pack your swim wear, sunblock, sunshades and the rest of your summer outfit for they will be your best friends for the duration of your stay there.

Moalboal, pronounced as Mo-al-bo-al, is best known for its powdery white sand beach, amazing snorkeling spots and home to one of the best diving spots in the world. So get ready and start applying those sun screen lotions and put on your best beach wear for you are about to get kissed by the sun in this ultimate paradise destination in the Queen city of the South.

white sand beaches of moalboalkids playing along the white sands of White Beach at Brgy. Basdaku, Moalboal Cebu

Moalboal is a favorite destination among Cebu’s city dwellers. It’s the perfect weekend hideaway for families, friends or solo travelers who want to escape the taxing life in the city. Depending on your preference, you have two famous areas to choose from. White Beach, found in Brgy. Basdaku, is the preferred venue for beach bums. Swimming in the crystal clear waters of the beach, skimming, playing beach ball games, sunbathing or simply lying around the long stretch of white sands are the common sights during weekends – things that you too can do on that side of Moalboal.

Panagsama Moalboalthe waters of Panagsama Beach at Brgy. Basdiot in Moalboal, Cebu

But if you have a knack for underwater adventures, heading over to the Panagsama Beach at Brgy. Basdiot is the best option. That is where you can find affordable rates to go scuba diving at Pescador Island to view the beautiful marine life underneath as well as enjoy the sightings of whitetip sharks and whale sharks. Did I forget to mention you’d get the chance to witness a sardine run? Yes. Millions of those tiny sardines swim the waters beneath Pescador Island. However, their number have significantly decreased throughout these years. Freediving enthusiasts also feel at home with the perfect sea water temperature and the gorgeous marine life scenery of Moalboal, thereby declaring the Panagsama Beach area as their second home.

live corals in moalboalabundant live corals in Moalboal, south of Cebu

Your adventure would not be complete if you do not get to witness the marine life in Moalboal. But to the few who does not want to cost an arm and a leg to experience Moalboal’s underwater charm, snorkeling your way into the waters is what it takes for you to discover a whole new world under.

snorkelling at moalboal cebucruising the enchanting marine life at Moalboal’s marine sanctuaries

Hiring a boat is the safest choice when you decide to explore Moalboal’s marine sanctuaries, although snorkeling from the shore is also a great alternative. Aside from the Tongo and Saavedra marine sanctuaries, there are other reefs in the region where you get to explore the underwater world. But my favorite’s the Tuble Marine Sanctuary.

moalboal marine lifeMoalboal corals

I am not really into snorkeling but when I saw the divine and vibrant marine life of Moalboal, I became a convert. If only the back of my ears came with hidden gills that pops every time I touch the sea water, with my feet transforming into a mermaid’s tail, I would have disappeared in that world to join those exquisite fishes and other sea creatures.

diving in moalboalfreediving in Moalbaol is becoming popular in the area of Panagsama Beach

It was love at first sight the moment I plunged my face in those shallow waters of Tuble’s marine sanctuary. If only I would not swallow saltwater and scare those cute little fishes away, I would have screamed my lungs out just to show my gratitude for the glorious sight that lay before my eyes. Instead, I silently screamed and shrieked in excitement while I continuously bellowed ooohs and wooows  in my mind every single minute I swam and explored the marine sanctuary’s perimeter.

marine life in moalboaldiscovering cute marine life underneath Moalboal’s waters

Since there are areas within the sanctuary that are too shallow, our helpful boatman slash underwater tour guide made way for our safe expedition without touching the living corals underneath. There were too many of them. The explosion of different colors beneath us was just overwhelming. Corals of different shapes and sizes are scattered all over. You will see hues of violet, blue, red, green, orange, yellow and brown everywhere. There’s one that looked like spaghetti, one that looked like a cabbage and another one shaped like a volcano. Mossy, spikey, fat ones, you name it. Nemo and friends were even playing in there too. There were hundreds of them fishes in different shapes, sizes and colors. It was like seeing a giant aquarium. The experience was surreal.

freediving in moalboalMoalboal is a haven for freediver buddies like Johnn here

On a cloudless day, be sure to broaden your vision 30 meters under and if lucky, you get to have a glimpse of giant sea turtles or pawikans enjoying their daily swim. But beware, the moment they feel your presence, they will eagerly swim away from you and disappear into the deep blue sea.

moalboal fishesenjoying the sights of colorful fishes in Moalboal

Visiting that underwater paradise is like knowing what life must be like for Ariel living under the sea. I never imagined that there’s a different world down there, far more beautiful than one can comprehend. The rich biodiversity together with the diverse coral reef system underneath the seawaters of Moalboal is what makes this fascinating town unique. And just a few swims away would give you a view of the town’s famous drop, an almost vertical abyss extending beyond the normal eyesight.

snorkelling in moalboal cebuthe reef and finding nemo

It’s just sad seeing that at some areas, there are corals that have died. I could not say if it was a result of the fierce forces of nature or if it was a result of man’s negligence. If the destruction of those corals in Moalboal were due to the locals and tourists visiting the area, my only wish is for the town people to practice vigilance in protecting their marine wildlife. They can tap local government units in case they need assistance. It would be a waste to witness an extinction of the rare gem that Moalboal possess. By taking care of our marine life, we can ensure that our future generations will have the chance to witness the magnificence that lies below the sea waters of Moalboal. This is one legacy worth saving for our future kin.


***For discounted places to stay in Moalboal, book here.


  1. true that, i always silently scream in my head when i’m underwater looking at the beautiful scenery.

    ayos! the best jud ang moalboal!

    • I’m so excited for your coming home trip Cath! I can’t wait to meet you and hopefully travel with you too to explore Moalboal and all the other destinations south of Cebu! 😀

    • wahehehe. Thanks Gay! You should travel to Cebu and join on our freediving practice to get rid of your laziness/fear. With proper safety gears you can actually swim on your own! 🙂

    • Hello Nikka! Yeah, Moalboal is really nice. Although some of the corals got damaged but there’s still a lot of beautiful marine life underneath the waters of Moalboal. Can’t wait to see your blog and photos about it! 😉

    • sure Ian! you can also rent snorkeling gears here but it might be expensive though. But definitely, sama ka sa mga adventures namin under the sea if mapadpad ka dito 🙂

  2. OMG. Ms. Doi Im getting addicted in looking at your free diving photos! I hope to swim with you in Moalboal next year. Did you enroll at Wolfgang’s free diving course? How much would a beginner’s class cost? I think I really should start saving up na. Anyway, I sent you a message on FB regarding the training that I need this month for the 8 meter aquarium swim on December 30. (I’ve exchanged messages nadin with Carlo. thanks Ms. Doi)

    PS: I love your blog site already! hihi 😀


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