On the run with Sardines

Moalboal, Cebu, 26-27 November

Judging by the number of tourists on scooters and a healthy choice of bars and restaurants, the peninsula of Moalboal on the south-western tip of Cebu is perhaps the most touristic destination on the island. It’s easily accessible by bus both from Cebu city in the north-east and from Samboan in the south. The main reason visitors come to Moalboal is for diving and the sardine run.

We’re staying in a hut near Panagsama Beach (not actually a beach) where most hotels and restaurants have been established ever since Moalboal became a touristic destination in the 70’s. Because we don’t have our diving certification yet, we’re skipping nearby Pescador Island, but instead go in search of sardines just off the shore.

A million sardines form a so-called bait ball or run, when they school together for protection against larger prey. This spectacle can be seen in Moalboal all year round. Visibility levels are not ideal today, but it’s still pretty cool to see some flashes of silver scales when the sunlight comes breaking through.

Apart from diving and snorkeling, there’s not much else to do in Moalboal, so the next day we happily rent a scooter and explore the surrounding area. Kawasan Falls with its turquoise water is one of the most famous waterfalls in Cebu, though a bit of a tourist trap. Besides the parking and entrance fee, there’s also a fee for using a locker, mandatory life-jacket (completely unnecessary) and a fee for sitting down on one of the benches.. I guess we can say we’ve been, but we won’t be rushing back I think.

White Beach in Moalboal is much the same we heard, so instead I take us to the lesser-known (and almost empty) Lambug Beach for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. We suddenly realize it’s almost December, and we’re on the beach. Happy days!

So this brings us to the halfway point of our trip to the Philippines, time flies. That’s two islands down, two to go, but with Palawan and Coron, we’re saving the best for last (I hope). Tomorrow morning we’re back in Cebu city one final time before flying to Puerto Princesa the next day.

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