Moalboal & Panagsama Beach
Moalboal I a quiet little town about 90km southwest of Cebu City. It used to be a fishing village but has grown over the last two decades, not at least due to the influx of tourism. Moalboal is home now several public schools, a private Catholic school and to a university. The official population is still below 30,000 people.
The main attraction of Moalboal is scuba diving. Moalboal has been a prime dive destination since the 70s. This helped keep dynamite fishers away, who are still very prominent in many other parts of the archipelago.
Panagsama Beach (“Basdiot”)
The main tourist destination is Panagsama Beach, a beach strip about 4 km from the town center. Follow the signboards to “Pescador Beach Resorts” from the town center if you are heading there. Panagsama Beach is really a dedicated beach for the diving community. There is not much sand at this beach, it’s rather rocky and covered with corals which makes it not ideal for swimmers and sunbathers (Basdiot meaning “little sand” in the local dialect). On the other side, the coral covered drop-offs and abysmal walls divers covet so much are just a few fin-kicks away, which makes it a prime destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.
Along Panagsama’s coast a string of beach resorts (Savedra, Cabana, Marina, to name a few), dive shops, beach bars, restaurants, seafood grills, souvenir and retail shops line up. What makes this place unique is the open and relaxed atmosphere. The local Filipinos, the foreign expats living there, doing business or in retirement, and visiting tourists, mostly scuba divers who have their own view of life, live harmoniously together, the atmosphere is utterly laid back and the many smiles you receive are genuine. Panagsama is also home of Planet Action Adventure, the pioneer and leader of outdoor adventure tours in the Philippines.
Panagsama Beach, Moalboal
White Beach (“Basdako”)
White Beach is a strip of sandy beach located about 6 km from the town center or 8 km by land from Panagsama Beach. “Basdako” meaning “big sand” in the local dialect, this beach has definitely more sand than Panagsama Beach. About a hundred meters of sandy beach are fringed by some beach resorts, beach huts which can be rented by tourists by the hour, stores selling local barbecue and beer and a string of Karaoke bars, which are busy at the weekends. The beach is very popular with local Filipinos, many of them come here to spend the weekend. The beach is located is called sometimes Saavedra, for being in the Barangay Saavedra (Barangay meaning district), not to be mistaken with Savedra Dive Center which is located at Panagsama.