Category Archives: Moalboal

10 Top attraction Moalboal

  1.  Diving
    The most popular Moalboal attractions are all under water. Being part of the rich Coral Triangle is what makes the Philippines an excellent, world-class diving destination. With a great variety of underwater scenery and fish species you rarely find elsewhere. Most diving around Moalboal is drop-off diving with a mild current. The sea is deep and the mild current ensures a flow of fresh and nutritious water that makes the corals to flourish. The corals is a wonderful mix of lobed pore-, brain-, soft,- funnel-, table-, tube-, whip-, mushroom-, bubble-, maze-, staghorn- and green cup corals, just to mention a few. The reef is in excellent condition surrounded by a lot of colourful fishes. We call it our turtle paradise and it’s not rare you see more turtles on one dive than fingers on your hand. Here you can set your eyes on many mysterious creatures like giant frog fish, leaf scorpion fish, clown trigger fish, ornate ghost pipe fish, sea moths, leaf- and devil scorpion fish and many more. Look into our web page for more information. 
    Coral reef Moalboal
  2.  The Sardine run
    This is the major reason that ten thousands of divers, snorkelers and free diver are making their pilgrims journey to Moalboal every year. Here you can watch millions of sardines congregate together in tropical water with a spectacular wall as a backdrop, just a few meters offshore and the best thing is, you can witness this phenomenon all year around! To dive into the never-ending school of small, dancing silvery fish and let them immerse you is a breath-taking experience even for the most well-travelled diver.
    Sardine run Moalboal
  3. Oslob Whale shark watching
    Quo Vadis offers package trips to Oslob for divers (minimun 3 people,)  Oslob is located only 1.5 hour drive from our resort in Pangasama. It’s 99% guaranteed to see these magnificent giants when you are snorkelling or diving and most of the times you will see more than a few. Whale shark watching in Cebu started last September 2011 and it became popular all over the world when the news hit in the internet last November 2011. By December 2011, local fishermen’s interact with the whale sharks by feeding them and large numbers of tourists began arriving in Oslob not just to see the whale sharks being fed but also to snorkel or dive with them. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean. The typical whale shark size is 4-12 meters. Oslob is home to schools of these amazing creatures and they can be seen by divers and non-divers, swimmers and non-swimmers, the old and the young alike.Oslob Whale shark watching
  4. Pescador Island
    Pescador island suits everyone. Diving, snorkeling, free diving or just to sit on the boat to witness the pretty little island and its clear water. But underwater, that’s where the fun begins. The wall is going down to 50 meters and is filled with spectacular crevasses, over hangs and caves. The sloping wall is dressed in big hard corals where you often can see schools of inquisitive violet fusiliers and many other reef fishes. Here you can set your eyes on many mysterious creatures like giant frog fish, leaf scorpion fish, clown trigger fish, sea moths, leaf scorpion fish and many more. Don’t forget to look out in the blue and you can see small schools of sardines, butterfly fish, jack fish, mackerel and red tooth trigger fish.pescador island Moalboal
  5. Canyoneering
    You can make canyoneering at a few different waterfalls from beautiful Kawasan Falls being a fun adventure for everyone to a bit more challenging Tison Falls being a more challenging experience. Canyoneering involves travelling down creeks or streams within a canyon by a variety of means including walking, jumping, swimming, climbing and abseiling (Tison falls). Suitable for anyone looking for a wet, fun and active full day in pristine condition.
    kanyoing Kawasan falls
  6. Mantayupan falls
    It is the main natural attraction in Barili. With its 98 meters it is also one of Cebu’s tallest waterfalls. Mantayupan Falls, also known by the locals as Ambakan Falls, has two levels. The first level are three waterfalls with the height of 14 meters and the second level is a waterfall which is 98 meters high. Being a little bit further away from Moalboal (50 min by car or bike) it’s not as touristy as Kawasan falls and if you go there on a weekday you can be all alone with this pretty view.
    mayanuppan falls
  7. Osmania Peak
    the highest mountain in Cebu that is a favourite among hikers for its picturesque view of the countryside. Most known as O’ Peak, it offers a breath-taking view of the sunrise, sunset and the white coastline hugging the coral blue sea and jagged hills with lush grass and patches of flowers. Osmena Peak rises 1,013 meters above sea level and is nestled between the southern towns of Dalaguete and Badian. Its about an 2 hour drive up the mountins from Moalboal, but the road leading to the top is an adventure itself, seeing the  flora and fauna change.

    Osmania Peak is the highest point of Cebu

    Osmania Peak is the highest point of Cebu

  8. Kawasan Falls
    Only a 30 minute drive, located 17 km south of Moalboal, Kawasan Falls comprise a series of three waterfalls; the largest cascades 20m into a massive, crystal blue swimming hole. The second and third waterfalls are more peaceful, and you can even scramble beyond these to more secluded spots. This is a beautiful sight and makes beautiful photos. If possible try to avoid weekends when it tends to be very busy.
    kawasan falls Moalboal
  9. Lambug beach
    Lambuk beach located a 40 minutes South of Moalboal is still somewhat a secret unknown to many. It’s a 30-40 minute drive from Panagsama, but it’s worth it, the sand here is whiter than White beach and weekdays you can almost find yourself alone here. There is some really nice corals where the sand slopes down in the water so bring a mask and snorkel!
    lambug beach
  10. White beach
    Located 6 km North or a 20 min drive from the dive centre white beach is a popular beach among tourist and locals. On the weekends small eateries and seats can be hired. Sometimes you can see turtles just offshore and the corals here a bit farther out are pristine.

    White beach

 

 

An interview with Anna Oposa: Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas

Who is Anna Oposa? As stated in her website’s biography:

“Anna R. Oposa is a multi-hyphenate changemaker, being a writer, speaker, and project manager, though she is best known as the co-founder and “Chief Mermaid” of “Save Philippine Seas (SPS)”. SPS is a movement to protect the country’s coastal and marine resources through information, communication, and education campaigns and community-based projects.”

anna Oposa

We were fortunate enough to meet Anna Oposa when she came to dive with us at Quo Vadis Dive Resort, here in Moalboal. She is a momentous inspiration to us all with her resolute devotion to ocean conservation. Through creating a website/petition (savephilippineseas.org) in an attempt to raise awareness of the atrocities occurring to the environment due to ignorance and negligence, it was not long before it turned into a movement as a result of being fueled by members sharing equal passion. With such drive it is unsurprising what she has achieved, playing a key part in getting the thresher shark listed as a protected species in the CITES convention which took place in October 2016.  In addition, through educating children and adults alike in the long term effects their direct actions cause and suggesting alternatives so that a harmonious relationship with nature may one day become a reality.

As divers we too share in Anna’s love of the ocean and is something we aim to convey to whomever may walk into our centre. Through a collective understanding and respect towards nature in general it’s almost unfathomable what together we can accomplish in terms of preservation and even growth!

Anna and Quo Vadis Vice president Pernilla Sjöö on one of our boat trip to Pescador Island.

Anna and Quo Vadis Vice president Pernilla Sjöö on one of our boat trip to Pescador Island.

 

Here is what Anna Oposa had to say in response to the questions we asked:

May you explain a little what your company is about?

“Save Philippine Seas (SPS) started in 2011 in response to an illegal wildlife trade case called the ‘Rape of the Philippine Seas,’ in which tons of protected species such as turtles and corals were seized. A handful of people who did not know each other, but met online because of this issue, decided to start a social media campaign called SPS. I was the youngest one in the group, just fresh out of college – only graduating a month before. When the issue died down, I continued with the advocacy, but first as a passion project. In 2013, we decided to register it as an NGO out of necessity—we were getting more and more donations and sponsorships and needed to be a legal entity.

This year, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. Half a decade! I still can’t believe it sometimes. We have two major projects, Shark Shelter, which is based in Daanbantayan, Cebu, to conserve and protect the country’s first shark and ray sanctuary; and the Sea and Earth Advocates Camp, which is an environmental education and leadership program for Filipino youth in partnership with the U.S. government and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.”

 

What motivates you?

There are many motivations, and it depends on the situation that I’m in. Sometimes, I am motivated because I am angry that the people who are supposed to be doing their job to protect our seas are not doing it. Other times, I’m motivated because I’m inspired by the people I work with, or the progress that we’re making.

My constant motivation is this: marine conservation makes sense for an archipelago with the richest marine life in the world, where millions of people depend on the sea for their livelihood and food. We take care of our sea, it takes care of us.

 

What is your favourite sea creature and why this specific one?

Oooh… For sentimental reasons, of course the thresher shark is the love of my life because I have spent so much blood, sweat, and tears trying to conserve them and elevate their status in the Philippines. They are beautiful, graceful creatures.

I also really, really love seeing soft corals. It feels like I’m in an underwater meadow.

Anna and her friend the Thresher shark

Anna and her friend the Thresher shark

 

What can we do to help save the Philippine seas?

Step one is understanding how our daily choices are connected to the Philippine seas. That shampoo sachet and straw you’re using could end up in the sea. The sunblock you’re using could contribute to coral bleaching. By being able to connect that, you’re able to change your daily lifestyle choices, specifically reducing use of plastic or buying more eco-friendly personal care products.

 

Who or what is your source of inspiration?

I never run out of inspiration. There are so many people I look up to in this field, and I’m lucky that I not only get to work with them but call them some of my closest friends. When the going gets tough, it is so important to have your core group of friends to give you advice and encourage you to keep going. I am also constantly inspired by the communities and youth we’ve trained the last five years, and how they’ve grown and taken on so much.

 

Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years?

This is an extremely difficult question that I don’t know the answer to. Haha! You see, five years ago, I would have never imagined myself running an NGO called Save Philippine Seas, raising funds to implement projects, and speaking front of hundreds of people and government officials to advocate for the protection of our seas. And yet here I am.

I don’t know where SPS will be in five years. I don’t even know if I’ll still be part of SPS in five years. I hope someone from the SEA Camp network becomes the next Executive Director of Save Philippine Seas. It would be such a big success indicator if someone we trained took over. I also dream about a sustainable funding source for SPS and to continue our two projects, just in a bigger scale and scope.

 

What is/are your goal(s)?

I have many, and my dreams for myself are all tied to my dreams for the Philippines. I want every single Filipino to love and care for the Philippine seas. I want the shark sanctuary we established in Daanbantayan to be a model for community-based eco-tourism. I want marine conservation to be part of the national curriculum. These are big dreams, I know, and they’re probably not going to be accomplished in my lifetime. But I’m sure going to die trying.

 

What is the proudest moment you feel you’ve achieved with your organization?

I am most proud that SPS serves as an enabling environment for empowerment to many people, especially young people. When I see the people we’ve worked with gain more interest and passion for this advocacy, and start initiatives of their own, I feel like such a stage mom! My job as the Chief Mermaid is to make sure the people we work with become better than me, and I’m sure they will be in no time J

Chief Mermaid and Little Mermaid soon to dive into the waters surrounding Pescador Island

Chief Mermaid and Little Mermaid soon to dive into the waters surrounding Pescador Island

 

Dive Lo-ok, Moalboal

Lo-ok is a wall dive that contains some of the most pristine coral gardens in the area. So if you want to experience one of the best wall-dives in Moalboal you should request this site on your next diving vacation with Quo Vadis dive resort. If you stay shallow on this dive you will be rewarded with some of the healthiest reefs in this area. Trust me it’s like being a star in the movie Finding Nemo and who wouldn’t love to experienced that?

The beautiful coral garden of Lo-ok, Moalboal

The beautiful coral garden of Lo-ok, Moalboal

Witness thousands of small colourful reef fishes dancing around the corals. Here you will set your eyes on a variety of blennies, gobies, clownfishes and damsels. It’s just incredible to stay and watch the movement, shapes and colours of the reef. We often spot turtles resting among the corals, just waiting for you to have a closer look or to take a nice, close photo.

Turtle, Moalboal

The deeper part on this wall is filled with soft- and hard corals and together with healthy gorgonian sea-fans they are create a colour explosion. Take a closer look and you might get lucky to find a few gorgeous nudibranchs and why not an ugly frogfish? Sometimes we find batfish and trevallies strolling around in the deep. Some small critters also pay our dives a visit like ornate ghost pipefish and different species of crabs and shrimps.

Nudibranch, Moalboal

If times and budget allows, try to do two dives at Lo-ok, one to do the shallow  part and one for a deeper visit and when doing  the deeper part ask for nitrox if you are a nitrox diver or why not do the 1 day nitrox course since this maximise your bottom time at the deep part.

Lo-ok, Moalboal

Reached by a 15 min boat ride north direction from Quo Vadis dive Resort.

Conditions: Depending on the wind. Usually flat ocean with a mild current

Depth: 0 to 50 Meters

Visibility: 15 to 30 Meters

The Sardine Run in Moalboal

moalboal sardine run

A diver slowly swimming into the hurricane of small sardines. Picture by Ruffy Biazon

I’m sure you heard about the sardine run in South Africa, where you can watch a massive, migrating bait ball during a short period of the year, usually between June and July. But did you know that you can witness the exact same phenomenon in Moalboal, Philippines all year around? Here you can watch the millions of sardines congregate together in tropical water with a spectacular wall as a backdrop, just a few meters offshore.

The sardine run is the main attraction for Quo Vadis Dive resorts divers and it’s not hard to understand why. To dive into the never-ending school of small, dancing silvery fish and let them immerse you is a breath-taking experience even for the most well-travelled diver.

moalboal-sardine-rund-11

Picture by Ruffy Biazon

The traffic is heavy down here, but it’s a sort of traffic you wouldn’t mind and it’s perfectly organized. The clouds of sardines are effortless coordinated, creating alien formations and moving together in perfection. See them shiver when they catch the rays of the sun, hear them move when the trevally’s dart in for a bite. I promise you, it will keep you hypnotized for the better part of your tank. As with anything with nature nothing is guaranteed, the school have been smaller than usually a few days but that is really out of the ordinary.

moalboal sardine run

This should be on every divers bucket list. Divers and underwater photographer are coming from all corners of the world to witness the underwater tornado of sardines. Due to the location and the fact that the big ball of sardines is to be found at only 5-15 meters of depth it’s also perfect for snorkelers. But for a truly mind blowing experience you have to dive below them, to watch them cover the sun for a few moments before your bubbles will separate the silhouettes above, letting the sun in. It’s also possible to do a dive starting with the sardines and then continue all the way to Quo Vadis House reef to get the best out of two worlds.

moalboal sardine run

You can often see some of predators hunting for the sardines, making the experience even better.

No one really knows what causes the sardines to act this way, it is poorly understood in an ecological point of view. The sardines migrated a few years back from Pescador Island to the shore alongside Panagsama. The sardine run pulls a lot of tourists and the locals understand the positive effect of this, so no net fishing is allowed in Moalboal. Only the local fishermen are allowed to use their small wooden boats to go out and fish with hooks and lines to catch enough of sardines for their family or to sell at the local market.

moalboal sardine run

Picture by Ruffy Biazon

moalboal sardine run

A turtle gently gliding past under the sardines. Picture by Ruffy Biazon

moalboal sardine run

Picture by Ruffy Biazon

Contact Pieter@quovadisresort.com or go into http://www.quovadisresort.com for more information or to book the dive of your life time.

How to get from Cebu city to Moalboal

The Philippines has through the years been a very hard place to get around, but since tourism has exploded the last few year’s this has started to change. But we still have to remember that the Philippines is a archipelago with over 7000 islands so you need to plan your traveling well not to waste your time. Cebu is one of the biggest tourist destinations with tons of ways to spend your valuable time.

Now let’s talk about how to get from Cebu city to the waterfront of Moalboal and its pristine coral reefs.

10341977_1033193393429438_8947650397648815605_n (1)

Backpacker Option
From the airport you can take a comfortable taxi with a meter to the south bus terminal. When you arrive in the bus terminal just ask for Moalboal and people will point you to the right bus. Put your own bag in the bus and carry your own luggage if you don’t want to pay for the service.

You can choose between air-con bus and non-air con bus the price difference is almost none existing so I would go with the air-con one if the wait is not to long. The price is approximately; non air-con – Php107 and air-con – Php137 . To avoid traffic congestion the best time to go is weekdays before 4pm.

Ask the bus driver to stop in Moalboal 360 Pharmacy because there are not really any bus stops. When at last in Moalboal you might think; is this it? No this isn’t it! This is where you do your shopping, where you have the pharmacy and where you can find really cheap restaurants, but Panagsama is the place you want to go if you can’t wait to splash down in the colorful water.

13631420_1135352806546829_354970455114507193_n

Now it’s time to find a tricycle (or they will find you.) A tricycle is a motorbike with a side carriage and a very local way of traveling. A tricycle should not cost you more than PHP100 – 200 depending how many people there are in your group,  now it’s only a ten minute ride down to our five-star PADI Dive center. From Quo Vadis Dive Resort there is just a few steps down to our colorful house reef and all the amazing creatures living there.

Comfortable Option
If you don’t mind paying a little bit more you can get a taxi direct from the Mactan airport to Moalboal. The drive takes you around 3 hour without traffic , but the total travel time will be much less than taking a bus since you don’t have to wait in line for buses and tricycles. Are you staying with us? Quo Vadis Dive Resort can provide you with a comfortable and safe transportation with our new resort car with air-con and WiFi together with our very friendly driver Loyd who can tell you almost everything worth knowing about this country. Price is Php2900. If you are staying with us, email pieter@quovadisresort.com to arrange your transportation with Loyd.

14063860_1152524944829615_4817619074261632827_n

13620858_1122436231171820_6783655080334997673_nWelcome to Quo Vadis Dive Resort!

/Caroline and Charlie

 

Quo Vadis blog

 

Sardine Run, Panagsama. Bo Mancao

The posts here on this blog will aim to cover different interests, these include but are not limited to:

  • News topics/Stories of interest
  • Tips and techniques
  • “Specialty of the Month”
  • Photography

We will of course share these blogs on the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/QuoVadisDiveResort to keep you all updated. Via the comments there or direct messaging you can give feedback (would be much appreciated) or make any requests for future blogs such as topics or anything you would like us to post about.

So keep an eye out for the blog!!!
Happy and safe diving! 😀

Typhoon Pablo

The windows have been boarded up and old cement bags filled with coral sand have been placed along the low wall that would otherwise have been the only barrier between the resort and the raging sea.

All day we prepared Barefoot White Beach Resort where I’m staying for the arrival of Super Typhoon Bopha (or Pablo, the local name in the Philippines). With winds of up to 260km/h any loose items (chairs, tables, flower pots, even motorbikes) need to be brought in or secured to not be swept away.

Moving into Mindanao from the south-east, Pablo was a category five typhoon and after reading up on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale on Wikipedia last night I was even more convinced that it was a good idea to take some precautionary measures (Category 5: “Catastrophic damage will occur”, very direct and to the point).

So now that the typhoon has been downgraded to a category two, I’m almost a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see if the hard work paid off. It’s moving close to Moalboal at around midnight, so we’ll see what happens. Typhoons are eccentric phenomena, so I’m still keeping a close eye on the barometer (and the weather reports online).