It has already been seven weeks since I returned to Japan from my English study abroad program in Cebu, Philippines. Basically, weekdays were spent at school, but on weekends and holidays, I visited various places mainly for the purpose of scuba diving, so this time, I would like to give a brief recap.
After starting my stay in Cebu, my first excursion was to Oslob to see whale sharks. Oslob is located 130 km southeast of Cebu Island. The one-way trip took about 3 to 5 hours by car (depending on traffic conditions and the skill of the driver), and the departure time was very early because we could only see whale sharks in the morning from the viewpoint of whale shark protection. It is a lot of work, but it was very impressive to watch them up close, so I think it is a place you should visit at least once.
After Oslob, I also stopped by nearby Sumilon Island (4th photo), which has lodging facilities and is a great place to relax. Unfortunately, it was a day tour, so my stay was short.
Next is Moalboal. I visited twice during my stay, once for a day tour and the second time for two nights and three days using a bus. It is a resort area on the west coast of Cebu Island, about 3 hours one way from Cebu City.
Many people come here for diving and snorkeling, and it is said that turtles and the tornade of sardines just off Panagsama Beach are famous. The Italian restaurant and local eatery that I visited with the dive shop staff were very good. White Beach on the north side was also nice, although it requires a 15-20 minute motorcycle ride.
Accommodations: D´Gecko Hotel, which was simple but clean and close to Panagsama beach.
Bohol and Balicasag
Strictly speaking, Bohol Island is not Cebu, but a nearby island (apparently the 10th largest island in the Philippines), but it is about 2 hours by boat, so it is a popular tourist destination for Cebu travelers.
Before going to study abroad, I was told by a diving shop in Japan that I should go to Bohol and Balicasag if I wanted to dive in the Philippines, so I went there. It was the clearest sea I have ever dived in while studying abroad, and it was very good.
Besides diving, I saw small hills called Chocolate Hills and the world’s smallest spectacled monkey “Tarsier”. It seems that we Japanese who have few days off usually visit Cebu as a base for day tours, but I feel it is better to stay here. There is also an airport.
Accommodations: Bohol Tropics Resort, a hotel near the port. There is a dive shop in the hotel. Tourists tend to stay either near the port or near Alona Beach on Panglao Island.
Recommended Meals: Lunch “Mama La’s Kusina”, where a local diner I happened to stop by on my way to Chocolate Hills. This is where I got hooked on local eateries in the Philippines. Dinner “Lantaw Native Restaurant Bohol“
By the way, I have a YouTube video of my visit to the Tarsier Sanctuary if you would like to see it.
Malapascua is located in the northern part of Cebu Island. It takes about 4 to 5 hours by bus from Cebu City to Maya Port, and from there it takes about 40 minutes by boat to finally arrive. In a sense, it is a remote region, but it is famous for seeing Thresher shark (Japanese name: Nitari).
The ocean is beautiful and the beaches are lovely. It is a cozy and peaceful island, and the overall atmosphere of the island is probably my favorite.
Accommodations: Malapatel-Malapascua Hotel, it was simple and easy to spend time.Click here to follow us on SNS