Here is our Filipino experience, for those who know us to enjoy and those who don’t know us to hopefully get some inspiring information from it.
Since we live in Taiwan we are very luck to be able to find cheap flights to Asian destinations. We found our return flights from TPE > CEB on Skyscanner for £82! A bargain we were not going to refuse.
Day 1 – Cebu > Moalboal
So we flew with AirAsia to Cebu Mactan Airport on Saturday morning and received a private pick up organised by our hotel. The drive took about 3-4 hours and cost 2000PHP. Brace yourself for a fist clenching drive through Cebu city, we even witnessed a motorbike crash.
Turtle Bay Dive Resort –
We booked 3 nights at a resort in Moalboal which was great value for money. It was very private, quiet and relaxing, situated right on the sea front. We had never stayed at a resort together before so this made us feel special. We had been saving for a while so we spent a little extra to treat ourselves, although a ‘little” extra seemed to go a long way in the Philippines. The final bill for 3 days including breakfast, dinner, drinks, an island hopping tour and kayak rental was about 15,000PHP (£200) between us.
Day 2 – Canyoneering and Kawasan Falls
The area is popular for canyoneering tours so speak to someone to find a good deal. Our hotel organised a ‘Jeepney’ to a small town called Alegria where we were taken on motorbikes to the briefing centre. It was so fun and thrilling to jump into beautiful spring water from high rocks and it actually felt very safe. We definitely recommend it if you have the time. The guides were really friendly and offered to take all our photos and videos for us and it was nice to chat to locals.
Like many people these days we got most of our trip inspiration from posts we had seen on Instagram and we knew that Kawasan Falls was a ‘must see’, so we headed there afterwards. We were actually very disappointed because the area was more like a kids playground than a natural wonder and it was so busy with families. The first pool was crazy but if you follow the path up behind it you come to another which was a little quieter. It was a cool place to swim and have a go on the rope swing but it didn’t resemble the beauty we had seen online.
Day 3 – Moalboal Island Hopping
Since our hotel was a dive resort but we’re not certified divers they couldn’t take us scuba diving. Instead they organised an island hopping tour with a local boat, it was practically a private boat since it was just the two of us and three crew. They took us to three snorkelling spots including a sardines shoal and sea turtles. Again, boat tours are popular too and can be organised by most hotels. A few hours at sea is our dream way to spend a morning.
After lunch we got a tricycle taxi to White Beach which was beautiful and very quiet. There were hardly any people there, although a funny Filipino man tried to sell us ice cream and tried to persuade us to give him our inflatable chair for his children.
In the afternoon to evening we went to Pangasama, which is a town/road running along the sea front lined with dive shops and hostels. There were also quite a few restaurants and bars serving a mixture of Asian and Western dishes. Some places had a really good view of the sunset, making it a nice place to eat and drink into the evening. Don’t expect to find anything fancy though. Local rum and sprite/coke is 80Pesos, less than £2 so get drunk and you can’t complain.
Day 4 – Moalboal > Oslob
From Moalboal we got a bus to Bato (77Pesos) and another bus to Oslob (80Pesos). The whole journey took about 3 hours. It’s worth noting that the whale shark centre isn’t actually in Oslob town but is about 10 minutes up the road in a place called Tan-Awan which is a tiny ‘town’ running along the road and there isn’t many places to go there. We went the day before to be able to see the whale sharks early the next morning and wouldn’t recommend staying any longer than that.
Day 5 – Whale Sharks
We got up at 5:30am to arrive at the whale shark centre by 6 to be the first group out to swim with the giants. It cost 1000Pesos each and was definitely worth it. Despite critics saying its disappointing that the whales aren’t in a more natural environment, we thought they were still incredibly spectacular and learned that they’re in a controlled area so that marine biologist can keep and eye on them. Patrick didn’t think they were as big as he expected but they were the biggest live animal I’ve ever seen so were big enough to take my breath away. You get 30 minutes in the water to view them which is plenty of time. You don’t have to wear your life jacket in the water either, just on the boat for some safety reason. Taking pictures underwater is the most difficult thing to do especially when there’s so much going on around you so good luck with that!
We were done and dusted by 7am, went for a crappy breakfast at the Sunrise Grillhaus and headed to Tumalog Waterfall not too far away into the mountains. If you’ve ever dreamed about living in a fairy wonderland, something like Rivendell, this place will blow you away. It was so beautiful and peaceful. There were only about 5 other people there. While the water wasn’t blue or clear and had tadpoles or something alike swimming around it still felt wonderful and refreshing.
After that our guesthouse had organised to take us to a boat heading to Panglao, Bohol for 1000Pesos each. We were originally worried about this part of our trip because we couldn’t find an official route online. Apparently the hotels in Oslob organise this boat together to take guests to the island. The journey took less than 2 hours and arrived right by Alona Beach.
We stayed at Pyramid Beach Resort which was lovely and right on the beach. We ate at the Greek restaurant which was tasty. We rented scooters and spent the afternoon driving to a few other beaches along Pangalo. White beach is beautiful and the water was incredibly clean and clear. I’m not a very confident driver so we didn’t want to drive too far. Since it had been a crazily long day we spent the rest of it sitting at a few bars. Alona beach is a much more touristic place filled with bars, restaurants and resorts so there’s a lot more going on.
Day 6 –
We went on an organised tour to take us around the island of Bohol. We went to the Tazier monkey sanctuary, a snake sanctuary, a zipline, Chocolate hills and a river steamboat trip for lunch. We wish we had not done the tour as it all probably took about 3 times longer than necessary due to waiting around for other tourists to finish taking pictures and we visited a few other places that could’ve been cut out. We got back around 6 and ate dinner at our hotel grill restaurant which was excellent.
Day 7 – We spent the morning relaxing, ate a big breakfast and had a massage on the beach. Since we had done so much with our time so far we decided to treat ourselves on our last day. The quality of our trip probably would have cost 2 or 3 times as much in Europe so we felt privileged. After lunch we got a taxi to Tagbileran port and got the ferry back up to Cebu. It cost 700Pesos and took about 2 hours.
We got a taxi from Cebu ferry port to our hotel near Mactan airport. Traffic in Cebu is insane and our driver approached it like Liam Neeson. We had agreed on 600Pesos before we got in and he tried to charge us double when he dropped us off, saying it was per person. This made me angry so I argued with him for a minute until he let it slide. It annoyed me how rude he could be compared to the countless kind and friendly Filipinos we had met elsewhere.
We booked a room at hotel who organised our airport shuttle at 6am the next day. It was near an outdoor shopping mall so we spent our last few hours in the Philippines there.
So there, our 7 day trip from Cebu – Bohol. Jam packed with activities and memories. Take a look at our photo gallery and see the pictures to match. Any questions are welcome in comments.
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Hollie & Patrick
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