• Éadaoin Fitzmaurice

The Philippines: Moalboal & Oslob

Hello you absolute DARLING, thanks for popping in! This is the first instalment of my adventures in The Philippines. I had the most amazing trip ever and of course, I want to share it with you.

I travelled to The PI on 8th August - 25th August 2019 with my best pal Lynne. She's not only one of my favourite humans in existence but she is most definitely my favourite person to travel with. We skipped a trip together last year because I was being a moh-zer in Morocco so we knew that this year's trip had to be a BIG one - thankfully, it was everything we hoped for and more.

We were travelling for two and a half weeks and during that time we visited Manila, Moalboal Cebu, Oslob, Alona Beach Bohol, Nacpan Beach and El Nido. We started our journey by flying from Dublin to Abu Dhabi and then from there to Manila. In total, both flights were about 8 hours each and came in at just over €800 return. We then flew to Cebu and FINALLY made it to our first destination - Moalboal. I adored Moalboal because I feel like it was the most authentic place we visited. Locals looked at me like they had never seen blonde hair before but they were all so friendly. It was also an area, however, where you see a lot of poverty, with lots of shacks on the roads and very skinny dogs. We stayed in the Parrot Resort, I would 100% recommend. Breakfast is included, staff are friendly and the vibe is very chilled. It's located a 5-10 minute walk from the main bar and restaurant area. It has a pool and it was just a fab place to start off the holiday. After almost two full days travelling to get there, we spent five days here which was well needed to relieve jet lag and also just have time to actually relax by the pool with a book and treat it like a proper holiday. To learn more, click here.

While we were there we visited: -White Beach -Oslob -Whale Sharks Tour -Binalayan Hidden Falls -Kawasan Falls I would also recommend: -Snorkelling with turtles -Canyoning On our first day, we headed to the white beach. Tuk-tuks come in at around 300 pesos for a return trip but I'm sure if your bartering skills are better than ours you can knock the price down. The beach does what it says on the tin - white sand and blue waters. I wouldn't say this was the most stunning beach we saw on the entire trip but it was nice to visit it.

That night we headed to the Chili Bar which is the most popular bar in the area. We came during the off-peak season so it was pretty quiet but I can imagine this place to be booming if there were a few more groups of tourists there. The food is average but the atmosphere is good. The next day we did one of the coolest activities of the whole trip - swimming with whale sharks in Oslob. We were picked up at 3 am and brought 1hr and 30mins in a van to Oslob. The crowds there are manic so be sure to go early and book in advance. Seen as this was our first excursion we got absolutely STUNG on the cost of this - it should cost are 1,500 pesos so try barter as close to that price as you can. You can book the tours on the street from the tuk-tuk drivers.

I had heard people complaining about this tour but I thought that it was a very safe and comfortable environment for the whale sharks. There were marine biologists on site, we weren't allowed to wear sun cream and there was no nets or anything. We spent about 40mins in the water - bring a GoPro if you have it and the guides will take your picture for you. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. They are absolutely huge creatures and very calm, they pretty much go about their day and pay no attention to onlookers from the boats. After that, we were taken to Binalayan Hidden Waterfalls. The guides were incredible and they taught us how to climb the falls and jump in. It was a really stunning place and it comes as part of the tour.

Loved it!

The following day we rented a motorbike and took it to Kawasan Falls. I attempted to drive but literally shat myself so Lynne, the angel she is, rode both ways. It's about a 40-minute drive and we rented the bikes directly from our resort for 500 pesos (you could deffo get it for cheaper on the street).

You have to pay to get into the falls but it's well worth it in my opinion. The water is super blue and refreshing and it's picture-perfect. If you want to swim out to the waterfall you have to pay for a life jacket. We only swam out to halfway and dodged that charge.

During our trip we ate in The Cebuano, which we really liked and Three Bears which was also really good - they're probably the two best in the area. Three Bears was attached to our resort too so it was a really handy one to visit.

If you're travelling to the PI Moalboal needs to be on your list.

We left, got a 4-hour taxi to Cebu Port (2,500 pesos) and got a two-hour ferry to our next stop Tagbilaran. From there we got a 30-minute taxi to Alona Beach in Panglao.

I will be adding more blogs about the trip gradually. For now, f you have any questions about the trip be sure to leave them below. LOTS OF LOVELY LOOOOVE, Bandeadd xxx


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