The province of Cebu is the geographical heart of the Philippines. The province has more than 150 islands and the island of Cebu with its capital Cebu City is undoubtedly the epicentre. Because of its central location it’s a perfect hub to go from one island to the other, but Cebu should not be skipped. Our trip through the Philippines started in Cebu and we have beautiful memories of it.
Visiting big cities in the Philippines is not on anyone’s wish list so 10 tips to discover Cebu City can’t be found here. It’s very crowded and the city has dark sides. Avoid the city outskirts and the harbour if you can. Traffic rules are loosely applied here which leads to chaos. Moreover, on every corner you can hear the screams of an enthusiastic Filipino who is devouring his karaoke installation. Do you want to shelter into a large shopping mall? Then you’ll also be treated to a live concert where they have turned the volume all the way to the right.
Cebu is a perfect stopover for all your destinations in the Philippines so the chances of encountering this airport are high. Are you planning to discover Cebu? Then you can take the bus from the airport to Cebu City. Here you get off at the terminal and right in front of you you will see an office where they will kindly help you to your next destination. Despite the chaos in Cebu City, transport is very easy to arrange.
It’s an incredibly wonderful initiative from the Philippines! The Ceres buses can be found on the most populated islands and can save you a lot of money in your budget. Moreover, they’re comfortable seats and you travel with air conditioning. Do you want to get to Malapascua, Moalboal or Oslob? Then the Ceres buses are your solution. Also at the little office at the bus terminal you can ask for information. Moreover, the locals are willing to help if you are unsure where to go.
Snorkel, Dive and Relax
Moalboal is located in the middle of Cebu, about three hours drive from Cebu City. Moalboal is evolving. It’s too early to call it a hotspot, but the evolution it has already gone through promises lots of good stuff. You can relax on a white beach. Grab your snorkel and walk in the water to swim with hundreds of sardines. Or enjoy the beautiful underwater life in Moalboal and go a little deeper into the sea if you’re a diver.
Cebu is a top destination for waterfall hunters. From Moalboal to deep in the south, every five minutes there’s a waterfall to be explored. Many tourists therefore plan their accommodation in Moalboal to go on a roadtrip from there. We did the same and found the rides on the motorbike an added value. Are you curious which waterfalls are waiting for you? Here are our favorites.
To conclude, Moalboal is gradually developing into a nice village where it’s fun to stay. In the main street there are nice restaurants and for us it was a reason to extend our stay. The friendliness reigns here and on top of that you can try the local roulette in a casino. Are you a bit more active? Then put on your shoes and play a game of basketball! Want to know more about Moalboal? Then find out more here.
Oslob has a negative connotation with many, and rightly so. This village has experienced an immense increase in popularity due to the presence of the whale shark. In addition, Oslob has a good geographical location due to its proximity to Bohol.
Over the years, malicious practices have emerged whereby the ‘guides’ feed the whale sharks to ensure the presence of the whale shark throughout the year. This feeding keeps the whale shark close to Oslob and makes it very easy to take the ‘perfect’ picture with the whale shark. A whale shark should not float vertically in the water and such learned behaviour makes them dependent on tourism. On the island of Leyte you can go swimming with the whale sharks under supervision of a Marine Biologist.
Diving and bounty beaches
Are you looking for a place where you can walk alone on the white beach amongst the palm trees? Then Malapascua is on your to-do list. Malapascua is rapidly gaining popularity, so I can’t assure you that the silence and tranquility will still be there when you get there.
The number one reason to visit Malapascua is diving. It’s still a tiny island so there really isn’t much to do. But for many people the simplicity is a reason to travel there. Keep in mind that you have to drive all the way to the north of Cebu to visit Malapascua. This is possible with the Ceres buses. Furthermore, it’s a half hour boat trip to the exotic island.
Significantly bigger than Malapascua and known for its paradisiacal beach that transforms with the tides into a large lagoon. Bantayan is a textbook example of the infinite beauty of the Philippines. To visit this island you have to drive to the north of Cebu and take a ferry from Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port on Bantayan. Always check the schedules and timetables before planning your trip.
How do you get to Cebu?
Cebu is the most accessible island in the Philippines. Mactan-Cebu Airport is an international airport so if you travel to another place in Southeast Asia, chances are you won’t have to go to Manila or Clarke first. From Mactan-Cebu Airport you can literally reach every island with an airport. For flights you check Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, JetStar and AirAsia.
From Cebu you can reach most of the neighboring islands. Manila, Malapascua, Bantayan, Leyte, Bohol, Negros (Dumaguete), Siquijor, Surigao and more. We found the boat an extremely comfortable and cheap way to travel in the Philippines. The only drawback you have are the time schedules that don’t seem up to date anywhere.
Always contact the company by phone or drop by the office to be sure of your departure.
Protip! You have to be there two hours in advance to check in. Take this advice lightly. An hour in advance is certainly sufficient. No need to rush.