FAQs for Diving Vacations in Moalboal
Amenity and Facility Questions
Is there a beach?
The town of Moalboal overlooks a bay and has no beach. The tourist area of Panagsama Beach has small patches of sand. To enjoy one of the best fine sand beaches in Cebu, you need to take a short ride to White Beach at Savedra. This is a large fine white sand beach with good snorkelling and available shaded tables for hire. Be warned that there are a lots of beach vendors who will want to sell you T-shirts and souvenirs. Prices are negotiable and are usually low.
Is there a pool?
There are no public swimming pools in or around Moalboal but several of the larger resorts have pools for guests. Eve’s Lodge in Panagsama Beach has a pool that can be used for a fee. Guests at Turtle Bay Dive resort get free use of a 19m lagoon pool.
Are there Wi-Fi Areas?
There are no free Wi-Fi areas, however in Moalboal town and Panagsama Beach there are internet cafes where one can access the internet for a small hourly charge. Turtle Bay Dive Resort has Wi-Fi areas and a computer of internet access for use by guests.
What is the local voltage?
The Philippines only has approximately 220 voltage power supply; the voltage can vary. Sorry no 110 volt outlets are available.
Will I be able to plug in my own appliances?
The Philippines has uniquely shaped 2-pin and 3-pin plugs. It is a good idea to buy an adaptor before you arrive. Turtle Bay Dive Resort provides adaptors to guests.
What is the normal dive schedule?
Each Dive Shop has its own daily schedule. Most Shops will have at least one morning dive and one afternoon dive. Turtle Bay Dive Resort offers a 2-tank dive in the mornings and a 1-tank dive in the afternoon. Night dives and Mandarin fish dives are available on request.
What size tanks are available?
The majority of shops have 80 cu.ft.(12 liter) aluminium tanks (12 litres) and some shops also have 100 cu ft (15 litre) tanks and 60 cu. Ft. (10 litre) tanks. Turtle Bay Dive Resort has all of these sizes.
How often is there a dive to Pescador Island?
Most dive shops dive Pescador Island almost daily as it is the most famous site in Moalboal.
Is there any macro?
Yes, Cebu is well known for macro from nudibranch to pygmy seahorses.
Is it possible to do a night dive?
Yes, many dive shops will offer night dives either on a fixed timetable or on request. The shoreline of Copton Peninsula and Pescador Island offer some great sites for night dives. Turtle Bay Dive Resort has a house reef that is great for night dives.
Can I get nitrox?
Yes, many of the bigger dive shops can provide nitrox mix from 30% to 36% for a small premium. Turtle Bay Dive Resort offers nitrox and PADI nitrox courses.
Can I try out scuba diving?
Yes, at any PADI registered Dive Center you can arrange a Discover Scuba session. One is a pool session which lets you try out the scuba equipment and practice the essential diving skills; a second option follows the pool session with a dive in the sea so you can experience the abundance of the coral reef life – perhaps even see your first turtle up close.
Can I snorkel?
Yes you can safely snorkel at white beach, at Lombok beach and at most of the dive sites.
Where is the nearest decompression chamber?
Best not to take any risks when diving as the nearest chamber is in Cebu City which is 2.5 hours by car.
Can I do tech or re-breather diving?
Yes there some Dive Shops offering tech diving and re-breather dives.
How do I choose a Dive Shop?
There are more than 20 dive shops in Moalboal; some are part of resorts and others are independent. Most of the independent shops are located in Panagsama Beach. Some divers may want to select a dive shop based on the nationality of the owner (many European and Asian nationals are here), the affiliation (e.g. PADI), range of services offered or price. In addition to these factors, I suggest you ask about the safety standards (e.g. does the boat carry emergency oxygen), quality of dive gear, ratio of divers to dive master and recommendations from other divers. If you are shopping around on price alone, be sure you are aware of the short cuts being taken to drop the operating costs
Questions about Excursions around Moalboal
What is there of interest to see in the area?
The popular excursions are – Kawasan Falls, Orchid Gallery, Moalboal public markets, White Beach, cockpit, (Sunday afternoons only) and Panagsama Beach for the night life.
What can I find in Panagsama Beach?
Panagsama Beach does NOT offer a sandy beach but you will find several restaurants, bars (with pool tables), dive centres, resorts, gift shops, tattoo shop and disco (Saturday nights only).
How far to the nearest beach?
There are two fine white sand beaches in the area: White Beach (also known as Savedra) and Lombok beach. Both beaches are easily accessible by road or boat – say about 30 minutes.
What other outdoor activities are there in Moalboal?
Planet Action has a wide range of outdoor adventure activities; check their website at www.action-philippines.com
Where is the nearest ATM?
The nearest ATM to Moalboal is currently in Carcar City which is a one hour drive from Moalboal.
Do you resorts accept credit cards
Yes some resorts and restaurants accept payment by credit card but do not be surprised if you are charged extra for the use of your card. At Turtle Bay Dive Resort there is no extra charge for paying by credit card.
Where can I change foreign currency?
You can change foreign currency in Moalboal and at Mactan airport. Better exchange rates can be obtained by shopping around the currency exchange counters and banks in Cebu City.
What is the practice of tipping in the Philippines?
It is common practice to tip up to 10% at restaurants, cafes, bell boys, hairdressers and others providing personal services. Note that many establishments now include a 10% service charge in their bills. It is not common to tip taxi and tricycle drivers.
How much is the airport departure tax at Mactan airport?
The departure tax for domestic flights is Php 200.00 and for international flights out of Mactan it is Php 550.00
Questions about Health & Health Services
Is there any malaria in the Philippines?
Malaria is NOT a problem in Cebu.
Are mosquitoes a problem?
Mosquitoes can be a problem in cities where there is more stagnant water. Generally, they are not a serious problem at our resort as we are next to the sea. Sunset is the time that they appear so if you a prone to being bitten by mosquitoes apply repellent cream at this time.
What contagious disease should I be aware of?
The most serious diseases in Cebu are dengue fever (spread by mosquitoes) and AIDS.
Where is the nearest doctor?
There is a small clinic in Moalboal town but for any serious concern we recommend you go to South General Hospital near Naga Coty (a 90 minute ride)
Where is the nearest hospital?
There are simple provincial hospitals at Badian and Barili, however for anything serious we recommend South General Hospital near Naga City or one of the private hospitals in Cebu City.
Can I buy most medication in Moalboal?
You can buy most common medication in Moalboal but if you have some special needs, we recommend that you buy stock whilst in Cebu City – try Mercury Drug Store, Rose Pharmacy Three Sixty Pharmacy (all of these have many branches in Cebu City and Carcar City)
Is it safe to drink tap water?
There have been cases of people living in the provinces getting seriously ill from drinking contaminated tap water (some young children died), therefore we recommend that you only drink bottled water. This is what we serve in Turtle Bay Dive Resort. The tap water at Turtle Bay Dive Resort is filtered rain water which we use for showers and washing.
Should I use sun tan lotion?
The sun in the Philippines is very strong and so sun tan lotion is a must to avoid skin damage.
Questions about Languages
Can Filipinos understand English?
You should always be able to find someone who can understand and converse in English. All Filipinos have some schooling in English; however in the provinces they may not have that much practice at speaking English and may have a problem understanding spoken English.
What languages are spoken in Cebu?
The local language is called Cebuano or Visayaan. The majority of Cebuanos also speak Tagalog / Filipino and English.
How many languages are spoken in the Philippines?
In the Philippines there are between 120 and 175 languages, depending on the method of classification. The 13 major languages with more than 1 million people speaking the language are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Albay Bikol, Pangasinan, Maranao, Maguindanao, Kinaray-a and Tausug.
Questions about Safety for Tourists.
Is Cebu considered safe for tourists?
Moalboal and provincial Cebu is very safe for tourists. The government have even assigned Tourist Police to specifically take care of any problems tourists encounter. Do take care of your belongings if staying or visiting Panagsama Beach as there have been instances of petty theft. Like all big cities, there are certain areas of Cebu City that are more prone to pick pockets and fraudsters so do not walk about displaying expensive accessories e.g. gold necklaces, chains, mobile phones.
Transport and Travel Questions
How far is the resort from the airport?
The Mactan International airport is 105km from the resort. The transfer takes 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the traffic in Cebu City
How do I get to Moalboal by public transport?
First you need to get to the South Bus Terminal on the south side of Cebu City; best to take a taxi from the airport. Then take a bus to Moalboal. Ceres bus line runs some air-conditioned buses on this route but most of the buses just have open windows. Get off the bus in Moalboal near the public market and then take a tricycle (local form of taxi) to your chosen resort – about a 15 minute ride.
Can I get transport to Liloan for transfer to southern Negros?
You can take the public bus from Moalboal Town to Bato or Liloan pier for boat transfer to Negros. The trip takes about 90 minutes. At Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we can arrange a car or van for this transfer.
Can I get transport to Maya pier for the boat to Malapascua?
You can take the public bus or V-Hire van to Cebu City. From Cebu City you can take a public bus to Maya pier in the north of Cebu. The whole trip by public transport will take 6 to 7 hours. We recommend you stop on the way for lunch in Cebu City. At Turtle Bay Dive Resort, we can arrange a car or van for this transfer – the trip will take 5 to 6 hours.
For more details that are specific to Turtle Bay Dive Resort check out this link to Turtle Bay Website FAQ Moalboal