We made it to Moalboal from Oslob by taking an early bus out. It took us a good 2.5hours and two crowded buses to get there. When we arrived at the centre, the first thing we did was try to figure out where we could lunch. It appeared that most of the good eateries were situated by Panagsana Beach, a few kilometres away from the town centre, so we had no choice but to take a motor-trike there.
Day 1: (Day 7 in the Philippines)
We followed TripAdvisor’s recommendation once more to dine at a restaurant called LanTaw. Thankfully once again, it didn’t disappoint.
I had a bowl of Tom Yum Kung, Flo went for the Chicken with Cashews (although the cashews were missing for some reason), and
we shared a Filipino version of Ceviche called Kinilaw, which was awesome, fresh and delicious!
Refreshed and full, we then took another motor-trike over to our ‘home’ for the next few days – Sea Turtle House, which is located nearer to White Beach. The tricycle driver wasn’t too pleased that we’d bargained his price down to 120 pesos from 250 pesos, so when we reached this particular area, he realised the Sea Turtle House wasn’t quite at White Beach and started on a small rant. Obviously, we weren’t aware of this little nugget of information and we told him so – that we hadn’t been here before and didn’t know that it was a little way away.
Anyway, when this small sign appeared that we were to turn left to get to the resort, the road turned into a narrow, extremely rough path that made that last 100m or so extremely bouncy. The tricycle was by no means the most state-of-the-art model so I cannot imagine what the terrain must have done to his suspension. Flo and I could feel his annoyance and frustration increasing with every bump as we approached Sea Turtle House.
Suddenly, I felt very tickled by the whole situation – from the trike guy taking our bargain (grudgingly), to realising we weren’t quite located at White Beach, to having to drive over the most uneven grounds to get to our destination. I burst into uncontrolled giggles which prompted Flo to start laughing as well. We gave him the agreed payment and off he went without even bidding us goodbye. 😦
Sea Turtle House was a breath of fresh air after Issyian Beach Resort in Oslob. The room was a lot more airy and the weather was very cool so despite having no air-conditioning, the temperature was very bearable.
Flo and I ended up relaxing the rest of the afternoon before renting a scooter so that we would be able to use it the next day to ride to the Kawasan Waterfalls. We also used it to go back to Panagsama for dinner again at LanTaw.
We had a serving of Sweet and Sour Pork for Flo which he thoroughly enjoyed, and a Spicy Squid Salad for myself that was nice and fiery.
I ended up having two buns from the Filipino Bakery later that night, along with a Chocolate Vanilla Wafer snack which made me feel kind of gross especially when the first bun I had wasn’t very nice but I finished off anyway just because the taste of carbs felt so good.
Day 2: (Day 8 in the Philippines)
Flo and I headed once more to Panagsama for breakfast. We’d spied an eatery that served Fresh Fruit and Yoghurt the night before after dinner so we already knew what we wanted first thing in the morning.
The yoghurt was rather interesting. It was served almost at room temperature and was of a thick consistency so much so that I wondered if it was actually cream. It didn’t have the tartness of fresh yoghurt we are used to but on the plus side, the sliced bananas, mangoes and watermelon were fresh and sweet. We did clean up our glasses before we set off for Kawasan Falls – one of the most Instagrammed waterfall in the Philippines I believe.
The Main Kawasan Falls
It took us about 40min to reach the Kawasan Falls area, and another 10min to search for the turning to get there. When we found it, a group of local guys directed Flo to park the bike at this parking area, only to then ask for 50 pesos. Flo was having none of it so he moved the bike up front by the road where it was free before we went on our way, walking up to the falls.
The 2nd Waterfall Further Up
Kawasan Falls was a bit of a disappointment with wayyyyyy too many people – tourists and locals who were canyoneering, having picnics, or just playing in the water. The Fall itself wasn’t as impressive as we had expected. In fact, I far prefer Inambakan Waterfall which looked so much more majestic without all the hype and activity around it.
Sure, we cannot deny that Kawasan Falls has a nice long stream of crystal clear waters and was pretty in its own way, it just wasn’t mind-blowing.
We spent about an hour there before we slowly, leisurely, made our way back to our bike… Only to find that our front tyre was completely flat. Flatter than flat!
We were pretty certain that the carpark guys may have been in on it but we didn’t want to be presumptuous either. This guy on his tricycle pointed out to Flo that there were punctures in the tyre and said that he would have to ride up about 2.5km to a bike repair shop to get it fixed. Given the situation, only Flo could ride. I refused to hang around the area especially near men who could be so malicious. Neither did I want to pay for a scooter or tricycle to follow after Flo because I hated the thought of paying someone who could have been part of this incident. So while Flo rode on ahead, I said I would catch up on foot.
Walk I did. I walked through quite a few towns and got stared at A LOT with so many people calling out to ask if I wanted a bike, or a trike, or whatever else I couldn’t understand in Tagalog. Finally, I got to almost the end of yet another town and started feeling a little unsure as to whether I’d somehow missed the repair shop, or missed a turning. My data connection was failing me (typical Philippines) so my Whatsapp texts to Flo weren’t going through. I was close to panicking after 10min of standing around that I started praying and asking God to let my data connection work just this once!
Then this old man in his bicycle approached me and like everyone else, started speaking to me in Tagalog. I don’t know what compelled me to speak to him having been ignoring everyone else, but I asked if he knew whether there was a bike shop further ahead. He looked confused and began asking where I was from because he went “Taiwanese? Korean? Japanese?”. I didn’t answer his question and instead, asked again if he knew of a bike repair shop that fixed tyres. His eyes lit up and he went “Fix tyre? Bike? Green?” And I exclaimed “YES!!” because the scooter we’d rented was free.
The old man repeated this line “Bike? Fix tyre?” a few more times while I nodded fervently before he pointed straight ahead and said “Walk over the bridge. Bike shop 0.5m after”. I was soOoOo happy I thanked him with a huge smile and quickly started walking again, relieved that I was headed in the right direction, and so close as well!
As I walked over the bridge, I thought about how God had answers my prayers in the form of the old man. I felt so protected and watched over, and I thank Mum and Dad for their constant prayers. I also thank God for answering me as I asked for help – maybe not by providing me data but my helping me through this man. And just as I neared the end of the bridge, there was Flo flying towards me on our newly-repaired bike. I swear I almost cried for joy!
I related my story to Flo and he told me that he had asked the old man where the bike shop was and somehow, the old man must have found me and figured out that I was with Flo. I also learned that the front tyre was found to have 3 punctures in it which totally explains how all the air came out. Thank God it was just that, and nothing more.
My Big Sea Turtle!
We decided to head back to Sea Turtle House after our little adventure to unwind. We borrowed a pair of snorkels from the resort owners and went round the back to do a bit of snorkelling. After my sea turtle snorkelling incident back in Bohol, I was a little afraid initially but the waters here were only about hip high all the way to about 50m out. I stayed by the shallows and eventually got used to the breathing process through the snorkel.
The water was nice and warm with a few random cold currents passing through. I managed to see a few little fishies but didn’t dare venture too far out. Flo on the other hand, actually bumped into a big sea turtle not far from where we were!
Basking in the Sun post-snorkelling
After snorkelling, Flo became a little worse for wear – the food poisoning that started back in Oslob appeared to have worsened a bit for him and after we watched the sunset, we headed back to our room. Flo ended up in bed at 8.30pm asleep with me next to him keeping myself busy trying to swipe through Instagram whenever I managed some data connection.
We caught Sunset!
This was probably the evening where we really missed home. We missed the clean sheets, hot water, dry bathrooms, good food (Sashimi! Home breakfasts! Xiao Long Baos!), reliable transport system, bright lights… We’d had enough of Cebu and the next day, we were off to Palawan.