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My friend, Edwin, was negotiating with boatmen in Moalboal, Cebu, while Doi, Gael, and I, set up a table for lunch. Arriving from the night before, we stayed in Basdaku/White Beach in order to spend a day of snorkelling in the Tuble Marine Sanctuary.

Tuble Marine Sanctuary
Moalboal, Cebu
September 05, 2011

swim tuble marine sanctuary
Swimming in Moalboal

This was one of those spontaneous decisions made out of our love for travelling. Our original plan was only to trek to one of the caves in this region. However, we decided to spend the night in this quick beach fix and swim with the fishes the following day.

moalboal cebu
White Beach or Basdaku

After eating, kuya Dodong, our boatman, met and advised us to place our bags and gadgets in a plastic paint bucket which served as a makeshift waterproof container.

It was just a 20-minute ride and we arrived at the marine sanctuary happy that the weather cooperated with us. I was also excited because it’s been awhile since I last went to the beach and swam in the sea.

moalboal basdaku
heading to the boat

We paid the entrance fee (100 Php) and I immediately jumped into the water while Edwin was still preparing himself to dive with his flippers on. He’s been practicing free diving which enables him to swim into the deep without having to use an air tank. It’s something I need to learn more if I want to hold my breath longer.

boat tuble sanctuary
Our boatman preparing the eye goggles

Boatman and Tour Guide

Kuya Dodong advised us to hold onto a raft that he made so we could swim with him as he pointed out the fishes and the corals underneath. It was fascinating to see him full of life in sharing which corals we could touch and which ones we shouldn’t to avoid destroying them.

tuble marine sanctuary
his raft

He accompanied us all throughout the underwater tour so we could enjoy the scenery without having to stress about swimming. He even described the types of fishes that were around. “He knows how to please his clients.”, I thought to myself. Talk about great service! We got more than what we bargained for.

flippers moalboal
improvised flippers made out of wood

Normally, boatmen will just leave you alone while you swim in the water. But not in this case; kuya Dodong acted as our tour guide as he showed us the different corals and creatures underwater. He also he gave us clean and functioning goggles that made me wonder if they were brand new. I noticed him cleaning them before handing it to us free of charge.

He didn’t know that we have our own websites and when we told him that we’ll post his number there, he was more than thankful for it.

snorkel tuble marine sanctuary
“Careful with your feet not to touch the corals!” our boatman said.

I’ve been to Moalboal many times but it’s only now that I was able to visit the marine sanctuary in Tuble. It was amazing to see such beauty lurking beneath the surface.

I’d like to go back next time with flippers in tow but I need to find a size that would fit my feet first.

fish sanctuary marine moalboal

After the tour, we spent the remaining time enjoying the sea. But at one point, I became nauseous because of being too hyperactive underwater that I wanted to throw up. Some of my companions also felt the same so we had to rest for awhile.

headstand underwater
failed headstand underwater. hehe

I’m thankful that I didn’t have to go too far or pay a high price just to experience this underwater adventure. There’s no need to purchase an all inclusive holidays to Caribbean when such a place already exists here. To think this is only a 3-hour drive from the city.

Here’s a video of our time spent in this beautiful place. Pardon my amateur video-editing skills.
*Photos and videos are courtesy of Edwin and Doi. Thanks guys!

100 Php – Tuble Marine Sanctuary Entrance Fee per boat
800 Php – Pumpboat ride to Tuble Marine Sanctuary (good for 10 people)

Contact Details:
Kuya Dodong Jaquez (boat guide): 0923 937 6699
Ester Resort: 0927 578 5983 (Where we stayed at 1500 per night good for 4 persons)

For more information on how to get to Moalboal, you can refer to this travel guide by ThePinaySoloBackpacker: Moalboal Cebu Travel Guide

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.

31 comments… add one
  • This is the first time I heard of Tuble Marine Sanctuary and wow! ang ganda! isa yan sa mga itatarget kong puntahan next year. maraming salamat sa mga info. 🙂

  • aha! ba't nyo tinulak xa uy!

  • Buwis-buhay underwater ftw! :))
    Nae-excite tuloy ako sa Moalboal trip pero hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko ganyan kalalim since i can't swim. Aliw ako sa improvised flippers ni Kuya ah 😀

  • pag balik ko sa cebu yang moalboal naman ang pupuntiryahin ko. i am not much of an open sea person eversince that tragic boat-flipping event last year pero syempre willing din ako to do anything lalo na kung ganyan kaganda ang makikita 🙂

  • doi

    mica, di sya malalim. pramis. ang babaw nya lang. tsaka di payag si koyah walang lifevest ang gurls unless barya boys ka rin gaya ni ed at edwin. LOL. yey! i can comment on your blog na ulit ed! after 48 years! hahaha

  • @doi – promise? haha sige mag-mega snorkel ako sa moalboal kakapit ako kay kuya o isa sa mga barya boys hahaha 😀

  • @josiah: this was also the first time I heard about the place. didn't know it existed. salamat talaga! 😀

    @lakbay: haha. wa koy lain makit-an clip. hehe

    @micamyx: ok lang ang tubig. may part na diretso trench pero nandun kami sa shallow part. and may lifevest si kuya. 😀 barya boys talaga? hehe

    @lawstude: haha. yipes, fresh na fresh pa rin yung incident. ok lang ang lugar kasi 20 minute ride lang toh, oman. and just make sure na maaraw lang. kahit nasa ibabaw lang, di na kelangan pumunta nang malalim para makita ang mga corals. 😀

    @doi: yey! naay sayup doi? hehe

  • Yeah forget about the Caribbean, Moalboal, especially that part (which I wasn't able to visit) looks perfect for a bit of free diving. The improvised flippers looks cool and equally useful as the expensive ones.

  • Aliw ang improvised flippers ni kuya, napaka-resourceful talaga ng Pinoy 🙂

  • It looks like you had so much fun doing this.  I love snorkeling too.  In fact, the last time I did it was in the Belize Barrier Reef.  It was weird for me since there were a lot of nurse sharks swimming around.  My guide even swam down and grabbed one so I could touch it.

  • astig ng flippers. gusto ko rin yan masubukan. hahaha… astig head stand pa  rin kahit sa tubig.

  • panalo ang improvised flippers, kabog ang hot pink speedo ko. charot!

    ang galing magswin mi edwin! winner!

  • @marky: Our boatman had so many improvised tools that put high-end gears to shame. you should come back to moalboal.

    @claire: ayos di ba? yung plastic paint bucket ang lalagyan namin ng gadgets, talbog ang mga malalaking zip lock bags.

    @steve: it was really fun cause we didn't expect such underwater scenery easily accessible to us.

    @dong ho: haha, ewan ko kung mabigat yung flippers ni kuya. haha. sinubukan lang kung makuha ba. buti na lang walang nakapasok na tubig sa ilong at tenga (ata).

    @chyng: haha. di ba? yep, umaabot sya nang ilang feet sa ilalim ng tubig. dami pang pictures nakukuha. 😀

  • Moalboal seems like a really great place to go to. i'll make sure this is included in my itinerary the next time i book a flight to Cebu. great photos underwater 🙂

  • hey dude! it's nice to find someone who shares the same passion. i'm also working in a BPO company and the only way i can get rid out of my stress from it is through traveling. I've been to the countries you've been to except for malaysia. i'm planning to go there september next year, with a side trip to SG and indonesia. i read your article about malaysia and i think it gave an early indirect experience about it 🙂 very informative

    please visit my blog too. i'm still starting.


  • Been to Moalboal before but haven't tried snorkelling… balik nya ta puhon.
    nalingaw ko sa flippers. 🙂

  • 🙂

  • two years huli ko na punta ng Cebu, must learn how to swim para dito sa Moalboal matapang lang ako sa tubig kapag may lifevest eh.haha

  • @gladys: pray for a beautiful weather! 😀

    @chester mark: ey thanks for dropping by! haven't written the rest of my articles about KL. long overdue na! hehe. just visited your site. good stuff there. i need to go to Ilocos Norte. keep blogging!

    @nathalie: balik nya diri puhon nath!

    @thepinaysolobackpacker: happy bday! 😀

    @killerfillers: ok lang, yung mga kaibigan ko may mga lifevests naman. aalagaan ka ni kuya Dodong! 🙂

  • AJ

    Ang saya nyo sa video. I was waiting for your underwater headstand…. 😀 Kudos to Dodong for taking you there. Cute ng name nya, very bisdak. 🙂
    Anyway, congrats sa nom. Truly deserving. But I also follow many of your co-noms so won't say na lang who I'm rooting for to win. Hehe

  • @AJ: haha, palpak ang underwater headstand, sa susunod! hehe. was really wondering if Dodong was his real name. hehe.

    thanks AJ! daming mga deserving dun. galing ng PTB. 😀

  • One of the best talaga yung moalboal sa lahat ng napuntahan ko! Balik ako dyan minsan 🙂

  • 00:29 to 00:32 portion – naalala ko si mojacko pag nababasa ng tubig. hahaha! parang ang gaan mo dun. ang galing mo mag swim ed. nakaka-inggit. walang sinabi ang mga makukulay at makakating jelly fish ng ocean park. hahah!
    buhay na buhay din ang corals. ang kulit ng picture nyo with the caption "“Careful with your feet chorva…" parang nalulunod lang. hihihi! maligayang pagbabalik at congratulations for being a nominee. lahat kayo.. you all deserve to win

  • I'm all set haha! Ilang tulog nalang at magpapaka (to quote mica) "barya boy" na din ako. My fins and goggles are ready to be abused. This is the awesomest video I've seen you post so far.

  • @quotes: thanks for dropping by!

    @kura: wahahahaha, natawa ako kay kay mojacko kasi ginoogle ko pa uli. akala ko si doraemon. pareho naman sila hugis bilog ang ulo. lol. sana nga tuloy2x natong pagbabalik. hehehe. thanks! 😀

    @drew: wahaha, excited na excited ka na nga talaga. hehe. buti ka pa may goggles na. thanks for the comment on the video, may mga kelangan sanang ayusin pero tinamad ako. hehe. may magdadala ba sa inyo ng underwater camera? hehe.

  • Ngayon ko lang din narinig ang Tuble Marine Sanctuary.  Have you tried Basdiot Fish Sanctuary?

  • @Chris: di ko pa na try yung Basdiot. dami ko pang di napupuntahan sa Cebu! 😀

  • Awww we missed going to this place. Pero at least there's more reasons to go back to Moalboal when I return to Cebu! Hingi pala ako ng advice on where I can live on a budget for a month… kahit outside the city. =D
    I'm thinking of going back to Malapascua and Bantayan also all by myself and experience those places longer. Hehehe.

  • @robbie: ok lang yan, at least nakapag Pescador kayo! inggit ako sa sardine run experience ninyo! 😀 masaya sa Malapascua kaso ang internet yung problema ko. next year will be a year of nomads! dami na tayong magaganitong lifestyle. 😀

  • Jaemee Portugal

    Hello Sir Edcel Suyo, how long's the whole snorkelling activity? Kakayanin ba na magbalikan from and to cebu city in one day?

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