Beautiful Moalboal

Responsible Snorkeling in Moalboal

Photos: indaiiigelica

The Good: Let’s talk about responsible practices, safety, and a little bit about the snorkeling gears

Snorkeling opens up your eyes to the amazing marine world. Being part of the Tañon Strait, Moalboal is home to a variety of underwater species that you can explore. Before we get too excited, let’s not forget that we are the “visitors” and that we need to respect the marine wildlife’s home.

Responsible Practices to remember:

  • Watch but do not touch
    This is also for your own safety. Most underwater creatures even the poisonous ones are not aggressive at all. They only tend to fight back when they feel threatened or agitated. It’s best to avoid touching or intimidating them.
  • Avoid stepping on the coral
    Or pretty much avoid destroying it. It takes years for a coral to grow an inch. Some coral like the Fire Coral which is very common in Moalboal which can cause burning sensation or coral cuts when touched.
  • Do not collect dead or alive marine life
    I mean really, what are you gonna do with it? Leave it alone.
  • Dispose your garbage properly
    Yeah, it’s common sense but I will have to say it again and again 😛
  • Respect the environment
    Be mindful of the presence of the marine life around you.
  • Spread the word
    Snorkeling opens up the awareness
Snorkeling in Moalboal

Snorkeling Safety Tips:

  • Don’t snorkel alone
    Unless you have Chuck Norris level of snorkeling skills, don’t go out snorkeling alone. Anything can happen when you’re out there, you can get cramps or can get exhausted. It’s always safe to have someone else around and notify at least one person that you’re out in the water.
  • Wear protective gears
    While it’s not recommended to put on sunscreen and other cosmetics that will affect the marine life, protect yourself from sunburn and stinging things i.e jellyfish by wearing a rash guard.
  • Know your limits
    If you think you are not confident enough to go into the open water, take baby steps. Test out snorkeling in the shallow area in a sandy patch so you avoid stepping on coral and other marine life.
  • Have a flotation device accessible
    This can be a life jacket or a buoy. Wear one if you can’t swim or share any flotation device with your snorkel buddy so you can take a break.
  • Watch out for boats
    Dive boats and tour boats will be moving around in between sites so always be aware of their presence.
  • Take a break & stay hydrated
    The reef along Panagsama Beach is long enough and has plenty of things to see. You can have a whole day being in the water so it’s highly recommended to take a break and stay hydrated.

The Snorkeling Gears

Mask & snorkel are usually rented out at around 150 php ($3 USD). If you plan to take on snorkeling as a hobby or will be traveling around the Philippines for a few weeks, a pair of mask & snorkel is worth investing as it will be cheaper to get your own gear in the long run plus you won’t have to use a snorkel which has been used by different people. When going to a shop, you also get to try them on and find the ones that fits comfortably to you, making sure there’s no leak. Some gears that are provided for free by boat tour operators may have been not maintained properly and you may end up getting a mask with straps that are almost breaking or a leaking snorkel.

There’s are two big shopping malls in Moalboal – Gaisano Grand & Gaisano Town Centre. While supplies are not always guaranteed, both have snorkeling gears available but Gaisano Town Centre has cheaper & decent options with price ranging between 800 to 1000 php ($18 – $25) as the cheapest options. If you happen to have time in Cebu City, there’s other shops that have more options available. Here’s some of them:

Also, here’s a good list of snorkeling tips:

You’re welcome 😉 and enjoy your snorkeling!

The Bad: Plastic and other garbage in the ocean

It won’t be surprising to encounter plastics and other garbage while snorkeling.  If you can, bring a mesh bag so you can pick up the garbage you see along the way. Last time I checked, there’s a mesh bag available in Gaisano Grand Mall for only 50 pesos ($1 USD).

Let’s keep our playground clean 🙂

And oh, watch out for diapers! It’s already been three or four times that we have seen diapers while snorkeling or scuba diving. It’s starting to become an underwater sighting. Picking it up is subjective on how long it has been sitting there and if there are still “solid” contents in it.

The Beautiful: Explore the Diverse Marine Life in Moalboal

Click on the “snorkeling icons” to see info