After diving around Apo Island and hanging out in Dauin, we headed off to Moalboal — famous for its sardines, waterfalls and proximity to Cebu City.
The town was hectic, more so than Bohol.. lots of tourism and not much space to get around. Most of the dive shops were completely full —and one guy told us it was a big holiday, Labour Day… so we would have a hard time finding a shop or accommodations that could take us.
To be honest, we felt pretty lost. Lost on where to go next in the Philippines, and what we should do while we were here. There are so many islands to explore but transit here is not the most reliable or convenient.
So we made a plan to dive with one of the bigger shops here and gave ourself a timeline of 4 days to figure out where we go next.
During our morning dive, we met a couple that just got engaged at the beginning of their two-week trip around the Philippines. They invited us to hang out and we had a great evening chatting about all sorts of things!
We learned lots about India where Maz was from, Canadian tree conservation from a spaniard who lived in BC, and the life of a New Yorker living in Asia teaching. But the funniest part of the story is that Oscar lost his shoes (a dog took them away at night) and Stef and Maz brought an extra pair of water shoes that they gave to Oscar on a different island… and then this particular night ran into each other again and he was wearing the shoes! #TravelCinderella
Moalboal is famous for their sardine run — a million sardines that live right by the shore. We were on the fence about doing it… but are so happy we did. What a trippy experience!
The sardines swim in crazy formations and try to stay out of your way. But they stay in groups so when they go overhead, it is like a dark cloud that blocks all the light from above…. it even confuses some of the sea creatures as the night critters come out thinking it’s dinner time.
Last year, we got our open water certification and then did a “deep adventure” dive to get the certificate saying that we could dive all the way down to 30m. We were talking to a local dive shop about it and he told us that in fact, our insurance wasn’t valid while diving with just the deep specialty, we needed to get our full advanced certification. Luckily, nothing has happened underwater that would require our insurance… but we decided it was a good idea to get certified for future dives… and timing was good in the sense that our deep dive would have expired 2 weeks later if we didn’t pursue the rest of the advanced certification! The whole advanced certification thing is a bit of a racket in our opinion — a great way for PADI to take another 300$ from you while not really teaching you anything you can’t learn for free on the internet… but hey, we don’t really have a choice, do we.
These are the photos from our last few dives — Maeghan did an underwater photography specialty and was able to use a specialized camera kit underwater.
One of the dive masters in training joined us for our last dive and took some pictures of Oli and I at the end of our training hanging with a turtle.
He also took some “behind the scenes” shots of Maeghan as she got up close and personal with her turtle friend.