McArthur Hiway Series

For so many years I have been passing through the McArthur highway commuting to and from the office. On 2011 I decided to quit my job and live the life that I have always wanted and one of the things that I have wanted to do is to traverse this ubiquitous road and try to absorb the history that wraps through the path it has beaten. Like a lot of travelers would say one should travel slow to be able to appreciate more a certain space which I will attempt to do in this series. My journey would begin at my home town of Valenzuela, my mode of transportation? A motorcycle! Yep! That is a dream come true for me a swell. =)

My Route

My Itinerary

So join me as I travel through this road and discover the richness of it’s history!

Moalboal: The Road To A HiddenParadise

In life we all search for meaning, a purpose. And in the journey to search for this meaning we get tired. Our souls then search for a special place of refuge to rest our souls.

I was on a bus from Boljoon searching for a place to spend the night. I had no itinerary and nothing was definite on this trip, the only thing that I know was I waited for this trip for sometime to escape the pressure and stress from the city the I live in.

With no definite itinerary with me, I continued my journey to my next destination. I was still contemplating on whether to spend the night at Santander or Moalboal.

It was getting dark and I had to make a decision, so to decide on where to look for a  place to stay I said to my self that if the beach at Santander would look nice I would get off there and look for a cheap place.

As soon as the bus took a turn at the Liloan port in Santander I saw a few resorts but the beach was not that impressive though the water at this part of Cebu is extremely beautiful, take a look at this video to see what I mean.

As much as the waters in Santander was inviting I was looking more of a sandy beach and Santander was not cutting it, so I decided not to get off and continue my journey to Moalboal.

There were no buses that goes straight to Moalboal from Boljoon, I had to get off at the bus’es terminal at Bato and get on another bus to Moalboal.

Just a reminder, as soon as you see the Rizal monument near the church, get off! I almost got lost because of the signage pointing to Panagsama beach. The signage says that the Panagsama beach is about 1km still, but its going to be a 1km ride from the highway so you would need to ride a tricycle or a habal-habal. I was thought that the beach was 1km away still from that point so I didn’t get off immediately. Luckily my instincts told me to ask my seat mate if I needed to get off already.

I told the driver to take me to the Backpacker’s Inn which is well known there. I was welcomed by the inn’s very cheerful and friendly staff that made my stay there really memorable.

I was really tired from all of the walking that day so I just decided to eat dinner and retire for the night. The accommodation is pretty okay because of the price. I am very specific when it comes to the bathroom and this is the first time that I am sharing one and the inn didn’t fail me on this part.

The morning after, I walked around Panagsama beach. I found this small pathway to a small pocket of beach and it was the most decent beach there is (I guess, since I didn’t find any other better) at Panagsama beach.

To be fair, Panagsama beach is ideal for divers. Here most of the accommodations and establishments were meant for divers and not beach bummers.

Even though Panagsama beach didn’t offer a fantabulous beach you can still enjoy the beautiful view by the sea. I while walking that morning I decided to take my coffee with me and enjoy the cool morning breeze and the sea. I even met a Korean who talked to me, though I am quite snobbish with strangers I talked with this guy since his greeting was more of a positive note starting with a good morning.

After walking around I ate breakfast at a nearby restaurant where they have budget meals, I ordered scrambled eggs, hotdogs, rice with a complementary choco or coffee.

Over breakfast I was contemplating on whether or not to go to white beach. To get to white beach from where I was staying I needed to rent a habal-habal for 200 pesos and it was kind of not on the budget. I also didn’t know how does the beach looks like and I was worried that it would just disappoint me if I payed for the habal-habal.

The driver didn’t take the usual road and drove through a shortcut instead of going back to the highway. We went through some rough road and finally got back to a cemented one.

It took about 10 – 15 minutes from Panagsama beach. The driver dropped me off on an area with houses and some cottages so I really cant see much of the beach. I walked further and passed by the cottages and my heart just jumped, shouting “Finally I found paradise”.

I felt so lucky to have the beach all by my self (well almost) I really don’t have much words to describe how beautiful the place is so just take a look at your self.

The water is so clear that even if the water water chest deep already I could still see my foot at the bottom, I was amazed. I never thought that I could be in place like this ever.

I was really fortunate the Sun miraculously shined that very moment I went to the beach as it was raining and gloomy the whole time that I was traveling on the southern part of Cebu.

After basking underneath the Sun I ate search for the nearest carinderia and found none but they weren’t selling any food at that time since there were not so much people visiting the place. So I walked further and found a restaurant

I was really hungry and didn’t want to spend more time looking for a carinderia so I just stepped into the restaurant and ordered. The food on the menu was quite pricey ranging from about 100 – 150 pesos.

While on white beach I got a chance to meet chinchan of  www.juanderfulpinoy.com. We first met during a trip to corregidor courtesy of Sun Cruises and it was lots of fun meeting him again as we talked about his trips.

It was almost three PM and the habal-habal that I rented has come to fetch me back to the inn so I bid goodbye to chinchan and his friend. I asked him to wait for me at the dropped off because I wanted to walk leisurely.

While walking I could not help but notice the little girl playing on the sand near the water. I couldn’t help my self but take a photograph of her (with her mom’s permission) she was just so beautiful and she reminded me much of my childhood.

I slept all afternoon and woke up about 9PM there are a few bars at Panagsama beach and most of the customer’s were foreigners.

One of the inn’s staff works double jobs so I just picked their bar. I bought a few bottles and was joined by my new found friend Dorthe from Denmark. We talked about our travels and the reason why we gave up a lot of things travel and start a new life.

We called in a night at almost two in the morning with happy heart from a good conversation from someone who seemed like I knew for a long time already. It was just too bad that I was not able to take a photo of Dorthe and me.

I had to be back to Cebu city the following day, I left Moalboal with a happy heart and soul, though I was sad to leave the place and the new friends I have made on my short stay there. Now I can relate to the line one backpacker said I miss the place but the people are the place and they have already moved on so I can’t go back. Moalboal just made a special place in my heart.