Stop 38: Moalboal, Philippines

That’s a lie straight off the bat; I went to Cebu first as the ferry from Tagbilarian goes to Cebu city. Me and Doug stayed in a posh hotel for a couple of nights and he caught his flight back to Bangkok. I waddled over the road and got a dorm room to myself with air con for 350 Pesos.

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Cool Aid guy, What do you think of that?

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So on the fourth day of Christmas I waddled back in the other direction and got to the bus station at 11. I looked around and couldn’t see Lee anywhere. “Oi fucking Watford!” I heard a Scouser shout. Unless the Scouser was an Arsenal fan and was pissed off that we beat them recently it could only be Lee. He told me there was a bus on the other side of the station and we hopped onto a bus that was just leaving. So that was a win…

We got into Moalboal at about 3:00. There was a big old McDonald’s in front of us that I tried my best to ignore and we got a tricycle guy to Panagsama beach, which I assumed was the…how you say in Russian: Main Aireov. We rocked up knowing that Moalboal was a place neither of us had heard of a month ago, and armed with the fact it was low season we knew we could go to a backpackers lodge and share a room for 700 Pesos. Except the lodge was fully booked, as was a lot of other places.

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Kassius Ohno, What do you think of that?

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We did find some wrong’un of a hotel. It was clearly an old massage parlour that had been converted into box rooms that Cambodian prisoners would have complained about. So we were running out of places. We asked an angry looking lady if she had any rooms at her resort and she did, but refused to tell us the price. She showed us the room and it was champion. I asked her one more time how much it would be expecting a price you would probably pay back in England.

“800 Pesos…” (£13) was the angry reply.

So we snapped it up like some random Chinese club snapped up Odion Ighalo (Thanks for the £20m by the way…) for a minimum of two nights, then we went to explore.

We found a humble little Filipino place that sold traditional food for fair prices. We made a point to go every day after that as they weren’t busy. I don’t know whether people were too scared to go in because there wasn’t any huge signs in English advertising the food, but the food was good and they deserved some custom.

That evening me and Lee bought a bottle of Tanduay and chilled on the balcony, talking about many random things, including the fact I hadn’t booked my flight to Manila yet (and I was flying out of Manila to Bangkok in a few days). Long story short I’d gambled and I’d lost. I waited and waited for the price to go down, only it never did, and I ended up paying a painful amount of money for an internal flight. (Oh well, that’s what working is for!)

The next day was exploration day. We did, kind of… We walked up and down the beach, then I got a couple of iced chocolate drinks (I’m on holiday. Don’t judge, buy me cookies instead…) After I demolished my drinks, we headed inland in search of something worth telling the masses by candlelight in 10 years time…

We had walked for 30 odd minutes and found a massage parlour. “Do you fancy a massage?” Lee asked. I assumed he wasn’t trying to flirt with me and was referring to the parlour behind us so I went in and asked the price. It was between 400-750 Pesos for an hour so we smiled politely and sprinted until we were out of sight.

So we went back as it was getting hotter outside. I eventually found a place that looked like a Filipino restaurant. Filipino style restaurants are interesting because what they usually do is have various metal pots and pans full of meat and veg dishes and you point nervously at what you want. Fifty Pesos later you have some drinking water, two dishes of your choice and a cupful of rice

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Street Fighter Guy, What do you think of that?

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Bonus points! We went home and had a nap. (Life’s tough at the top. It’s also tough at the bottom hence why we need naps…) and when we woke up it was time to paint the town red.

I’m guessing Moalboal’s regional colour is blue because we felt isolated everywhere we went. There was a bar we went into that had a live band singing soft covers. They weren’t that great (which is surprising because Filipino’s have Irish standard singing voices.) but I didn’t mind as we had entertainment. What I did mind though was the aggressive waitress looking at me like shit when I ordered a Tanduay and coke, I can only assume because it was one of the cheapest drinks on the menu, and her literally tossing my change towards me on the table. Unsurprisingly we finished our drinks and looked for bar number 2.

Exhibit B was a lot more local than the first bar, but there was no life there at all. I tried to engage in conversation with a German bloke and he didn’t seem interested in getting to know me. If anything he seemed irritated that I’d even had to audacity to try and speak to him. This was the first time in a very long while that a conversation had died and I didn’t feel like it was my fault for not being as engaging, funny and interesting as I used to be, which in a way is a big thing for me. I’ve made no secret of the anxiety I’ve developed over the last couple of years and this feeling of accepting that ‘sometimes it isn’t my fault’ is a massive step towards recovery and/or management.

So yeah, we left that bar as well, and went back to the beach hut to finish off our bottle of Tanduay. After that we err… went to bed. Can’t stop addicted to the shindig…

We stayed one more day in Moalboal. It was perfect because after three days we were ready to go. If we’d only stayed two days we would have felt like we were leaving too early. Day three was pretty much a beach day.

And that was it really. We left early the next day so we could catch a bus to Cebu and get in around midday. But that’s another blogpost further down the line. I liked Moalboal, but I doubt I’ll be back. Me and Lee both agreed it was quite a ‘clicky’ place. We could have just been unlucky and bumped into the wrong people most of the time, but I’m not willing to go back anytime soon to be proved wrong. Also it’s a diving town. I don’t like diving or snorkelling so immediately that’s me out of the picture. Most people here were here specifically for diving and not the beaches so I’m guessing the diving is pretty good there. Let’s just say it is. Yeah… Let’s end this blog on a positive. It’s a great place for diving, and that’s 100% not a fact I’ve just made up on the spot because it sounds like I know what I’m talking about…

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