Cebu: Paradise in the Pacific
A family vacation for five days in the Philippines sounds slightly extravagant to the average reader. But, when you live in Shenzhen or Hong Kong, the Philippines is actually a really quick getaway destination. There are three direct flights that leave Hong Kong at different times throughout the week, depending on the day, allowing you to swap the office for a coconut on the beach.
Scuba divers, snorkelers, or just those obsessed with the sea, are in for a treat, flock to Cebu for its pristine waters and amazing wildlife. In some areas of the island whale sharks, a coveted and rare animal sighting in the diving community, are common. If you get tired of the sharks, giant sea turtles, colorful snakes and incredible schools of fish all make their home around the island.
“Cebu has some of the best diving I’ve ever seen, I put it in my top five,” says Remi Chabrat, Grayton CEO. “Moalboal being the best spot.” Chabrat has the PADI instructor level certification and has been diving for over 30 years.
GO FOR THE WHALE SHARKS
Moalboal, a municipality on the western part of Cebu, boasts some of the best diving in Cebu and therefore the world. Many experienced divers describe the water as clear and clean, with the aquarium starting at the beach with a reef that attracts colorful fish.
“It’s one of the few places you can go where you don’t have to take a boat out to the ocean to begin the dive,” says Chabrat. “You can put on your gear and walk right from your towel to the dive.” Chabrat also sported his Grayton watch on all the dives, making them stylish yet able to withstand the pressure of over 30 meters! Chabrat wanted to create a watch that wasn’t too bulky for divers, one that you could wear on a dive and still look good at the bar.
Chabrat says it’s a great place for both inexperienced and experienced divers as there is a lot to see at every depth. Even snorkelers and swimmers have great luck watching the whale sharks in their natural habitats, since they gather at the top of the sea.
As for those out there who hear the word shark and automatically think Jaws, Chabrat is here to dispel the rumors. “Whale sharks are super docile animals. They are peaceful and feel like snakes when you touch them.”
THE DOLPHIN HOUSE BOUTIQUE HOTEL OFFERS GREAT DIVING AND HOSPITALITY
If you’re looking for a place to stay, Chabrat recommends the Dolphin House, a boutique hotel and dive resort. “It’s a great place, and even better if you want to dive” says Chabrat. “It’s peaceful and the staff are extremely kind and friendly.”
Whether time, relaxation or adventure is what you’re looking for, it seems like Cebu is a great destination for those looking to find paradise. And, unlike Phuket and Bali, Cebu attracts quieter and calmer travelers. If you want to have that Robinson Crusoe experience, but with room service, then Cebu is the place for you.