Travel to the Island of Cebu in the Philippines – Episode 457

categories: asia travel, pacific travel

Hear about travel to the region around the Island of Cebu as the Amateur Traveler talks to Tommo & Megsy from about their vacation in the Visayas, the central group of islands in the Philippines. They visited the islands of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros.


“The main reason you go there is a tropical paradise. It is your postcard perfect tropical paradise. The beaches are pure white and the people are so friendly. You can just sit on the beach and eat a meal, have a drink with your toes in the sand. The water is actually that crystal blue color that you see. It hasn’t been photoshopped, it’s amazing. It’s a fantastic place where you can do a lot of water sports, pretty much year round because it’s so tropical.”

The main hub if you are going to the Visayas is Cebu which has international flights. Some flights also fly into Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol.

“The first thing we will do, and this will be the controversial thing, just south of Cebu is an island called Oslob and you can go and swim with whale sharks.” Tommo is quick to point out that these sharks are not in captivity, but they are fed by the locals. “It’s an amazing experience if you don’t have a moral problem with it. It really helps the local community. That used to be a fishing village with no money.”

Their next stop was Dumaguete with its black sand beaches where they took dive lessons in the local waters. “You just go off a little bit from the coastline and you have Apo Island. You can snorkel there as well, or you can go diving and you are going to get a lot of turtle spotting in that area. If you have ever been underwater and you have had a turtle swim up to your face that’s just one of the most amazing experiences. This is a place for people who aren’t looking for a 5-star experience. We were staying in a wooden hut. It’s those cute little bungalows that are quite common all over the Philippines. This is a real Filipino town, it’s not a tourist resort.”

Tommo & Megsy ate at the local food stalls and had a number of food adventures, including eating some things (like balut) that I don’t think I would try. But they found lots of great food including, perhaps surprisingly, Tex-Mex.

Their final stop was the island of Panglao, just off Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol. “On Panglao, you’ve got Alona Beach which is probably the most famous beach in that area. So this is going to be a little bit more touristy, but it’s beautiful. If you want to get your perfect sunset shot, that is the place to go. You’ve got the more expensive options there because it is more developed, but we stayed in a place where we actually got a motorscooter included with the room which was about $16 a night. It’s a little bit rough and ready, it’s more like a hostel standard but we did have a private room.”

In Bohol, they visited the “chocolate hills” where they saw some of the wildlife including the tarsier. The tarsier is a tiny little tree climber that looks like a gremlin. They are about the size of your hand. Tommo & Megsy visited a Tarsier sanctuary. But it was the larger human inhabitants that really won their hearts.

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Show Notes

5 Dollar Planet
Apo Island
Apo Island Beach Resort
Casablanca Restaurant
Blue Monkey Grill
Panglao Island
Alona Beach
Chocolate Hills
Chorizo / Longaniza

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

5 Responses to “Travel to the Island of Cebu in the Philippines – Episode 457”



I was in that part of the world in early 2012 and pretty much backup what Tommo and Megsy say (they should co-host a radio show with that name)
2 things I’ll add is reason chocolate hills get their name is while it was green when they and myself visited but for 2 months of the year during dry season they go brown. I thought they were decent albeit nothing spectacular but if you visit Bohol you almost have to check them out.

The other thing I back up 100% with them is the beaches. My 2nd favourite beach is also Whitsundays but number 1 is on island of Negros, where Dumaguete is,called Sugar Beach nearest the town of Sipalay. You had to get short boat journey out there and there is 5 or 6 “resorts” It’s cheap and food is amazing no matter where you eat. White sand and the most crystal clean water you will ever see. There is ton of hammocks as well. I spent a week there and it’s paradise.
To get there and cool aspect of travel within the various islands in Philippines just get a local bus for dirt cheap. The drivers or passengers will let you know when to get off as stated on the show are so helpful.

It’s a very under-rated part of the world to visit. I tell everyone who dreams of Thailand to check out Philippines. Probably the best value country I have ever visited.



I saw whale sharks in Mexico and Honduras. They are amazing! I’d love to go to the Philippines too!



I have to echo their description of how friendly the Filipino people are. When I was there two years ago, I had a horrible mishap and ended up in Manila at 1 am with no cash, two blocked credit cards, and no way to pay for anything… not even the shuttle to the hotel. The shuttle operator gave me a free ride and a fellow shuttle passenger gave me $50 (which allowed me to pay for my hotel, water, breakfast, and an intentional phone card to unlock my credit card). I’ve been to 32 countries, but nowhere have I experienced such hospitality.



Hello I’m from philippines. i’m very sure
You will never go repent Philippines ! there’s many good places in here and Filipino’s are very polite in any surely you never forget this experience 😀



I had the opportunity to swim with those whale-sharks in Oslob, Cebu and it was really a one-of-a-kind wonderful unforgettable experience. Those gentle giants of the deep really looked fascinating. I glad we have plenty of them here in the Philippines. 🙂

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