Moalboallers and Sardines, Uncanned

Observing a disconcerting number of unattractive older men with young Filipino “companions” at breakfast, I couldn’t help but wonder… Was I staying at a brothel?

Overcast yet quietly optimistic about today, my dive centre confirms the ban is lifted. Diving is back on. Let’s open this can of sardines already (is probs what most cats and weird ppl who eat sardines would say).

Moalboal is most famous for the sardine run which can be seen all year round off of Panagsama Beach. Panagsama is a low key, slow to develop tourist hot spot. Rough around the edges, in the best ways.

Both my dives are at “the local reef”, on the doorstep of my chosen dive centre. Sandy shallows seeping out to a giant wall drop off (approx 70-80mtrs deep), adorned with corals, creatures and the biggest turtles I’ve seen in my life!!! Teetering on the edge of the depths and shallows of this wall… millions of sardines.

Dancing silver masses, congregating clouds, some so dense, they drown out all light, leaving you blindfolded, in a momentary sea of blackness.

As if I’m conducting a giant underwater orchestra, each move I make, countered with theirs. Synchronised and sensitive. Every action, has a reaction. Their strategy… United they swim, divided, they become food.


Something about running… and being able to run again (even if it’s not for as long or far as I’m used to)… it’s energising, pushing past fatigue, into a state of euphoria… that’s where I am rn, a sweaty state of euphoria.

Baguette has been travelling from Siargao to Cebu by ferries as he flys out from Cebu tomorrow. Cebu City doesn’t have much to offer so he decides to catch a bus, spend the day in Moalboal and we’d both go back to Cebu City tonight for our flights tomorrow. I’m in mixed minds about this…

Putting pride aside, turning lemons back to lemonade… in an effort to make the best of the situation, ensuring Baguette’s (and my) remaining 24 hours in the Philippines is as pleasant as possible, beside snorkelling the sardine run, I booked a Pescador Island dive/ snorkel trip, hire a scooter and head into town to collect him. I’m sure it will be good to see a familiar face. Just need to bite my tongue.

Racing through traffic, adjusting quickly to riding on the opposite side of the road from Australia, unable to locate a white dude in the Moalboal Main Street, I head back to the hotel… a message notifying me of his location pops up… back into town I go again to collect his ass.

At the hotel, to avoid awkwardness and being in close proximity, I leave Baguette to shower etc while I spend the next 20 or so minutes at the pool. This is where I meet Gen and Charlie… Work mates from the UK, here on holiday. We instantly vibe, making similar observations about the alarming number of older men staying here with young Filipino ladies. The three of us are the only guests over 5 years old to utilise the slippery slide at the hotel, which could be the best thing about this place.

Second day sardine run for me, and the first time for Baguette. A miscommunication and momentary separation, results in us missing the Pescador trip by about 15 minutes. We opt to head to White Beach and recruit Gen and Charlie as chaperones. The most underwhelming, overrated stretches of rubbish filled sand, made bearable by good company. White Beach should be on a list of places to not go. Highlight was the hunt for gasoline to and from White Beach. We stopped to ask a couple of locals where to get gasoline…. They both look at us and point in opposite directions… lol.

One Mojito jug por favor. Gen, Charlie, Baguette and I sat at Chili’s (a local bar), drinking in the sunset and the Mojito Jug. The jug was large… bigger than large and stronger too. We were not making the last bus back to Cebu City tonight.

Surprise, I’m here, again. Blackout Britney. Really shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach… in my defence, a touch of anxiety and the constant knot in my stomach for the past week hasn’t generated much of an appetite. Failing to suppress my thoughts and observations about the situation, Baguette was exposed to…. more than I’m comfortable with and still more than he deserved.

It was Mike Tyson who said, “I’ll fuck you til you love me”. For Baguette, there wasn’t enough time in the world to fit in the amount of fucking he’d require to achieve such things from me.

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