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Moalboal: Haven for freedivers

A sea turtle swims freely in the waters off Moalboal town, southwestern Cebu. | contributed photo, Nicco Stevens

CEBU CITY, Philippines— For the longest time, Moalboal has been known for its pristine white sand beaches and the diverse underwater life.

Local and foreign tourists know the town to be a destination for those who love the beach and those who want to go scuba diving.

But aside from these, there’s one water activity that is slowly becoming popular in the town. Freediving.

Freediving is like scuba diving or snorkeling, but minus the diving apparatus.

In freediving, you will only need goggles and fins. You will also have to be able to hold your breath underwater for a long period of time.

One of the many freediving photographers and guides in Moalboal,  Nicco Stevens.

Stevens said this town approximately 85 kilometers south of Cebu City is becoming a haven for freedivers for a lot of reasons.

One is its shore proximity to the best dive spots.

He said one doesn’t have to travel and swim far to see some of the best dive spots. Some of them are just right there, two to three meters from the shores. The sardines run, for example, is just inches away from your fins.

There’s also great visibilty in the waters of Moalboal. The visibility is almost 80 percent to 95 percent perfect. Even on a cloudy morning, you still get to enjoy great crystal clear waters.

Moalboal is known for its great underwater biodiversity, which adds color to every dive.

The town also has a lot of freedivers coming from different age groups and nationalities. There’s a community of like minded freedivers here, so the idea of meeting new friends or networking with enthusiasts who usually hang out as a group at Nicco’s Place will surely add more spice to your diving.

Then there’s the amazing food everywhere. Surely, you will not run out of options when it comes to authentic restaurants to satisfy your palate. From healthy options to your favorite sugba sugba, Moalboal has it for you.

Stevens, who started freediving in the year 2017, told CDN Digital that it is not hard to learn and love freediving.

“There are a thousand and one reasons why their urge to dive, for good health, for leisure and you can meet a lot of people,” said Stevens.

And with the coronavirus scare this year, Stevens told  CDN Digital that surprisingly, he never experienced the lack of clients or tourists in Moalboal.

A tourist free dives with a sea turtle in the clear waters of Moalboal. | contributed photo, Nicco Stevens

“I still have local and foreign clients visiting  Moalboal.  The Chinese may have stopped coming  after the spread of the virus but the other nationalities are still here,” he said.

Even though Stevens’ business is not suffering from the coronavirus scare, he still makes it a point to practice precautionary measures when it comes to cleanliness and safety of all his clients.

With summer fast approaching, why not try something new and dive into the world of freediving? /bmjo

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