What is YOUR definition of Street Art?
I believe street art to be any form of expression in a public place, but it’s only living in Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines that made me question my view of street art.
Outside of Manilla, Street Art per se doesn’t appear to exist in the Philippines. Manilla has the Filipino Street Art Project, a paradise for art lovers, and renowned Filipino street artists have filled the City with colour.
As a mural art lover and no street art in Moalboal, how was I to get my “fix”? When asking myself this question, a colourfully painted Jeepney drove past me, and suddenly I found my street art!
Jeepneys are a cheap form of public transport in the Philippines, and no two are the same – what an original way for me to search for street art in Moalboal and Cebu!
Feet Do Travel show you off the wall street art in Cebu, unique expressions of art in the Philippines.
If you are a lover of Street Art and always try to seek out murals when visiting a new destination, how about searching for art that moves? Painted Jeepneys are a fantastic and unique way of searching for street art. Anyone else want a challenge for their street art hunt?
Have I taken a ride in a Jeepney? You bet your last peso I have and I loved it! If anything is an expression of local culture in the Philippines, it’s a Jeepney!
The majority are public forms of transport, but some are privately owned for tours, and others are used for advertising.
A Jeepney, also known as a jeep is a cheap mode of public transport used all over the Philippines. A post World War II adaption of the American jeep, they are known for their crowded seating, and have become a symbol of the Filipino culture and art.
Public Jeepneys can seat (or squeeze) between 15-20 people depending on the length of the vehicle (and the size of the passengers). It’s not uncommon to see people standing outside holding onto the rear bar.
They have a set route which is often written on the side, open windows, and no back door enabling passengers/school children to jump on and off at their destination.
Some I see regularly and have photographed a few times, but every now and then I will spot a new one that surprises me.
Sometimes a wonderful piece of Jeepney street art drives past me without stopping, and I am unable to admire it more closely or take a photo.
I succeeded in capturing the Superman jeepney! That bad boy was parked one day at Gaisano the local supermarket, but the Avengers has so far escaped me. If I am successful in photographing this elusive jeepney, I will update this post.
Fancy visiting two of Cebu's Secrets in one day? Check out Montpeller Falls, Alegria and Mainit Hot Springs, Malabuyoc!
Painted on the side of a school are illustrations advising children to eat healthier food. Art doesn’t stop here at schools; I have noticed painted car tyres cut in half to form pretty flower borders.
Once again this pushes the boundaries of conventional “Street Art”, but hear me out. At Christmas, many barangays/towns hold a Christmas Tree competition, with the aim to decorate your tree in the most colourful way.
The Christmas Trees are displayed alongside the road for all to see, so when you are driving around, you are met with various expressions of art using a range of materials.
Judge for yourself whether you consider Christmas Trees to be an expression of Street Art!
Sinulog is a grand annual festival lasting for around three weeks, culminating in a colourful street parade on the third Sunday in January. Sinulog honours Santo Nino, the child Jesus who was the patron saint of Cebu. It remembers the Filipinos pagan past and acceptance of Christianity.
Every expression of art can be seen. From the Festival Queen participants, to elaborate Venetian-styles masks in supermarkets for festival-goes to wear, to hotels and various establishments advertising the biggest event of the year (after Christmas Day of course).
If you are planning to visit Cebu, we definitely recommend you stay in Moalboal. Not only is it perfectly situated for fantastic sightseeing., it is also home to the famous sardine run which can be snorkelled or dived from the beach.
Panagsama Beach Area
This area is geared up towards holiday makers and backpackers. Accommodation and eateries are cheap and this is where you will find the nightlife. Chili Bar and 7Sins are the two places you will hit after dark.
Island Girl B&B – A new B&B on the main road that's not just for girls! Dorm beds, run by two awesome ladies, located on the main road opposite MoHo and Three Bears Restaurant.
MoHo Hostel - A new hostel on the main road opposite Island Girl just down from Three Bears Restaurant. Large common area with hammocks and great wi-fi.
Smooth Cafe Hostel - Another new hostel behind Smooth Cafe which serves great coffee and amazing vegan falafel (try it, whether you are vegan or not!).
Oceanfront Paradise – A mid-range hotel with fantastic sunset view. Around the corner from Shaka and Ven'z Cafe, close to Cebu Dive Centre.
The "quiet end" of Panagsama
These options are if you want to be within walking distance of the main area but somewhere quieter. There are a few eateries here, namely Sunrise 2 Sunset and Blue Abyss Restaurant.
Rosita’s Cottages near the Beach – No-frills, private self-catering accommodation with a kitchenette, fan or aircon. We stayed here when we first arrived, long term rentals available from one week to one month or more.
Blue Abyss Resort – Set in a tropical garden, you can get accommodation/dive packages and the restaurant here is excellent. I can personally recommend staying/diving/eating here.
Pescadores Seaview Suites - Dorms and private rooms, swimming pool, gardens overlooking the ocean. Fantastic sunset spot.
Mariana Guesthouse – If you want a home-from-home and a bit of luxury with large spacious rooms, this house overlooks the ocean. Fantastic sunset spot from the terrace.
Further afield – 10 minutes by trike
Archery Asia Nipa Huts & Camping - If you want to be close to nature, this place is perfect. Choose from a private hut or a tent which has a mattress and mosquito net. On site campfire and breakfast available, located in Tuble.
Teobas Homestay - Basic private accommodation in a tropical garden overlooking the beach. Located in Tongo, each room has a balcony.
Blue Orchid Resort – Based in White Beach, this is a dive resort with fantastic sunset spot. It has an on site restaurant, and you can have a massage overlooking the ocean.
Garden Village – Holiday homes, choose from 1 bedroom or 2 bedroomed private homes. The 2-bedroomed homes have a garden, BBQ and living room. We lived here for a few months.
Moalboal T Breeze Coastal Resort – Lovely natural accommodation set on a rocky outcrop overlooking white beach. On site restaurant, kayakas and snorkelling available.
Turtle Bay Dive Resort – A luxury dive resort based in Tongo with large spacious rooms, outdoor pool and private beach area. On-site spa and restaurant.
Kasai Village Dive Resort – A luxury dive resort in Tuble with large spacious rooms, outdoor pool and private beach area.
As you can see, there are a lot of options, but if you don't find what you want here, just search for Moalboal and see what takes your fancy!
NB: I suggest using a virtual private network (VPN) when using the hotel's free wifi – the last thing you want is for your banking info or credit card numbers to get stolen by hackers while you're far away from home. This website has a pretty good breakdown of what VPNs do, if you're not familiar.
By Air: Mactan-Cubu International Airport has daily domestic and international flights.
We have flown to Mactan-Cebu from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) which means you can easily twin a visit to Cebu and another Asian City.
Cebu is long and narrow and there are no main highways, it can therefore take a while to travel around depending on the time of day and traffic, so you need to bear this in mind.
Moalboal is situated south of Cebu City (3-4 hours) and north of Bato if you are coming over from Negros (1.5-2 hours).
By Private Transfer from the Airport – From Mactan-Cebu Airport/Cebu City you can grab a private car to take you door to door. This is the easiest option but the most expensive.
Cost: P2,500 – 3,000.
If you are on a budget:
1. First you need to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport to Cebu City South Bus Terminal
By Bus from Mactan-Cebu Airport – Buses run every 20-30 minutes between 7am-9.30pm. Take myBus to the South Bus Terminal. Cost: P25.
By Taxi from Mactan-Cebu Airport - If you don’t want to take a bus to the bus station, or if you land outside of the above hours, take a WHITE TAXI (the yellow charge more) to Cebu City, Cebu South Bus Terminal (20-30 mins). Cost: P200-300.
2. From Cebu City South Bus Terminal to Moalboal - Look for the yellow Ceres Bus Line (Stand C5 and C6) for BATO via BARILI (Air Con/Ordinary). Buses depart every 30 minutes and it will take between 2.5 hours to 4 hours depending on traffic. Sometimes they make a toilet stop. Cost: One way ticket on air con bus = P140 (£2)
3. From Moalboal to Panagsama. - Get off the bus at 7/11 (a few minutes past McDonalds/Gaisano Grand Mall. If you are diving the sardines you will be heading for Panagsama Beach, look out for the brown tourist sign (NB – Tell the bus driver you want Panagsama and they will let you know). Grab a trike to your accommodation, it will take about 10-20 minutes depending on where you stay. It can be noisy and bumpy, but this is the local way so soak it up and experience Philippine culture.
Cost: P100 – 150 (depending on how tired you are and your haggling skills)
- Language – English is widely spoken to an excellent standard. In this region of the Philippines, the official language is Visayan.
- Currency – Philippine Peso, shown as either P or PHP. £1 = P70
- Plugs & Electricity – 2-pin plugs (same as US/Canada/China/Japan, flat parallel, also known as Type A). Some places are also Type B (same as UK) and Type C (known as the “Euro” plug) Standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
- Wi-Fi – Available everywhere; scuba diving centres, hotels, bars and restaurants
- ATM’s – There is an ATM in Evie’s at Panagsama Beach. In Moalboal there is another inside the Three-Sixty Pharmacy. NB. There is a P10,000 withdrawal limit per transaction with a mandatory country-wide fee of P250
- Driving – Right hand drive
- Visa - A 29 day visa is given at the time of arrival. You can easily extend at a local immigration office for another 29 days, the nearest and quickest is on the neighbouring island of Negros in Dumagete City (you will need to give a Negros address, just pick any dive centre or hotel). You can extend in Cebu City but it’s busier and will take longer.
- Airport – Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City is the nearest domestic and international airport. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines fly here. NB. Departure tax of P850 is payable for all international departures at all airports.
- Religion - Catholic
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