Interestingly, Moalboal’s famous sardine run was once reportedly non-existent. The sudden appearance of the fish off the coast of Panagsama Beach baffled locals and is still put down as mysterious.
Of course, the spectacle has been welcomed by Moalboal’s community, as the renowned sardine run encourages more visitors to visit and explore the area each year. Mass fishing has been prohibited to keep the sardine run thriving.
While sardines aren’t as vibrant and eye-catching as many of the tropical fish that live in the waters of the Moalboal region, the sight of millions of silver sardine moving throughout the water as one is remarkable. Imagine shimmering, luminescent forms swimming and swirling next to you, with the deep, navy blue backdrop of the ocean. You may feel like you’re slap bang in the middle of a nature documentary.
Whether you have a ton of scuba diving experience on your belt, you’re new free diver, or you enjoy the odd snorkelling session, visitors of all aquatic abilities love the sardine run. The reef is easily accessible, and the tide is typically serene and calm. Head into the water during the peak season from November to April for your best chances of immersing yourself within the natural phenomenon.
There are many dive shops and snorkelling companies selling trips out to the reef, but if you prefer adventuring solo, you’re in luck. The reef is so close to the shore, and the sardines move so near to the surface of the water, that it’s possible to wade out to the fish straight from the beach. Rent out a mask and snorkel from a beach bar or shop and plod into the ocean on a sardine-seeking adventure.
While snorkelling will still treat you to a good view of the glittering sardines spinning throughout the water, for the best views, consider scuba diving. You’ll have the chance to navigate the colourful coral-covered reef as well as catching sight of the silvery mass of sardines.