Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up

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Moalboal is a little peninsula located on the southwest coast of Cebu Island. This small diving town brings people from all over the world to swim their famous sardine run, which is just 100 meters (328 feet) off the Panagsama house reef. You can see the sardines year round, which makes Moalboal a great place to visit any time of year. There are about fifteen dive shops in Moalboal. Savedra Dive Center was founded in 1983 and was one of the first dive centers in Moalboal. They also organize trash cleanups to help keep Moalboal’s beaches and reefs litter free.

Article by Robyn Hartzell 

children at the Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up


Lee Butler, general manager and course director from the UK, runs Savedra’s dive shop. He’s been diving for ten years and has been managing the dive shop in Moalboal since 2012. His shop spearheads the beach and community cleanup in Moalboal on a regular basis. As a PADI 5-star resort they offer instructor training several times a year. As part of training, the instructor candidates learn the PADI Project Aware Specialty – Dive Against Debris. They make this specialty mandatory for all instructors to bring awareness, but also benefit the people and communities of wherever they go to teach. Savedra Instructors Francois Burg and Mathew Severance came up with the project to work with a local elementary school and organized a cleanup with the students from grade five.

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children at the Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up


The clean up was organized to bring awareness and education to the local children and teach them about litter and how it hurts sea life and the environment they live in. Savedra went to Basdiot Elementary School to give a talk about litter and see how many kids would be interested in participating in the cleanup. There were more kids that wanted to do the cleanup than there were teachers to supervise! The kids were really excited about the prizes. Savedra and PADI would give out scuba courses and snorkeling equipment to the kids who collected the most trash.

children volunteering at the Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up


Volunteers were made up of ninety-five students from grade five, along with twelve teachers and fifteen members of Savedra staff. Both the faculty and Savedra staff pitched in to make the day a success. Starting at 8:00 am, the teachers organized the students into ten groups, and each student was given a large rice bag to collect trash. Each group was designated to head to one of four beach and community locations including Moalboal, Basdiot, Panagsama, and Talisay. After getting their trash bags, and bags of snacks to take with them, the kids were off to collect trash!

children volunteering at the Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up


The kids really got into it by picking up everything from glass to paper to metal in order to clean up the streets and beach areas. By 2:00 pm the kids were back at the school with their bags filled to the brim. In total, the program collected over 1000 Kilograms (>2000 Lbs.) of trash with 917 Kilograms compiled by the kids at Basdiot Elementary School.  One kid collected over 25 Kilograms himself and was awarded one of the Open Water Diver courses. PADI donated four Open Water Diver certificates and eight Discover Scuba Diving certificates to the winners. Savedra donated the training and equipment along with four mask and snorkel sets and ten t-shirts.

loading trash in a truck at the Moalboal Community and Beach Clean Up


Savedra also does regular reef clean ups with their divers, but for this small town, the community cleanup is an excellent way to bring locals and expats together. It’s something that benefits everyone in the community. The kids enjoyed it, and because of its success, there will be more cleanups involving the local schools in the future.

Savedra Dive Center

Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Philippines

Robyn is a professional photographer and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor traveling the world since 2015. As a full time traveler her passion is to capture the beauty of everything she sees on land and under the sea and share it with the world.

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