Accommodation at Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, takes the form of pension houses near the beach. While facilities and amenities are minimal compared to those offered by the luxury resorts in Mactan, one does get the twin advantages of economy and pleasant surroundings. All pension houses are within one minute's walk from the beach; in some instances, the facility is right on the water, on stilts.
Rates are rarely more than 1,000 pesos a day. Note, however, that a number of establishments will try to trick you into paying far higher rates by pressuring you to sign up for full board, i.e. the room and three meals a day. This is a mistak you should not make; not only will you be paying far more than you would if you paid separately for your room and the meals in the restaurant, you will be obligated to eat all your meals in the same establishment. That would be a great shame, for there is a suprising number of quality restaurants to choose from; some are pure-play restaurants, with no attached pension house or dive shop. So don't get a package that would tie you to just one restaurant throughout your stay.
Almost all pension houses offer the option of an airconditioned room (typically between 500 and 1,000 pesos) and an airconditioned room (800 - 1,500 pesos). Cebuanos bathe using cold water, but some of the establishments have water heaters to enable hot - or, more accurately, tepid - showers.
Panagsama Beach is a short and crowded stretch of beach which starts at the access road to Moalboal and peters out a few hundred yards to the south. After about a hundred yards the narrow dirt road disappears and you have to walk on the beach itself or wind your way through narrow gaps between houses.
A good many tiny watering holes can be found in Panagsama; you'll find visitors - mostly foreign - relaxing over beers at all times of the day. At night, I'm told, it's relaxed and pleasant, and impromptu parties may erupt here and there.
Now, Moalboal is primarily a diving village, and some of the establishments are owned by diveshops. For instance, Quo Vadis is owned by Visaya Divers, and the Sumisid Lodge is owned by Seaquest. The manager of one diveshop told me outright that they do not like people staying at their pension house and diving with somebody else. Unless you are certain you will get along with the divemaster, it would perhaps be prudent to book your stay at a neutral facility that does not own a diveshop.
Mollie's is one such facility. The pension house has grown sporadically since its inception under another name in 1990, and rooms come in all shapes and sizes. Mollie's does not front the beach but owns a garden - just a few feet away - that does. Mollie's has one of the nicest bars in Panagsama; small wonder that American co-owner Mark met his wife there.
A bit further inland - but still within a few seconds of walking distance from the beach - is the Sunshine Pensionhouse, a Swiss-owned establishment that boasts one of the few swimming pools in Panagsama. Across the road from Sunshine are the German-owned and efficiently run Marcosas Cottages; some have kitchenettes.
Located right on the beach is Cora's Palm Court, a charming little establishment.
Perhaps the oldest establishment in Panagsama is Pacita's Beach Resort, established in 1979. Regrettably the owner Pacita moved on to that great pension house in the sky, and the inheritors split the property into the pension house and the restaurant. The lodging arm is renovating, and the newer rooms are amongst the most luxurious in Panagsama.
Another place that has been around for years is the locally owned Eve's Kiosk, perhaps the most prominently positioned pension house in Panagsama. It has a pool and I've never seen the little eatery empty.
Also prominently located, right across Eve's, is Hannah's Place. You might want to try their restaurant; as for the lodging, you'd probably be better off at a less well-established - and less complacent - place.
If you're staying for an extended period, a good place to consider is the brand-new Ruth Cottages, which come with kitchens and salas and will set you back only between 10,000 and 12,000 per month.