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The current pandemic has hurt my province's tourism industry. Today, although the province is already open to tourists, it is evident that things are not the same as before.
Whilst there were so many foreigners in this island pre-pandemic who have been traveling, snorkeling, island hopping, and a lot more, they are nowhere to be found now, at least for now. It is heartbreaking to see tourist boats being docked in the beach shores for over a year now, beach resorts that had stopped their business, and the list goes on. Truly, the pandemic has changed the lives of this once tourist flocked province. To those who are not yet familiar with Bohol in the Philippines, it is home to the smallest primate - Tarsiers but it offers more attractions like the famous Chocolate Hills and the many white-sand beaches.
On the other hand, I was surprised to learn that while others had shut down, there are also new ones that had inaugurated up in the middle of the pandemic. Panglao is the center of tourism in the country with most white sand beaches and resorts are situated. So late last 2020, Moadto Strip had opened its doors to Boholanos.
Moadto Strip is a resort with a mall. This makes it open to the public, anyone can get inside without checking in. The hotel itself is called Modala Beach Resort. Since we have been hearing a lot about friends and neighbors going there, our family made it a point to also check this out during a Christmas getaway in Panglao.
Moadto Strip is a bit far from Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol thus, it is best to visit it with a private car though there are public vehicles which can take visitors there, it is just best to be in a private vehicle because it is more convenient and of course, safer from the virus. This attraction is located at Doljo Tumoy Leisure Village, which is at the end of Panglao Island.
Here are some of my observations and reviews of the said mall.
What caught my attention actually was the huge and high entrance door. As we reached the entrance, I examined it and realized its made of wood! I can't tell how high it is but it's definitely massive and heavy too!
The best thing about the door is that it has intricate carvings that portray the Boholano life. Carvings of coconut trees, bahay kubo house, the mountains, and rice fields. It is also thick, I wonder who carved it, he did a great job!
My niece said she felt like she's not in Bohol while we were strolling inside the mall. I agree with her and I too appreciate the structure. It has its Asian touch and is elegantly portrayed.
While its architecture and design have been well thought of, I noticed some of the roofs which were made of nipa have not been completely covered. There are no traces of workers around so I guess they had left that in purpose, however, looking at the other side, that one was filled thoroughly. Perhaps the construction is placed on a halt.
It was late in 2020 when we visited the mall, we found only a few commercial shops open and most of them are restaurants. I got excited to see our favorite The Buzz Cafe and it was filled with customers. Of course, that's where we dined in because it offers organic and really good Boholano dishes. I have yet to try their Boholano platter option so we ordered that.
By this time, more and more restaurants and shops have launched. I heard Onami, a Japanese restaurant is now open to serve their customers too. Here is the list of available restaurants as of this writing:
The Buzz Cafe
Island Brew Moon Cafe
If you go there, do make sure to try the organic ice cream from The Buzz Cafe. You must get their Malunggay or Charcoal flavor! You will not regret it.
For me, this is the best thing about this mall, there's a long stretch of white sand beach just a few steps from it. We went there by noontime so it was sunny and hot plus, we were hungry thus we didn't care much about the rest of the view after getting inside, what we had in mind was where to eat lunch.
But I am glad that I went out of the mall and check what's at the back and thus behold a beautiful white sand beach. I already imagined that this would be a perfect place to eat dinner when the sun is setting since the mall is located at the end of Panglao Island, I believe that either sunset or sunrise, the view would be perfect!
Today, I checked the social media page of Moadto Strip Mall and found that they indeed offer beachfront dinner and I was right, the sunset here is indeed a beauty!
I understand that this is a mall and it's meant for walking and strolling around however, visitors would oftentimes become tired and the mall only has a few benches in the uncovered part of the establishments.
When we were there, the young ones were sitting under the heat of the sun together with their partners. It felt like it was a lovers' lane!
I have been to different malls in Cebu City and they offer different options for sitting and for the shoppers to have a rest when the walking gets tough.
Nope. The hype for this mall was totally convincing that we went there, however, I won't go back the second time around. It's just a normal mall, nothing more interesting to check if I will go back again. The only chance that I will go back is if I will stay at the hotel next to it.
But for those who have not yet visited the mall and would like to check it out, no worries, go ahead. Take photographs of the place, enjoy it and make sure to dine in too! Also, I would highly recommend visiting it in the afternoon so you can check the sunset too!