People from around the world visit the Philippines to experience some of the world’s best diving sites. Here are 10 unforgettable dive destinations you should not miss:
Apo Island in Dauin, Negros Oriental – This island is named one of the 100 best dive sites in the world, thanks to the administrators who have taken all efforts in ensuring that the island lives up to world class standards. Locals of Dauin supported initiatives of scientists from Silliman University of Dumaguete to make the island one of the most well-documented and best protected marine sanctuary in the country.
Monad Shoal in Malapascua, Cebu – Divers from all over the world flock to Malapascua Island to see the elegant, oddly-shaped thresher sharks that breach the waters off the island, moving their way into the depths of Monad Shoal, where divers patiently wait for a sighting. A second dive through the blue waters of Malapascua in the afternoon will show you manta rays taking over the shoal.
Anilao in Batangas – Most Manila-based divers will point to Anilao when asked about their favourite dive site. There are dozens of dive sites in Anilao as weekend warriors troop to the place for a good weekend dive. Anilao has good diving conditions all year round and it has an incredibly rich marine life and fantastic underwater landscapes you need not go far to enjoy.
WWII Wrecks in Coron Bay, Palawan – The remains of the WWII Japanese warship has been an interesting diving attraction in this dive site in Coron Bay where some of the most diverse and richest marine life thrives.
Barracuda Lake in Coron Island, Palawan – Apart from wreck diving, Coron Island has Barracuda Lake, a seemingly underrated dive site in the Philippines. This lake is full of sharp thermoclines and alien underwater landscapes. Add to that the legend of the centuries-old monster-sized barracuda said to be the size of five large oil barrels.
Ticao Pass in Ticao, Masbate – This is known as “the Manta Bowl”. The rough waters off Ticao provide a perfect spot for the majestic manta rays. Divers can enjoy truly breathtaking sightings of these gentle giants gliding overhead. There are also whale sharks that use the pass on their way to Donsol – a favourite snorkelling spot.
Puerto Galera in Mindoro – The name was supposedly derived from a Spanish-era galleon wreck found off Puerto Galera in the 1990s. While there is no diveable galleons, the treasures of Puerto Galera is the over 40 dive sites in the area ranging from the easy and idyllic (Drop Off at Verde Island) to the dangerous (Washing Machine). Sabang is where the hardcore diving community and Long Beach is the easy-going beach culture.
Tubbataha Reef National Park in Sulu Sea, Palawan – Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park. The Reef has over 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, and 13 dolphin and whale species. Tubbataha, is an important part of the world’s underwater ecology more than being a valuable and fantastic dive site.
Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan – Equally teeming with the same richness as Tubbataha, Honda Bay has the advantage of being dotted with spectacular islands with sparkling white-sand beaches.
Blue Hole in Romblon Island, Romblon – This dive site may not be as popular as the others since Romblon remains a largely unvisited province. Blue Hole is a product of the efforts of the three German-Filipino Eschweiler brothers, Peter, Philipp and Patrick, and offers an underwater sinkhole where divers can stare into a bottomless abyss.