Scuba diving in the Philippines
The Philippines is wonderful underwater world enriched with 7107 islands covering around 299,746 square kilometres. Being rich in diving sites, beaches and islands; the Philippines is called Asia’s beach capital. It is blessed with a tropical climate and warm water full of coral reefs, mind-blowing gorgeous flora and fauna. The diving destinations here are a diver’s paradise in every sense. The country has 3 main island groups namely Luzon in the north, the Visayas and Mindanao, the last is largest island in the south. There divers can enjoy the close view of seahorses, Mola mola, different turtles, the sea snakes, and tuna, thresher sharks, dugongs, dragonets, leaf fish and black frog fish. The Philippines presents a full range of diving destinations for all kinds of divers. Shore diving is generally present in front of almost every beach resort, but divers can also jump on a live aboard to access the reef walls and offshore.
Dive areas in Philippines:
There is large number of diving sites present with their own merits all round the Philippines. Here are some of the more popular areas:
Palawan, a beautiful destination situated in the south west part of Philippine is almost incredibly unusual and tropical. It’s a wonderful region of rough limestone islands, subversive rivers, virgin tropical forest and most important fine white sand beaches. The Calamian Islands are also present at the northern side of Palawan. Coron Bay situated just off of the city has become world’s leading dive destinations. It has a great concentration of World War II wrecks present around 25 – 40 metres deep, the Coron bays ranks first in world’s finest wreck diving sites.
Puerto Glera, also known as the Pearl of Mindoro, is approximately 160 kilometres away from Manila offers around 40 prime dive sites. It is situated on Mindoro Island that is separated from Luzon by Verde Island Passage. It offers drift dive along the beautiful breathtaking walls, schools of snapper, the emperors, various eagle rays and rare sharks. The most popular site the Canyons present around 5-40 metres deep provided with many things for every diver – from learner to advanced.
Boracay is offered with 4.0 kilometres of white sand beaches and blue water. Borcay Island has touted as one of the finest beaches in the world. It generally offers calm and easy access to dive sites, so it is ideal for inexpert divers. Yapak is the diving destination for experts where the top of its wall starts at 30 metres then plunge down. The vibrant wall covered with corals of various kinds present all around.
Dumaguete situated on Negros Island, has stunning variety of dive sites. Here divers can find breath-taking walls, dramatic coral gardens and eye catching prolific fish life. Just near about the Dumaguete, there is Apo Island, popular with every diver for its animated marine life. Experienced divers use Dumaguete for muck diving to discover extraordinary and infantile creatures like clear shrimps and huge basket sponges.
Malapascua is diver’s hotspot famous for thresher sharks, white tip sharks, the manta rays and various devil rays. It is rich of Monad Shoal a kind of thresher shark viewing spot. The other variety like batfish, barracuda, mantis shrimp, scorpion fish, pipefish, lionfish, banner fish, octopus and many more are also present.
Subic Bay was the largest United States Naval facility in the country. Now days it provides a wide variety of wrecks and reef dives. A variety of sharks, the dolphins and various turtles, prolific barracuda, spotted sweetlips, lobster and color spotted rays are very important for underwater photography.
The blue hole; Romblon Province, Philippines
The Blue Hole in Philippines offers clear blue water with great visibility up to 40metres. The Blue Hole is around 6 metres wide and 27 metres deep. Descending down the Blue hole, divers feel presence of lush Soft broccoli coral. Just on the bottom of blue hole, one could observe for Small white tip reef sharks present in darkness of the Cave.
Dive Summary of Philippines diving sites:
Diving sites are around 5 -40 metres deep with great visibility up to 5 – 45 metres with intense seasonal and local variability. The water current is most times mild, but somewhere resent due to tidal flow between different islands. Depending upon the season somewhere water currents can be very strong. Water Temperature is around 23 – 30°Celsius depending on the season. One could dive year-round all over the Philippines but from November to June months provide best visibility.