While life on the ground and above water is great and different things happen every day, being underwater is a whole new amazing adventure. Life above water is normal and it is something that everyone is used to, but only a few people get to experience how it is to be meters into the deep sea - the ones who dare to take the risk and uncover what our waters have hidden 18 meters below the surface, and can even go as far as 100 meters and more below.
Scuba diving is a water sport that is both wonderful and risky. It is sparking one's curiosity, getting over the fear of going underwater, and discovering the life that is within the deep blue waters. For some scuba divers, it is a type of meditation to get away from the stresses of everyday life on the surface, while for others, it is just a normal day’s work. But whether it is for work or for leisure, scuba diving opens up a new perspective on many things.
The Philippines is world-renowned for its lively, colorful, and stunning underwater life. Many people from all over the world come to the Philippines to go scuba diving during their vacation, and some have even remained in the country as Dive Masters for many years. Some of the well-known scuba diving locations in the Philippines are Batangas, Palawan, Cebu, Mindoro, Siquijor, and Bohol. Beyond those six islands in the Philippines, there are many more islands in the country that are teeming with vibrant underwater scenery.
Anilao in Batangas is the closest scuba diving location to Metro Manila. It would only be a 2 hour drive or bus ride from Manila to get to this place down-south that is lined with dive resorts for both budget and high-end travelers seeking a short but worthwhile diving experience. In non-rainy season months (from January to June), you will encounter many scuba diving enthusiasts flock to Batangas on the weekends or holidays to get their underwater fix. Here you will find a variety of species and reef life, and, if you are lucky, you may even encounter a school of Jacks and/or the resident Turtle on a dive. Anilao is locally-known as the “nudibranch capital” of the Philippines, so watch out for those little critters!
Busuanga/Coron in Palawan is a wreck diver’s dream, since it is surrounded by ship wrecks dating back to World War II, when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. If you are more of the adventurous diver, you definitely do not want to miss a dive trip to Busuanga/Coron. Wreck diving is not your usual reef dive, as the wrecks vary in length and depth, and it is a mix of history, archaeology, and marine life. Amidst the crystal clear lagoons and lakes, hot springs, pristine white-sand beaches, and towering karst-limestone cliffs, the sunken Japanese wrecks are always on top of travelers’ lists’ for their visit to Coron. During non-peak months and non-rainy season months, you’ll be able to clearly see the inside of the wrecks, and some of them still have the wheel, crane, parts of the deck, engine room, and machine guns just to name a few of the elements that divers may see. The most popular dive sites around Busuanga Island and Coron are Barracuda Lake (thermocline experience), Neptune’s Wall, Irako, Akitsushima, Taiei Maru, Kogyu Maru, Okikawa Maru, Morazan, and Terukaze.
Mindoro is known as a marine sanctuary with amazing coral reefs filled with diverse underwater creatures. You may encounter some big fish like barracudas, tunas, white-tip sharks, turtles, rays, blue-ribbon eels, frogfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, and many more. This location is a haven for underwater photographers because of the colorful sponges, corals, critters, shrimps, crabs, etc. The best dive sites in Mindoro are Sabang Wreck, Manila Channel, Coral Gardens, Alma Jane (shallow wreck), Dungung wall, Hole-In-The-Wall, The Canyons, The Atol, Shark Cave, and Pink Wall. Mindoro is also a near-by diving location from Metro Manila.
Other popular dive locations such as Cebu and Bohol, which are known for the Sardine Run, Thresher Sharks, and Whale Sharks are also brimming with underwater life that would be a nice excerpt in your travel stories of the Philippines. There is so much more to discover within and beneath the islands of the Philippines.Visit Link