Mabuhay – Welcome to the Philippines
The Philippine Islands consist of 7,107 Islands and although still not considered one of the classical Scuba diving destinations in the world, the area is already well known as a paradise for the more intrepid scuba diver. Because of its long distance from Europe or the United States the archipelago still maintains an aura of relaxation unlike many dive-destinations in Thailand, the Red Sea or Cozumel.
Discover a Dive Paradise
The Philippines are a dream destination for divers from all corners of the globe. You could be privileged enough to see pygmy-seahorses, mandarin fish, nudibranches and ghostpipefish as well as become surrounded by pristine coral-gardens. Walls going down into the abyss, hunting barracudas and huge tuna make the heart of each diver beat a little faster.
If your special interest is wreck-diving there are two fantastic destinations located in this area. One fleet lays in Coron, the other in Subic Bay submerged at a diveable depth. As well as that don’t forget the Whale sharks in Donsol or join a dive-trip to the Tubbataha Reef which has become recognised as one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet.
The tropical climate is basically ruled by two seasons. The north-east-monsoon (Amihan) and southwest-monsoon (Habagat).
Scuba Diving in the Philippines
Diving is possible all year round with only a few regions limited to specific months of the year. If you are a beginner, professional photographer or Tec-diver, the opportunities are almost endless. The water temperature rarely drops below 25C/65F and the visibility can reach up to 50 meter (160 ft). Even in bad conditions you should have at least 5meter/16feet of visual range.
Many dive-sites in the Philippines are protected areas or `Marine Sanctuaries‘. The known reefs in the Philippines cover an area of more than 34,000 km2 and the variety of underwater species is understood to be one of the largest and most diverse in the world. the Philippine government and the local communities run different programs in order to protect the reefs and aquatic life.
Regions of the Philippines
There are four main regions (group of Islands) in the Philippines. Luzon in the north with the capital Manila is the starting point for many vacations. From here you can easily reach the well known dive spots of Puerto Galera, Anilao or Subic Bay.
If you arrive in Cebu you are in the Visayas, the central groups of Islands in the Philippines. Usually you need another short transfer (organized by your Resort or Hotel) to reach your final destination like the celebrated diving areas of Dumaguete, Moalboal, Apo Island or Bohol with Balicasag Island.
Mindanao and Palawan in the south and west, and many parts are still as yet unchartered on the dive maps, however enthusiastic international investors are in the process of building an infrastructure to enable tourists and divers to travel around easily. Places like El Nido, the Coron Wrecks and Puerto Princesa are excellent starting points for live abroad trips to the Tubbataha Reef making Palawan well worth a visit.