We have just returned from an amazing trip to the Philippines that took in three diving destinations and offered a wide variety of marine life and experiences. Out itinerary was intense, and we were determined to pack in as many dives as we could in our two week assignment. We will be writing a series of blogs and features about the trip over the coming weeks. To kick this off, here is brief overview of what we did.
We flew from Heathrow to Manila with Philippines Airlines (approx. 14 hours) and then on to Cebu (just over an hour). Philippines Airlines have a generous baggage allowance of 2x 23kg hold baggage per person plus 7kg hand luggage, so we had no issues with all our camera & dive kit!
A 3 hour transfer by car took us to our first resort – Magic Island Dive Resort in Moalboal. We had three days of diving (4 nights stay) and we packed in 9 dives, as well as snorkelling with Whalesharks! The diving offered plenty of variety with the beautiful reefs of Pescador Island, millions of schooling sardines in Moalboal, a truly amazing Mandarinfish mating dusk dive, diving and snorkelling with Whalesharks, as well as plenty of macro critters. We even tried a black water (drifting over deep water) night dive. It was quite a start to our travels!
For our next two transfers between resorts we travelled by land and sea, to enable us to dive as much as possible. Our second destination is Magic Oceans Resort in Anda, Bohol and we got there via road, ferry and road journeys that run very smoothly, arriving in time to unpack and get organised for another three days of diving. The diving here is macro-lovers heaven, with an epic night dive, and wall dives covered in coral, with nudibranchs everywhere, including the amazing Shaun the Sheep nudibranch which is tiny! We do another critter-packed 9 dives before it is time to move on once again.
Our final destination was Atmosphere Resort & Spa in Dauin near Dumagete. This involved another car, ferry, car journey to get there, taking in all the sights and sounds of this bustling nation as we passed. The diving here is famous for its muck diving, and frogfish are one of the key species that live here in abundance. We have never encountered so many in a single dive and the dive centre has a dedicated marine biologist on site who is obsessed with these enigmatic creatures. Apo Island, famous for its incredible reefs and abundant turtles is also just a short boat ride away. We also experienced some of the more relaxing opportunities this resort has to offer, such as a wine tasting, a massage and a trip on a more local style of transport…
Please watch out for our tales from the Philippines on Scubaverse.com in the coming weeks.
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All images & text by Frogfish Photography