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"live free or die"...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody ever scuba dived in the Philippines? I work overseas and have some vacation time coming up, and was wondering if any 2Coolers had some tips as to locations, dive outfits, etc.
 

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I did some snorkeling at Subic Bay Olongapo Philippines. Water was absolutely stunning. They have some dive shops located there now it was a naval station at one time good times man good times. Google it
 

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NEVER NEVER EVER RING THE BELL
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I workrd offshore construction all over the wprld. The PI has some of the clearest water any where.
In '78 we were working west of Paliwan Island in 255 feet. At night under the lights of the big crane you could see the yellow Kirbys on our diver on the bottom.
Google the larger resorts around Sebu or Mendenau. Stay with the big operators. They will give you the best service and none or very expensive.
If you want you can wade out and dive off the reef in front of my house in Kalamkam. Beautiful coral and zillions of fish.
 

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Don't listen to Sunbeam.... Sorry SB.

My wife is Filipina and I have been there several times. I also have a friend who was in the Peace Corps assigned to the Phils for 6 years before taking a job with WWF (World Wildlife Federation, not Wrestling!) and now living on a remote philippines reef (an unesco site, Tubatahha reef) in a research position. Here is his site: www.tommyschultz.com

I have personally been to all of the places I am listing for you and can vouch for each one, the diving is amazing!!!! Just do a touch of online research and you can also find info on almost every one of these dive sites now. In 2006 there was hardly anythng about them.

The best places to dive are really hard to nail down. anywhere in the Phils, with the exception of a few bays such as Manila, can be great diving.

Depending on how much time/money you have, here are a list of places to possibly go:

1. Balicasag Island - Bohol Philippines. One of the only places in the world where black coral grows at a shallow enough depth for recreational divers to reach it. Small island, but more developed now than when I dove it.

2. Apo Island (Near Dumaguete, ****** Occidental) - one of the first and oldest protected reef environments in the Philippines.

3. El Nido, Palawan Island - A very popular destination, also very expensive. Diving is amazing though.

4. Sabang/Puerto Galera Mindoro Island - Only about 3 hours from Manila by car/boat but a wonderful couple of beach towns on one of the most uninhabited large islands in the chain. Stay at Scandinavian divers resort. It's a bit of a walk form the main village, but it's homey, the owners are really cool and fun, and you can literally walk off the front porch and scuba/snorkel.

5. Daan Bantayan/Malapascua Island off the northern tip of Cebu - This small island boasts a small community nerly 100% supported by tourist dollars but still remains true to it's nature as an island village. Access to amazing reefs, small islands, and submerged seamounts (Monad shoals) where large pelagics gather (Threshers, whale sharks, mantas).

6. Donsol River mouth/bay Sorosogon Luzon - this river mouth and bay is reknowned for being a whale shark gathering/breeding area.

7. 100 islands marine park/preserve Pangansiana Province, Luzon - exactly what is sounds like, more than 100 small, sometimes interconnected islands that each have reefs. Think of Palau but not as hard to get to.

8. Whispering palms -a resort on a small island between Cebu and ******, accessed by ferry from Cebu to San Carlos city, ****** then another ferry out to Whispering Palms (Once a day). Island is surrounded by a fringe reef.

9. Siargao Island - A small island known mostly for it's surfing (Cloud 9 break), it's Pacific facing side offers some AMAZING wall dives that drop off into the Philippines trench. Pelagics are VERY possible on a regular basis and offshore fishing for all the big game specis is within a 4 mile boat ride.

If you want any more info, PM me and I will give you my number. we can talk on the pohone and I can give you a BUCH of tips.

Also, DO check out Tommy's page I provided above. he has TONS of pics, many of them of the places I mentioned.
 

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"live free or die"...
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I had already heard good things about Bohol. I am leaning towards Apo. Looks like it has a couple of nice beachside hotels and dive shops, and I know a young pinay who resides in ******. The Philippines is a beautiful place. Great food, and great people.
 

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My pleasure! It is a beautiful place with the friendliest people in the world (Outside of Manila and Mindanao...) Balicasag is a darn nice place if you like remote, pristine, not overdeveloped and it's not far from Panglao on Bohol (30 minute boat ride).

Whatever you do take lots of photos and share them!
 

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"live free or die"...
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My pleasure! It is a beautiful place with the friendliest people in the world (Outside of Manila and Mindanao...) Balicasag is a darn nice place if you like remote, pristine, not overdeveloped and it's not far from Panglao on Bohol (30 minute boat ride).

Whatever you do take lots of photos and share them!
Yes, I should be there in mid-January. I decided I would dive on Apo, just trying to decide which dive there to make (there are several). January/February looks like good months for minimal rainfall, so I hope for good weather. I'll drink some San Miguel Lite and eat some roast pig too, ha ha. I'm also going to swing by Thailand (Phuket) on the way back and make some dives there.
 
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