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Money: PHP
Filipino (official),
English (official)
Time Zone:
GMT +8 hours
Sun 09:53:17
Phone Code: +63
Catholic 80.9%,
Evangelical 2.8%
Electricity: 220V
Philippines Scuba Destination Info:
      Overall summary of Philippines
The Philippines is the second largest island archipelago in the world behind Indonesia, it is however more compact which makes it less daunting to get around. The islands are split into 4 main groups: Luzon, the Visayas, Palawan and Mindanao. The capital Manila is on the Luzon in the north. There are over 7000 islands in the chain and around 2500 of the islands are not even named! The Philippines have had a recent chequered past, gaining independence in 1946 from the US, but then having periods of enforced rule under Marcos. As recently as 2006, there have been attempted coups on the current administration.

The local climate is hot, humid, and tropical. The average yearly temperature is around 26°C (78°F). There are three recognized seasons: Tag-init or Tag-araw (the hot season or summer from March to May), Tag-ulan (the rainy season from June to November), and Taglamig (the cold season from December to February). The southwest monsoon appears in May to October and is known as the 'habagat'. The dry winds of the northeast monsoon happen in November to April and are known as the 'amihan'.

Due to the Spanish influence during it's rule in the 16th Century, the Philippines is one of only two countries in this area of the world that is predominantly Christian. Over 80% of the inhabitants belong to the Roman Catholic church. And whilst there are around 170 local languages, Filipino and English are both the official languages.

Along with Indonesia, the Philippines has suffered greatly from Dynamite and Cyanide fishing practices. Although laws have been passed to stop this some places still experience this. However, a lot of the reefs have regenerated and some of them around Apo Island and Tubbataha are described as coral paradises. There is also shallower coral diving in Puerto Galera. The best thing to do is to check with the dive centre before you travel and research the best places to go.

Wreck wise, the Philippines hosts a number of wrecks in the well known Coron area, sunk from a Japanese World War 2 supply fleet, though many of these wrecks are deep so suitable for advanced divers. In Subic bay there are a number of wrecks many at shallow depths so suitable for all certification levels.These wrecks range in age from post WW2 to the San Quentin from the Spanish/American war of 1898, there is even an old chinese junk though this is becoming buried by sand.
For drift wall dives head to Borocay or the Sulu sea.
Thresher sharks may be seen in early morning dive on Malapascua as well as Manta rays and Devil rays, though these are not guaranteed.
      How to get to Philippines
Emirites Airline from Dubai to Manila and that was my second trip there. u better see also puerto galera its really pretty iseland and if u like sharks dive try YAPAK in Boracay next to NAMI Hotel WOOOW i saw sharks atacking Tunas its like world war down there amazin dive site every moorning igo there and its almost seeing sharks guerenty heh
      Top travel tips for Philippines
To get to Moalboal : fly to Cebu Mactan airport, you have the choice of local buses which take about 3 - 4 hours from cebu city, or an airport taxi for about 2000 - 2500 Piso (about £20 - £25) this is more comfortable for the 2 hour drive.
There are V hire vans which charge about 200Piso ( 100 for you and 100 for your baggage) these can take up to 4 hours and can get crowded, imagine 10 - 15 people in a small minibus designed for 9 !!

To get to Malapascua : fly to cebu Mactan airport, you have choice of local buses which take about 4 - 5 hours to Maya, or an airport taxi 2000 - 2500Piso this takes about 2 hours. At Maya take one of the regular boats across to Malapascua usual fare 50 - 100 Piso and takes 30 -60 mins.

To Get to Puerto Galera : From Manila get a taxi to the City state tower hotel, from here SIKAT operate a bus/ ferry service to Puerto Galera cost approx 1400Piso return (£15 return) The SIKAT bus leaves the hotel at 0800Hrs and arrives at Batangas Ferry terminal about 1030Hrs, you then board the ferry for the hour long ride to Puerto Galera.

To Get to Subic Bay : From Manila you can get an airport taxi 3500Piso for the 3 hour drive, or you can get a taxi to the Victory Liner depot in Pasay, here you can catch the bus to Olopongo 173Piso (£2) the journey takes 3 - 4 hours but is comfortable and air conditioned. At Olopongo take a trike to the dive centre cost approx 300 Piso (£3)

To get to Coron : From Manila go to the port, there are two ferries which sail to Coron, overnight journeys leaving Manila about 1700Hrs arriving Coron 0500Hrs. Costs approx 1500Piso and you get a bunk, usually in a room with about 200 others. Safe and reliable.
The return ferry leaves coron at approx 2100Hrs and arrives in Manila at approx 1200Hrs next day.
Check current days of departure before you leave for the Philippines otherwise you could spend a few days in Manila. There is a flight from Manila to Coron but luggage allowance is 10Kg !! so no dive gear !!

There is a very good subic bay guide book available 1000Piso at Johan's dive centre in Subic Bay, but only 300 - 350 Piso when bought at bookstores in Manila.

      What's the diving like in Philippines
We have just returned from 12 fantastic days diving in Malapascua. Whilst there is a lack of the larger fish like Jacks, Tuna and Barracuda, the corals are fantastic and the macro life wonderful. We had many Thresher Shark sightings, saw five Hammerheads and more variety of nudibranch than we've seen anywhere else we've dived. Seahorses abound, together with Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Banded Sea snakes and Frog fish. The downside is the dynamiting which can be clearly heard (and felt!) on far too many of the dives.

Will we go back there again? You bet!
      Best wreck dives in Philippines
Best wreck sites in the Philippines are :

Coron : a number of Japanese ships from WW2 lying generally at about 30m depth they are only for advanced divers. Visability can be poor at times !!

Subic Bay : a number of wrecks in a small area, many in shallow water 10 - 25m . again visbility can be poor at times but excellent diving.

      Chance of big fish in Philippines
yes i saw lots of sharks 2 meter almost it was black and white tip sharks barakoda also huge my advice to see puerto galera the sharks cave its an intristing dive plus its almost sure to find them there waiting for you :P
      Coral quality in Philippines
      Best time to dive in Philippines
      What to take to Philippines

Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Philippines:

Anilao, Batangas
Down South from Manila city, there’s a popular place teeming with beaches and dive sites. Batangas is a popular source of barako (rich coffee beans) coffee and jusi and piña embroidered crafts. Batangas is blessed with natural attractions like wonde...
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Apo Island
Apo island is just south of Dumaguete and is the dive site discussed in the Dumaguete section. It has 2 2 small resorts, each with about 10 - 15 rooms and a dive center. There is no nightlife to speak of and the only activities are walking the isl...
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Apo Reef
The atoll-like Apo Reef is located 20 miles (32km) west of Occidental Mindoro. The reef system is divided by a narrow channel, running from East to West, into two lagoons (North and South Lagoons). Brilliant white sand bars and numerous coral formati...
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Balicasag Island
Balicasag is a wonderful Island 40mins by boat from Alona Beach Panglao Island. Fly to Cebu/ferry to Tagbileran then taxi to Alona Beach approx 40 min by car 500pesos. Or fly direct to Tagbieran then taxi to Alona. Reef is good and the area is a p...
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Boracay Island
I did my open, advanced and nitrox courses here.. there are lots of diveshops to choose from. on the west side there's a wreck and lots of dive sites with MANY fish. on the East the corals are still alive and beautiful. the best dive is Yapak.. into ...
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Coron, Palawan
Excellent wreck diving. 4 days of diving is needed here to cover the major wrecks. Diving on average at 25meters. However, some wrecks are close to the surface, less than 8 meters. Long days spent on the dive boat getting to the wrecks, so take a boo...
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I was here diving for 3 weeks and it was a fabulous time. I flew down from Manila (1 hour) and a 20 minute transfer to the resort with an aircon van. They have a very high standard and the dive groups are up to a maximum of 6 divers per guide. Most ...
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Gato Island
Gato Island about 1.5 hours boat ride from Malapascua Island and closer to Cebu mainland, This island teams with aquatic life from seahorses, frogfish, white tip reef sharks and much more. distance from Malapascua makes it a whole day trip, but wel...
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Gulf of Davao
Davao City - Mindanao Island - Southern Philippines Water temperature between 28C and 32C dependent on time of the year. Visibility can vary from 15 meters to up to 50 meters dependent on rainy season which is probably August to November. Dives can ...
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Arriving at Calapan (Cebu) from Manila by Philippine Airlines, Malapascua is about a 3 hour journey by car and boat. The diving around the island varies with a dusk/night dive at the lighthouse being one of the more interesting, with the spectacle...
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Moalboal, Cebu
Panagsama beach is sort of run down with very little sand but it has lots of dive centers, some decent accomodations, restaurants and bars - there are good shore dives and snorkeling - turtles and small reef fish are common and there are occasional w...
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Puerto Galera
The diving was good, with the dive sites very close to the resort. It's a good place for macro photography, but didn't see many big critters. Puerto Galeria is easy to get to, but it does take time. We left California, re-fueled in Hawaii, landed ...
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Subic Bay
Subic Bay is known for it's Shipwreck Dives and Technical Diving. There are more than 20 wrecks to explore; Japanese, American and Japanese wrecks, as well as several good coral reefs around Grande Island. Now there is the Ocean Adventure Marine Th...
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Tubbataha is the largest coral atoll in the Philippines. The reef system covers some 33,200 hectares and lies in the middle of the Sulu Sea, about 150 kilometers East of Puerta Princessa City in Palawan. It's name is derived from two samal words me...
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